Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Wow, I did not realize that the Ivy Park leggings line was so highly rated — people seem to really love them. This style particularly has “built-in opaque briefs” and “hidden interior shorts,” which is pretty cool. They’re available in sizes XXS-XL in black and dark gray at Nordstrom for $65. IVY PARK ‘Y’ High Rise Leggings

Also at Nordstrom, Zella leggings in plus sizes have a lot of positive reviews.



  1. Yoga pants :

    Do you wear underwear with yoga pants (as casual wear more than for athletic purposes?) I’d like to wear them more because they’re so comfortable, but VPL is a big problem and I hate thongs.

    • Hidden Rainbow Hair :

      I do but I don’t care about VPL so that’s how I deal with it. Though my most outside-of-the-house leggings/yoga pants are heavily patterned workout ones, so nothing specific really shows unless you’re looking closely.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I don’t like yoga pants but I wear Soma Vanishing Edge panties with my athletic pants/leggings and I swear there is zero VPL issue.

      • Anonymous :

        + 1000

        I have some pairs that are 6 years old and with wash-in-mesh-bag and hanging to dry, they are seriously long-lasting.

    • Anonymous :

      The Commando double take bikini has full coverage (none of that tanga cut nonsense) and does not show a line.

    • lawsuited :

      I wear Jockey’s No Panty Line Promise underwear and under thicker yoga pants and I manage to get Mostly Invisible Panty Line which is good enough for me.

    • I am a firm believer in that people’s … areas are shaped differently, so what works for some may not for others. I wear hanky panky every day with everything (except for sleeping or lounging around the house), so absolutely with yoga pants. The seam in yoga pants would be too uncomfortable to go without. The only time I will go without is with certain athletic shorts that have a built-in underwear. Otherwise, I don’t even feel my HPs.

    • I don’t wear leggings without my rear end covered but my teenaged daughter lives in lulus and she just wears those laser cut underwear without elastic at the bottom edge. No VPL. Calvin Klein makes the ones she wears but I’ve seen them at VS as well.

      • these are the ones:


      • I’ve gotten similar briefs from VS and also from Target! I love the Target ones, they feel amazing and have more back coverage.

    • I don’t wear underwear with yoga pants or running shorts. The crotches of yoga pants are generally gusseted, and running shorts usually have a liner. Underwear seems superfluous.

      If you really don’t find that comfortable though, Soma vanishing edge are awesome and don’t show VPL. I’ve tried the jockey one’s lawsuited mentioned and they don’t stay in place for me. The Commando ones have a _ton_ of difference between the sizes and don’t work for me either. The small/medium was ludicrously small, and the medium/large bunches (why no medium Commando???).

      • No commando for me. I live in NYC AND take the subway. I wear panties because men have pulled my yoga pants down twice already.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t care too much about VPL but I am always unreasonably paranoid about not wearing underwear with any clothes I’m going to wear out. If I ever get pantsed I’ll thank myself, I guess…

    • I am very careful about VPL and have found the undies that fit the bill best for me at La Senza (Canadian store only, I believe). That being said, I always wear undies with casual, lounging around yoga pants, but if I’m working out, I go commando, and make sure the bottoms I wear work for this (gusseted, or flat seams, or built in briefs). Don’t want to chafe the lady bits!

    • Athletic pants, including yoga pants are designed to be worn without undergarments. Nothing wrong with wearing them of course, but its isn’t necessary. I loathe underwear since there isn’t a single pair that stays put on me (hanky panky thongs aren’t terrible but I sure don’t want a thong every day) so any chance to wear a yoga pant or Athleta skort makes my day.

    • No

  2. Hidden Rainbow Hair :

    Posted too late on the last thread, I think…

    Am I totally nuts for considering getting some rainbow — well, purple and pink and red — underlights in my dark brown hair?

    I am AGC at a mid-size not-for-profit. Few visible tattoos on office staff, but no one dresses particularly formally: you’re more likely to see a tunic over dark jeggings than a suit. One of the highest ranked women wears a yellow patterned jumpsuit with a blazer sometimes. But generally the style leans more dorky than fashionable. Everyone has “natural” colored hair.

    My dream hair would have the rainbow hidden when I wear it straight and down, which is 100% of the time at work, but when I move my head or touch my hair a tiny glimpse of rainbow might show.

    To me this seems like a completely normal, un-exceptional choice, but I wonder if that’s just the (sort of punky) crowd I roll with, or if that’s where the style is going.

    • I think that would be completely fine (and I work in stuffy finance in NYC where the fashion dress code is all black…).

    • Ummmmmm, no, the style is not going in this direction. I think you can see that from your own office, as you say!

      But obviously your style and workplace environment may be more flexible than the typical for most of us who read this site.

      So do whatever you want!

      You can always change it back if you job moves to a more conservative place, or you start interviewing.

    • lawsuited :

      My initial thought was “no way” but reading your description of your workplace I’m thinking “maybe?” Because this is such a KYO thing, is there a work colleague you could mention this to to see the reaction?

    • Anonymous :

      One of the things I like about how I have a Stacy-London type gray streak (it is actually white) is that it punks up my medium-brown hair.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve worked in senior level nonprofit management for many years, and I don’t see any senior people in this field who get too wild with hair color or fashion style on a regular basis. If you choose to do this you can be sure that those who are in positions to promote you will notice and wonder if you are serious about your career. A big part of nonprofit work in the upper level is dealing with the public (donors, government, etc) and the expectation there is conservative dress, or at best a little more relaxed. It depends on your office of course, but I would avoid the hair color change.

      • Do it! I work in a large NYC nonprofit (hospital), and know a finance director who dyed her hair ombre purple last year. No one batted an eye.

    • My hair, all of it, was hot pink for a while. The people who loved it told me so, and the people who didn’t love it were polite enough to not say a word. There was zero impact to how I was treated at work. The biggest issue I had was worrying about clashing when we had “wear red” days.The only reason I stopped coloring my hair is that it took a lot of time to get recolored. I miss it, and some of my coworkers say they do too.

    • I was worried about my son who wanted to get some blue in his hair as far as it being illegal through the school’s policies and when I got to the teacher’s room, she had..blue hair highlights so. Is it crazy? I don’t think so. But I don’t care.

    • Anonymous :

      I did a red/burgundy streak underneath my blond hair. Same idea. I thought it would be fun and not show most of the time (I’m a lawyer who regularly goes to court so I needed my hair to look conservative at work). And it was fine, but realistically no one ever really saw it. I mean I guess I could have styled my hair in ways to make it show more, but that would only have been an updo. So I let it grow out and haven’t done it since.

    • Anonymous :

      No! People will think you work in a salon or tattoo parlor

    • Do it! I colored my tips, thinking i could always put my hair up for meetings w people who might object. I work in a very conservative environment w strict dress guidelines like “no colored hair”. One day I forgot to put it in a bun. in the middle of a meeting, my CEO stopped the discussion and asked, ” is that pink in your hair?” Before I could answer he continued, “that’s cool”. have fun!

    • Secret Punk :

      Gah, pink hair is my dream. I swear, if I won the lottery and never had to work again (or care what anyone thought about me), I would dye my hair rainbow and get a full sleeve of bright tattoos. Sigh, maybe someday…

    • Anonymous :

      Have you thought about dyeing the ends instead? I have a few friends in medicine and big law who died the last few inches of their hair a funky color. They wear their hair in a bun to work and you can’t see it at all. When they got tired of it they just chopped off the last few inches.

      • This would be cute, but in a professional environment, you’d come off looking unprofessional and promiscuous. Men would not respect you so don’t do it.

    • Have you done some research into upkeep? This type of style requires full bleaching of the hair and then redying. It can be very damaging. Could you do clip-ins on the weekends instead?

  3. Sydney Bristow :

    Week 1 of meal planning/trying to cook more went fairly well. We had our usual steak and salmon dinners that my husband cooks. I made sloppy joes one night and chicken soft tacos last night. I think my husband was nervous about the tacos but wound up liking them. They came together super quickly, so that will likely be a regular in the rotation now. I’m probably going to make stir fry tonight and we’ll do take out tomorrow (or vice versa depending on how we feel tonight). I’m happy with how it all worked out and we spent about $40 less this week than last.

    Next week I’m planning to try marinating chicken thighs with a Hawaiian teriyaki sauce and pineapples then serve that with rice. I also found a recipe for creamy chicken tacquitos that looked good so we’ll have that as well. I think February is going to be a month of trying new recipes, figuring out what we like the taste of best and what is easiest to make, and then stick to the best ones for a more regular rotation.

    • Nice job! If you’re making lots of tex mex, I’ve found that a side of black beans out of a can with some extra taco seasoning is a great taco stuffer and easy to have on hand. Also, this recipe is amazing on everything tex mex when you want to punch up the flavors a bit:

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Thanks! Black beans with seasoning as a filling is a great idea. I bought taco seasoning in a spice jar from Fresh Direct so that I can always have it on hand instead of trying to remember to get the seasoning packets.

        That recipe sounds yummy. I was reading it thinking that my husband hates tomatoes so I’d make it for myself, but the author says her tomato-hating husband likes it so maybe he’d like it too.

        • When you make it, just add the tomatoes last. That way you can split have the container for your husband and just add the tomatoes to your own.

        • Anonymous :

          Also, if you have a fairly basic spice cabinet, you can probably make your own taco seasoning. I use the mixture recommended at Budget Bytes (just google the website + taco seasoning).

      • I also do this! Seasoned black beans + roasted sweet potato also makes a relatively quick and nutritious meal by itself. I’m not vegetarian, but I default to vegetarian sources of protein most of the time in my own cooking because they’re easier and faster.

    • Great work! You definitely eat better and save money by cooking.

      A few pointers:

      1 – Be careful marinating any meat with pineapple because the fruit contains an enzyme which breaks down the protein. Leave it in too long, and you get mush.

      2 – Taco night is one of my favorite fast dinners:
      – grilled (on a grill pan) skirt steak + sliced radishes + avocado + salsa
      – grill pan boneless skinless chicken thighs with the same accompaniments as the steak
      – boiled frozen shrimp + shredded cabbage + avocado + hot sauce + quick pickled onions
      – chorizo and potatoes + shredded cabbage + avocado

      3 – Have you tried sheet pan dinners? Basically, you’re roasting everything together on a sheet pan in the oven, starting with whatever takes longest. The Kitchn and Smitten Kitchen have some recipes/formulas

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Thanks so much! I was planning to marinate the meat with just the sauce and then add the pineapple when cooking. Thanks for confirming that would be the better way to do it.

        I’ll look into sheet pan dinners. I’ve never heard of that but it sounds like an interesting and easy idea.

        • Buzzfeed has some good sheet pan recipes. I make one with chicken breasts, potatoes, and broccoli (and a seasoning) all. the. time. No leftovers, one pan (that fits in the dishwasher!) to clean at the end. Amazing.

          • Google sheet pan shrimp fajitas– there’s a recipe by Number 2 Pencil that is amazing and literally the easiest thing ever. Use frozen shrimp that you defrost under running water.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I don’t eat shrimp, but I’m definitely going to try her sheet pan chicken fajitas. Thanks!

            I’ve fallen down the sheet pan dinners search on Pinterest.

    • Sydney, do you have a crockpot? I’m not a big fan of mushy crockpot recipes, but I do like to buy a bag of frozen turkey meatballs and have them simmer on low all day with some chili sauce and jam. (about 50/50, you can find recipes for this all over the internet.) These are great with whatever sides you like – a quick caesar salad and some kind of starch – hawaiian rolls, rice, egg noodles, etc.

      For a quick caesar salad I cut up pre-washed romaine leaves, toss with bottled dressing (I like Marie’s in the refrigerator case, don’t know if they have that where you are), add some black pepper, pre-grated parmesan and a few croutons from a zip top bag. Everyone loves a caesar salad & no one cares that this is all pre-packaged ingredients thrown together. I even bring a big version of this to potlucks.

      • I’d recommend an instant pot. It has a slow cook feature but also is great for cooking meat and grains.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        We don’t. My husband would only be willing to use it when we are at home the entire time it’s on and we live in a NYC apartment so not a ton of room for a new kitchen appliance anyway.

        I love that meatball recipe though. I’ve made it in the past with a roommate’s slow cooker. It’s yummy!

        • you can make it on the stove in 30 minutes. I forgot to mention, this is also good with french fries – I like the frozen crinkle cut ones.

  4. Fellow introverts :

    How much time would you estimate you spend alone/need to spend alone per week? I like to spend a lot of time alone, but have been questioning whether it might be veering into unhealthy territory. I’m a student now and I study at home (used to work in an office) so I naturally see people less throughout the day, and in this stressful political climate, I find myself needing more time “away from it all” and feeling more anxious/depressed. I also have less tolerance than ever for crappy networking events/small talk. Any tips for balancing things? I’m thinking maybe a new hobby…

    • I need a lot. At least a few hours a day (2-3), plus some time with my office door shut. And at least one day on the weekend.

      When I spent a few months in SE Asia traveling, there were probably at least a couple weeks in a row where I basically didn’t have a real conversation with anyone, and I was perfectly content.

      I’d be perfectly happy living off the grid in the forest, so I might be an outlier

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’m very similar. Somehow being around my husband doesn’t really affect me the same way that being around other people does, but I still send him out of the apartment sometimes so I can get real alone time. I loved living alone when I was in law school.

        I always see people saying that working from home doesn’t work out for them because they miss interacting with people and think I’d be so awesome working from home all the time.

        I don’t consider it to be unhealthy for me, but if you are concerned about it then I think taking up a new hobby that could put you around people more often is a good idea.

    • Anonymous :

      Same. I work, but in total isolation. The problem is that even though there is too much isolation at work I still want my alone-time after work, in order to regroup from my stressful job. I see people on the weekend, but my weekdays are constant me-time other than lunch and very short conversations. I am at the point where I want to have a live-in boyfriend just to keep me sane.

    • Anonymous :

      New hobby is a great idea.

      Also try studying in public spaces, even for just part of the day. Go to the library corrals for the morning a couple times a week. Have a late lunch at Starbucks/local coffee shop and hang out and study for a couple hours. Sometimes just being around other people is nice, even if you’re not interacting with them.

      • givemyregards :

        +1 I find that spending time surrounded by other people, even if I’m not interacting with them, helps me feel like I’m less isolated, even when I still need or prefer to be chilling by myself at that time. Also I sometimes force myself to practice small talk – chat with the grocery store check out clerk, say hi to the security guard in my building, etc. – when I get into moods like you’re describing. It’s a low pressure way to keep me from getting turned too far inward. As far as hobbies, I really liked joining a running group when I first moved to my city. It was an easy way to chat with folks while running, without any pressure of hanging out afterwords or moving the friendship outside of the group. I’ve also made acquaintances with people who are regulars at the same exercise class as me. Again, we’re not really friends but say “oh hey, hi, how’s it going?” once a week.

    • Fellow introverts :

      I should add that I’m married, but my husband is very low-key and when I’m craving alone time when he’s there, I’m generally happy to be around him just doing my own thing while he does his. I might actually cross the line into lonely if he weren’t there, but nevertheless, alone time is precious!

    • I like a lot of alone time too. I don’t know that there’s a magic amount of time that’s good to be alone as a general rule, but if you’re _feeling_ lonely, then I think a new hobby would be a good idea.

      FWIW, I used to feel lonely all the time despite having a reasonably active social life, but since taking up a new hobby a few years back and meeting a new group of people I actually feel a lot less alone than I used to despite not actually being around people that much more often. I think it’s a function of a couple of things: being busier, and when I’m out with people being surrounded by people I have a lot of simpatico with (I can’t think of an English word that works as well to describe what I mean).

    • I need A LOT of alone time. My quality of life at work changed dramatically when I moved from a cubicle into a private office with a door (I am so much more productive when I’m not exhausted from being in an open-space environment all day). There’s not a set amount that I need per day, necessarily (for example, I had a super social day on Monday and had a lot of fun), but I find that I need 8-10 hours a week of pure alone time, on average. If I have plans after work 2-3 nights/week and something social on Saturday, I’ll generally need most of Sunday to “recover”. Alternately, if I have a less social week during the workweek, I’m fine with filling my weekends with more socializing. Being around my husband doesn’t bother me nearly as much, but after 2-3 days of straight “togetherness” I will occasionally need some downtime with a book and no talking, even if we’re still in the same room.

    • Anonymous :

      I need a lot. I’m an introvert. If I have plans on Saturday, I need Sunday off.

      But in your case, it sounds like you may be stressed and you’re reacting by wanting to shut yourself off. This isn’t necessarily a healthy thing.

    • Ooof okay I’ll bite. Want? Probably 4-5 hours a day. Get? 4-5 hours a week and that includes time in my car where I listen to silence.

    • Due to job and life changes, I went from having one blissful (but totally insufficient) hour of alone time a week to now having 3 hours a week, and working from home every other Friday (so I’m alone all day unless I choose to go out and meet up with people). I am an introvert by nature and only getting one hour a week to be alone really got to me sometimes. I feel calmer and more tolerant of life’s little foibles now that I am able to spend more time alone.

    • Kanarpski :

      Maybe you should focus on adding a little fun to your life- with or without people? I’d think about this as a depression issue- maybe you need exercise, more time outdoors, a new challenge, a fun project, or maybe more social time. Try a few things and see what helps. Even as an introvert, I get a huge boost from volunteering- I like being social when there’s a purpose and it might make you feel better to do something to counter the bad politics. It would probably feel a lot better than small talk at networking events.

  5. Senior Attorney :

    I feel really shallow talking about this, what with the state of the nation and the world and all, but this is a fashion site, right?

    You guys! I moved into Lovely Husband’s house about six months ago and have been living out of wardrobe boxes and one shared bureau all that time because there was no closet space for me. Well… this week the Woman Cave (formerly known as the Junk Room) was finally completed and now I have beautiful custom closets/cabinets including drawers, shoe shelves, special storage arrangements for scarves and purses and jewelry, and all the hanging space for clothing I could ever want. Oh, and a desk and seating and a big TV. Plus it is so gorgeous I feel like Marie Antoinette at Versailles!

    If you need me this weekend I will be arranging all my clothing and shoes by color, and watching KonMari folding videos on YouTube…

    • Anonymous :

      That sounds like my perfect weekend. Congrats! I’m sure it will look even lovelier when everything is in its proper place.

    • Anonymous :

      KonMari folding changed my life. Love it so much even though it’s about the only thing I learned from her book.

      How did you work out your closet/Woman Room design? Our master bed/bath/closet is getting a reno next year and I have NO idea where to start for idea. Pinterest is so overwhelming and no idea who to hire as a designer or if that’s even affordable.

      • Senior Attorney :

        We hired a designer and although the result is amazing times a million, it was so expensive we feel like we’ll be eating beans and rice for a while! (This was LH’s designer and he’s a lot fancier than I am.) I had a good experience with the designer I used for my house — I found her on Houzz.com. If you’re in So Cal I can refer you.

        Also Houzz.com can be a good place to look for ideas because it has a great filter feature. You can filter by room, size, budget, color, material — basically narrow it down a lot to get ideas that are close to what you have in mind.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks. I’ll try Houzz. Did you give the designer pictures/examples of the styles you liked? Not in SoCal or I would love the recommendation.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yeah I’m really collaborative and like to have a lot of input. I originally thought I wanted to pretty closely copy the style of a hotel we visited in Southeast Asia, so I showed her photos of the hotel as well a rooms from the internet in a simlar style. Then she, who is a mad genius (for top dollar, alas) took that and ran with it in a slightly different direction that took elements from the rest of the house and ended up being even better. She designed the cabinets and chose the colors, which turned out to be perfect with a rug I already owned, and LH and I chose the furniture and the light fixture.

          Email me at seniorattorney1 at gmail and I’ll give you the contact info.

      • WestCoast Lawyer :

        I love the precision of the KonMari folding, but can anyone explain to me how I’m supposed to tell the difference between, say, my black crew neck and black v-neck sweaters (assuming similar fabrics) with them all folded into such small packages that I can’t identify any of the details? I think this would be the worst with Jeans and my white t-shirts, of which I have quite a few.

        • Anonymous :

          I solved this by listing the order on an index card and tucking the index card in the front of the drawer divider box. It take a few extra minutes when folding/putting away. I only do this for items where I have like 10 things that look the same, I can remember the order for the other items. In theory, Konmari would say that if you don’t know which is which, you have too many shirts but I can’t live with just 3 black tops.

        • I have mine folded in thirds so that the neckline is on top so I can flip through them easily.

          • I do this too. I kind of know from the tag what kind of shirt it is anyway. Any shirts with a pattern or design on the front are folded so that the pattern is on the top fold.

        • Anonymous :

          Same. It all just blends together.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      That sounds amazing!

    • I’m so envious. No room for that in my house, but if there were I’d do it in a heartbeat.

      true story: sometimes I have actual dreams about having a big closet. It’s very disappointing to wake up.


    • Jealous! One of the first things I wanted to do when we moved into our house was get a closet system and that hasn’t happened yet. Other things, like putting together a nursery, have seemed more important…But I can’t wait until we finally do make that a priority!

    • I.

  6. I got my La Canadienne knee-high boots and I’m wearing them today – love them! The shaft is a little wide (it’s tight at the top of the boot), and the heel is chunkier than a stiletto but not too chunky – which makes them very comfortable. I walked my normal commute (1.5 miles), and they were perfect. I really like them!

    Thanks for the recommendations!

  7. Anonymous :

    I’m looking for a good waxing place in Houston – any suggestions? TIA!

  8. Anonymous :

    I can never find athletic leggings with a long enough inseam for me. 31″ is minimum, 32-33″ would be ideal. Any suggestions?

    • Shenandoah :

      No advice, but this is one of the main reasons why I stick to athletic capris instead of full-length leggings.

    • Athleta’s leggings in Tall, maybe Zella’s (via Nordstrom). Got a pair from the Girlfriend Collective that are plenty long on me (33-34 inch inseam in regular pants, so these are probably an inch or two shorter).

    • Athleta offers Tall in a lot of their pants. Most of the Talls still only have 29.5-30.5 inch inseams, but some, like the Relay Tight 2.0 have 31 in.

    • I wear a 34″ inseam in pants (though leggings can be an inch or two shorter) and I’ve had some luck with Old Navy talls. I bought the active dry leggings in tall based on recommendations here and I actually have some pooling at the ankle (not a lot).

      Full disclosure, I don’t actually wear these for working out. I mean, if I worked out, I would wear them, but….

    • givemyregards :

      Old navy! I have two pairs of their basic black leggings and they are the only ones that are long enough for me (inseam probably 32-33″ need a 34″ in jeans). I don’t know that the inseam is actually that long, but they’ll stretch, if that makes any sense. And considering how cheap they are, I’ve been amazed at how they’ll held up in the wash. I also have a pair of Under Armour cold weather leggings that I believe are technically a 30″ inseam, but again, they seem to stretch long enough to cover my ankles.

    • Anonymous :

      Although I’m only 5’4, I like my pants/leggings longer than most are cut. I think Zella Live In Leggings are about 30-31″. And if you are still striking out, maybe look for leggings with a little bootcut or flare at the end? Those tend to run longer.

    • Anonymous :

      Athleta in tall sizes or Lululemon in their regular sizes would work.

      • If you've been ghosted... :

        Lululemon wunder under pants +1. I’m tall-ish and wear them pulled down over my heels (on purpose) and they still bunch around my foot a little. Plenty of length.

    • Wildkitten :

      I need 34+” jeans and I wear the Zellas all the time. (Including right now.)

    • Try MPG. I have a couple of pairs I use for running that are nice and long, not long enough for me to NEED them hemmed, but certainly long enough that I could. Regular jeans inseams are usually just slightly too short for me, for reference. I’m not sure what the actual measurement of my inseam is.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      Consider checking out K.Deer. They 3 lengths and the longest, actually for yoga, is supposed to cover your heel to mid-foot. That length might work for you.

    • Athleta in tall sizes, definitely. They not only have a long inseam but also fit me from cro!ch to waist better than any other athletic tights I’ve ever had.

    • I bought PACT and they were too long for me at 5’6” so that might work for you.

    • Long Tall Sally if you are that tall. But their quality is only meh.

  9. Marshmallow :

    Can we talk for a bit about how we are dealing with POTUS supporters and apologists in our personal lives? I don’t mean on social media, I mean people we are really close with.

    One of my best friends told me that she voted for him but then refused to discuss anything further, even a week or two later when I gently followed up, saying I genuinely wanted to hear her take on things. We used to be roommates and would talk a lot about discrete political issues, so it’s not like we’ve NEVER talked politics before. Her total refusal to talk about it feels like she’s forcing our friendship to be pretty shallow. I’d really like to be able to discuss the world with her, and not just send each other pictures of our pets and food. I also wish if she truly didn’t want to talk about it at all, she hadn’t volunteered who she voted for. Let me be blissfully ignorant!

    I have some family members who are supporters, but we already were not super close with those folks and are generally just limiting our exposure. As for the one or two family members I really do want to see, I find that I’m actually better off talking about it with them and hearing what they have to say. For some reason I’m having a much harder time with the friend who just refuses to discuss it at all.

    • I’m having a hard time dealing with real-life people who are Trump supporters. I just feel like we have nothing in common at all, and am pretty much at a loss for how to deal with it. I’ve just been avoiding talking politics at all with those people.

      However, apart from the political issue – can you just have a shallow friendship for a while? I had a good friend (bridesmaid in my wedding, told her every single thing, etc.), who for various reasons, I needed a step back from. I was happy to let the friendship go to an “acquaintance-ship” for a bit while I tried to get over some of the things she had done to me, but she kept pushing to “not have a shallow friendship” and ultimately that has put such a wedge between us that we aren’t on speaking terms anymore. We don’t even exchange pleasantries. It’s kinda sad. If you can, just let it go for a while and enjoy exchanging pictures of your pets.

    • There’s a pretty broad range of conversation topics that you can cover though, it doesn’t all have to be about federal politics. My good friends and I talk about politics some, but the rest of the time we are talking about our lives. You can vote for different people and still have things in common. And, maybe she’s tired of talking about politics right now or feels like she’s constantly on the defensive.

    • I live in a red city, and politics comes up occasionally at work. I always make sure to be polite, and to stick to just facts. One of my coworkers, whom I get along with really well, is STILL harping on Hillary’s emails. I just told him I would rather have someone who used an insecure email server than someone who issued an illegal Executive Order, and that I don’t trust Trump, like he doesn’t trust Hillary.

      I have made some casual comments to some friends whom I’ve never discussed politics with, like “I went to a protest this weekend.” If they ignore it or change the subject, I drop it. I guess they either support Trump or want to avoid politics all together. Some of my friends and family admit that they haven’t followed the news at all, and don’t know what I’m talking about.

    • Anonymous :

      I would drop the friend and avoid the family but I’ve lost my patience with Trump supporters and don’t have the time/energy to invest anymore. Doesn’t sound like that’s the path you’re looking for but it is an option.

      • Marshmallow :

        I struggle with this. I firmly believe that politics is a big reflection of how you see the world and shouldn’t be annoyed. But there are SO MANY PEOPLE who voted for him, even if it is a minority. I can’t believe that all of those people are actively hateful. I need to believe that at least some of them are just not very well-informed and can be reached.

        • I did a lot of soul searching and have realized that a lot of the people I know who voted for Trump are really great people……if they are dealing with someone who is white, not-Muslim, straight, middle class or wealthy, etc. (which I am, so it took me awhile to realize this).

          • Marshmallow :

            YES, +1. This is absolutely a bunch of my in-laws and my husband and I are realizing after this election that we just don’t share the same values. Being nice to your immediate family and friends who look and worship like you doesn’t actually make you a good person.

        • Anonymous :

          So judgmental. A lot of well informed people did vote for him. Seriously, it’s insulting to say that everyone who voted for him is either hateful or not well-informed. One reason I know a lot of people did is for the Supreme Court pick. I heard the other day that 80% of evangelicals who voted for him said that was the reason.

          • Anonymous also :

            +1 it isn’t helpful to put everyone who vote in a box, and saying they are either hateful or uninformed is putting them in one of two boxes. People are complicated and inconsistent, and that is OK. They are entitled to their own set of priorities and their own vote, even if it is one you disagree with for whatever reason you disagree.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I guess that is my problem though – on two levels. First, I think any person who would vote on that issue alone is myopic to the point of being kind of dumb. And two, I seriously cannot associate with people who think that their religious views get to dictate the entire damn world’s choices.

          • If you voted for him only for the Supreme Court pick, you aren’t that well informed.

          • Anonymous :

            The big challenge with this line of thinking is that they do not look at Roe v. Wade in context.

            If there was a medical procedure that came on the scene that allowed a fetus to be safely & inexpensively transferred to a man’s body to complete gestation with C-section delivery, would they support that technology? Is it even being explored? THIS is where men need to consider the privilege for their own body’s autonomy. Women should have the choice of when to be pregnant.

            Women will soon be subject to registering for selective service at 18, like men. Talk to men about what it feels like to age-out of automatically being eligible for a draft. (For those who know this as a new topic, the last time there was a draft was during the 1970’s, it has been an all-volunteer force since then, with high tides tracking economic downturns.)

        • As a red in a blue state (who voted 3rd party) I appreciate that you’re trying to keep a civil conversation going. I think some of the resistance you’re encountering may be from your tone. The assumption built into “some are just not well informed and can still be reached” is that all knowledgeable, thoughtful people will agree with you.

          • I’ll add that I’ve known people on both sides of the aisle who unrelentingly browbeat anyone who disagreed with them, no matter how slightly, that their friends lied to them about who they voted for. Don’t be that person!

    • Marshmallow :

      Yeah, we’ve been on the “exchanging pleasantries and sending pictures of our pets” track since the election. I have not pushed her on it again, it just makes me sad because (especially as we used to live together) we were really close. We also live in different cities so it takes a little more effort to stay in touch, which I think makes the more shallow conversations we’ve been having lately particularly frustrating. If I’m going to be carrying on a relationship with you via text or visits that require a four hour drive, I want to be able to talk about what’s actually going on in the world.

      • Anon @ 3:07 :

        I completely understand the feeling, and sorry if my first comment sounded dismissive. I was just making the point that maybe in the short term, this is a way to preserve your friendship for the time being, which it sounds like you want to do. Don’t push and take the nuclear option for now, just let it be a surface friendship for a while even though it isn’t ideal. By not forcing the issue now, you might preserve the friendship in the long run. My sympathies though, truly, because this is super hard!

    • Anonymous :

      The fact that she voted for him and refuses to talk about it is childish and it sounds to me like she know she messed up but doesn’t want to admit it. I couldn’t be friends with a person like that.

      • Marshmallow :

        So, the first time we talked about it was election night when the results were up in the air. I texted her, “I know we haven’t talked about the election but I’m really scared right now.” She said she voted for him but thought Hillary would win, there was no way he would actually pull it out. She also lives in a very blue state so I imagine in some ways she felt like her vote didn’t “matter” and wouldn’t do any harm. Not that this makes it better, that’s just my read on it.

        I have no idea whether she regrets it because she made it very clear she did not want to discuss it. I texted her a week or two later and said I’d like to sit down and chat about it because I value her opinion and really want to hear what she thinks, and she said unequivocally no, she never wants to talk about it.

        • Anonymous :

          Maybe she knows you’ll judge her. It sounds like you already do.

        • FWIW, if someone texted me and asked me to sit down and discuss my political views/vote with them, I would absolutely say no and would actively avoid that person. It sounds like you want to confront her or stage an intervention, no matter how polite your wording is. (I believe that you don’t, but that’s what I would get from your text.) I’m not against discussing politics with friends at all, but I feel like it should be organic and come up (or not) in the course of a normal conversation. It’s just weird to schedule a chat to discuss politics, religion, or other matters of personal opinion. That’s different from, “Hey, let’s have lunch so you can tell me about your new boyfriend/job/house,” or “I know you’re having a rough time with your breakup, let me know if you’d like to grab a drink.”

        • Anonymous :

          Who cares if she regrets her vote? She made the best decision she felt like she could at the time- same as you. Hindsight is 20/20, no matter which side of the political aisle you’re on.

        • Better option? :

          Just take it at face value – her voting. Don’t make this a big event – that is why you got a No. You will have millions of opportunities to discuss each of your values, and your lived experiences and beliefs. Go with that less formal route. Some votes have some very quirky logic behind them. Stick to what you both care about.

          Even the personal is political. My partner received 2-3 rejections when he was up for a second interview for federal jobs, citing Trump’s changes. And he voted for Gary Johnson as Trump made it that easy for him to step away from his lifelong party. We’re in a blue state that voted for Clinton – no net effect.

    • I live in a very red state and voted 3rd party in the last election. A lot of folks around me voted for Trump and we tend to discuss the individual executive orders and share our reactions, but don’t necessarily debate each other’s reaction.

      The immigration order is widely disliked in the manner it was put out. Lots of folks around here feel strongly about illegal immigration, but are very opposed to detaining people who are here legally on visas/green cards/etc.

    • Anonymous :

      I posted about this yesterday — my in-laws and many local friends/family members are Trump supporters and MY HUSBAND VOTED FOR HIM. I put that in all caps b/c I still can’t believe it. Husband has since admitted he regrets his vote (he is apathetic about politics and chose according to his pro-life Catholic beliefs), but I can’t let myself think about it for long or it results in a knock-down, drag-out fight. My marriage is seriously suffering right now because I’m actually biased against Trump voters as unintelligent (I’m sorry — I know this is a broad and terrible generalization), and what does that say about me when that group includes my own spouse? Plus one entire side of my family is Muslim, so this whole thing feels so highly personal to me that I could just barf. I’m sorry, OP, I have no good ideas for you! Just commiseration.

      • Anonymous :

        I replied to your comment yesterday…. save your marriage and keep it in perspective. Unless you are looking for a reason to get out… then go and pin this as your issue

        • Anonymous :

          I know that’s the right thing, but it feels so hard right now. Not looking for a reason to get out…just a little (OK, a lot) jealous of people who vote the same way as their spouses/partners right now.

          • No advice, but commiseration. My DH comes from a long line of conservatives, and while he didn’t vote Trump, he voted third party which is nearly as bad. He avoids political discussions with me these days since I’m having a hard time discussing without emotion, but it’s hard to rein yourself in when he says things like, “I’m very worried about how things are going but there are some of Trump’s positions I agree with.” Gah.

      • I honestly cannot imagine being married to someone who doesn’t share my political beliefs. I just couldn’t handle not coming home to the kind of emotional support you get from being aligned with your partner. I think it’s a very big deal, and not something to play down as a relationship concern.

    • I broke up with him on Monday. Candle.

    • I struggle with this, too. We are planning a wedding and there are certain members of my fiance’s side of the family that are T45 supporters. It’s tough, so I politely avoid, write my thoughts/rants on fb (which they can ignore or read), and they can decide if they want to come to our immigrant-packed, multi-cultural, multi-lingual wedding. I hope they do, because immigrants are awesome and my families know how to throw a party. (And no one would be rude; it’s a celebration, after all!)

      I think a lot of their thoughts stem from lack of exposure. I am absolutely the first “of my kind” most of them have ever met and ours will be the first wedding (or any religious ceremony/rite) any of them have attended outside of their church. It takes a lot to stay polite when you are constantly treated like an other, peppered with deeply personal questions because I obviously must be open to such personal questions by simply being different. (i.e. I offer to pass the yams and someone sees it as a segue to ask if I believe in God and Jesus… huh?)

      This is in part why I struggle with the whole “liberals need to get out of their bubble” attitude. I have! I attend their church as an outsider every weekend we visit; I have been on their farms; I have gone to their state fairs. (I’m from the city but my immigrant families grew up poor in their respective countries — like most immigrants! — so I already knew farmlife and literal dirt floors from visits to the motherlands). But if it weren’t for our wedding, many of these folks would have never driven into the city.

      No advice, but I get it. I think the best we can do is model inclusiveness and encourage exposure. Those family members will be invited, as will our Hispanic, immigrant, Indian, gay, Black, Asian, Muslim, Jewish, N0-Kids by choice, Atheist, and disabled friends and family.

    • Here’s the way I’m trying to deal with it. I try to focus on someone’s motivations, as opposed to the end result (recognizing of course that the end result does MATTER going forward, but trying to give friends/family the benefit of the doubt with respect to their past actions). If someone voted for Trump based on a genuine, deeply-held belief that what they were doing was for the greater good (e.g. they’re pro life and believed they were saving babies; or they genuinely believe their friends/neighbors will die in a terrorist attack and T would save them), then I try to at least focus on the fact that they’re a good PERSON, even if I personally think their decision was uninformed/short-sighted/etc. They voted based on what they really felt was best for other people, as opposed to based on what was solely best for them. Going forward, I might try to educate/enlighten, but I can still deal with having them in my life and care about them and believe they are good because they at least had good motivations. I honestly believe (maybe because I want to be optimistic about this country and humanity in general!) that most Americans really do care about other people, and liberals’ job going forward is to help the Trumpsters understand that what is best for other people, on the whole, is not him and his policies. The only people I CANNOT deal with are friends who make clear that they don’t give two sh*ts about anyone else, and they vote/participate in politics based on their own bank accounts and/or maintaining their own privilege/racism. Thankfully I don’t have as many of those in my life, and the ones I have are mainly people I am forced to interact with.

  10. I need to replace a 10″ calphalon non-stick fry pan. I mainly use the pan to cook vegetables (I’m vegetarian), and sometimes eggs. I’ve seen a bunch of posts here recently about different kids of pans, and I must admit I am a little overwhelmed at the options. I am not a great cook and do not see that changing anytime soon. I was just going to buy another of the same pan, but thought I’d check here first. Is there a different kind of pan I should be considering?

    • I like my all-clad stainless steel pan. It takes some getting used to so stuff doesn’t stick. There was a long thread about it a few days ago if you want to search for tips. Good for you getting rid of the non-stick – there are some serious health concerns associated with the coatings in use today.

    • You should try seasoned cast iron. It will be heavy but it will be close to non-stick if you use enough fat and keep it seasoned. You’ll have to get used to a little warm-up time.

      • Anonymous4 :

        +1 – after cooking on cast iron, I never want to cook on anything again. I find controlling temperature in them much more challenging on electric than on gas – my current electric range gets very hot.

    • givemyregards :

      If you’re not that into cooking, I wouldn’t worry too much about trying to make the move to stainless steel or cast iron, personally. I’d just get another nonstick pan and make sure not to wash it in the dish washer or scratch the coating. I have a set of Belgique that I really like, but if you were happy with your Calphalon I’d just stick with that.

    • I got rid of teflon (or teflonish) nonstick pans and switched to ceramic nonstick. Greenpan is an easy-to-find example. You can pre-heat the pan without oil in it, and there’s no toxic coating flaking off into your food. Not quite as nonstick as the teflon was, at least new, but close. And way easier to use than stainless or cast iron.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to ceramic nonstick. Just as easy to use as teflon. Sometimes you NEED a non-stick surface and stainless steel just won’t do!

    • Constant Reader :

      See if any of these look appealing — but if you ask a professional/serious cook, nonstick pans are never considered “forever pans” so it’s not really an investment, buy what you like. The two most successful nonstick pans I have are an All-Clad (very expensive and large) and a smaller Kitchenaid one that I got a target for under $20 and it does just fine, especially for eggs.


      • +1. I’m also a vegetarian, and I have a good All-Clad stainless pan for everything except eggs. For those, I use a cheap non-stick pan from Target that I treat very gently. I don’t eat eggs often, though, so if it’s a bigger part of your diet you might need something else.

    • I recommend the Swiss Diamond nonstick pan. It has crystals integrated into the nonstick coating, so it’s supposedly gets hotter and is more durable than regular nonstick. We’ve used ours a couple times a week for a year, and it looks perfect and does really nice eggs and pancakes (and fish, but you’re a vegetarian). I wouldn’t hesitate to sautee vegetables in it either, although you’d probably need something that gets hotter, like stainless steel, to do a proper stirfry.

      FWIW, I love our cast iron skillets but would not recommend it for cooking eggs. Yes, the surface is nonstick, but cast iron doesn’t heat evenly. That means to get even heat, you have to preheat the pan for a long time. But by the time the heat is even, the pan is often too hot for eggs, and you can’t adjust the heat easily on cast iron. It would work beautifully for vegetables. If you only want one pan though, I’d go with a nonstick.

      • I was coming here to say this. I LOVE my Swiss Diamond pans. Cooks beautifully, cleans up easily, and seems to do many different types of food well. My 10″ saute pan is the first pan I reach for almost every time I cook dinner.

    • I have a ceramic non stick pan I think by Cuisinart that I bought at Home Goods for $20. No oil needed. Love it.

    • GreenPan ceramic nonstick! Got two at Costco recently and LOVE them.

    • I bought one of those “seen on TV” skillets at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I think its Gotham Steel? Supposedly you don’t need any oil for it and it’s oven safe. I still use a little oil for cooking. I like it so far.

    • SFAttorney :

      Why do you need to replace it? My Calphalon pan lost its non stick surface and I sent it to Calphalon and they sent me a functional pan. I don’t know if it was a new pan or the old one resurfaced. No charge and you avoid discarding limited resources (the metal the pan is made from).

    • Le Creuset cast iron pan

  11. Is anyone familiar with the various flextime attorney positions available at Littler? I am very interested, but am worried there might be potential pitfalls I am not considering. I am currently an associate on a reduced hours schedule that works out to about 1560 hours per year. For a variety of reasons, I am no longer happy at my firm, and I am looking to move. I would love any input anyone may have on alternative-track type positions, especially at Littler.

  12. Since there seem to be finance/investment minded people here usually — I’m going to leave a question here. Can someone explain why people invest in companies that don’t turn a profit? For the SNAP IPO — the numbers who that SNAP isn’t turning a profit and I believe they founders made a statement that may never turn a profit. Am I right that they want to IPO in order to raise capital — i.e. people buy their shares, they get equity capital and that capital can be further used to fund the business? But why do investors want to invest? Is it purely bc they believe this company WILL be profitable eventually so they want to get in early? Isn’t that a huge chance to take on a company that was formed years ago, has good subscribership and still isn’t turning a profit? This is one of the main reasons I don’t invest in tech – bc I don’t get how there are so many start ups that aren’t turning a profit that are still thought to be such great companies. I was in high school/early college during the dot com boom/bust – was that the problem then too — companies without profits?

    • That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Other companies that were not profitable (maybe are still not profitable?) when they went public include Amazon and Netflix. IPO investors have still made a lot of money on those shares.

      • Many, many biotech companies (all?) are not profitable until they file the IPO, and the IPO gets filed after a break-through drug has been discovered. They need the equity from the IPO to begin marketing and selling (aka earning revenue and making a profit) the drug. Meaning, don’t judge a company solely because a lack of profits as there can be far more to the story.

    • Most tech companies are formed to be sold. Investors can make lots and lots of money when there’s a sale.

    • A lot of companies put all their earnings back into the company in the early years. I think that’s what amazon did. So they aren’t giving investors much or any dividends because the company is spending all their money building new facilities and expanding. And at a certain point, they stop expanding and start paying out a bunch of money. Theoretically.

    • So funny, I just finished the book Disrupted. The author talks a lot about tech companies having a huge IPO, and thus the founders and investors make bank, but the company doesn’t turn a profit for years.

  13. I’d like to get some kind of thank you gift to my child’s therapist who was amazing and enabled my child to become a happy, normal kid again after a traumatic experience. The therapist is a woman in her 70s, phD, and I don’t know her that well as the conversation has always been about my child and my family. What would be appropriate?

    • A card, with a thoughtful handwritten note explaining how her input has affected your child’s life, and your life, is the perfect gift. Nothing more.

      I’m serious.

      She will keep the card forever, it will be particularly poignant at this stage of her life, and she will go back and look at it from time to time when she “needs it”.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think the best gift would be a heartfelt note, maybe with a small photo of your child tucked inside. Or have your child draw her a picture.

    • bottle of wine or box of chocolates, plus a heartfelt card

      • (obviously the card is already enough but if you feel the need for a gift, those are the options)

    • Wildkitten :

      I got my therapist bookplates because she lent out her library a lot and they weren’t labeled and she looooved them.

    • Anonymous4 :

      I love the idea of a handwritten card/letter.

      What about a contribution in her honor to a charity that supports therapy for underpriviledged children? Helping to give the gift your child received to someone who might not be able to afford it otherwise?

    • Nice olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

  14. Kinda sad mama :

    Thanks to all who replied to my post yesterday about my 16 year old daughter planning to “go all the way” with her boyfriend. (for those of you who didn’t read, I found out accidentally.)

    You gave me a lot to think about. Of course I want to be supportive but I don’t want to actively encourage it either. I want her to have some internal resistance to doing it just to make sure she’s sure she wants to do this.

    I did tell her it was OK for her boyfriend to be in her bedroom now, but the door should be open. This is the same rule at his house.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think her boyfriend is really pushing this on her. I think this is something they’ve talked about together.

    • Have you or your daughter read the book “Forever” by Judy Blume? It’s about a teenage couple who decide to go all the way with each other. Both each other’s firsts. It was such a thoughtful book about taking that step, how it changes a relationship, etc. I read it when I was 17 or 18 and really loved it.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m not sure that book has held up. I think at one time it was groundbreaking, but the characters are so wooden and they’re very naive and dorky… any teen is going to be horrified by “Ralph.” I don’t think many teens today dream about marrying their high school sweetheart or being together forever, and I don’t think that teens are so innocent about s*x. I couldn’t relate to it in the 90’s and I think teens today are more worldly than I was.

        • Oh, hah, I was really naive and dorky in high school, which is possibly why I liked it so much.

          • pugsnbourbon :

            My group of naive, dorky friends discovered that book and passed it around like it was contraband.

            Though I though he was her first, but he’d been active before. I read it a long time ago, though.

          • Anonymous :

            Ha, well realistically it probably is how some relationships are even now (minus Ralph) – it just wasn’t an aspirational relationship. I can’t really think of many other fiction books that deal with the subject, though. Maybe Meg Cabot’s All American Girl? That is probably more modern.

          • Anonymous :

            Although I think the sequel, Ready or Not, was the one with the s*x theme

        • Anonymous :

          My main takeaway from when I read that book as a 12 year old was Ralph! And that he put aftershave on his balls, lol.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe I’m biased, but 16 seems like a pretty normal, OK age for that, don’t you think? What kind of ‘internal resistance’ do you want her to have? If anything, I think girls are told to focus a lot on pressure from boyfriends versus a moralistic ‘internal resistance,’ while being completely unaware of their own desire or lack thereof. Instead of focusing on why she SHOULDN’T want to do it, maybe you should have a conversation with her about what actively, enthusiastically wanting to do it would feel like?
      Maybe you can pick up a couple of copies of the book Yes Means Yes by Jessica Valenti and ask if she’d be willing to read it with you and discuss together before making a decision one way or another.

      • Eh, I didn’t have sex at 16 because I 100% did not want to get pregnant. There was plenty of other fun to be had in other ways.

        • Anonymous :

          Same. And my parents told me that I should only have s** when I was fully prepared to handle any of the possible consequences. So I had fun in other ways.

      • I have read Yes Means Yes and agree. I didn’t have sex at 16 due to pregnancy concerns. Also, I read enough essays by second wave feminists indicating that their experiences improved as they grew older (some combination of better self-knowledge and self acceptance, as well as more skilled lovers).

        • Anonymous :

          Anecdotal, my experiences got better as I got older (even with the same partner) due to self-knowledge… but also due to a lot of practice. If I had started later I would had to figure it out at the same pace, just later.

    • Anonymous :

      The biggest part of teenage relationships that seems to get missed around this issue is for girls to realize that if they want to try and they are safe and in a caring relationship, it doesn’t mean that they have to keep doing it. I had a couple girlfriends in high school who didn’t really want to continue after trying it a few times but felt a lot of pressure from their boyfriends to continue. The whole discussion around when and yes/no often leaves out the idea that you can try it but have no continuing obligation to your boyfriend to continue if you feel uncomfortable.

      • Anonymous :

        There is a Chris Rock routine on this: not going back once something is on the menu.

      • Anonymous :

        This can be a big deal: it’s not just a commitment to do it once, it’s that once it’s on the table, it will always be something on the table / to negotiate.

        In HS, I worked with someone who resigned herself to doing it once. It was not something she enjoyed and worried about getting found out / interrupted. But it was always on the menu with that partner. It was easier for him, now that it was on the menu. Everything else was not as enjoyable and much more work (for him). Once you’ve had steak, it’s hard to go back to ground chuck.

        They broke up.

        But everyone in their high school knew that it was on the menu, so it was a perpetual negotiating item. She just seemed so exhausted by it and there was no real joy in it whatsoever. It made me sad. But it was a good story to have heard b/c it made me think a lot before I had any real skin in the game.

      • SF in House :

        I made my 14 year old son watch the Tea Consent video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8) and have followed up several times. Just because you wanted tea once, doesn’t mean you always want it!

    • Didn’t see your thread yesterday so – are you talking to your daughter about this or taking the approach of – it’s her decision I can’t stop her?

      How does she think of this boy? Is she thinking she’d like to marry him after college or that this is the first one but there will be many others down the road? Bc if she wants a long future with him, I’d get across that it’s super common for high school kids to get it on 1-2x and then break up – often bc the boy wants it all the time, the girl doesn’t, so he moves on. Would she be ok if he weren’t with her 2 months from now and was getting it on with someone else and she still had to interact w him at school!

      • 3:32 said it much better than I just did at 3:47 — but not only could it result in him moving on, but it would result in EVERYONE in school assuming for the next 2-3 yrs that if they get her as a girlfriend, they’ll get some. And for high school boys – even nice ones who get straight As and ivy league admissions – that is a HUGE draw. For high school girls – it can be exhausting (and usually impossible) to fight off that reputation, when all you’re looking for is someone to dance with at homecoming.

      • Kinda sad mama :

        Actually, what I told her was my own experience, from college back in the olden days. I knew so many couples who lost their v together, and the usual result was that the girl was like “we are so close now, I’m going to marry this guy” and the guy was like “wow, that was fun, I want to try it with someone else.”

        But we talk about this in an abstract way, like we are talking just about other people and not about her and her boyfriend. She doesn’t want to talk about it so directly, and I understand that.

    • One thing you might prepare your daughter for is that it may be painful or just not work well this first time. Emphasize that she needs to be confident enough to say to stop if it hurts and give it a go another time. The first time is rarely magical and could be bloody.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you can support her without actively enabling it. My daughter is a lot younger, but I think in your shoes, I would keep enforcing the rule about the door being open whenever they’re home together. I agree that there’s nothing to be gained by flipping out, but I also wouldn’t be comfortable giving my teenager a private space in my home in which to have s*x.

    • Peggy Orenstein’s book Girls and S*x is terrific at using voices of teens to reframe what healthy adolescent sexuality should look like. Might give you two good discussion fodder.

    • Hidden Rainbow Hair :

      A lot of the comments here are really putting virginity on a pedestal and I think it’s a big, dangerous mistake, and a message you should absolutely try to push against. I say this as someone who “lost her virginity” in a not-exactly-consensual way, and then felt like “well, I guess it’s gone, so I might as well let him keep doing this to me.” I am not the only woman I know with this story.

      I think you can best serve your daughter by teaching her that she absolutely, unequivocally, owns her body, and nothing she does, or anyone else does, ever changes that. I would teach her that anyone who argues about whether something is or isn’t “on the menu” is a scumbag person who doesn’t deserve to be in the same room with her. I think she would be well served to hear from you that sex, and any sort of physical intimacy, should only be enthusiastically and joyfully given, every. single. time.

      I think most importantly, she needs to know that if she makes a mistake, or gets her heart broken, or gets pressured by anyone, or is the subject of nasty gossip, or just loves having sex with her boyfriend, her mother has her back 110%, without a hint of judgment.

      • +1000. Your daughter needs to know that she never “owes” anyone sex, that saying yes once doesn’t mean she needs to again, and that she has the right to ask for it to stop once it’s started. If you can teach her those things and teach her to respect herself first, she’ll be okay.

    • I had sex with my first boyfriend when I was 15. We were together 3 years. Not once, not ever did I regret it. We made the decision together. You can let her know how to get birth control without enabling the sex. I mean, you don’t have to give them a place to do it, but know the reality is that without birth control, you may become a grandma sooner rather than later. I have the same rule (door open) with my son, but I still had a talk with him about condoms.

    • Kinda sad mama :

      I bought her this book


      which i paged through before just leaving it on her bed without comment. It’s pretty explicit, but the kind of information I think she needs.

      She’s in her room reading it right now.

  15. Expensive Clothes :

    I found out about places like Cuyana and MM.LaFleur from this site and while the clothes look really nice, I dont really get why its so expensive. As someone that still buys work clothes from Loft, BR, sometimes Anthro, etc I dont really understand why their clothes are around $150+.

    In general, those that spend a lot on clothes, do the clothes really last that much longer or is it just a personal preference/branding/style?

    • givemyregards :

      My problem is with fit. I’m quite tall, and even though those brands have tall sizes, they just don’t fit properly. And since the material isn’t that great, it doesn’t seem worth it to tailor them. I routinely compliment people on their outfits only to find out they’re from Loft, BR, The Limited, etc. so I’d definitely wear those brands if I could and I don’t think that everyone necessarily needs to upgrade if their clothes fit you well and you maintain them (and don’t try to wear clothes too long when they’re getting worn out). But I also have a very simple/minimalist style and hate browsing through tons of options – even the Everlane site is overwhelming me at this point – so I just don’t have the energy to browse Anthro.

    • Marshmallow :

      Yes, they really last longer. When I was a new associate I bought a handful of MM dresses and they have worn like iron, unlike my Banana and J. Crew dresses which show wear within a couple of years, get dangling threads and dropping hems, etc. The fit and quality are just better in the first place. I love MM’s woven fabric (it’s some kind of Japanese polyester that manages to feel like wool) because it is structured but also soft and stretchy, and can be machine-washed. Smaller brands have the added benefit of not looking exactly like everybody else around you, and may come with additional benefits from a better-controlled supply chain like more responsible material sourcing and labor practices.

      I’m not convinced that you get a much better quality return once you start going well over $250, though, unless it’s a wool or silk item. Then again, that’s never been in my budget, so maybe ten years from now I’ll be telling everyone to buy Armani?

    • I wear a lot of MM Lafleur. For me the attraction is:
      1 – More complicated construction that produces a better fit.
      2 – Higher quality materials. Even the stuff that’s polyester really is a higher quality – it looks better, often has a subtle stretch that makes it much more comfortable, lasts longer.
      3 – I actually don’t find that BR, etc have a lot of stuff that is both truly nice classic officewear and machine washable. Those are both musts for me.
      4 – Ethical production. I don’t buy stuff from sweatshops. I just don’t. That means I’ll buy J Crew or BR second-hand, but not directly from the store. I believe that it is a moral imperative for those of us who can afford to buy ethically produced clothing to do so.

      I’m also a minimalist, so I’m ok with spending a significant amount per piece of clothing (and MM Lafleur is significant to me) in order to get stuff that I really like.

    • Shopaholic :

      I tend to spend a lot on clothes and I find the drape/cut/fit of some of the better brands is more flattering on me than something from BR or Loft for example. I end up reaching for my more expensive clothes more so a dress that doesn’t fit me perfectly from BR gets less use and ends up costing more per wear for me, so it’s really not worth it.

      I think it depends on your body type, as well as your approach to your wardrobe. My sister is stick skinny and looks amazing in F21 and H&M clothes. I’m curvier and mostly everything from those stores cling in all the wrong places.

    • I am slowly switching my wardrobe to be pretty much exclusively MMLaFleur. YMMV, but their dresses fit me without tailoring (rare for me!), many are machine washable (saves tons of money on dry cleaning), their sizing is consistent so I don’t have to wonder what size to order every time I want to buy something (looking at you, J Crew), and everything I’ve bought from them has held up. Oh, and their clothing is made in NYC, so that makes me feel good, too.

      Like someone above said, though, I’m kind of a minimalist and would rather have fewer, nicer things, to borrow Cuyana’s tag line.

    • I’m a former BR fan who is slowly getting over it. I like a lot of their styles this season, but every time I’ve bought a pair of pants (3 this season) they have been a little tight in the store and then stretched beyond belief after the first time of wear. Literally stretched a size or two up, for pants that are lined and seem well made. I took them in to get the waist tailored and my tailor had a hard time working the fabric down because there was so much of it. I also bought a lovely merino wool sweater that did the same thing. I don’t really get it, as the pieces seem (to me) to be fairly well made, and yet they just don’t seem to hold their shape. And when I do spend more on other brands, I have noticed that clothes hold their shape so much better. It’s a bummer but right now it’s more cost effective for me to buy something that’s going to last beyond a wear or two.

    • Anonymous :

      I like Loft’s style, but their fabrics are always so terrible that it doesn’t feel nice to wear them. MM LaFleur, even if it is polyester, is very high quality polyester.

    • Chiming in to add that I had a different experience. BR–yes, you have to cull through, but I find that their properly made suiting stuff holds up like iron and looks good after weekly wear over 4+ years. I also delicate cycle wash and hang dry.

      Talbots suiting can also look good.

      I found the MMLafleur styles to be frumpy on my petite apple frame and also their materials to be not impressive when I tried them on in the store.

      So definitely a YMMV.

      Everlane ponte, I’ve had a great experience with.
      Emerson Fry not so much. it’s like the wardrobe from the blog “unhappyhipsters” but somehow even though it’s supposed to be quality, wears like fancy walmart OR WORSE.

      Cuyana I am enjoying but do wonder about the price vs value

      • +1. Also not an MMLafleur fan. I am tall and thin and nothing fit right. I generally wear a lot of Reiss and Hugo Boss and thought the quality of MMLafleur was much lower.

    • What does YMMV stand for? Share a link

      • I didn’t know either so I googled. It stands for “Your Mileage May Vary”. Essentially it means what works for me may not work for you.


  16. Baconpancakes :

    In case anyone has a neonate/teen reader with a birthday coming up, I just discovered this and am absolutely planning on getting a subscription for my SO’s younger siblings: https://owlcrate.com/

    They send you a YA novel and accompanying goodies once a month. So cute!

  17. Big 4 Ethical Dilemna :

    I had posted last week about how I’m a first year at a big 4 and thought there was an issue with the work that was done the previous year – brought it up with managers etc and they just straight did not know it had not been done last year. So that’s fun.

  18. I just got the MM Lafleur Morandi and don’t know if I should keep or return it. Can anyone help me decide? I do like it a lot, but I don’t know if I like it $265 worth. If it were $100, I would keep it. But I don’t know if I love it enough to pay this much.

    I do think I would wear it a lot. The cloth belt is ok for more casual days, but I could put a leather belt over it if needed. The sleeves aren’t as fitted at the wrist as I would like. But I do like the dolman part and I love the neckline. It is very cozy and the merino wool is nice. What would you do– keep or return?

    • Wildkitten :

      I think you can find something comparable at Nordstrom for $100. I think CHS did a round up on similar sweaters in her three prices column.

    • I’m wearing my Morandi that I got on ebay (I too thought retail was a lot of money). It’s my office sweater and I get compliments basically everytime I wear it. It’s held up well and I wear it a few times a week. It’s pricey, but it’s not ridiculous.

    • Anonymous :

      I got a knockoff and I don’t love it. I’m wishing I’d just gotten it b/c it is more refined and more “office.” Mine is more . . . woodsy / casual? And it tends to cup my butt, which is not a good look. It is at least warm.

    • Marshmallow :

      I tried it on at home and returned it for the reasons you have identified. I think it comes down to how much of a big deal the price is for you.

    • Anonnynonny :

      I went through the same question and ended up keeping mine. I wear it 2x a week (perfect for Bay Area winter) and often on weekends and receive many compliments. I’m glad I kept it–every time I put it on, it brings me joy. YMMV.

    • I don’t have it but I think if you will wear it this year and next year and the following, it’s a bargain. Is it 100% wool? I love natural fibers.

    • anon prof :

      I wish I had returned mine. It pills terribly badly. That said, I bought it 2 years ago, so maybe they have improved it.

    • My test for this is to look in the mirror and think, “am I wearing the sh*t out of this?” If the answer is anything other than, “HELLS YES” it’s going back. I have to do better than “yeah that’s nice” to spend money on a higher priced item.

      • And I dont mean will you wear it a lot. I mean does it male you feel like Wonder Woman. If not, return.

  19. My aunt’s late husband was a jerk (just a really unpleasant human being in every way), but she was and remains close to his daughters, both of whom had challenging relationships with their father. My aunt met someone new recently and they are head over heels in love with each other, which delights me because she spent so long trapped in a bad relationship she didn’t feel like she could leave because he was sick (cancer). However, she just informed me that the daughters are not exactly pleased about the new relationship. I guess they’re surprised she met someone so soon (~15 months post their father’s death). My aunt told me she downplayed it big-time (didn’t say that they’re in love, etc.), but she’s wondering how to go about this when it inevitably comes up in conversation again. How can she emphasize to her late husband’s daughters that she’ll still be a part of their lives while not totally erasing the newfound happiness and joy she’s found? I thought I’d ask here for some tips since I didn’t really have any good ideas when she asked me about the situation.

    • Honestly, I would not touch this with a 10 foot pole.

      Why should you have the knowledge base to give input on this? And if your cousins hear you are giving advice about this… just…. not good for you.

      The daughters need time. And they do not need to hear any details about their (step-mother’s?) new love. Not any… especially at this stage. Even though it seems to you a lot of time has passed, this news will be painful to the daughters. MIL should gush with her friends…. not her children. Once/if this man is going to be there for the long haul, she should slowly introduce him, without ambushing, and in small doses.

      That is kindness.

      Their loss of their father is still fresh in their mind. And when you have a difficult parent/dysfunctional family, dealing with the death of a parent is even more fraught and often mixed with much guilt/regret/anger that is different from when you lose a parent from a healthy family environment. If their mother is also deceased then yes… they are going to be particularly vulnerable now. And while MIL can in some ways find a “replacement” now for the husband she lost, the daughters will instead be faced with the fact that their father will never, ever be replaced. And now, their MIL will be pulled away some too. Because she will, of course.

      They need time.

      All your aunt needs to do is continue to be there for her daughters in law just as she was before. Actions speak louder than words.

      Stay out of this.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I tend to agree with this. I think she should continue to do what she’s doing (being super low key about it with them) and continue to be there for the (step?)children.

        • Thanks, this is helpful. I told her when we talked that it sounded like she did the absolute right thing and that I bet things will adjust over time, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t just blow it off (it can be unsatisfying to confide in someone and have them just say “things will work out.”) In this case, though, I think they will, and in the meantime, she has her friends and me to gush to. I do feel sad for his daughters, but I hope they ultimately get to a place of being happy for her. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see her in love with a wonderful guy after 15 years with someone verbally abusive (her words, not mine).

  20. Anonymous :

    Has anyone tried these leggings and can compare the fit to the Zellas? I have two pairs of Zellas I got at Christmas, but I find them a little tight in the legs (not a big problem) and too loose at the waist (pretty annoying).

    • I have the Ivy Park Y leggings, and the waist on them is very strong and pulls me in significantly! I would give them a try, I think they might work for you. Worth noting the Y’s at least run a little small as they are so tight.

  21. One more complaint about Houston superbowl weekend — some [email protected]@ss is standing on a street corner outside my office downtown with a very loud microphone literally holding a bible and yelling about Jesus.

    Go away!

    • TO Lawyer :

      There is one of these in Toronto. Actually there are a few. I’m jealous this only happens around superbowl weekend!

      • Wildkitten :

        I always want to ask the dudes who wander the subway with signs that say JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY and yell a lot if they being yelled at on the subway is what drew them to Christ.

      • It probably happens …. a few times a year? … for an hour or two? But because of the superbowl he’s been out there for several days now for many hours at a time. I almost want to ask if he maybe needs to rest his vocal chords at some point.

    • We have a few of those in Tampa. Happens at every major event.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Hmmm I just realized that I haven’t seen any subway preachers in awhile. The guy selling candy on the other hand…

  22. Anonymous :

    Outfit advice please!

    I’m wearing this dress to my rehearsal dinner in a couple weeks (link to follow). It was hard to find a winter-appropriate, non-sweater, white dress, but I think this one fits the bill (based on the long sleeves, and the heavy fabric).

    But I’m at a loss for what footwear/legwear to wear with it. Ordinarily with a dress this length in the winter, I’d wear black tights and my suede, over-the-knee, flat boots (they’re like the cole haan version). But black seems too harsh with a white dress. Thoughts? I HATE nude hose so would rather avoid that.

    • Anonymous :


    • Patterned tights and booties?

      • givemyregards :

        +1 to Patterned tights. I think maybe something lacy could work here? I was also going to suggest knee high brown/cognac colored boots and dealing with frozen knees if you can stand going without tights, but that might take the look into country western territory if you’re not careful.

    • I don’t know if tights will work with this dress. It is otherwise lovely.

    • bare legs and cool ankle boots (not black), if it will be warm enough inside the venue for that. You’ll probably want to do something to make sure your legs don’t look purple and pasty, if that’s a problem you’re likely to have. Doesn’t look like a tights dress to me.

    • Bare legs and nude-for-you shoes? What about nude fishnets or patterned tights?

      • Nude fishnets are a go-to for me when I’m deciding on what hose to wear.

        • I was just about to say nude fishnets. Before I got them I didn’t think they’d be so versatile, but I think they are.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m a fashion neophyte. Why are nude fishnets better than regular nude hose? Because they have some visual interest? I would think nude hose would be warmer. And how office appropriate are nude fishnets (fairly conservative workplace)?

          • As long as the fishnet is small, they are great for the office. Yes, they’re definitely less dowdy-feeling than nude hose. I also find them more stretchy and less uncomfortable to wear, as well as more durable.

            nude hose (especially if they are darker than your skin): your mom going to church
            nude fishnets: someone interested in fashion who put some thought into this

    • in this instance i would forgo tights and just wear the boots w socks. This look reminds me of a picture of Jane Fonda’s wedding picture in the New York Times that I happened to see the other day. Very ’60’s inspired but the tall boots update it.

      • https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/weddings/165-years-of-wedding-announcements/sixties-wedding-fashion

    • Pretty! Do you need hose at all? I’d wear a pair of suede, mid-height heels in color of your choice. JCrew’s Col3tt3 (replace the 3’s with e’s) is my personal favorite.

    • I would be all over nude fishnets and a nude shoe for this. I would personally go with a chunky heel. Very modern.

    • Presumably you’ll be inside for the most part? If you’re having a dressy rehearsal, I’d just style it like an elopement outfit – I’d personally do fun high heels, maybe in blue suede or some other kind of blue, and tied in a big earring or necklace to add some interest. I’d skip hose or tights entirely and just wear a coat that’s warm for coming and going.

  23. End of my rope with dry skin :

    I have suffered from hormonal acne for years, and Retin A plus spironolactone has basically cured it. I am SUPER happy about that, but, oh…the dryness. This is not a new thing (I’ve been on this regimen for a year and a half), but the dryness is worse this winter. I am a flaky mess. I’ve cut back the Retin A to every other night, but for the life of me I cannot find a moisturizer that actually works. I have the world’s most sensitive skin, and anything really heavy or with any type of oil will break me out. I do much prefer dealing with dryness than acne, but I wake up looking like I have a beard of white flakes. I exfoliate, use an expensive moisturizing mask, and nothing seems to help.

    Any product suggestions much appreciated.

    • GirlFriday :

      I don’t know how helpful this will be but I used Vaseline when I was on Accutane + Retin A. I just slathered it on at night before bed. You can also try drinking as much water as you can possibly get down (sorry – I know that’s annoying advice, but it helps).

    • givemyregards :

      I’m on the same regimen and have been using First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream which has been a lifesaver over the past few weeks. If I use it at night after putting on Retin A I don’t have any flakes in the AM. I also have sensitive skin and so far this hasn’t bothered it, but I do use a pretty thin layer.

    • I use Retin A and spiro. I get winter dry skin, not necessarily all year dry skin, but I’m pretty well acclimated to the Retin-A. Like you, I use Retin-A every other night.

      Right now I’m using Pond’s cold cream to wash (based on a suggestion here), I use Olay 7-in-1 moisturizer without sunscreen on my non-Retin-A nights, and I either use the Olay or Laura Mercier primer without sunscreen under my makeup. My makeup is Dior BB cream, which I apply lightly.

      I do not wash my face in the morning, and I do not let hot water near my face. I do not let shower water run on my face. I wash off the Ponds with a warm washcloth but not a hot one. Hot is the worst thing for dry skin, even though it feels good.

    • Anonymous :

      I do a series of chemical peels every winter that result in massive flakiness. I also have oily skin prone to congestion. My tried and true method to address the flakes is:
      (1) Clarisonic at night for two consecutive nights, followed by standard serum and moisturizer routine.
      (2) On the third night, after washing, skip serums and sleep in a very thin layer of the LightStim Photo Masque (I don’t have a LightStim but find the masque is very hydrating on its own.
      (3) On subsequent evenings, use a slightly heavier moisturizer than usual (I currently use Biopelle Tensage Advanced Cream Moisturizer).
      (4) Also moisturize in the mornings (which is not part of my standard oily skin routine). I generally use a hyaluronic acid and am currently using one from Skinceuticals.

      Also consider whether you can cut back to a lower percentage of Retin-A.

    • This happened to me. Talk to your derm.

      You need to cut way way way down on your Retin-A, and ramp up much much slower. Some people never use it every day.

      I started with once a week. Wash your face. Wait 10 minutes for skin to dry completely. Then put a layer of moisturizer. Then put on the Retin-A. Use very simple moisturizers that dermatologists recommend – CeraVe, cetaphil. That’s it. Moisturize again in the morning and be sure to use one with SPF 30+.

      Very slowly increase frequency of Retin-A. Like after 4 weeks, increase to twice a week Retin-A. Then after 4 weeks, try 3x per week. If you can tolerate it, try putting on your moisturizer after the Retin-A instead of right before the Retin-A. Do whatever works best.

      Make sure you are not using any other facial products/moisturizers/exfoliators with acids. Too much for you.

      • Anonymous :

        just fyi, OP – my derm gave me different advice – use Retin-A before any other product, and use Retin-A everynight but cut it with your moisturizer/cream.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Also a Retin-A user and dry skin sufferer. My doctor suggested a prescription moisturizer called Hylatopic Plus and it has definitely helped.

      Caveat: it’s not cheap

    • Taking fish oil (I take 4000 mg a day) and drinking lots of water (80 – 90 ounces a day) has cut way down on my need for moisturizer.

    • I found first aid beauty ultra repair cream to be a life saver for my peely, rosacea-fied skin.

    • Not sure if it is sold in the US, but I have had the best experience with Physiogel moisturizing cream. It is superhydrating, does not clog pores, does not sting. It contains lipids which naturally occur in your skin and does not contain emulsifiers. It is highly recommended by derms in Europe (Germany), especially for people on retinoid treatment and for dry eczema. My mom uses it as an eye cream (all other eye creams trigger allergy and she ends up with red, puffy eyes). If I overdo it with chemical peel and end up with red, flaky skin, this is my go-to solution.

  24. Anonymous :

    Trigger Warning: Politics

    I know that not everyone agrees with me politically (on this board or generally), but I would love your thoughts on a situation I’ve been experiencing since the election. I promised myself I would engage people who disagree with me in genuine discussions in hopes of getting through why I’m so concerned and understanding their support of someone who has said racist and misogynistic things (putting aside whether he is, in fact, a racist or misogynist). The following has happened to me a number of times (with slightly different details, but the same result), and I just don’t know what to do about it: today, I was talking with someone who was pro-immigration ban, and I was saying that my highest concern right now is that the executive branch seems to be acting in direct violation of court orders, which is against the law. His response was “the law has been proven, time and time again, to be wrong.” What can one do with that? This was after his assertion that the Obamas, the Bushes, and the Clintons all had enormous business interests from which they didn’t divest, and when I asked for supporting materials, he said that I should prove that they didn’t. It all feels very discouraging.

    • I don’t think “trying to understand” needs to mean converting people who don’t feel the need to back up their assertions with empirical facts to an understanding of the importance of empirical facts.

      I want to understand different policy points of view when I’m talking to people who think that the facts _mean_ something different than what I do, or when they take facts A, B, and C and place them in a different priority order than I would, naturally leading to a different policy stance. But I see no point in trying to explain to someone that facts matter. If they don’t already think that, they’re not worth my time.

    • Wildkitten :

      Don’t talk to people with a different opinion than you with the goal of proving to them that you are right. It never turns out well. You can listen to them with the hopes of understanding their viewpoint, or to discover shared values, but engaging with the goal of convincing them they are wrong is going to always be frustrating.

    • Anonymous :

      The person you are engaging with in this case is not interested in a genuine discussion. When they make preposterous claims and challenge you to disprove them, they are not interested in a genuine discussion. It’s like if you went into the conversation and said Ivanka is a Chinese spy – prove to me she isn’t.

      We’re living in a post-factum world. They don’t care about facts. They just care about ‘winning’, being ‘first’ and battling. Try explaining that America isn’t ‘first’ if we are not winning for women as well and being the worst rated western democracy for maternity leave, isn’t ‘winning’.

      • Yes, every “genuine” discussion I’ve had has turned into – please provide your sources, k, thanks…

        • Yup. I have my beliefs and I don’t need to defend and cite them. I will engage in discussion about them with whom I choose. Sorry not sorry.

          (Trump-hating conservative here)

      • Agree. I also think there are a lot of people who are defensive because they voted Trump and so don’t want to listen to any of the discussions of how badly his presidency is going so far. I think they are embarrassed, but come across as supporting anything he does.

        People can evolve and change. Way back when, I campaigned for Gore and my little sister was for W. I would try to bring up things that bothered me (the very questionable way W took the election, WMD, etc) and she would say “he’s my man, right or wrong” and would not discuss it further, which basically made me want to throttle her.

        But now, so many years later, she was 100% in for Hillary post the primaries (was for Kasich in primaries), and thinks Trump is a disaster.

        To be fair, Trump does make W. look like a genius and a saint.

        • Anonymous :

          “To be fair, Trump does make W. look like a genius and a saint.”

          He really does. Right after 9/11, W gave a speech talking about how we’re not at war with Islam, we’re at war with terrorists and to fight the terrorists we need to work with the many peace-loving Muslims around the world. Such a contrast to our current administration’s view (and our current administration isn’t even reacting to a terrorist attack in the US…)

          • I’ve seen that video from the debate between Reagan and Bush senior where they’re so compassionate about immigrants, and I’m just dumbfounded at how far right we’ve moved.

      • I do NOT like it when people bash Ivanka. I read an article today in the NY Times showing that she and Jared Helped Save LGBT Protections. It was VERY wideley reported. So even though her dad is getting bullied by the RELIGUS Right, he does know to listen to Ivanka and Jared Kushner, who are VERY PRO LGBT. Here is the article:

    • Perhaps you could reference something along the lines of reminding them that the Rule of Law shapes our society, and often laws that are seen as frivolous to some are very dear and important to those it directly affects, including the American families and businesses that depend on laws working in a predictable way. Some of that predictability comes from having processes in place for amending laws (and the processes that they affect) in a more collaborative, long-term manner.

      Let’s pretend that Trump took this position on driver’s licenses -as people who drive are more likely to commit vehicular manslaughter, as well as injure others – this is a SAFETY issue. Everyone who had one point on their driving record EVER would have their driving privileges reviewed. Two-five points would have to meet with someone at MVA and pay 20% higher insurance premiums to fund the new system. five or more points, automatic suspension, no warning.

      Remind them that driving is a privilege, not a constitutional right. And that the constitution is law. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best we have at the moment as a support to democracy.

      Amendment works much better than upheaval.

  25. Anonymous :

    So if you google white dress in winter a lot of options come up. A lot of black tights and pumps and to me it looks fine. But the one I really love is with pale peachy-grey tights and brown grey boots.

  26. Dog owner question: do you leave the TV or radio on for your dog? If so, what channel?

    • I used to leave NPR on for my dog and I think that’s why she was so liberal with her kisses.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      I don’t leave one on for the dog, but I do leave one on for the cat. I actually just looks up “videos for cats” on youtube, and there are a couple of videos that are an hour or two long which is about as long as his attention span is for watching TV. He likes to watch the birds and squirrel ones. I figure it at least makes the morning go by for him and keeps him from sleeping the day away. Maybe there is something similar for dogs?

      I crate the dog during the day, but she can see the TV I turn on for the cat. She doesn’t seem interested in watching anything tbh. I haven’t gotten her to really watch it like the cat does. My parents experimented with the animal planet with their dog, but similarly it didn’t seem to make a difference.

    • We do for our cat. I’m not sure if she cares, but it makes my husband feel better about leaving her alone during the day (he says that he can tell she is more needy at the end of the day if the TV hasn’t been left on). He puts it on a local station which has a news breakfast show in the morning. Not sure what it plays after that, but she never reacts to the TV anyways, so it wouldn’t much matter to her.

    • HGTV- he loves Chip and Joanna

    • I sometimes do for the dog but we only get the pop music radio station. I stopped doing it all the time because I felt like it was a signal we weren’t home since I would never have that on if I were.

  27. Not looking to start an argument – but can someone explain why people (or they personally) are against the pipelines? I know the Dakota pipeline goes through/will go through sacred land, so that I get. But what about the Keystone? Isn’t it generally a good thing for the country to have pipelines to transport oil? I don’t understand the vehement reaction about it. I get there are environmental concerns, but living in a big crowded east coast city, every time I see an oil tanker go by at 1 mph to get from up north to the refineries in Delaware, I find it terrifying to think of what could happen with oil traveling through a city of 1.5 million. Isn’t a pipeline much much safer? What am I missing?

    • As I understand it, the pipeline goes very close to the one and only source of fresh water in the state, and so a spill would be catastrophic.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        And my understanding is that it would be used to transport tar sands oil, which is extremely difficult to clean up after a spill.

        • That’s right – it’s called diluted bitumin (dilbit) and hard to clean up because it doesn’t float. We have the same issue here in Vancouver where they want to twin an existing pipeline and ship three times as more out of Vancouver’s harbour. Concern is a spill from an oil tanker accident as well as a pipeline leak.

    • As someone who lives in state where Keystone would go through, the environmental issue is a huge effing deal. The pipe would literally go through the Ogallala Aquifer. That’s a source of drinking water for at least seven states. If the pipeline breaks, do you really want to contaminate the only source of potable drinking water in many areas? Not to mention the Aquifer is heavily relied on for irrigated agriculture in a prime area of the country for crop production. It makes my blood boil; the environmental effects are not trivial at all for those of us in the High Plains states.

      • Right but the potential effects for those of us in the overpopulated northeastern states that have trains loaded with oil going thru overcrowded cities aren’t trivial either. Not an engineer – can’t they re-route these pipelines so they don’t go through the only water source? I don’t see any reason why a pipeline must go thru a water source – or are they doing it that way bc it is the straightest (and therefore cheapest) path?

        • I think you need to look at a map. Water sources are everywhere and pretty much impossible to avoid.

          • Thanks for the attitude. I think I’m bright enough to distinguish between (i) a water source; and (ii) the ONLY water source. If you contaminate a water source and there are others – it’s not a big deal. If all the water for a region comes from 1 source and that’s contaminated, I’d say there’s a bigger problem – no?

          • you lost me at: “If you contaminate a water source and there are others – it’s not a big deal”

          • environmental compliance :

            Anon at 5:15 – I’d like to point out that no, there are not always other water sources. Depending on geology in specific areas, you may have various layers of aquifers or just one aquifer for groundwater. The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the largest deep aquifers in the US, spreading across several states.

            Generally speaking, drinking water wells draw from the deep aquifers. If these aquifers are contaminated, then no, you do not have another clean water source. People in rural areas do not get drinking water from reservoirs or lakes, because the cost to built the infrastructure (water pipelines) are too expensive in non-densely populated areas. It is much more cost and time efficient to drill a deep drinking water well in your backyard.

        • KS IT Chick :

          The pipeline route was moved away from a majority-white town because of concerns about the likelihood of leakage into the water supply. Instead, they moved it to a reservation that happens to have one of the highest rates of poverty in the U.S. So, white folks are allowed clean water, but Native Americans aren’t.

          • Good synopsis. I don’t know why this isn’t covered more because this is exactly the issue.

    • http://www.vox.com/2016/9/9/12862958/dakota-access-pipeline-fight

      here’s a good summary of the anti pipeline point of view.

      The builders acknowledge that there is a serious risk of spill, because they moved their original planned route from just north of Bismarck, reasoning that it was too dangerous to have a pipeline that close to a city’s water supply.

      Yet they moved it to just north of the Standing Rock water supply source. How would you feel if you lived on the reservation? Would you think that was unfair treatment? Too dangerous for Bismarck but OK for your tribe?

      I’m 1/8 Standing Rock so maybe I take this more personally.

      • I’m in moderation for including a link but basically this regarding DAPL:

        The builders acknowledge that there is a serious risk of spill, because they moved their original planned route from just north of Bismarck, reasoning that it was too dangerous to have a pipeline that close to a city’s water supply.

        Yet they moved it to just north of the Standing Rock water supply source. How would you feel if you lived on the reservation? Would you think that was unfair treatment? Too dangerous for Bismarck but OK for your tribe?

        • This is exactly my issue with DAPL: the fact that the pipeline was re-routed to protect a town that is something like 90% white, and the re-routing is taking it smack-dab into the middle of sacred territory of the Native American tribe. If it is too dangerous for white people, it is too dangerous for Native Americans also, and we shouldn’t ask them to take on a risk the people of Bismarck were unwilling to accept. Period.

    • environmental compliance :

      I work in environmental compliance/engineering so here’s my take on why a pipeline going though a sparsely populated and undeveloped area is much more environmentally fraught than an oil tanker driving through densely populated cities.

      1) Most of the people living in cities are on public water and sewer. The further you leave the cities, the more likely people are on private well systems, and that’s when groundwater petroleum contamination comes into play. People who live in rural areas are most likely on private well systems, and they draw water from the aquifer. That’s why it’s a huge concern that the pipeline is going through the aquifer – if the pipeline leaks, then their water source is contaminated.

      2) A surficial petroleum spill on land, especially something like asphalt or concrete is much much easier to contain and clean up than a spill underground in the soil or on virgin soils (sand, silt, and clay). Asphalt and concrete are considerably less porous than soil, and worse case scenario is after you soak up all the petroleum with absorbent materials (and dispose of them properly according to your state regs), you replace your asphalt/concrete road or parking lot. If it’s an underground petroleum leak/spill, which happens with a lot of older gas stations, then it is a lot of cleaning up and removing well over 500 tons of contaminated soil, and depending on severity of contamination, years of groundwater monitoring.

      The majority of the northeastern/mid-Atlantic (and CA) have stringent regulations in regards to petroleum leaks, spills, and cleanups, depending on type of leak, where it occurred, what type of property (residential vs commercial) and how much contaminated soil must be removed among other regulatory actions. I’m not familiar with environmental compliance in the midwest, but from what I understand their environmental regulations aren’t quite as stringent.

      Also… the pipeline construction will not last forever . True, these days they build leak detection sensors into them or around them, but like any infrastructure, it can break or leak well before its projected lifespan is over.

    • KS IT Chick :

      The pipeline route was moved away from a majority-white town because of concerns about the likelihood of leakage into the water supply. Instead, they moved it to a reservation that happens to have one of the highest rates of poverty in the U.S. So, white folks are allowed clean water, but Native Americans aren’t.

      Second, pipelines leak. A lot. The leaks can be very difficult to identify as occurring, and the severity usually isn’t known for a long time. When a train derails, everyone knows about it right away. CNN, et al, send news crews to cover it. So, when a train spilling some oil in a populated is an in-your-face problem, a pipeline leak can go on for months, possibly years, before it is discovered & addressed. Think Flint, MI, levels of contamination before anyone realizes it. Or more to the point, the level of contamination faced by numerous other tribes across the western US, where their water has been left unusable by outside mining, oil & chemical interests. Flint has gotten a lot more attention, but this isn’t a new problem.

      My community has a a smallish pipeline nearby, managed by a company known as Panhandle Eastern. For years, they have fought all attempts to force them to clean up the pipeline spills that do happen, which contaminate water supplies and render farmland sterile or dangerous. What makes anyone believe that a pipeline company will clean up its spills when they occur on a reservation and exclusively affect Native Americans, when they won’t clean up spills that affect white people?

    • environmental compliance :

      Here’s a quick primer to groundwater aquifers from the US Geological Survey: https://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthgwaquifer.html

      And here is another USGS link about groundwater contamination in drinking wells: https://water.usgs.gov/edu/gw-well-contamination.html

  28. Anonymous :

    I’m on the job market. The library system in my city has posted jobs at three levels: division director, manager and specialist. From what I can tell, they’re adding a new training and development department to their HR division. I’m strongly qualified for the specialist position and qualified for the manager one (though I suspect other candidates will have more management experience than me). Both pay significantly more than what I make now, so I’d be perfectly happy with the specialist’s salary. On the other hand, I don’t want to sell myself short. Will it look strange to the employer if I apply for both? The organization uses an online application system.

  29. iPhone Data Recovery :

    Anyone have experience with getting files that were not backed up off of an iPhone that is showing the white Apple screen? What service did you use and how much was it? Was it successful?

    The phone is under extended Apple Care so I’m not worried about the hardware, but I have a few months’ worth of photos and videos that I stupidly did not back up. A local repair shop was not able to recover the files. I am in contact with a data recovery specialtist. They gave a free evaluation, but the quoted fee is very high (think full price Aquatalia boots). The have a guarantee that you only pay if they can recover files, but recovering just one photo is considered “recovered.” FWIW, the photos are baby pictures; they overlap some with ones from my husband’s phone, but there are some special videos that were only on my phone. So mad at myself for not making photo back up a priority.

    What would you do…pay? Or say eh we already have a ton of baby photos?

  30. Downloading banking transaction history? :

    I’m considering a switch from my Wells Fargo banking relationship. I’m looking at Ally Bank for the higher interest rate.

    One thing I love about Wells Fargo is that I can actually download, to Excel, all of my transaction history for checking and credit card accounts (mine and husbands). I use these to populate a total hack spreadsheet that I have kept for the last few years to track spending and income in various categories.

    Ally doesn’t offer this. They only offer exports to Quicken — not even Mint. I’ve looked into Quicken a lot and it doesn’t make sense for this Mac-user who is very comfortable with her own pivot table.

    Any recommendations for a higher-interest bank that will allow me to export to Excel, or even a non-Quicken budgeting software? I’m earning 0.01% at Wells Fargo and would earn 1% at Ally – I’m looking at savings of $500+ per year. But I really really don’t have the time to manually enter my hundreds of credit card etc purchases into Excel every month, and I’m not sure it’s worth sacrificing the transparency about where my money goes.

    • I kept all my accounts with Wells Fargo for convenience reasons, like you describe, but I opened a brokerage account with them and moved most of my cash savings over into safe but higher interest investments.

      • Downloading banking transaction history? :

        Thanks – this is good advice. I will probably have to go this route.

  31. Cat litter de-odorizer :

    I’ve seen some powders around that you are supposed to add to the litter box to de-odorize. Does anyone know if they actually work? My cat can sometimes leave a, shall we say, fragrant deposit that stinks up the place before I can get the fan turned on and I’d prefer if that didn’t happen when we have guests. We have a small apartment with no other place to put the litter box than the bathroom. TIA!

    • I swear by the Arm and Hammer stuff. Absolutely works. I too deal with the litterbox-small apartment conundrum and any time I smell a fresh deposit (more often than I’d like with two cats and daily litterbox cleaning) I just toss a layer of the powder in there. My cats don’t seem disturbed by it. I also mix it in when I’m cleaning the boxes and I feel like it makes the litter last longer. (I don’t dump out the box every time.)

    • baking powder works but honestly switch away from clay litter. we started using a walnut based litter and that + daily cleaning + monthy scrubs means we have almost no oder in our small apartment. unless one of them just did something awful, and that’s just pets.

    • lawsuited :

      Seeing as you live in a small apartment, consider City Kitty training for your cat (google it). I know it seems like it could not possibly work (my friends never believe me until they see my cat using the toilet when they come over), but it has made such a difference to my apartment-life!

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve never tried one, but I can’t see it helping if the car won’t bury. Will your cat use a covered litter box? That makes a big difference. We have 3 cats and I swear by everclean extra strength. We try to clean more often but this can keep our apartment from stinking with cleaning only 1x week. And 3 cats. We do have a large enclosed litter box. It’s a bench in our entryway.

    • Switching cat food (even temporarily) could make a bigger difference, though there could be a dozen obstacles to doing that! But I have chosen to feed reconstituted freeze dried at times for this reason.

  32. Beach House Name :

    What is a good name for a beach house? It is on the coast of Florida. I am looking for something besides “Ocean Breeze” or “Beach Life”. Anyone creative out there?

  33. Entertaining Conservative Podcasts? :

    Anyone have recommendations for an entertaining, sane conservative podcast that is grounded in factual facts (as opposed to alternative facts)? I’m assuming one exists and am looking for something to balance out my consumption of political news. Huge fan of Pod Save America, Slate Political Gabfest, NPR, Decode DC, etc.

    • espresso bean :

      I like Left, Right and Center, which always features POVs from all sides. The voice on the right is usually Rich Lowry, editor of The National Review. I disagree with him on everything politically, but I really appreciate hearing a thoughtful conservative POV because I don’t hear them very much in my daily media intake (and I do not consider Trump and his crew to be conservatives, or thoughtful, for that matter).

    • The Axe Files (University of Chicago – David Axelrod)

  34. anonypotamus :

    The snarky part of me would totally name a beach house “Beach, please”

  35. Hopefully I’m not too late! Anyone have recommendations for a relatively quick weekday lunch in Durham, NC (near the Duke campus)? My lunch companion is not a very adventurous eater, so preferably American/Italian/Mediterranean/delicious sandwiches or other things of that ilk.
    Also, any other must-sees near the campus? We might have 1 or 2 hours free to explore.
    Thank you!

    • Foster’s Market, Elmo’s Diner on 9th St. or Toro Pizza downtown….Visit Duke chapel, Duke gardens…

    • Blue Devil :

      Ahhh finally a post near and dear to my heart. Hope I’m not too late, although if you’re asking for weekday lunch suggestions on a Friday night then I assume this is for next week.

      I graduated from Duke a couple years ago. Durham is amazing for cute eclectic independent eateries. The suggestions above are good ones.

      My favorites: Toast, Parker and Otis, Chai’s, Mediterra, Mt. Fuji, Dames Chicken and Waffles, Beyu Cafe, Parizade. A couple of those suggestions might be a little too adventurous, but Toast and Parker and Otis are your best bets for a good mix of the Durham atmosphere while also being not-too-adventurous. Foster’s Market as suggested above is also in this category.

      If you can get farther away from Duke’s campus, there’s a German place called Guglhupf that is my very favorite.

      If you want ice cream, go to Parlour. For a great coffee atmosphere (a bit farther away from Duke and downtown), Cocoa Cinnamon.

      And if you’re on campus, the best coffee is at Joe Van Gogh (at the Bryan Center) and the Divinity school Refrectory is a good lunch spot.

      • Blue Devil :

        Oh, and I agree with the suggestion to see the chapel and the gardens. There are also a few small museums in downtown Durham, and some good things to see also, but in my opinion Duke’s campus is the prettiest part of Durham.

      • Durham Love :

        I am a Durham native and second a lot of those picks. For a non-adventerous eater, I say Toast, Parker and Otis, Federal or Elmos are best bets for sandwiches and lunch fare. If you want Mexican, Cosmic Cantina or Chubby’s Tacos on 9th street are great and cheap. Other upscale bar food options I love are Bull City Burger, Parts and Labor at Motorco, and Geer St. Garden. Gocciolina is a an Italian place that is bit further from Duke area but has been getting rave reviews. I think Divinity School Refectory is no more, they left campus a couple years ago and relocated off campus near Guglhupf. Not sure how the current food is at the Divinity School.

        Easy to use free Duke buses in between the Chapel/Gardens to the Nasher Museum. The Duke Nasher Museum is also fun 40 minutes -1hr to spend. The Nasher cafe has good food, but may be a little more fancy than above mentioned options. Duke Lemur Center is cool, but you probably don’t have enough time to get out there.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          I second Nasher’s food, and basically all of the suggestions already given. Depending on the weather, you might also visit the gardens. Some of the trees in town are already blooming–winter has apparently been very confusing.

      • Thank you and Durham Love so much. This is indeed for next week! Can’t wait to Google all of these :)

  36. dream coat :

    Long shearling coat with hood (hood can also double as a shawl collar or buttoned high to be like a muff/scarf) …… too much, or something classic I will keep forever?

    This is an extravagance, but a great sale at 50% off.

    My winters go to zero and below, and are in the teens today. I have always dreamed of a coat like this.

    I already have my wool winter coats, puffer etc… but even those aren’t enough when it is in the single digits.

    • dream coat :


      What do you think.

    • Wow, that’s pretty. If you can afford it and think you’ll wear it a lot, or will wear it occasionally but feel FAB doing so, I say go for it!!!

    • Oh wow. That is gorgeous. If you can afford it (and I mean, really afford it, not “well I’ll just eat rice and beans for three months” afford it) – I would go for it.

    • I can appreciate the artisan quality of it, the warmth and feel, but I cannot imagine how a professional woman would wear this. I would pass, only bc I have different style/taste.

      • curious... :

        So, what does a professional woman wear when it is zero degrees, that is more “professional”?

        That is a beautiful coat, but way outside of my budget.

    • I have something very similar and I wear it daily in the winter. But I live somewhere even colder than you where wool coats are not winter coats, but spring and fall coats.

      • +1

        I have this exact coat – wearing it for 7 or 8 years, and it still looks fantastic. Truly love it. I often forget that it has a hood, as I wear it buttoned at the neck and I love the silhouette of the lining that becomes a scarf.

        I live in the Midwest, and mostly wear it any time it is below 20 degrees.

        This is a very good sale, and I am jealous, as I bought mine years ago at Nordstrom at their full price. Just… ugh. But I will wear it forever.

    • dream coat :

      Thanks for the feedback.

      It is a huge luxury for me to consider buying this coat, but I haven’t gone on a vacation for many years (almost 10) because of job/caregiving, so this would be a gift to myself. I am normally very frugal.

      But I wanted some feedback to see if my optics are off ….. because I would want to wear this coat indefinitely… but maybe it’s not “classic” enough, or maybe the long length is a problem?

      I do live in a cold place. Fleece tights don’t cut it. None of my other coats are warm enough and I really don’t like wearing snow winter wear for warmth for work/dressier outings.

      • Get it! Happy birthday x 10 to you!!

      • It’s a great price. For reference, I bought a different (but good) brand of shearling when I finished my phd – like 25 years ago. I still get compliments on it. I think it is very professional looking. For reference, I just paid $800 for a long shearling at a consignment shop last month (totally different look but the one you picked out is a great price).

    • I have a shearling coat and it is the warmest thing ever. I can only wear it on the most cold days.

    • dream coat :

      Thanks everyone!

      I feel less guilty about taking the plunge now…..

  37. I’m having weight loss surgery and am worried about how to approach any comments I might get in the workplace/ how to deal with it in general at work. I’m a pretty private person and while I’m not going to lie about my procedure, I don’t want to really discuss it. I’m afraid of people asking me if I’m sick, or asking for tips on how to lose weight, etc. And since I am not willing to lie, I am afraid that people who end up finding out will say the usual: but you’re not that big/ you’re fine the way you are/ you didn’t need to do that etc. I get that it usually comes from good intentions, but for many reasons I just don’t want to get on that path of commentary. Anyway, has anyone done something similar? I’m not sure if I’ll lose weight slowly or rapidly. How did you deal with your physical changes while at work? How did you survive work lunches and other group environments? Much appreciated!!!

    • Never been through this, but here is my answer for everything:

      I am under a doctor’s care.

    • A friend I have is a psychiatrist in the office of a bariatric surgeon. She has had this surgery, and she helps patients with these exact same issues. I’m sorry I can’t help you more but my point is– someone can! Start with your doctor and surgeon.

    • RNY Bypass :

      I work in healthcare so YMMV but I initially only told people that I was having gastrointestinal surgery as I was hoping to have my gallbladder removed simultaneously (on reviewing CTs day of surgery and going in laparoscopically, the top10 academic medical center I was at vetoed it as my liver had encapsulated the gallbladder). 3 months post-op when I was down about 75 lbs, staff and providers started telling me how wonderful I looked and I gradually started replying that I had WLS. Some people dropped it there, while others really wanted to be supportive and asked questions like what I could eat etc. The doctors have been so supportive.

      So I’m now down 185 lbs and within about 20 lbs of my goal weight about a year and a half later. The first 9 months you should just bring your food with you to all events with food served and slowly transition from always eating it to subbing in what you should/can eat per doctors orders from what’s provided and making up the rest from what you brought. I have a few shelf stable items like tea, jerky, microwaveable beans stashed in my desk so I never gave that oh no, I need food now moment with no good choices available. My car and purse always have low sodium turkey jerky stocked as well. You should also plan to ALWAYS have a water bottle with you. You should always try to sip about 8 oz every two hours for a minimum of 64 oz a day, with at least 16 oz for every 30 min of exercise or 5 degrees above 75. Failing to drink enough liquids will make you unable to work due to the pain of constipation. You also should start adding benefiber post-surgery once you stop the pain meds as you will be constipated from the iron supplements and high protein diet. If you are having any of the surgeries with a malabsorption feature, you may be very self conscious about BMs at work or public restrooms – the smell can be mortifying.

      For events with preplanned menus, since I had informed HR of my medical restrictions, they usually asked what I could and couldn’t eat, its been easier to just ask for a menu, then you can reply with hey, I’ll have this option but please ask XYZ to be left off with the offer to just bring my own food (which I have hidden away in case everything is The hardest thing has been when alcohol or artificial sweeteners (like in BBQ sauce!) has been in an item and you only figure out after dumping syndrome hits. The list of restrictions is overwhelming for someone just trying to event plan…

      Clothing wise – you should just plan for not wearing anything longer than 3 months max until you hit a stable weight in about two years. Do NOT try to get away with not replacing your bras – just get yourself remeasured at Nordstrom every few months and get one or two only. Your taste in clothes may really shift – I had always been too warm at work but I quickly started wearing long underwear just so I didn’t freeze on a 650 calorie a day diet. I would stick to a capsule wardrobe as much as possible and shop cheap at consignment & thrift stores and outlets as much as possible as I quickly became every thrift stores’ favorite donor. I seriously have gotten rid of my wardrobe completely three times so far. I also went done a size and a half in shoes, a fact I didn’t realize until someone commented on the noise of my soles slapping from the loose heel.

      Tools I have found helpful are my Fitbit and MyFitnessPal. With the paid subscription MyFitnessPal allows you to set daily goals for protein grams, fat grams, and carbs along with calorie amounts below 1000 calories, which most tools do not support. The Fitbit really helped me get more active gradually and see how critical the exercise is to my health. Do not let your exercise count towards or offset your calories. But the most critical was being able to discuss what was working and what wasn’t using with everything there with my surgical team and the nutritionist. I would try to see the nutritionist as much as your insurance allows.

      Last bit of advice – WLS is a tool for losing weight but for long term success you need to learn why emotionally you were engaged in disordered eating. The kindest thing you can do for yourself is to find a therapist you like pre-surgery and start working with them on coping skills. Your self image is going to drastically change over the next few years and that can be very destructive to your existing relationships. I wish I had – this is something I’m resolving now and it’s been very hard.

    • lawsuited :

      A co-worker of mine got weight-loss surgery about a year ago. He told us he was getting the procedure and briefly explained some of his post-surgery limitations (eg. He can only eat 5 oz or so in a sitting). The follow-up questions he got were about how long his recovery was likely to be (I think a combination of general concern for him/finding out how long he would be out of the office). Knowing about the surgery was helpful, I think, because his behaviour did change significantly post-surgery and we were able to be respectful of his new food restrictions. I’ve heard him talking with co-workers about the surgery a few times in the last year when he’s been venting frustrations, but I’ve not heard anyone ask him questions about it or comment on his weight at all (but people didn’t comment on his weight before, so if you’re in an office where that is a normal topic of conversation YMMV).

    • Thanks so much everyone.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m late but I had WLS almost seven years ago. I didn’t tell anybody at the time and honestly nobody much noticed. I was eating like a toddler but I’d order lunch and literally pretend to eat — take a forkful, wave it around in the air, put it down, repeat, and sweat to God, nobody noticed. (Or they noticed and pretended they didn’t which is really the same thing for all practical purposes. But they’re a pretty speak-their-mind group and I think they would have mentioned it if they’d noticed.)

      By the time the weight loss was noticeable I was largely over the embarassment of telling people so started telling people. Just the bare minimum and not all the gory details.

      I did tell a few close friends before and got the “you’re not that big/it’s too drastic” thing, and I just shut it down: “It’s my decision and it’s made and I’m not willing to have this discussion with you.”

      Good luck! I’ve kept the weight off and it’s been life-changing for me. Although I couldn’t agree more with RNY Bypass above that it’s not a magic bullet: I always say it levels the playing field but you still have to do the work.

  38. I work in sales, and rep a high end whiskey. I’ll be making regular trips to NYC and I need some fashion advice on dress code and appropriate shoes for walking all day. I will be in the Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Williamsburg areas from everything from trendy or casual bars to high end restaurants and hotels. I want to look professional, but I need comfortable shoes because I’ll be walking all day or in and out of a cab or subway. And I’m not sure how formal I need to be. Any suggestions I would appreciate.

    • Wildkitten :

      I can’t actually answer most of your questions, but I know FOR SURE that you should get blister band aids if you are going to be walking more than usual and in new-ish shoes. If you are wearing tights, the bluster band aid gets moved pretty quickly, so definitely pack a few boxes.

      Other ideas: I’d wear a black pencil skirt and top with a sweater.

    • wear anything you want, stick with neutrals or all black, flat shoes/riding boots should be easiest to walk in. Bring headphones if you’ll be on subways and download one of many apps for subway directions, the map, and delay updates. Always walk like you have a purpose, walk quickly, be clear on your point when talking to business people (don’t stall or dawdle) and you’ll be just like a local!

  39. So, a few weeks ago, I asked about borrowing money and accidentally referred to the Frank-Dodd bill as Barney-Dodd. Nutella and a few other anons decided I was a troll over a mistake in words. This is where we are now. People make a mistake and the sharks come out. Well, I came across and article that seems to suggest that the Frank-Dodd bill did have unintended consequences. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/dodd-frank-and-manufactured-home-financing-the-place-where-good-intentions-and-unintended-consequences-collide/

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