Commuting Hall of Fame: Penny Boot

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Happy Weekend! This Sam Edelman boot has been around for a thousand years, and it’s very highly rated everywhere. It doesn’t go on sale very often, so this is a great opportunity to snap it up. Amazon has it as low as $102, Nordstrom has some lucky sizes in a price range of $84 to $149, and at Zappos they’re $149 as well. These come in a few colors, and in wide sizes as well as an extensive size range in the regular width, 4-13. They’d be great if you’re looking for a boot to commute to and from work and to wear on slushy and/or rainy days. Sam Edelman Penny Boot

Psst: check out our latest roundup of the best knee-high boots for commuting, work, and more.

2017 Update: We’re adding this boot to our Workwear Hall of Fame because it keeps coming out in more colors and sizes and getting rave reviews.

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support! 


  1. Anonymous :

    My job is insanely busy and I’m so overworked, I haven’t had a vacation since last summer and I probably won’t be able to take any time off until June or July. My coworkers on my team make me miserable, I dread coming to work every day, and winter is never ending. Basically I’m just super unhappy and not coping very well right now. How do you stay positive and focused when you’re burned out?

    • Anonymous :

      Are you not taking time off because you feel that you’re too busy to do so, or are you actually not allowed? Honestly I would just take it off unless you’re going to get fired.

      • I didn’t have any vacation time until recently (yay working on contract). Can’t afford to take time unpaid.

      • Hug’s. I feel your pain. You must just say to yourself: “It WILL get better. I WILL get OVER this issue”. That is what I do b/c I am also very busy at work without time to socialize with people outside of work. MORE OVER, I can NOT meet a man if I am forced to be billeing all the time for the manageing partner! FOOEY b/c I am NOT getting any younger. I do get a week off in the Summer and a week off around Christmas, tho the manageing partner forgets and tells me to bill more at YEAR-END. DOUBEL FOOEY b/c this has been goeing on for year’s.

        In your case, you need to find a man to help out. If you can date a guy, he will provide you with something to look forward to. If he is really good, you can share your bed with him and you will NOT be loneley at night. I do NOT have a boyfreind any more, but I do NOT miss the one I had. I need a GOOD one to wow me before I share myself with him. But there IS always hope for us. We will be married and happy! YAY!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Can you squeeze in a 3-day weekend? Some things that have helped me when I’ve been super burned out at work are: taking breaks to get coffee, working remotely (…at a local coffee shop), going for a 15 minute walk instead of a “break” during the day, one of those relax-y yoga classes after work, exercising during my lunch break – for me, this meant a ~40 minute run outdoors or lifting weights at the gym, talking to co-workers that I enjoy, and listening to my favorite pandora station at work.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        +1 to a long weekend even if it is just leaving at lunch on a Friday for some quiet time.

      • Thank you. I’m realizing a big part of the problem is that I haven’t been doing anything except working and going home and going to bed. Those are all really great suggestions. I just requested to take a Friday off for a long weekend!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      If you can’t take any actual days off, what about booking a hotel in your city for a weekend? Get room service, book a spa treatment if possible, not have any responsibilities, use the pool/hot tub if there is one, etc. It might help break the monotony.

    • Jolynne Smyth :

      I feel a bit the same — a lawyer friend recommended the Sun Touch light therapy lamp. I am ordering it today.

      I’ve also been going to the gym more – that seems to help with the feeling of tiredness at the end of the day which leads to that sad cycle of work-sleep-repeat! Has helped with mood, too.

  2. Engineer with Changing Managers :

    My manager just changed (two weeks ago), and I got word from my prior manager that it was changing again – to a person with whom I have butted heads in the past. The new-new manager is currently the manager of another district (all of my managers have been out of district due to my remote work location), so he has some managerial experience, but I am concerned about our past.

    I put in a lot of effort on a 1+ year project, and the conclusion that I reached (he and his district were the cause of the issues we had seen) is not one he agrees with. Although this project is one that ostensibly is finished, we just re-hashed an old argument this week because of documentation.

    How do you work with a manager with whom you disagree on projects that are fundamental to your job position? I don’t want to say he will be unhelpful in all of our interactions, but I am incredibly frustrated by our past and don’t know how to be positive about this change. I don’t want to work with an adversarial manager. My previous managers were supportive, and have gone to bat for me, including over this one project.

    I am afraid that all of the effort I put into my investigations in the future with this new-new manager will be for naught. Any helpful input, hive? Thanks…

    • Anonymous :

      This is a tough one, no easy answers. Hugs to you.

      Ime the biggest factor in your work engagement/happiness/success is the people, including your manager. Are there opportunities to transfer within the company, possibly to a prior manager who’s supported you? I would also start doing a serious job search in case the situation deteriorates quickly.

      • Thanks. Generally, there are opportunities to transfer, but all would require a move (due to my remote location – there aren’t many opportunities here), and none would be under my former bosses. Moving is something we’ve given considerable discussion to for other reasons, with our talks progressing into more serious in the last week since I heard my manager was changing, but moving also takes a ton of energy (we have a kid, some pets, and own 3 properties here).

  3. Sydney Bristow :

    Fascinators came up in yesterday afternoon’s post. Anyone want to vicariously shop for one for me?

    My sister is getting married this fall and is enthusiastically on board with me wearing one (I’m not in the wedding party). I don’t have a dress yet and am open to buying a dress to go with whatever headpiece I pick. If I had to guess, I’ll likely want to wear burgundy, purple, or green to the wedding.

    Anyone know what the easiest type to wear is? Etsy is overwhelming but maybe I could narrow it down by how they attach to the head.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Can you find a brick and mortar store that sells them? You can try on a few styles to get an idea of what works for you, then go to Etsy and find the exact one you want. That’s what I did when I was looking for a headpiece for my wedding.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        That’s a good idea. Anyone have a recommendation for a place in Manhattan or Queens?

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I would try any upscale department store’s hat section. Or an actual milliner’s shop – this one is in SoHo but there must be more of them in NY –

        • Anonymous :

          I have definitely seen fascinators in big department stores in the spring/summer.

        • There are a few people downtown who handcraft hats & fascinators, although they will likely be spendy. I’ve never been, but have heard good things about Lisa Schuab, who has a place on Orchard Street. You could make a day of getting brunch at Russ & Daughters, then go hat shopping for some old-school LES action!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Here are a couple that I’ve liked so far. They are a bit all over the place though so I’m not sure what exactly I’m looking for. Oh, budget would be $100 or less unless something is just extra super awesome and I can’t resist it. (Don’t really want to pay $200 though!)

    • AttiredAttorney :

      I bought my Derby party fascinator off of amazon. They don’t have the exact one I have, but these all look similar. ($21 and prime!) ($19! Prime!) (less than $10! Also Prime eligible!)

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I hadn’t thought to look on Amazon. Thanks!

      • I ordered an embarrassing amount of fascinators from Amazon for a derby-themed party, and it was awesome. Super easy if you can’t get to a store.

  4. used car buying tips :

    Found out my car needs more work than it’s worth. Any tips on buying a used 4 door small car under 5k without getting ripped off (would rather pay cash and go than make payments/pay interest) or any recommendations of where to look in the Los Angeles area (bonus pts if it’s in SFV)? Any types of cars you love or hate?

    I’ll take anything to a mechanic before purchase and get a carfax, but as a young (and looks even younger) woman, I hate this whole process!

    • Anonymous :

      Well, another thing to consider is will fixing the current car be less than buying another car? And how long is that fix likely to hold. I would totally put $2000 into a $1500 value car if that meant I didn’t need to spend $4000 to buy one outright.

      If the repair bill is more than the $5000 for a new-to-you car, then nevermind.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – there is something to be said for the devil you know. If you are going to come out of it with a working car whose history you know well, the repair might actually be worthwhile.

      • Agreed.

    • Kinda a long shot but if you happen to know anyone at the nearest military base, people are always selling cars when they move overseas… its how my brother and I got our first two cars each and definitely within your budget, but not the same area as you so YMMV

    • Anonymous :

      No good suggestions for how to look, but when I was in your boat about a year ago I ended up getting a ~10 year old Ford Focus that I was super happy with. Nice small size and they hold up well over time.

    • charlotte atty :

      Do you have a AAA membership? They offer a car buying service that is incredible. If you know what kind of car it is that you want (e.g., a 2009 VW Jetta) you can call them, tell them what you want, and they will find it for you. My understanding is that AAA buys so many cars that they get fleet-rate pricing. AAA locates the car, gets a great deal, and then literally delivers the car to your home (and, if you’d like they’ll give you a trade in price on your old car and drive it away for you). No dealership necessary. My husband’s family has bought cars this way for decades now and it works like a charm. I did it last summer with my car. I took the AAA price to the local dealership and the dealership couldn’t beat AAA’s price. I had an old Jetta that was dying (needed a new transmission and new breaks and, well, new everything) and AAA still gave me a trade in.

      You do pay a fee (I think it’s about $250-$275) to AAA for this service, but even with that fee, the price was still less than the dealership AND I didn’t waste hours of my day dealing with people trying to screw me over.

      I know you said you didn’t want to deal with car payments, but AAA also shopped around on my behalf for an auto loan. I can’t recommend this service enough.

    • I’d look at Carmax. Their prices may be a little higher than Craigslist but you are guaranteed a functioning car and don’t have to haggle. Many dealerships will also give you a break if you finance through them. We’ve done this and then just paid off the loan in full.

    • I’d probably fix the car (agree with the devil you know…).

      Otherwise, you look for an older, solid Toyota Camry. I’m still driving my 1997 and my mechanic said he would buy it from me! I will drive until it dies.

    • Anonymous :

      True Car is a great online tool for identifying whether you are getting a good price

    • I used shift and they bring you the car for a test drive to your home or work and then they bring the car to your home if you decide to buy it. They had the car I wanted and the prices were better than dealerships, truecar and No fees unless you buy and they inspect it and clean it. Post an email address if you want a referral link for $100 off.

    • Any car you buy that costs less than $5,000 will be a junker that will need hundreds and almost certainly thousands of dollars probably from day one. You are better off buying a car, used or new, that costs more than $10,000, is no more than three years old, and is still under warranty.

      • Anonymous :

        This is not a rule. 5 years ago, I bought a used Civic with low mileage for $5k. I have spent exactly $160 in repairs in the time I have owned it.

      • Not true. I sold a Buick sedan for $5k that was in excellent condition. It was about ten years old, but single owner and impeccably maintained. I sold mine on Craigslist.

  5. used car buying tips :

    trying again, moderation ate this…

    tips/advice for buying a used car under 5k and paying cash? wanting small 4 door, living in LA (san fernando valley area).


  6. Any recommendations on where to stay in the Bahamas – but not Nassau? The more I look, the more overwhelmed I get. So many different islands! Looking for a smallish hotel with good food but not family style dining (seems to be a thing at a lot of smaller places there?), would love to snorkel from the beach and kayak/bike around a bit. Not scuba divers or fishers. TIA for all suggestions!

    • Not sure how much you want to spend, but Harbour Island is fantastic. Coral Sands Hotel, Pink Sands Hotel or Dunmore (if you want to spend more). If you want to save some money, I would check out Eleuthera. Not as many restaurants and certainly more undeveloped, but also great in its own way. The Cove is the hip hotel on Eleuthera but there are also plenty of homes that are rented out as well.

      • Thanks! I had looked at The Cove but it seems like some of the reviews aren’t as great since they have new management. Looking for a hotel vs. private home because I don’t want to have to cook at all and don’t want to have to worry about driving home after dining out.

        We’re pretty flexible on budget but would prefer to stay under $700/day if we can. Will check out your suggestions!

        • Stats Lady :

          Agree w/ Eleuthera rec. It’s still very underdeveloped with miles of mostly deserted pink sand beaches. Though you noted you are not interested in a rental, for privacy and amenities, check out rentals on Windermere Island (Mariah Carey has a house on the island and Gwyneth Paltro announced her ‘conscious uncoupling’ from there). Many are listed on VRBO and Homeaway and offer more hotel-like amenities.

          If you go between mid-November and mid/late May, the Club on the island offers bar/dining, swimming pool and tennis courts so you don’t have to worry about driving for miles on roads that are unlit and not well paved. (But check to make sure the rental you are interested in has Club membership – not all do.) Many rentals come with bikes, kayaks, etc. and it’s easy to arrange an in-home cook, masseuse, grocery stocking, daily housekeeping, etc.

          If you like fabulous restaurants, nightlife, shopping, etc, well, steer clear of Eleuthera. If you enjoy the beauty of an empty beach that goes for miles, breathtakingly clear water, some of the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet and can handle the occasional power outage or loss of phone/internet, it’s worth considering. Signed, Fell in Love with Eleuthera 20 Years Ago and Am Still In Love

  7. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have suggestions of bracelets for small wrists? Mine is 6-6.3 inches, so the standard 7.5 inch bracelets look as if I’m playing dress up. I’d like to have a 14k gold bangle, cuff, basic gold chain ETC.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      See my response below! Sorry!

    • Maybe a weird suggestion, but are there any Indian jewelry stores near you? I’ve bought gold bangles from an Indian jeweler and they are definitely significantly smaller than the standard American bangles. The standard 7.5″ size fits me fine, but the Indian ones I have to really work to get on and off. Plus, if you’re looking for gold they’ll definitely have it.

    • A recent birthday present of mine: a lovely Kate Spade gold chain bracelet that’s adjustable, and fits my also tiny wrist very well.

  8. Bonus treat :

    I just got a nice bonus. I’m doing responsible/ charitable things with most of it, but I wouldn’t mind treating myself a little bit. How would you spend up to about $500 to celebrate slogging through a tough year? I have small kids and limited free time if that matters.

    • Anonymous :

      1/2 day at the spa – body wrap, massage, facial.

      I have 3 under 6 and this is 100% what I would do. Might even take a 1/2 PTO to make it happen if necessary.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 This is exactly what I was going to suggest (except I’d skip the body wrap and get a massage/facial/mani/pedi)

    • Senior Attorney :

      Or a great purse or a great pair of shoes.

    • Anonymous :

      Leave the kids at home for a weekend afternoon, get a mani & pedi, take yourself to lunch, enjoy a few cocktails, and treat yo self to new bag/pair of shoes.

      Or take a mini staycation in a local hotel for a night and sleep all you want.

    • If you want to buy something … Frye boots. I always talk myself out of them but if I had $500 burning a hole in my pocket, I might do it.

      But really, (and I have kids too) – I’d kill for an afternoon sitting by myself in a hotel room, watching cable and eating fried chicken. Can you make that happen?

    • I would upgrade something I use all the time, like skincare or shoes/purse…or my bicycle…
      That way, every time I used throughout the coming year, I’d remember what an awesome job I did last year and this was a well-deserved treat.
      Whatever you choose, way to go, and congrats!

  9. Can anyone comment on the quality of Royal Robbins shirts for travel? They look like they have decent button-downs that would be versatile in tropical climates, but since they’re a bit expensive, I would prefer a recommendation first.

    • I have a few things from them–if you’re near an REI they sometimes carry some of their stuff, as do some random travel-gear stores. And they have a couple stores in California I’d recommend checking Sierra Trading Post, they often have RR stuff.

    • The material is very nice, but I didn’t love the fit of their pants or shirts. The Columbia ones worked out better for me for button downs, but most of my travel wear (like when I went to Costa Rica – I swear nothing I owned ever dried there) I ended up mostly in Athleta’s UPF 50 clothing.

  10. After so many years of having bad bosses, I am so thankful for having a good one these days. My dog is going through a nasty bout of colitis, which caused a delightful hazmat situation while sitting on my lap in the car this morning. I took the dog to the vet this morning and wanted to work from home for the rest of the day, knowing the hazmat situations would continue to happen and that they stress my pup out. Boss didn’t even blink an eye and said it was no problem. Pup is snoozing away in his bed next to me while I work at the dining room table :)

    I hope everyone has a nice weekend!

    • New Tampanian :

      LOVE having empathetic and kind bosses! I appreciate mine unbelievably after all of the terrible ones I have experienced.

    • My pupster had to have emergency surgery Sunday night (DON’T EAT RANDOM STUFF, PUPPY!) and I’ve been working at home since he was discharged because he has to be watched 24/7 through tomorrow. Everyone I’ve told (including clients) has been incredibly kind and understanding. I have basically decided that I don’t care if other people don’t think a sick pet is a good excuse for anything, but when I happen on someone who truly seems to get it, it is such a relief.

      • Oh no!! Feel better soon pupster!

        I just cleaned up the fourth indoor hazmat incident. I don’t have time to run him outside because he jolts up from a nap and HAZMAT! I got him almost to the door last time and the only thing that did was cause it to get both on the floor AND on me. Poor little nugget.

      • Oh no! I hope he feels better soon. I’ll never forget coming home and finding a chewed bottle of Tylenol with a bunch of pills scattered around. Fortunately (given the absorption rate of acetaminophen) our dog’s interest was limited to the plastic bottle but it was a terrifying 24 hours. Glad you were able to get your pup help in time.

    • Oh gosh, I hope pup is ok. I woke up yesterday morning hardly able to walk because of my knee problem, took a shower, felt a little better, came back into my bedroom to find that kitty had barfed all over my bed. I REALLY didn’t need that. And it was a day when I had to be at work at 8:00.

      Glad you were able to work from home!

  11. Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

    My wrist is about 5.5 inches and I also have very thin hands. Most bracelets literally fall off my arm. I have to have a jeweler remove links in bracelets and watches. I have had a set of bangles resized as well.

  12. Good Food Book :

    I just inherited a copy of Jane Brody’s Good Food Book. According to the webz, this book has some incredible recipes.

    So far, I’ve only made the “Favorite Lentil Soup” which is, frankly, my favorite soup (yes, better than my mom’s chicken soup AND pho).

    I’m thinking of making the “Crunchy Barley Salad” for lunch next week.

    Anyone have favorite recipes from this cook book?

  13. Anonymous :

    Seeking anecdata: Do you see a personal trainer? If so, how much do you pay per session/package? Are you in a low/mid/high-COL area? (And if you’re inclined to keep going: what’s the best and worst thing about seeing a trainer/your trainer?)

    I teach group classes as my “side hustle,” and have had some interest from people about personal training, both people who take my classes and friends/colleagues who know I do this on the side (though I do shy away from training people I know in a professional context). I was floored when I found out how much the head trainer at my gym charges per hour (though I get that it’s 1099 work, the gym gets a 30% cut, this balances the group class compensation, etc. – I just was not expecting so much!) so just looking for a little more info about what professional women are paying for this kind of service.

    • Anonymous :

      $65/hr in MCOL area. The trainer has a Master’s in something relevant.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m in a HCOL and I see a trainer twice a week for the insanely low rate of $60/hour. That was a discount from the regular $75/hour at the time (several years ago) and he hasn’t raised it since. I’ve considered giving him a raise but he works out of a gym and the gym would a cut of the raise, so I give him a whopping cash bonus every Christmas in lieu of a raise.

      Best thing is it forces me to go twice a week no matter what, and he always comes up with new fun things. Worst thing is he has his things he does and sometimes I feel like it might be good to shake things up more. But generally I’m super happy with him.

      • Same. HCOL, $60/hr because I paid for 15 sessions at a time. This was with a crossfit gym and I don’t think the “box” got a cut because I made the check directly out to the PT.

    • I’ve been thinking about seeing a personal trainer at my gym because I need fresh ideas of what to do there other than just run on the elliptical. But before I could sign up I saw a flyer for a small group personal training class and I’m doing that instead. I didn’t get far enough in my personal training interest to find out how much it would cost at my gym, but the small group class is $250 for 12 classes (2/week for 6 weeks). I really do best when it comes to workouts when I have any kind of external motivation, which for me is the best part about any kind of class or personal training.

    • $90 an hour in a low-mid COL area. As a result, I don’t go as often as I probably should. But I like that she pushes me to do things I wouldn’t think I could do.

    • Anonymous :

      HCOL area, $80/hr for a big package of classes (24+), $90/hr for a smaller package (6-12)

    • Chicago & burbs – I’ve had trainers ranging from $100+/1 hr session (very qualified, her own gym, etc.) to now $30 /45 min. session (a local mom who is well-qualified but trains out of her basement on her own schedule). I suspect the average in Chicago for a well-qualified trainer working out of their own space (not a gym-trainer) would be $60-75/hr.

    • I am in the Chicago burbs as well. I pay $420 for a package of 10 lessons (so $42/hour) through my park district and meet with a trainer 3 days a week at my park district gym. This is a very good rate for training — if I went elsewhere the going rate would be about $60/hour.

    • Chicago, $60-65 for 30 min. I like my trainers because the facility is focused on heavy weight training rather than cardio, which I can do on my own. And I like that the trainers have all worked with and/or participated in collegiate sports for conditioning and strength training. This means they are very attuned to proper form, in contrast to the trainers I see at my gym.

    • Anonymous :

      I see a PT, i believe its 50/hour though I get a discount for buying lots of sessions

  14. How do you assess what’s “feminist enough” in an SO? My SO doesn’t like the feminist label (very frustrating to me), but does believe in/support gender equality when I bring it up (supported the Women’s March and went with me, donates to DV prevention/support orgs, etc.). We’ve been together for several years (6+) and are on the cusp of getting engaged and have settled into the dynamic of me being the more involved social issues point person in our relationship, including gender issues, and often explaining things to him or expressing commiseration when the progressive movement feels a bit overwhelming even for me. Marrying someone within my religion/culture is very important to me because of how I want to raise my children, and it’s not like there are a plethora of South Asian feminist men out there who are also equally invested in our religion and would be compatible with me in other aspects of life.

    I always thought I wouldn’t be ok marrying someone who didn’t call themselves a feminist, but I’m very happy with my SO and I’m struggling with “being a bad feminist.” If it’s one thing I’ve learned from this site, it’s that “people are not projects,” so I’m not envisioning a marriage where a few years in he tells me that he identifies as a feminist because of everything I’ve taught him. It’s more so how did you decides your SO was feminist enough both in the practical sense of your life together navigating life/careers/gender roles in a family and in the more abstract sense of feminist perspectives on issues that may not ever be a reality for you (LGBTQ issues, abortion, etc.)

    • Why doesn’t he like the feminist label?

    • Anonymous :

      His beliefs and actions matter so more than the label. It sounds as if he shares your values and acts upon them, but just isn’t comfortable calling himself a feminist. Perhaps he isn’t used to hearing men call themselves feminists, which doesn’t happen in all circles. Insisting upon the label seems to be missing the point.

      • You know, my DH didn’t like the label “feminist” when we got together, but he does now. His attitudes were always solid – women and men are equal, no job is a “man’s job” or a “woman’s job,” etc. – but he had internalized an image of feminists as man-hating lesbians and weak men. It wasn’t conscious, but he had absorbed the image from the culture over his (at the time) 35 years.

        In the years since, we have discussed feminism many, many times. And he owns the label now, not just the attitude. Maybe your SO is similar?

    • Sounds like he is a feminist, just doesn’t like the label [or thinks it means something other than supporting the causes that he apparently supports.] Will it help you to think of him as a ‘closet feminist’ or ‘undercover feminist?’ So top secret that not even he knows?

    • Anonymous :

      I think words matter. Not sure if DH would call himself a feminist, might ask him this evening. Before we got married, we had a lot of discussions about our shared values. It was extremely important to be that the default position in our marriage was not that my career was secondary to his. I was clear that I wanted him to view equality as an important value to teach our children. I really like this quote from Canadian PM Trudeau (who self-identifies as feminist):

      “Trudeau spoke about the way his wife, Sophie, reminds him to impress the importance of gender equality upon his sons just as much as his daughters. He told Plank that he has always told his daughter Ella how capable and brilliant she is, but until his wife pointed it out, thought less about how he was teaching feminism to his sons. “How are you training your sons to be focused on women’s rights and women’s opportunities the way you’re focused on telling your daughter that she can be anything?,” Trudeau said. “That for me was a really important wake-up.” “

      I have two sons and a daughter, my goal is that all three are comfortable calling themselves feminists and understand that equality is an important value. I know that DH is on board with those values.

    • Anonymous :

      It would really, really bother me that my future husband wouldn’t use the word feminist to describe himself, even if in practice he was one. Does he think it’s beneath him to call himself that? Or that it somehow feminizes him? What if you have a son- will you raise him to call himself a feminist?

    • Focus on his actions, not on his words. I know plenty of people who call themselves feminists, but actively support policies that are anti-women, whereas plenty of others don’t call themselves anything, but support causes that help women. I would be more alarmed if he didn’t call himself a feminist and also advocated for regressive laws/defunding women’s health care/increased exploitation/etc.

    • Senior Attorney :

      My lovely husband was a registered Republican when I started dating him, which I had never imagined. To my delight he has turned out to be far more progressive and feminist than I had realized at first and we are really on the same page with respect to all the issues that are so dear to me. I don’t know whether we’ve had the conversation where he self-identifies as a feminist or not, but he definitely is one in practice and hasn’t ever disclaimed the label or expressed disdain for it, so that’s all good.

      So I guess I married someone who “doesn’t call himself a feminist” (not that he wouldn’t as far as I know — can’t wait to ask him!) and that’s all fine. The walk is more important than the talk.

      I get why it bugs you that he doesn’t own the label, though. Have you had the “if you believe in equality for women, you’re a feminist” talk with him?

      • Senior Attorney :

        Update: Asked him over lunch “Do you consider yourself a feminist?”

        He looked at me like I had two heads and said, “Yes.”


    • Sydney Bristow :

      My husband shows it through his actions. He is completely comfortable with me making more money than he does and vice versa, doesn’t expect me to do all the emotional labor in our relationship, splits chores based on what works for us individually instead of based on gender ideas of woman has kitchen chores and man has outdoor chores, has a boss who is a woman and thinks she is great, etc. If we stumble upon a topic where his view is different than mine, he is totally open to a discussion about where we are each coming from and what our view really is.

      I think views and actions are the most important thing and the label is less important. There are women who I’d absolutely consider to be feminists who don’t like the label either.

    • @Anonymoust 2:32pm – that’s one specific concern I have!

      I’m trying to decide how to weigh that concern against how much I love him and the other positives he contributes to the relationship/my life.

      For example, he was raised by a SAHM and his parents espouse traditional South Asian gender roles, so his frame of reference is more traditional than I would like and this is his default in our conversations about our future until I push back and tell him that I don’t envision that for us, which he’s been receptive to.

      Do I need to have an explicit conversation of “I expect you to do half the cooking/cleaning with me or otherwise be fully engaged at home in ways your dad wasn’t – can you commit to that?” or is that keeping score?

      • Anonymous :

        “I expect you to do half the cooking/cleaning with me or otherwise be fully engaged at home in ways your dad wasn’t”

        This is absolutely an express conversation that needs to happen. How will chores be divided? Does he understand that he will have to do half of the daycare drops off and cook half the meals? Or cook all meals and you do the dropoffs or whatever combination. It’s not the exact allotment of chores/labor that matters, it’s his commitment to carrying 50% of the weight at home if you are both working.

      • Anonymous :

        Um, yes? How else will he know this is your expectation without your telling him?

      • Anonymous :

        Hell yes you need to have this conversation. Him being “receptive” doesn’t mean squat, when you find yourself married to a man who expects you to act like his mommy.

      • I would have that explicit conversation even if he did call himself a feminist. Being clear about your expectation is always a good thing.

        It sounds like he’s defaulting to what he grew up with and like even though he’s open to more progressive views he doesn’t notice that he’s defaulting unless you specifically point it out. I think that probably means you’re going to have to keep pointing it out in the future. If you’re comfortable accepting that price of admission, I don’t know that labels are that important.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Look, you are taking on a pretty big project and I think you need to recognize that. You are asking him to live his life in a completely different manner than he is envisioning and that is going to take a LOT of talking and negotiating and just that fact is a pretty big price of admission for both of you. I think you two need to go into that with your eyes wide open and a bucketload of good will on his part if this is going to work out.

          • True — and for the record I personally wouldn’t be willing to pay this particular price of admission. I have to fight the patriarchy hard enough outside my house; I don’t want to keep fighting in it. But Jo March’s MMV.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Have the conversation!! Good Lord! Yes!!

        LH and I always laugh and say that our engagement was less a proposal than a negotiation, and it’s true and I am very happy about that! We didn’t have to negotiate household chores because mercifully he actually does half and is fully engaged at home (maybe even more than half), but we negotiated other things that were important to me including where we would live and finances and changes we would make to his house as a condition of making it the marital residence.

        But yes yes yes! Talk about this and describe exactly what it means. And don’t forget to include all the emotional labor as well. One of the best things about LH is that he actually takes on things like getting bids for XYZ thing, and making his own healthcare appointments (you’d be amazed how many men don’t do that), and even setting up couples dates, so that it’s completely off my plate and I don’t even have to think about it.

      • And also how did you decide what was “enough” on the practical side of things like housework/careers/ gender roles for parenting/marriage?

        • Senior Attorney :

          You have to decide that for yourself. For me, “enough” is “all of it.” LH and I are not 50/50, we’re 100/100. A long time ago I was a member of the Baha’i Faith, and they have a scripture about “vie with one another in loving and serving” a just king. This sounds sappy, but LH and I vie with each other in serving each other.

          I realize that I am extraordinarily lucky, and maybe that’s not realistic for everybody. But now that I have it I’d never settle for anything less.

          I’ve said this a million times, but the absolute necessary ingredient in all of this is that your partner be a person of good will who is going to lean in to the household and the marriage. If he goes in feeling like it’s not his job and he’s doing it reluctantly or grudgingly, then there’s nothing you can do on your side to make it fair.

          • Anonymous :

            “that your partner be a person of good will who is going to lean in to the household and the marriage.”

            This. It’s not about a check list of what’s 50-50. It’s about those nights when you fall asleep with your clothes on because you are so tired and he doesn’t wake you up to clean the kitchen, he cleans the kitchen and packs the kids lunches for the next day because you did it last week when he had a business trip. It’s about him viewing all of the home and kids stuff as just as much his responsibility as yours.

          • Veronica Mars :

            Thanks SA, this really resonated with me. I’m Christian and I struggle with the gender roles, and how it will effect my current relationship. But one thing I know for sure with my current SO that while we will likely have to have some tough conversations on how the house will be run (assuming we even get that far since it is very, very early), he would without a doubt be someone who always tries to serve me (and I to him).

          • +1000, both to you and Anonymous.

            Anecdata: Husband is a shift worker with rotating shifts through the week. Three days a week I don’t really see him because of our respective work schedules (this is actually an improvement over previous schedules! He has weekends off now!).

            I would not be able to survive if we were not 100/100. On Wednesday this week I came home after a 12 hour day and passed out in my clothes on the couch, even though it was “my night” to clean the kitchen/pack lunch/etc.

            I woke up an hour later to husband doing my chores, and making me a grilled cheese.

            Last night, I changed my plans to come home early because he picked up an extra shift and couldn’t pick up the dog from the vet, even though that’s usually “his job.”

            This stuff happens all the time. I need to go home and hug that man.

          • What a beautiful sentiment–and exactly what I have seen and always admired in my parents. Thanks for expressing it, Senior Attorney!

        • I’m not sure there’s a one-size-fits-all way to figure this out. I do most of the cooking because SO is completely terrible at it and I actually like doing it. He offers to help when I’m cooking but I don’t usually need it. We pay someone to mow the lawn. He vacuums once a week and I dust and clean the bathrooms and the couch (where the dogs like to hang out, so it gets dirty).

          It feels pretty even to me. I don’t know if it’s exactly even, but if I had to sit down and actually calculate the effort required for each of those chores and decide whether or not he was contributing exactly equally, frankly, I wouldn’t be with him. That’s too exhausting. He does his chores and I do mine, and I don’t follow up with him about it and he doesn’t follow up with me. Though if he hadn’t vacuumed in a month or something I’d probably say something, but that hasn’t happened yet.

          • Agree that there is no one-size-fits-all for practical things. And I would have thrown myself into the same camp for the first ten years of marriage. However, I found that once children entered the picture, with the exponential increase in stuff that has to get done, both parents have to be willing to do 100% of the work all of the time for the household to remain a two-parent working family. For the working parent thing to work, I found that each of us has to own 100% of what goes down in the house and be willing to do all of those things. We could absolutely function with only one person doing things, but the resentment and frustration are quick to build. My husband works in a female dominated field, would label himself as “feminist” and I published on the importance of men taking parental leave, and yet we still bumped up against deeply embedded cultural expectations once we had kids. So, have the conversation. Have all the conversations about housework, kids, careers and emotional labor.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Do you live together or are you open to doing so before getting married? A lot of that is practical experience together.

          We split chores based on what we hate or don’t mind doing. I do dishes because I don’t mind and my husband hates doing them and would rather us eat on paper plates than hand wash dishes. He takes out the trash and recycling because I hate it and would put it off until the recycling had taken over all of our kitchen. Out theory was that even if one takes more or less time, it was the emotional energy spent that was worth assessing. By avoiding the chores we hate we don’t feel like putting them off or mustering up the will to do it and so it feels equal that way even if not in minutes spent. We each do our own laundry. We also each help the other out on chores we hate doing if the other is super stressed or exhausted. He cooks most of the time and I bake. We both realize when it is time to run the vacuum. He normally winds up cleaning the bathroom because I work so many more hours than he does but if he feels like I haven’t been doing enough he’ll speak up about it and vice versa.

          All of this was discussed in detail before we moved in together and then evolved some after. Definitely talk it all out explicitly!

          • Miz Swizz :

            Splitting chores based on what you like doing is so nice! I’d much rather wash than put away and DH would way rather put away than wash. This goes for both dishes and laundry as well as the kitchen counters. It’s nice to have someone there to do the dirty work but we also had an explicit discussion before moving in together about which chores we were willing to do.

            This doesn’t mean that occasionally he has to ask me to pick up my shoes or that I don’t have to ask him to put away dishes if they’ve been sitting for a bit. I think the bigger issue would be if either of those requests was met with anything harsher than a sheepish “sorry, I’ll take care of it”.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I totally agree with your last sentence! Neither of us is ever going to be perfect about it and being able to raise it and have it be a totally minor issue that is easily dealt with is key.

      • Anonymous :

        John Gottman’s “52 Questions Before Marriage” is good for starting those conversations.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        If you do not already live together (which it seems you do not), you absolutely need to have a discussion about what your life together will look like, including cooking, cleaning, handling the finances, what would happen if you decide to have kids…I would advocate that for anyone, but especially if you come from a culture where more “traditional” roles are more the norm. I am Greek, and to be honest, I never considered marrying within my own culture for exactly that reason, every man I know was raised to think that I would look after him like his Mama did, even if I was a career woman by day.

        That being said, I agree with Senior Attorney (what else is new) about words mattering less than deeds. I have been married for 14 years and I am not sure I have ever asked my husband if he would use the label “feminist”. However, he arranged to start work later in the morning so he is at home to get our son ready for school and on the bus and picks him up and handles bathing almost every day. I work. And make more money. He is fine with that. And, despite being born and raised in Ireland, is a vocal supporter of abortion rights even to his more traditional family. Those things are pretty damn feminist.

        TL;DR – you need to have a real conversation about what your life together will look like. The label is less of a thing.

        • MargaretO :

          I’m also from a culture like this (the American Jewish community/mainstream is so deeply misogynistic I cannot even) and I also basically never date from within my own culture for these reasons. I would be willing to be in a serious relationship with a Jewish man who is open to dating non Jewish women and who is also not interested in having children and who also identifies explicitly as a feminist. I’m pretty sure such a man does not exist. It’s hard enough fighting against the sexism of the world in order to create a truly equal partnership with a man, I don’t need to also tack on all of the really intense cultural expectations around Jewish family/motherhood/marriage. Every boy I grew up with in my community has similar expectations (in addition to straight up expecting a career woman) – go to grad school, become a lawyer/doctor/pharmacist/accountant/whatever, meet a nice man, lean out a bit when you have (at least 3 – less than that is not enough in my circles) kids and tend to their and his every need while also maintaining a somewhat prestigious career your families can brag about, and also participating in expensive and time consuming Jewish rituals and communal life (cook a giant dinner on friday night, bundle the kids up for synagogue on saturday mornings, ritually purify the household top to bottom before passover, the list is endless and most falls on women). I grew up in a liberal northeastern suburb where everyone identifies as a progressive democrat and a feminist and also expects every single family to look like this description. My two parent heterosexual household did not look like this and it really baffled the people around us and I suspect is part of the reason my parents are not super popular in their Jewish community.

          OP please talk to your partner about this. Our traditional cultures are a true blessing but they can also be such a burden to us, and especially to women. I know that there are modern feminist ways to me a member of my community, and I’m sure that is true of yours. I just do not have the energy to fight that fight. Not in my community, not in my place of worship, and definitely not in the family I choose for myself. I think its hard for people to understand this if they were raised in mainstream American culture – the loyalty you can feel for a people who are your family and your home, and how difficult it can be when your values don’t align with theirs. I wish I had more advice to you, I wish you the best of luck in figuring this out with your partner and I hope whatever you decide makes you happy, even if it is not always easy. I know that if you fight this fight for your feminist values to be expressed in your culture, even if just in your own home, it will be such a gift to your spouse and your children and to yourself.

          • “I would be willing to be in a serious relationship with a Jewish man who is open to dating non Jewish women and who is also not interested in having children and who also identifies explicitly as a feminist. I’m pretty sure such a man does not exist.”

            They exist – I married him!

          • Just to add to this line of thought in a more constructive way, I do really agree with the posters suggesting that you may not be able to have both your cultural background and someone who aligns with your beliefs, especially when they are traditionally opposite. For me, how my partner views the world needs to align with me and it’s too critical to compromise on. I also think the right person will be interested in sharing your culture even if they didn’t grow up with it. For example, my husband and I celebrate the Jewish holidays (not all of them, but the majors) and he goes to my catholic family events, too. OP, it sounds to me like you’re potentially compromising your core beliefs for the sake of your cultural background and I’d be careful about that. A wise person once told me, you only get to live your life, so make choices that are good for you.

          • And PPS – by more constructive I meant more constructive than my glib “great men are out there comment”, not MargaretO’s lovely advice that I totally agree with.

          • Anonymous :

            “I would be willing to be in a serious relationship with a Jewish man who is open to dating non Jewish women and who is also not interested in having children and who also identifies explicitly as a feminist. I’m pretty sure such a man does not exist.”

            Whaaaaa? I know plenty of Reform Jewish guys or guys who are ethnically Jewish but not religious that fit this description. The hardest of the three criteria you list to find is “not interested in having kids,” but that’s true across all religions/ethnic groups. Most people want kids. Are you only dating Israelis or Orthodox Jews or something? I think the average non-Orthodox Jewish American male is significantly more feminist than the average American white male (which is admittedly not a super high bar). Your comment is super confusing to me as an American culturally Jewish woman married to an American culturally Jewish man who is a super duper feminist and would totally have married a non-Jew.

      • Having these explicit conversations is far more important than whether or not your SO identifies as a feminist. A pre-marriage counseling program will take you through all of these items. My husband and I did FOCCUS Pre-Marriage Inventory through the catholic church. I only recall one section that was religion specific, but YMMV.

      • True story: an ex co-worker of mine is married to a guy who refuses to feed himself and their kid if she doesn’t cook,or otherwise provide for dinner. If she gets sick, runs late, etc. he will not make spaghetti or grilled cheese or even call for pizza delivery. Because it is “her job” to get dinner on the table. This is an otherwise nice, normal person. You would never guess he was like this. He grew up with a SAHM and that was the dynamic and while he’s adjusted his thinking in other ways, the dinner thing remains as is. THAT is the kind of situation you can end up in when things are not discussed in advance. (And when you continue to tolerate ridiculous behavior, as my ex-coworker did and does – and I told her so.) OP, you need to be very clear with him about what you want and what you expect. If there are substantive differences in expectations, figure that out right now.

        My husband probably would not independently call himself a feminist. But he does all the dishes in our house, cooks half the meals, does more laundry than I do, and does school pickup every day. He also vocally supports equal pay, reproductive rights, women in STEM (and has fought battles at work to recruit more women into his department), works for a female boss and has no problems with it, etc. He is a feminist, whether he identifies as such or not. As someone else says, actions speak louder than words, to me. I have known men who say “I am a feminist, I love women” and then espouse antifeminist views, or treat women like dirt.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          That poor woman. Although I have to think that your ex-coworker enabled that behaviour at some point…I would just have stopped feeding him long before having a child with him.

          • “Although I have to think that your ex-coworker enabled that behaviour at some point…I would just have stopped feeding him long before having a child with him.”

            If I had encountered this guy and started dating him, the relationship would have been over in a month. That, or he could have learned to cook, his choice. It’s baffling to me. Everyone has to eat! Why is it such a problem to learn to feed yourself?? What would he have done if he hadn’t gotten married – let himself waste away? I doubt it.

            She is absolutely enabling the behavior and also setting a terrible example for her son, IMO. This subject came up at a work social event last year when he was present – it was a buffet dinner and I said something to the effect of, gee, it’s good that Anne is here to pick out Dave’s food or he’d go hungry, since he can’t ever make his own dinner. I got a pretty dirty look over that comment, as you can imagine.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I would have snort laughed at that comment (and likely earned a similar look), but good for you,

        • I had a co-worker once whose husband was the same way. She was billing 300 hours a month, and she made a comment one night about going home and heating up a plate for her husband. WTF? Apparently, he would not put leftovers in the microwave for himself, so she was going to leave work to do it.

      • My husband is a raging white liberal who calls himself a feminist and his mom was primary breadwinner. Splitting household chores 50/50 (even 75/25 sometimes!) has been a huge battle during our nine year marriage. This stuff is so deeply culturally ingrained……I think I would have been able to figure it out faster if we had lived with each other before marriage.

        • +1

        • I’ve been married about a year and a half and equitable splitting of housework is an ongoing discussion. And I’m sure my husband would call himself a feminist. Last month was huge for us in this regard because I went on a week-long business trip and he realized how much I do around the house (and had the honestly to admit it).

          • That’s interesting, because we are the opposite. SO would not consider himself a feminist at all, but does at least 50% of household chores, if not more

      • Meg March :

        That’s a conversation you need to have even if he did call himself a feminist. Seconding everyone who’s said that these things are very culturally ingrained– Mr. Brooke considers himself a feminist, but we had a long conversation the other day about emotional labor that was very enlightening to us both.

        • So nice of you to provide sisterly advice, Meg. I always thought of you as less woke than Jo but am really glad things are working out for you and Mr. Brooke. :)

          • I’m the more modern version of Meg. Doesn’t hurt that all of my kitchen attempts end up like Meg’s batch of jelly. :)

            I also didn’t have much to say, but had to chime in when I saw it was Jo.

    • Marshmallow :

      The label thing would have been a deal breaker for me very early in the relationship, but that doesn’t mean it has to be for you. Frankly, though, having to educate him and walk him through issues just sounds exhausting. You say you are “overwhelm[ed]” now. If it hasn’t gotten easier/better after 6 years, it probably won’t. Are you okay with that? Maybe you are, and that’s fine. We all have blind spots and it sounds like your SO is receptive to feminist issues and at least trying to be supportive.

      Do you have other people in your life you can discuss feminism and politics with, so you aren’t constantly exhausted by trying to educate your SO? Would you be okay with just not really discussing that with him? It sounds to me like if everything else in this relationship is great and you want to make it work, you may be better off just deciding that he is not going to be a source of feminist discussion and support in your daily life.

      And you are NOT a bad feminist for loving someone less progressive than you! I have been called a “bad feminist” for changing my last name upon marriage. F that noise. You do you. If anybody tries to tell you that, channel Emma Watson: “Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women.”

    • Marshmallow :

      Longer response is in moderation, but 1) yes, the label thing would be a deal breaker for me but doesn’t mean it has to be for you, 2) can you back off from educating him to preserve your energy and sanity? and 3) you are not a bad feminist. You have no duty to feminism to break up with somebody you love if you don’t want to.

    • I don’t think I’d end a 6-year otherwise great relationship because he didn’t like the label “feminist,” assuming like you said that he supports women’s equality. But if someone told me on a very early date that he didn’t consider himself a feminist (even though he supports feminist ideals), I probably wouldn’t go out with him again. You have a different tolerance for someone’s shortcomings at different stages of your relationship. It’s OK if you accept that this is not ideal but you can live with it.

      I think I’d try to have a conversation about feminism in the context of values about child rearing. As someone else said, is he going to have a problem with raising your kids to self-identify as feminists? Is he going to roll his eyes and act condescending and otherwise signal to your kids that feminism isn’t important? And wrt to the issues in your last sentence – how will he feel if your kid is gay or trans or wants an abortion? You may think these issues will never affect you but having kids opens you up to a lot of potential landmines. I’d be much more concerned about my partner’s views on social justice issues if I was planning to have kids with him than if we were childfree by choice.

    • lawsuited :

      Actions matter more than the label. I’ve never heard my husband call himself a feminist, but he:

      – Wears the “This is what a feminist looks like” tee I got him (and told me last night he wants a “Nevertheless, she persisted” tee)
      – Acknowledges publicly that I make more money than him
      – Is taking 6 months of paternity leave although it meant confronting a lot of gender stereotypes in his workplace
      – Has agreed that any female children we have will have my last name
      – Cooks and cleans more than I do

      BUT before you get engaged, you should spend some time exploring his expectations of working and family life. Very often latent patriarchal views only come out once you are living together or once children arrive.

      • This all sounds super great and I completely agree with the “actions matter more than the label” sentiment. I cringed, though, about the t-shirts. “Performative feminism” bugs me so much from men. Maybe it shouldn’t. But I really do prefer for a man to demonstrate that he’s a feminist by acting like one as opposed to always proclaiming that he is in public.

        OP, this is about way more than a label. It’s about you feeling like you need to change his whole vision for the future. Personally, I wouldn’t be willing to walk that path.

        • Anonymous :

          My DH has shirts too. It’s not an either/or. Just because someone is wearing a feminist t-shirt doesn’t mean his actions don’t match that. My daughter loves that she and her Dad have matching t-shirts. Why would you assume it’s performative vs. an expression of their values?

          • I don’t assume that the t-shirt isn’t a reflection of their values. But it mostly annoys me (unless they’re at a social justice event) to see men wearing stuff like that as if they need to publicly congratulate themselves for behaving in a way that should be completely standard in 2017. It’s like me as a white person walking around in a shirt about how not-racist I am. That non-racist shirt would be a reflection of my values… but Come on!

          • Eh. I get a little annoyed when I see them out in the community for the reasons you describe. But then I remember that I am grateful that some men are willing to wear their expression of values on their sleeve (or the front of their T-shirt).

            We need more feminist men moving forward, if progress is going to continue. So long as the guy who is wearing the shirt is also backing it up with his actual views and performance in life (not just wearing the shirt), then I’m cool with it.

        • lawsuited :

          I totally agree that it would be a problem if DH was wearing the shirts and not demonstrating feminist values in any other way. I included them in this example because I think it shows some willingness to publicly embrace the feminist label.

      • lawsuited :

        Update: I asked DH whether he would call himself a feminist and he said yes and that he hoped he could be worthy of the title. Go figure!

        • I’m the Anon above and just want to say your DH sounds wonderful! Sorry for pointing out your post and taking it in a tangential direction. I’ve just had some bad experiences (you can probably tell) with t-shirt wearers in the past.


      • Sloan Sabbith :

        The guy who abused me and multiple other women wore a this is what a feminist looks like shirt until it maybe got back to him that in a moment of angry venting to another friend I said that the next time I saw him wearing it I would strangle him with it.
        Wear the shirts, but only if he walks the walk, too.

        • Sorry that was your experience Sloan Sabbith – it was mine too which is why I made the comment. I’ve also noticed in my own life that the only guys I’ve known to wear them are the guys who don’t really understand what feminism is or don’t even really support it in any practical way. Lawsuited’s partner sounds like a good dude though so I should get over my t-shirt issues hahaha.

    • Anonymous :

      South Asian here, married a White guy who is not a feminist (his words). We struggle because he says things like “having a baby was as hard on my career as yours” and means them. He expected me to earn as much as him every year of our relationship (including when I had the baby) but did not ever acknowledge that this was harder for me to do. Never acknowledged that despite higher grades and stronger soft factors like volunteer work that he had a leg up on me for job postings and networking.

      I thought this was better than marrying a guy who wanted me to stay home and pop out babies but honestly both options were settling for something I did not want.

      I find that in response to my husband I’ve gotten increasingly more interested in feminist causes and more outspoken about womens issues and now his friends all think I am an evil feminist witch.

      We get along fine day to day but no one is terribly thrilled with each other.

      A lifetime is a long time to spend with someone who doesn’t want to even try and understand your experience. I suggest you leave.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, watch out for the “equal partnership” in which you will be expected to earn just as much as he does, or preferably just a tiny bit less, while still serving as primary parent and housekeeper.

      • Hey Anonymous above (posting about her husband) – big hugs. Your post hit me in the gut, because I almost married a guy who would have landed me in the same place you’re in. Im sorry it’s so tough for you. It’s never too late to get out of a situation that’s not meeting your needs. I am married with a kid and know it’s easy to talk about leaving and much harder to do it. But you deserve all good things and you have the right to pursue happiness – never forget that.

    • Jitterbug :

      Is he open to examining his privilege? Does he listen to you when you talk about gender issues, or does he dismiss you? Are you on the same page in terms of who will take care of the kids and housework, and who will stay home when a repair tech comes or a child is sick? Will he expect you to take care of certain household tasks because “you’re so much better at it” and he “just can’t figure it out”?

      There are plenty of guys who are hesitant to identify as feminists because of some very real issues with the movement, and there are plenty of guys who claim to be totally down with feminism but never really think about how gender dynamics may still be impacting how they interact with women, or how they see the world, refuse to acknowledge how they benefit from male privilege, and some of them feel entitled to certain things from women because they’re “on [our] side.” If I had to choose, I’d date the former kind of guy.

      • Yes yes this. (And lots of other smart things above.)

        OP, your note about how your partner grew up raises a lot of questions for me about what he’s willing to imagine. The fact that he grew up in a household with traditional gender roles absolutely doesn’t mean that your future household can’t be a feminist one, but it SHOULD NOT always be on you to create and foster feminist values and practices. In other words, regardless of what he calls himself, I would think seriously–and talk with him seriously–about whether he will always default to what he knew growing up or if he’s prepared to take the initiative on some of this stuff. (Not about feminism, but in terms of building a life together I think this is good for you, too: both partners should be prepared to re-examine their assumptions about what is right or normal.) Even if you don’t feel this way now, your future self will find it exhausting (and a huge outlay of emotional labor) to constantly course-correct if you’re the only one who sees value in these things.

    • You could end up like many of the people here felt in November, when their partners whom they thought they knew confessed that they voted for DJT because HRC was a ‘b 1 tech’ or whatever. What matters is not a label. What matters is how he will treat you, your future daughters and all the women in your lives, and whether he will regard women he doesn’t know as equals.

    • Anonymous :

      South Asian here. This may not apply to you at all so feel free to disregard.. One consideration I will add is that after marrying someone who was raised in a conservative or traditional household, it may actually be harder to demand equality because I think in some ways, marriage may bring out territorial tendencies, especially when the male is being asked to change. Your in laws may put pressure on you and him to conform and it may be hard for the guy to stand up to them. You do need to have the hard conversations now because you cannot always “teach” him.. he has to genuinely buy into the same values as you.

    • I am a left liberal and my husband is libertarian. He says he is feminist and he mostly is. But the libertarian part of him did not like Lilly Ledbetter act. We have been married for almost 18 years and we have influenced each other. I now appreciate the second amendment and we have the guns that he inherited from his dad, locked in a safe. Husband is now against the death penalty and on the board of the ACLU. We don’t discuss health care because it leads to screaming matches. I love him dearly.

    • anonymous :

      I can’t really tell how traditional your SO is or isn’t in your post. I would start by having an explicit conversation with him about what your vision for your life together is. We had so many conversations where I just said “my career is not going to be second to yours be default.” and things like that.

      Second, I would spend some time weighing all the things you want out of life and a marriage and prioritize them. Is it more important for you to have an equal partner in the way you envision it, or to have a traditional South Asian family? You may have to consider the possibility that you can’t get both. My cousin is going through this right now- she so badly wants a traditional Indian guy/marriage/life and all that, but she’s just not the kind of person who could be happy with that for real. I’m sure some unicorn Indian guy out there exists who’s traditional in the right ways and progressive in the right ways, but IME they can be hard to find. Also, if you marry outside of your culture and religion, that doesn’t necessarily preclude you from raising your kids more or less within that tradition/religion.My husband is white and grew up on a farm in the midwest. Not at all the kind of person I thought I would marry, but it turns out that the life we want is just about a perfect match. On the cultural/religious side of things, I think I was concerned that by marrying a white guy I would just get sucked into mainstream American culture and my cultural background would matter less, but he’s a full participant in the traditional stuff I want to do, so that’s cool too.

      Not at all saying you should marry outside your group. But I would reevaluate what you want for your life and which things you’re more willing to give up. Hopefully you don’t have to make that choice, but you could.

      • For a companion perspective, I am a white American woman married to a south Asian man. He is American born but raised in a traditional household (father was doctor and did no domestic duties- can change neither diaper nor tire, stay at home mom). I don’t think my husband would call himself a feminist but I’m not sure- he does have progressive social views but there are definitely visible consequences of his upbringing. I think he would starve on the couch all day before cooking himself anything (he would eventually order pizza), but he does know how to cook and will cook dinner if asked-so he’s willing but won’t take initiative. He does pride himself on being more useful around the house than his father, but generally I would say he needs to be asked because he defaults to things (like diapers, dishes) being my job. Not on purpose so much as because he was never expected to do these things growing up so it does not occur to him to do them.

        We have one kid and I work part time- my choice, he did not pressure me in any way. I have told him I will never be a full time SAHM and he says he doesn’t want that. His job had much longer hours (even when i was full time) and is not flexible so I was shouldering most of domestic duties. A good part time opportunity dropped in my lap so I took it. I almost didn’t just because I was so wary of being trapped in more traditional role, but practicality won out.

        But, all in all, its good. I love my husband so having to be a constant check on patriarchal assumptions (which hes generally receptive to) is worth it. I think the gut question is whether you want to spend your life with this man or not. And you definitely need to talk directly about expectations- start with “I’m scared that you will expect traditional gender roles, especially if we marry and have kids, and I don’t want that life. I want __” See what his response is.

  15. Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

    “It’s more so how did you decides your SO was feminist enough both in the practical sense of your life together navigating life/careers/gender roles in a family and in the more abstract sense of feminist perspectives on issues that may not ever be a reality for you (LGBTQ issues, abortion, etc.)”

    This is what should matter, not labels. Perhaps it is because I am not a native English speaker, I don’t really understand what the word “feminist” means. It seems to mean different things to different people? So how he treats you and views women should be much more important than some word.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s exactly right. I am a feminist in a lot of senses, but I also am pro-life. It makes it complicated whether I want to embrace that word because others define it as absolutely meaning pro-choice.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, no. You can’t be anti-abortion/anti-woman and be a feminist, sorry.

      • Anonymous :

        It does. You can’t be ‘pro-life’ and be a feminist. The literal definition of feminism is equality between the sexes which includes women having the same rights to their body as men do to theirs. F U for judging that I had to abort one twin to save the other’s life and my life. F.U. and your ‘pro-birth’ stance that abortion is always wrong and I should be birthing two dead babies if I survive. F.U. so much. I am religious and I will be praying that God has mercy on you and never puts you in that unbearable situation.

        • Anonymous :

          Well, that’s a special way to respond.

          I have never heard of men being able to abort a child, have you? (I’m not talking about trying to force a woman to do it, which happens and is awful, but having the right to end a child/fetus before it is born. In fact, you’re asking for men to have no choice in whether their offspring make it to term.)

          • Anonymous :

            I’ve also never heard of a man being forced to risk his life to give birth, have you?

          • Anonymous :

            That’s my point. There are differences in people’s bodies. You can’t say you want the same agency over your body in exactly the same way without accounting for the differences.

            Anyway, we’re getting off topic here. If you want to exclude half the country from your definition of a feminist, I don’t think that’s going to pay off for you in the end.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Until science finds a way for men to gestate human babies and to go through all that entails (the worry, the pain, the body changes, the impact to their health and careers), they do not get to decide, not to make a woman abort and not to force her through a pregnancy.

            2:36 pm Anonymous, I am so sorry for your loss and what you went through. Anyone who would presume to know or judge you can seriously get to fck.

          • Anonymous at 3:17, some men do get pregnant. Let’s remember to be inclusive here!

        • To Anonymous at 2:36: I’m sorry for your situation and agree with you completely. I had twins, and had medical complications as well (though both of my twins survived and thrived). But I would be at risk if I got pregnant again. How dare someone suggest that I would have had to wait until my life was literally in danger to do something about it. No one other than me gets to decide the level of medical risk I’m willing to take with my own life. I don’t particularly feel like waiting until my liver and kidneys shut down so I can “earn” the right to control my own body. How close DO I have to be to dying to get the Magical Life of the Mother Exemption anyway?

      • Never too many shoes... :

        This is so interesting to me, but I have to ask you this: do you mean that you are pro-life *for yourself* (ie. you would never have an abortion no matter what) or do you mean that you actively support the pro-life movement which seeks to reduce the access of other women to abortion services?

        • lawsuited :

          And if you are “pro-life *for yourself*” but think that each woman should be able to choose for herself, then you are pro-choice.

          • +1. This is me. At this point in my life, if I got pregnant, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t terminate, even though it’s not in the plan (barring some other complication).

            I 100% support every woman’s right to make this decision herself and in consultation with her medical team. Period.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Oh I completely agree. But a lot of people who identify as pro-life insist on doing so even though they are actually pro-choice.

            That is still preferable to people who actively work to restrict women’s choices claiming to be feminists…because THAT’S NOT A THING.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I think you can be feminist and pro-life. I am pro-life/anti-choice (in that I believe that there should not be abortions except to protect the health of the mother or the child) but don’t associate with the movement, because it restricts access to birth control and is not pro-child / pro-maternity leave. That being said, I am in the benign neglect camp of anti-choice / pro-choice — I am not going to make political decisions based on this stance. I am also fine with funding Planned Parenthood because it provides other services. Until pro-life feminists develop a viable alternative that does not, there is no way around this.

        • Anonymous :

          Gosh, thank you for this. To the commenter above who said FU so much, it seems like you’re forgetting that most pro-life people believe in exceptions. Also, I would give out birth control like candy if I had it my way. I also feel conflicted about PP because of all of the other critical services they provide. I have chosen to support a similar clinic for women in my area that does not provide abortions. They provide pap smears, birth control, etc.

          I do make political decisions based on this stance (with the exception of the current president) but it also happens to line up with a lot of my other views.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            3:16 Anonymous – here is what I do no understand. Why are you anti-abortion in the first place? Is it because “life” begins at conception?

            If so, isn’t there an inherent contradiction in the idea that an exception could be carved out for the life of the mother – isn’t that in essence valuing her life over that of the foetus? And if that is ok in some circumstances, why is it not ok in others (like where a baby is a threat to her emotional and psychological health rather than a more immediate health risk)? Isn’t it either one or the other?

          • Anon at 2:36 :

            So how does that work? Was the 5% chance of my aborted daughter might have survived enough for you? Should I have risked the other twin for that? Should I have risked my life? What about if it was 4% is it different then? Where two medical opinions enough for you or should I have gotten a third opinion? What if that opinion said 1%? When do you decide it’s okay? Does your opinion change if I tell you that I have another child and my elderly mother is dependent on me for care? Why do you and your laws get to decide that and not me? Why does your opinion on the value of my life and my choices matter more than my own in your view?

            There is no way to legislate this that shows any kind of respect for women and the choices they must make in their lives. Worry about your own body and leave mine alone. I have enough grief in my life without worrying that another mother in my situation may not make it if Trump/Pence get their way.

          • I feel like maybe I am a weird person, because I do believe that abortion ends human life (at least in some cases, depending on how early it is), but I’m pro-choice. Ultimately, my view is that we encounter situations in which not all lives can be weighed equally and not all rights can coexist; the commenter here who had to make the decision to abort one fetus to try to save the other was placed in exactly that situation. When abortion is on the table, if you force a woman to carry, you take away her liberty. If you allow abortion, you take away the fetus’s life. When a pregnancy is unwanted, you can’t give full effect to the rights of both parties – a decision has to be made. And in my view, given the additional layer of complexity due to the intensely private and personal nature of medical decision-making, it is the woman that has to decide.

            I have, in my life, had very conflicted feelings about what I would do if I had an unplanned pregnancy, which varied based on my life stage. But I’ve never felt conflicted about the position that the individual woman must choose, or about my belief that God’s compassion and understanding for the complexity of that choice far exceeds human understanding.

          • lawsuited :

            If you’re a weird person because of this view, then so am I. I acknowledge that abortion ends human life, but I feel that as long as that human life relies on a woman’s body then a woman’s agency over her body extends to agency over the fetus, and the choice is hers absolutely.

        • Anonymous :

          This isn’t a medically definable thing: “protect the health of the mother or the child”. There is no way to make a law about this that allows women agency over their own bodies.

          • +1

            The “protect the life of the mother” stance quickly becomes medically incoherent and impossible to apply in actual life situations.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I appreciate your attempt to make your stance more palatable, but nope. If you think that your feelings on abortion should supercede (and therefore prevent) literally every other woman from making whatever choice *she* wants, then you are not a feminist.

        • Anonymous :

          “Protecting the health” is not a well-defined thing, though. What does that mean – physical health and only if the mother or child have an X% chance of death or deformity? What about less certain physical health complications, mental health, quality of life, abusive situations, future health issues? It means different things to different people and I can’t really think of any way to get everyone to agree on what would or would not be ok. It’s untenable, which is why anti-choice is anti-woman. You don’t have to be enthusiastic or like the reasons why some women get abortions, but it’s a reflection of reality. There is no perfect solution.

          • Anonymous :

            +1. And even if you make it “protect the *life* of the mother” which is a brighter line standard, it’s still not always clear when the mother’s life is truly in danger, and those who are anti-choice seem to give a lot more deference to the fetus than to the living, breathing human woman. Women die unnecessarily in Catholic countries because doctors don’t believe their lives are in danger and wont’ perform abortions until it’s too late.

        • Anonymous :

          You’re not pro-life, you’re anti-woman. At least be honest about your misogyny.

          • Anonymous :

            That’s hilarious.

          • Or you can be honest about being anti-baby!

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I’m anti-baby for people who don’t want to have a baby.

          • Anonymous :

            Anon at 4:34 – B ish, please. I like babies fine. I had one of my own (have you? I find being pregnant, giving birth and raising a baby tends to change how people feel about the whole “pro-life” thing; namely, it’s really REALLY hard and maybe people who do not want to do it, or are not equipped to do it, shouldn’t be forced to). Like a couple of people above, I think that abortion ends human life and I have always been pro-life for myself (I would never have an abortion). But I absolutely, positively, 100% believe abortion should be legal. It is up to the woman to decide whether or not having a child is something she wants to do. Don’t agree? Go sit outside (or if you can swing it, inside) family court some day, for the whole day. See what happens when people who don’t want kids, or can’t focus on raising them, have them. You might learn a few things you didn’t know.

      • Original Anonymous, I think I understand where you are coming home. It’s a good thing to make a difference for women where you can, whether that’s helping victims of DV, volunteering at a soup kitchen, etc. However, it simply isn’t feminist to argue that men should make all their own medical decisions, but that women shouldn’t. It also isn’t feminist to argue that women are obligated to put their own medical choices aside for the sake of the fetus – unless you would also argue that fathers should be compelled to donate a kidney to their ill child. If you think they should, how about donating their own heart for a transplant to save the child’s life? If you wouldn’t compel those two things for men, then don’t compel women to save the “life” of a bundle of cells that is not even a person with thoughts, memories, relationships, etc.

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          I am ok with you calling me a misogynist. I know I’m not one. Also I think that men’s health issues should also be legislated. For example, organ donation should be mandatory, there should be state run health care where there is a point system for past compliance before costly treatment or optional medication (e.g., Viagra). I do not trust most people to make their own decisions.

          • Jesus, this is really messed up… would you refuse heart surgery for someone who had difficulty keeping on their diet? Or no chemotherapy if you’ve smoked? It seems like it would just result in less health care for the very worst off: the poor, the uneducated, those with unstable housing or lacking support systems, suffering from mental illness or struggling to pay bills. Really just seems profoundly unethical to me.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            There should be a POINT SYSTEM?

            Yeah, you’re evil.

          • Just when I think I’ve heard it all …..

            I will never understand this fundamental distrust of people making their own decisions. That runs counter to literally everything I stand for.

          • Anonymous :

            Wow. I’ll remember you’re a creepy fascist in the future Alaana.

    • Anonymous :

      Look feminism up in the dictionary. It means, “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” How can you be a feminist in a lot of senses but not others? How can you be a feminist if you won’t even acknowledge that you are one?

      • Anonymous :


        Sounds like OP’s SO thinks feminist means “angry man hater” and doesn’t want to associate with that.

        • Anonymous :

          This. This is why people don’t like the label. Apparently if you think women are equal, it means you hate men. Sign.

          • lawsuited :

            It’s more nuanced than that, really. It’s more that if you think women are equal you are pointing out and hopefully reducing the privilege that men enjoy in our society which is inherently threatening to many men. Men react defensively to the suggestion that they have been benefiting from privilege that they have not earned and see the process of addressing male privilege as “man hating”.

          • True story–I started a new job a few months ago. A male co-worker, thankfully someone I don’t have to interact with regularly, made a comment to my boss that I “hate men” because he saw on my resume that I was on my law school’s journal of gender and law. I think my boss told him something along the lines of, “You know better than that.” But seriously, ugh.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Here’s why I wouldn’t have a problem with someone not ascribing to the label. I grew up somewhere and went to college in an area where “women’s studies” was not a thing. I didn’t know people who used the word feminist. I knew lots of people campaigning for women’s rights. I had NO idea that feminism just meant equality of the genders. I thought (way back in the day) that it should mean women are in charge with men beneath us. I didn’t want to ascribe to feminism because what I wanted was equality of the sexes. So before slamming someone for saying they don’t consider themselves a feminist, find out what they think it means. I think so many people still have the wrong definition that I’m still leery to use the label at times. In practice though, I am all about raising women up and breaking down gender barriers. I have a gender non-conforming marriage. (I make more, he does more chores and cooks).

    • Nope. The word is important. To deny the label “feminist” is to ignore or downplay the sexism and patriarchy that exist in our society. To be a feminist is to believe in equality of the sexes. There are philosophical variants within feminism, but equality is the uniting feature.

      • So much this. I don’t think it’s possible to say that actions matter more than words, because refusing to use the word is itself an action that carries so much with it–acceptance of traditional patriarchal views about what feminism is, minimizing feminist ideals while simultaneously making a caricature out of them, refusing to accept the reality of feminism rather than a male characterization of it from the 60s and 70s that is very outdated. You either are a feminist or you are not, in my view.

        I also just note that, as a mixed race child from an interfaith marriage, it’s not necessary to marry only in your culture or religion to raise a child to have the benefit of that culture or religion. I was so enriched by my parents’ cultures–all of them–and having parents who were not of the same culture or religion did not dilute the experience for me. So if you can’t find a man who is within your culture who is also going to be the feminist partner you need him to be (especially the feminist you might want to raise your children with!), consider seeing if you can find someone who will, like my father, be a feminist who also fervently supports your children experiencing and benefiting from your culture and faith.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          On the flip side, though, actions do matter more than words. A man calling himself a feminist and treating women like dirt….I don’t care if he singlehandedly funded We Should All Be Feminists, he’s not a feminist. If you live up to being a feminist, you should call yourself it. But it doesn’t work the other way.

          • Oh, sure–I obviously didn’t mean it that way. Just calling oneself a feminist does not make one a feminist. But (mostly) acting like a feminist while refusing to call oneself a feminist is also problematic.

  16. Diana Barry :

    Ladies – I have some clothes that I’d like to make available to the ‘ r e t t e s before I put them on Ebay. Several nice J Crew #2 pencil skirts, a grey Theory suiting dress, etc., in sizes 6 and 8.

    Please email me if you would like to see pictures of them! It is dianabarry r e t t e at g mail (no spaces). :)

    • This is such a great thing to do. Good for you.

    • I love those skirts, but sadly, these are not my size. Thank you for offering though!

    • Anonymous :

      As someone who’s early-career, I really appreciate you offering this! Just another testament to how great the community is here. (Unfortunately I’m trying to downsize so I’ll wrench myself away from writing in… even though these are my sizes!)

  17. Anonymous :

    I have reached a point in my life of good work life balance and stable finances and am considering doing a distance masters degree in law. Any thoughts from anyone who has done this before? Not expecting to get a better job out of it or anything, just looking to have some goals basically and to educate myself.

    • What do you mean by a “masters degree in law”? You’re considering law school, which is three years? Or you’re considering doing one year in a master of law program (which is basically the first year of law school, at least how my school did it).

      To be frank, I don’t think either is a good investment. A master of laws program doesn’t get you anything aside from reading the cases (which you can do yourself) and if you’re distance, you’re not getting the classroom discussion. And law school is a terrible idea if you don’t plan to go on to be a lawyer.

      The other thing to remember is: if it’s a master of laws program, most of those are the first year curriculum of law school (at least it was at my school). You can get a lot of that same stuff by reading Supreme Court cases, as you’re really only learning Torts, Criminal Law/Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, and Civil Procedure first year.

      • I shouldn’t say “only.” Those are important areas of the law (thus why you cover them first). But you’re getting a survey of the law in those areas. I wouldn’t do it, if I were you.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I took it to mean she was considering an LL.M., which is totally a separate degree. ELS, was your program a joint LL.B. (or J.D.) and Master’s?

        • Nope. MSL programs are typically offered as an intro/first year thing. The abbreviation is MSL, I believe.

          My advice is totally different for an LL.M, obviously. I’m considering one in tax because it’s relevant to my practice area and I would really like to learn more about it (but it wouldn’t mean more money).

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I have never heard of the MSL, is that a US thing?

            I have an LL.M. It was an academic choice as I thought I would go on to a Ph.D. and academia but then changed focus. I like knowing I have it but it makes literally zero difference in my day to day work.

          • Yep — I’m in the US. I really only learned about the MSL for two reasons: The classmates who left after a year and were awarded one and the increased marketing I saw for them during the downturn ($$$ for law schools).

            I’m not even 50% sold on an LL.M in my situation for the reasons you describe. It wouldn’t make a big difference in my day to day work, and I could keep up with articles and cases that do affect my work much more easily and cheaply.

          • I had to Google this as I had never heard of MLS degrees before! And I am a lawyer, not that that means anything!

    • Also wondering about this — are you perhaps not in the U.S.?

      The only LL.B.’s I know are from people who got them several decades ago, and I’m not familiar with any masters in law degrees. LLM’s are typically for those who have already received a JD, right? Do you already have a JD, OP?

    • Wildkitten :

      Don’t pay tuition to better educate yourself. Can you take some Great Courses or Coursera?

    • PatsyStone :

      LLM degrees are largely just money grabs for law schools (I work for a law school). I can’t think of many situations where I would recommend it as a good investment choice.

  18. Jitterbug :

    Anyone else take advantage of ModCloth’s sale yet? 30% off workwear! Of course, their definition of “workwear” is super broad, it encompasses everything from actual business attire, to what you might wear at a tech company (like where I work), to fluffy floral skirts I’d never wear to work . . . but would wear to run errands once it’s nice out . . .

    Over a thousand items are marked down, I didn’t have time to go through all of it on my lunch break! I snapped up a burgundy shirt dress I’d had my eye on for work, plus some super cute spring shoes that I’ll probably just wear out and about.

  19. I’m bursting at the seams here in the office.

    I live on the eastern seaboard, and my niece is in the process of being born out in California. I can’t wait to see her, and to Facetime with my brother and dear sister in law. I’ve got a trip planned next month to see them, and I can’t wait to hold her and smell her little head and start reading her stories about little girls growing up to change the world.

    I know the two of them are completely capable of handling the next few weeks. But part of me is sad that I’m not going to meet her when she’s teeny tiny, and that I won’t see my baby brother as a brand new dad. But mostly, I’m so proud of him and my sister in law for how great they’re doing, and I’m beyond excited for the new addition.

    No real point. Just having a hard time focusing while waiting for news.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Woo hoo!! So exciting!!

      Smelling her head will be the best!! And she will be plenty teeny tiny next month!

    • He’ll still be a new dad next month. She’ll still be small next month.

      You may want to relax – reading her books about girls changing the world?? She doesn’t yet know how to stay awake for more than 20 min . . . .

      • Uh. Thanks for your your input. You know I’m talking about kids books, right? The kind that people read to even teeny infants as bedtime stories? I am familiar with the kinds of things infants do. I’m also aware that my SIL has packed her little bookshelf full of girl-power kids books that they’re using as bedtime stories.

        How about you do you, and I’ll do me?

        Good grief.

        • Anonymous :

          Can you share those girl-power kids books on her bookshelf? Expecting a baby girl soon and I would love ideas :)

          • Congratulations!

            She has a ton — I can’t remember even half. But looking through my Amazon history, these are the ones I got her:

            – Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch
            – I like Myself by Karen Beaurmont
            – Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson
            – Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio

            We also got her the traditional smattering of Dr. Seuss books and Madeline, etc. Several of these she’ll grow into, but they plan to start reading to her pretty much immediately.

          • Post in moderation with specific titles I bought her. :)

          • lawsuited :

            Also Rosie Revere Engineer and Ada Twist Scientist, both by Andrea Beatty

        • I remember feeling this way about my brother’s baby girl, and now she’s in a PhD program — can’t believe how fast it went because I so remember holding her as a tiny infant, but now she’s a woman researching ways to save lives. A girl changing the world! You will be a great aunt!

    • Anonymous :

      have a look around the mighty girls website and plan all the awesome stuff you can get her.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Squee!! New babies are the best. She will still be super teeny in a month and likely a bit more fun! Plus your brother and SIL will probably have their wits about them a little bit better after a few shell shocked weeks. Congrats, auntie!

      • You’re right — and more capable of holding up her own head. :)

        • Anon in NYC :

          Also, can I just say that I *love* how much my sister loves my kid? She lives far away and we make an effort to face time and I really enjoy watching her relationship with my daughter develop and also having a new facet to our relationship.

          • I am so looking forward to this evolution with my brother/SIL. I’m over the moon to meet the new little one, but I’m honestly so very proud of them (I’ve known her since childhood, too), and have loved watching them grow together and as people preparing to become parents. They are going to be amazing at this child-rearing thing.

    • It will be better for mom & dad for you to visit after a few weeks because they’ll be more into the groove of being new parents. It’s so hard those first few days and weeks – no one needs the added pressure of trying to be a host or hostess, even with the most well-meaning and loving guests. Additionally, your brother and SIL may want to limit visits until baby has had her first few shots.

      I know it’s hard to wait. Babies are awesome! But you’ll have lots of time, Auntie. Congratulations!! I wish you could post photos here. :)

      • Oh, absolutely. We intentionally planned our visits around the shot schedule/when they’d be a little more settled (and I’ve also booked a hotel so they don’t feel like they need to entertain me/I don’t mess up the baby’s flow, etc. If I end up staying with them, great. If it’s less intrusive for me to stay at the hotel, also great!). My plan is to go and ooooh and aaaah over her at the end of next month, and do all the laundry/cooking/etc that they’ll let me do so they have some relief. :)

        I’m also planning a longer visit during the fall. My brother is active duty and is deploying in July (great timing, huh?). SIL will be a single parent after she comes back from maternity leave. At her request, we’re saving our longer visits for when she’s alone and needs more support (and when I will be making a ton of freezer meals).

        • You’re a good SIL and Auntie!!

          • I take no credit. My SIL is an amazing human who makes wanting to do these things super easy.

        • Anonymous :

          You sound like an awesome aunt. Glad your family has your support!

          As a general PSA on semantics however: as a widowed mom who now has a new circle of single mom friends, the “single mom” term can be hurtful to those who really do not have a partner to lean on. Regardless of how physically present or absent the partner is, for whatever amount of time, having that emotional support and your person in your corner makes a big difference. My husband is never ever coming back.

          I understand how difficult it is raising an infant alone and get where you were coming from in making that remark. Just wanted to point out that there can be sensitivity around describing a married mom who is parenting alone as effectively “single”.

          • I am so very sorry for your loss, Anonymous.

            And you’re right — thank you for pointing out the oversight in my language. She’s freaked out about not having my (awesome, feminist) brother around during his deployment, but she’ll still be getting emotional and financial support from him during his time overseas.

            I appreciate your input (and not assuming bad intentions on my part). I’ll describe her situation differently going forward, in an effort to be sensitive to other parents (moms or dads) who are actually doing it without a partner for whatever reason.

          • Anonymous :

            Thank you, ELS. And thank you for taking this in the spirit it was intended.

            Please tell your awesome feminist brother we appreciate his service and hope he has a safe deployment. A good number of my friends are former military spouses (either widows or divorced) and the family deserves many thanks too.

    • Enjoy the excitement and the anticipation!! I remember waiting for my nephew to be born, and I was so excited to go and support my sister and hold my brand new nephew! Your niece will still be absolutely brand new in a month, and the one-month-ish mark is one where they may absolutely welcome and need help. My sister visited me at about that point with my first, and I really loved having her at that point. I was exhausted, lonely and loved having her there to help. And absolutely read your brand new niece all kinds of books about girls changing the world. It is never to early to start hearing those words!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      You are me a couple of weeks in advance! My niece is due in about 2 weeks and I can’t get across the country to meet her until about a month after that. I can’t wait! This will be their 2nd kid and I didn’t get to meet my nephew until he was 6 months old so I’m really excited to get to meet her when she is only a month old.

      Congratulations, Auntie!

  20. Paging Anon Home Buyer: :

    To the person yesterday asking for a book on finding a home:

    Consider Finding Home, by Michael Trickey?

    • Anonymous :

      I read Home Buying for Dummies when we were looking for our first home. I’m not a huge fan of the “….for Dummies” books in general (both because I find the title a little off-putting and because I haven’t found other books in the series terribly helpful) but I thought this one was really good.

  21. Star Light, Star Bright :

    This is going to be a novel in response to the question on the Weekly News Update thread about how to make sure you’re cared for in old age when you do not have family members you can rely on– I was in a unique situation this summer that was very eye opening. I had to manage the logistics of the end of life process for an elderly woman I barely knew (I am friends with her middle aged daughter and was the elderly woman’s accountant, but otherwise had no interaction with her prior to this happening).

    I believe this is going to be something we have to deal with as a society as the boomers age, especially since so many of them live far away from their children. Hopefully we’ll have a better system in place by the time the OP is elderly. Elder care is going to be a major major issue in the next 10 years.

    So this was my situation– My friend “Sue” had to go get intensive medical treatment out of state for several months. Her brother, “Fred” is a useless greedy deadbeat who has repeatedly stolen from their elderly mother, “Mildred”, so he was out of the picture. While Sue was out of state, I was her financial POA. I was also her mother’s financial POA. Mildred was hospitalized for shortness of breath while Sue was out of town, received an aggressive cancer diagnosis, and was given 3-6 months to live. She decided to go on hospice immediately and was dead three weeks later. She took a turn so suddenly that her daughter did not have a chance to come home and see her before she passed.

    During this crisis, I handled everything– arranging 24/7 sitters, hospice nurses, bill paying, lawyer stuff re: the deadbeat brother, eventually planning the funeral. Everything. It was crazy.

    These are the main conclusions I came to:

    – Put all your wishes in writing, being as specific as possible. If you want certain end of life care, write that down. Mildred wrote everything down, and it was incredibly helpful to me. I had to tell the nurses what she wanted when she was too incapacitated to do it herself, and because she had written down her wishes I never felt like I was “making decisions”. I was just enforcing her wishes.

    – Put yourself in some kind of assisted living facility while you still have your sound mind, preferably the kind of one that provides different levels of care as they are needed.

    – Keep your finances simple and your estate planning up to date. As you get into middle age, build relationships with a reputable broker, accountant, and lawyer who are younger than you, who can work together as needed as you age. Also, make younger friends. I have older friends that I would absolutely help out if they needed me.

    – Save an enormous mountain of money. Long term care is staggeringly expensive. So is paying for people to do things for you that your children would do for free. I know a woman who is an “elder care coordinator” who works with the elder law department of a local law firm. She can help with all the things you mention, and she is wonderful, but she is not free. Neither is round the clock care.

    • Anonymous :

      Amen to enormous money. If I recall correctly, Medicaid only pays for skilled nursing care, so Assisted Living care is out of pocket. In my area, it’s $60-100k per year.

    • Anonymous :

      I visit an elderly women (no kids, no spouse, sibling lives on the other side of the country) who also has some dementia concerns. She’s in an nursing home/assisted care type facility and her affairs are overseen by a guardian ad litem, appointed, I presume, because she’s fully able to take care of herself (I don’t know all the details, since we just play cards).

      But yes, enormous amounts of money. I’m guessing her expenses are primarly paid by Social Security, and it is not a situation I ever want to be in for an extended period (sharing a room, adequate facility but not where I’d want to spend the rest of my life if I had a choice).

    • Thank you so much Star Light Star Bright. I am the OP from the other thread. For others interested in responding, here is the original post:

      Does anyone know where I can find resources on how to look out for yourself in old age if you don’t have children/trusted family members to do so?

      My husband and I are in our late 30’s and are most likely not going to have children. Neither of us has any family members that would be young enough by the time we are elderly (no nieces/nephews) or close/trusted enough to deal with our affairs in later life.

      I am trying to find resources on how to plan for someone to “look out” for us in late life if we become impaired. Ex: how does one locate and assign a health care proxy outside of family? Are there reputable law firms or other services that provide high-quality and reliable representation to do regular wellness checks and ensure the client is being adequately cared for, not abused, etc. that also are prohibited from taking advantage of their clients? How would we determine whether a financial proxy would be appropriate and how would we select one outside of family? Etc.

      • PSA for anyone else looking for resources in this area – I just found a book that looks promising on this topic called “Aging with a Plan.” Written by a female law professor at Case Western. Apparently discusses dealing with aging parents as well as planning your own care in old age. I’m going to start with that and go from there.

        Personally, my goal is to educate myself to take the fear out of the unknown on this topic so I can put myself in the best position possible later in life. I feel it’s a shame that any of us ladies should be made to feel badly or fear the future this way (myself included) if we can’t rely on the “perfect” child or relative to care for us on our behalf. We should be empowered to take care of our futures in a positive way!

    • Anonymous :

      Bogleheads forum is an excellent source of info on this too

    • This is very useful info. Good post. You are a great friend.

      I have a lot of experience with this issue.

      I worked in healthcare in the past, and became a caregiver for my parents, who were each struck with terrible diagnoses at relatively younger ages. I have also assisted elderly friends hit by similar crises. Only one parent is still living, and would require around the clock nursing level care, so I continue to care for him at the expense of my career/life, but have accepted it. He would die quickly in a nursing home, as even the “best” nursing home in our MCOL is truly depressing and inadequate for anyone who has ongoing medical needs.

      The financial hit is staggering. The amount of time to sort through personal finances, medical/insurance bills and claims, doctor visits and treatment plans, organizing and gathering medicines/supplies, and just taking care of an extra household is more than a full time job.

      There is really no way that the vast majority of people could ever do it alone… Especially if you have any serious medical needs. You must have an advocate.

      If you have not talked about issues of aging with your parents, it’s never too early to start.

      And I am single, no children, mid 40’s, no close relatives (small family) and will age alone. There will not be anyone to care for me. And my lack of earnings now, with inadequate social security and no pension will make any decent assisted living options out of reach. So I think about this a lot.

      First, I live very simply, save money like crazy, and once I am able again, will work hard as possible. I will continue to work part time into retirement, for as long as I can, as it will keep me cognitively and physically healthier. And I will work in healthcare/related areas which give me a huge sense of purpose and satisfaction and makes life worthwhile…

      From my own research and that of the best Elder Care lawyer in our major city, the best quality care with aging are when you move into a Continuing Care facility before you become too disabled/crisis hits. These CCFs have an independent living wing, assisted living wing, and nursing home wing. Once in, they can’t kick you out and you move to more care as you need it. They are staggeringly expensive, and still their higher level care wings can still be pretty awful and depressing. The nicest option is staying in the independent or assisted level wing as long as possible and hiring an additional caregiver to care for daily needs. That is better care than a nursing home. But crazy,crazy, expensive. However, many reading this site are in very lucrative jobs, with inheritances in their future, and making out like bandits in the stock market. So save at least 3-4 million if you want the best aging scenario, more if you are a couple. Or hope you will have a very devoted son/daughter to help.

      What is my plan for aging alone? I am scarred by what I have seen. Sometimes too much knowledge is a curse.

      I will probably never live in a house. Housing as I age will always be accessible. This means something a wheelchair can access at every entrance, including (especially) the bathroom. Parking will be covered and attached, with elevators in the building. I will not live in a high cost of living location, but one very close to excellent hospitals with a senior services priority in the community. Where I live now, seniors can get Meals on Wheels for free, very cheap shuttle rides to some appointments, and a free social worker home visits to assist with accessing benefits. I will live somewhere with moderate weather.

      Once I don’t feel safe living alone, and possibly sooner, I am thinking that I may move with another single female friend….somewhere. Or possibly a group home living situation. Or possibly take in student from then local nursing school/college and give them free room and board in exchange for a little help around the house for awhile. If by miracle I can afford it, I will move into an assisted living facility. I will spend down my savings, and probably eventually go on to Medicaid.

      I will have a very good, young accountant, lawyer, and doctors. I will transition to a geriatric doctor as my primary care doctor as I develop medical problems over age 60-70. I will have a very clear medical directive, and once I am no longer able to care for myself independently, I will make it clear I want a DNR/DNI.

      I come from a family with cancer. That will likely be my endpoint. I will not undertake any aggressive treatment for cancer alone. No chemo/major surgery. At that point I will transition to a palliative care doctor and on to hospice when appropriate. And If I don’t like the direction things are moving in at any time in later life, I will have things around so I can end it at will.

      I’m ok with that.

      • I like your last paragraph a lot. DH and I don’t have kids, and so eventually I will be old and alone. My family lives a long time, but I don’t see the need to stretch out the very end of life to the bitter, unhappy end. I would much prefer to go out with the first serious illness and not drag it out.

        • late to the post- but my grandmother was in her late 80s and starting to really decline- couldn’t drive, had cognitive troubles that were coming to a crossroads, hearing was going…it would have been <1 year before she had to move from her home to somewhere else (was TBD as she had kids but none had an accessible house).

          She died of a heart attack in her sleep. Everyone was shocked, upset etc. but I was so, so happy for her (while still being sad for me, of course!). It's exactly how I'd want to go in her situation. My last memories of my grandmother, who I got to know for my entire 30 years, were of a hard of hearing and slightly forgetful woman who loved to sit outside and watch nature for hours. In contrast, my grandfather (other side) died slowly of COPD/renal failure. He retired at 65, had about 4 good years, a triple bypass, a quadruple bypass, three years of slow failure and 12-18 months of constant hospitalization/in home nursing care. He died at 73 in hospice and I wasn't allowed to see him during the last 304 months because he was strung out on pain meds and my parents didn't want us kids (I was 156/17 at the time) to see him like that.

  22. Never too many shoes... :

    Yesterday’s thread about a relationship moving past an emotional affair has really made m wonder – what qualifies as an “emotional affair” and how big of a deal is it? I honestly have no real idea what this term even means, so am hoping the Hive will enlighten me.

    • An emotional affair is generally falling in love with someone without acting on it physically.

      There are intermediate betrayals before fully falling in love. The most common is confiding in someone about things that should only be shared with your spouse (like complaining to a person of the opposite sex or your sexual preference) about your dissatisfaction with your sex life with your partner.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree with this definition and also with the idea of betrayals that don’t rise to the level of an emotional affair.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        So do people really not confide in their friends about their sex lives and other personal details? Because to me that is neither a betrayal nor is it a precursor to romance…maybe this is why I do not understand this concept.

        • Anonymous :

          I absolutely think their are lots of people who do not confide in their friends about their sex lives when they are married or in a serious relationship. I don’t, none of my friends do, my husband doesn’t, and most of his friends don’t (worth noting all of us shared stories about random dates and hook-ups before we entered into serious relationships, but we all see casual dating very differently than serious relationships). I would see it is a betrayal if my husband spilled about our bedroom life even to his male buddies, but I do think it becomes even more problematic when the person is confiding in someone of their preferred sex, because of the potential for it go to down the emotional affair path.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I am so clearly in a weird minority in that all of my friends (male and female) discuss our married sex lives with each other and it is not a big thing. It also would not bother me if my husband discussed it with his friends (either male or female).

        • anon associate :

          It’s different than *just* discussing married/intimate lives. That’s just usually part of it. It’s about developing emotional intimacy with a person who is not your spouse in a way that is more than friendship. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but it’s sorta like p0rn- you know it when you see it. I say this as someone who was the target of a boss who wanted to begin an emotional affair (wasn’t easy to see at the time when I was 22, natch). This type of intimacy pulls married dude away from his spouse, and creates a bond between him and affair-partner.

          I’m also really open with my friends about s3x. But there’s such a difference, and you can feel it. When I sit around with my girlfriends and talk about whether we’ve tried bu#play or something, it’s just for fun/information/silliness. When it’s an emotional affair, the conversation has overtones of flirting, trying to get the other person to think about you romantically, trying to figure out what that person likes or where their boundaries are. Or undermining the marriage in some way. There’s a big difference between me telling my girlfriend that she needs to be vocal about what she wants if he won’t figure out how to do xyz that she likes, and my friend confiding in me about how lonely he is because his wife hasn’t slept with him in weeks, explaining his resentment, and turning to me for emotional validation that he’s not getting from her.

        • Marshmallow :

          Some of my girlfriends and I might talk in a PG-13 kind of way, but no, we don’t really confide details. I think it’s also different when you’re chit-chatting vs. complaining, and doing it with a person of your preferred sex adds a layer of betrayal too. I would never complain about our sex life to anyone, male or female, because my husband is the person to talk to about that.

          • I’m the poster who initially talked about the betrayal of talking about your s3x life with the member of the opposite gender (i’m just going to use hetero relationships as the example, but of course this can happen in same s3x relationships as well)

            It’s not that a guy would be talking to his female friend about things like – my wife and I had s3x on the edge of the grand canyon – or other tales like that. (though I’d be kind of uncomfortable if my husband did this.)

            It’s when a man says something like, my wife never wants to have s3x and when we occasionally do it, I don’t enjoy it. I think a lot about what it would be like to have s3x with you and I think it would be amazing.

            If you think I’m making that last example up, I’m not. One of my male colleagues said that, and more, to me. Not only was it harassment of me, it was a betrayal with respect to his marriage and his wife.

            I brought up the idea of these intermediate betrayals because they usually happen along the road to a full blown emotional or physical affair. Say for instance I’d been receptive to that d-bag’s comment. If I’d said, wow, I think about it all the time too. (gag) Then we probably would have kept talking this way and confiding in each other about things we wouldn’t tell our spouses, and pretty soon we’d be in an emotional affair. And probably a physical affair too, in this example, (gag, gag) because that is clearly what my coworker was aiming for.

    • IME

      ~ spending all of this time with the woman in question while I was out of the country and not responding to any of my texts (probably sent a couple a day, don’t really remember)
      ~ lying to me about being busy so that he could spend time with her after I got back
      ~ going out of his way to not touch me or stand too close to me in her presence

      I dumped him for a number of reasons, and his behavior with the emotional affair partner was really not even a consideration (I noticed emotional distance and it was an issue but I didn’t attribute it to her at the time). But they got together physically 2 days later and I was furious. I told him I felt that he had been dishonest with me and he refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing. Maybe he didn’t cheat on me, but he did betray my trust.

    • There is a definite difference between a good, platonic friendship and an emotional affair. There’s also a difference between a one-sided infatuation (which has happened to me) and an emotional affair. At the same time, for me the emotional affair is not as serious as a physical one, unless it progressed to the point of them making plans to run away together, or something.

      One of my friends once said that she knew a relationship was crossing the line when she started having conversations with a male that she would be reluctant to tell her husband about. Or that she started having such frequent contact with the person that it exceeded the amount of communication she had with her other friends. That made sense to me.

      What a lot of people don’t want to admit about marriage is this: I think it is nearly impossible for two people to maintain absolute, pristine fidelity to each other in word, thought and deed for decades. I think it is possible to remain physically faithful, if everyone’s needs are getting met inside the marriage. But avoiding infatuations or admirations or on-the-line friendships entirely, for 40 years or more is probably not likely. I have gotten attracted to people and I know my husband has too, because we’ve talked about it. I would never physically cheat on him and I would never intentionally engage in a relationship with another person that would hurt him.

      But I have had non-serious flirtations with men (most of which started innocuously, and then ended up going in a different direction, that I then called a halt to) and I know my husband has had a few of those himself. Our marriage is pretty solid and I’m not paranoid about him running off with someone else. I’m not going to tolerate cheating, but in the same way that I don’t get mad about him looking at the occasional tasteful un clothed lady picture on the Internet, or wanting to watch a spicy movie with me sometimes, I’m not going to get upset that other women find my husband attractive and want to flirt with him. I won’t tolerate physical cheating, but expecting his mind not to “go there” occasionally is, in my mind, unrealistic. Because my mind has “gone there” from time to time, and I certainly don’t want him to ditch me over it if I didn’t act on it or even communicate what I was thinking to the person I was thinking about.

  23. Any experience with Noat shoes? Good for long-ish walks? I’m looking at getting the Folklore model as a “nice” summer slide to wear instead of flip flops.

    • And of course…that should be Naot!

    • I’ve found them to be narrow. If you have narrow feet you’re probably good. Honestly, my most comfortable summer sandals for lots of walking are the Birkenstock Mayari. Somewhere between cute and ugly, but once broken in, so, so comfortable for anything.

    • I have a pair of sandals from them. I had to size up a full size and they are indeed narrow. I have a pretty narrow foot (usually wear Bs), but if you are wide-of-foot, they are likely not for you. I wear them all the time in summer when I walk the doodle.

    • I have three pairs of naot, and though they are narrower ( and my forefoot is wider and heels narrow) they have many different fits. The sandals are the most supportive I have ever worn, and have walked 20 km over eight hours of sightseeing in them. I will add though, if you need arch support, pick the sandals with a firm heel, as all naot have a cushioned footbed that is replaceable in most styles. The softer heeled styles work too, and are cuter looking, but the more rigid sole is amazing, ( though not as neat looking), such as the naot Paris. With a nice toe polish, they fell and look great on and have tons of new styles on their website right now.

      • Late to this conversation, but my Naot sandals are by far the most comfortable footwear I own. I do not have a narrow foot, but I have not ever thought about them as being a narrow fit. After a few days of breaking in, I can walk for miles and miles in them. I would prefer a more refined look, but my feet are happy in these.

  24. Anon for this :

    I don’t like to crowd source this sort of thing, but has anyone had a low-grade GI bug that hung around for 2-3 weeks? I went on a post-bar exam trip and my stomach has been a wreck ever since. I’ve been constipated, gassy and felt queasy. I’ve ruled out pregnancy.

    Any tips on kicking this thing? I have started taking probiotics.

    • Anonymous :

      Where was your post-bar trip? Maybe you picked up a local bacterium that your gut is working through. It could be anything from that to your gallbladder.

      Best bet, as always, talked to a medical professional :)

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes. You should probably call a doctor and get some tests run.

      • Anon for this :

        New Mexico. I am thinking it’s a parasite. I could have picked it up from anywhere.

        • Anonymous :

          If it’s a parasite, you need to go to the doctor. Probiotics ain’t going to cut it.

          • Anonymous :

            Not necessarily true. Giardia is a common parasite and usually clears up on its own in healthy adults. You can take antibiotics to expedite it, but it’s not necessary in most cases.

          • Anonymous :

            And how do you know if you aren’t one of the exceptional cases that need medical intervention? OP, go to the doctor.

    • Anonymous :

      I went to a doctor, got an Rx for Cipro, and was back to 100% 12 hours later. Wish I hadn’t delayed so long.

    • Anonymous :

      Was your trip to a developing country? Because you likely picked up a parasite from contaminated food or water. Bacteria and viruses tend to be much more intense but much shorter duration. Low-grade and long-term has parasite written all over it.

    • Anonymous :

      Try Pepto Bismol. I was surprised but it worked.

    • Anonymous :

      I had (very) mild GI symptoms for about 10 days after returning from Thailand. I started taking probiotics after about a week and noticed an almost immediate improvement, so I do think they can be really helpful in certain situations. But if it’s gone on for more than two weeks it’s probably time to go to the doctor.

  25. Man Engagement Gift :

    Has anyone bought their SO a gift for your engagement? We get rings (typically), so I thought it might be nice to get him something in return. No watches please. Thoughts?

    • Senior Attorney :

      This is ridiculously specific to us, but I bought Lovely Husband strings of LED lights so he could turn the big tree in his back yard into a lightbulb tree. I told him I got a sparkler so he should get something sparkly, too! It turned out great!

    • sweetknee :

      If he’s a drinker, a pricey bottle of wine or bourbon ( or several) to open on special anniversaries?

      Super nice leather item like a wallet, messenger bag/briefcase?

      • Man Engagement Gift :

        I like the idea of something he can use for work. He will be starting a new job soon so it would be practical. Unfortunately has a newish messenger bag and wallet…hmm…

    • Anonymous :

      I didn’t, but one of my husband’s close friends received an engagement ring from his female fiancee. He purchased a wedding ring too, so he wears one on each hand. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me because (unlike with women’s engagement and wedding rings) the two look pretty much the same. But he likes it.

    • Would he wear a ring? In a few cultures (German is the one springing to mind) men wear an engagement ring also.

    • I bought my fiance a TV. It may sound weird, but he was very excited about it.

    • I bought my dude a nice suit. (Nice=SuitSupply, which is still his preferred suit . . . supply. Cost was roughly equivalent with my ring–both under $1000.) The original intention was that he’d wear it to our wedding; that didn’t wind up happening, but he wore it to a bunch of other occasions and still wears (and looks awesome in) his “blue engagement suit.”

      As I recall, I talked to him about wanting to get him something special to mark the occasion and I suggested a few different options (watch, really nice alcohol to age for certain future milestones, suit, engagement ring of his own, etc.) He chose suit!

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I paid for him to have a custom suit made, which he wore at our wedding (and will continue to wear for a long time!).

    • Marshmallow :

      I didn’t get my now-husband an engagement present, but I did get him a wedding gift. His bike had been stolen a year before so I got him a nice hybrid bike for his commute. I accidentally ruined the surprise in a group text I didn’t realize he was in (oiy) and cried while getting my wedding manicure because I was so sad I couldn’t see his face when he figured it out. Wedding stress, amirite?

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I had the perfect wedding gift picked out for my husband and then we talked and decided not to get each other gifts. I’m holding it in my back pocket for a big anniversary.

        It is specific to us, but my husband is super into space and history and we have a wall of space/sci-fi art based around a signed print by Astronaut Alan Bean. Alan Bean has a number of other pieces and I plan to buy him another one for a big gift event.

    • Anonymous :

      Custom guitar that he designed and ordered from the company. Obviously couldn’t be a surprise, but he got so much excitement out of trying different guitars to figure out his preferences, it was amazing. Of course, a nice guitar (that he picks) is typically my go-to present for big things– milestone bday, 1st father’s day, etc

  26. 5:2 Diet? :

    Has anyone tried the 5:2 diet (i.e., the “Fast Diet”)? I’ve been reading up on it, and I am somewhat curious, but also a little leery. Would be interested in hearing other’s experiences, thoughts, etc. Thanks!

    • I haven’t personally, but there is an active reddit for intermittent fasting of all kinds.

    • I did it for a month or so and it didn’t work for me. I was so tired and cranky on the fast days and went over the top eating everything the day before and after the fast day.

      My coworker stuck with it for about a year and a half. He lost weight in the beginning but then started gaining weight. Now he feels like he has gotten into bad habits on his non-fast days that will be hard to break. I’d say both of us are pretty average–a little heavier than we really want to be, but less than 15 pounds from where we’d ideally be. It’s definitely something where you need to know yourself and how you react to basically fasting two days a week.

    • I did another type of intermittent fasting (don’t eat anything for 8 hours after you wake up, then eat whatever you want) and it was awesome. I burned pounds, had more energy, felt great. I thought I would be so hungry by the time I was allowed to eat that I would binge but it didn’t happen at all- I ate a snack when I was allowed to eat (2 pm) (usually a salad or soup from the cafeteria at work) and then later I would have a reasonable dinner around 6 or 7 (I wouldn’t be starving because of my recent snack, so I usually kept it to something healthy) and that was it… I wasn’t hungry again until 2 the next day. I had so much energy and I really loved it. I should go back to that….

  27. Stinky StanSmiths :

    I usually throw all my sneakers in the wash and that usually does the trick. Can I do the same for my white leather Stan Smiths? If no, how would you clean the insides of the wretched odor?

  28. sweetknee :

    I am trying to control my rage and my momma bear instincts and need a reality check.

    My smart, articulate 17 year old HS senior runs varsity cross country and track. Right now, it is about 80 degrees here, and gets hot during the 5-7 mile runs. Yesterday, most of the boys on the team were running shirtless. She and another female runner took off their shirts and ran in their sports bras. Hers fits well, and covers what it is supposed to. The (male) coach of the girls team told them they had to wear at least tank tops. She asked him why, and he gave a non response. She emailed him this morning about it. It was a very respectful e mail ( I read it first). He replied with a very condescending tone, saying he could not understand what could possibly bee too difficult for her to understand.

    I spoke with the athletic director a few minutes ago. There is apparently no school or district policy on this. The athletic director said it is just up to each coach. I got him to admit that there seems to be a policy that differs based strictly on gender, but he was apparently OK with that! GRRR. A boy in running short and shoes and no shirt is essentially wearing swimsuit attire. A girl in a well fitting sports bra, running shorts and shoes is also wearing what is essentially swimsuit attire. What’s wrong with that?

    Here’s the thing. My daughter has lots of male friends on the team. If I push this issue, they may ALL be forced to wear shirts, and she will get blamed. On the other hand, my feminist momma bear just cannot abide a double standard.

    What say you all ?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Apparently I am in a bad mood today and cannot stop snarking but I say that coach is a complete jerk and I suggest he watch some Olympic track and field events to see what women athletes wear.

      And I would tell your daughter to just wear whatever she wants and see what happens.

      • sweetknee :

        She’s the team captain. Does not want to risk getting kicked off the team.

        • If she does, that’s some prime college/grad school essay material right there–standing up for equality even in the face of possible dismissal.

          • Marshmallow :

            Honestly, that was my first thought. Take the risk. The downside is pretty small considering that if she advocates for this and gets dismissed, she can escalate the fight and earn some notoriety for it. The more this is the publicized the more it will be clear she is in the right and the coach is a jerk.

      • “I suggest he watch some Olympic track and field events to see what women athletes wear”

        Dude, word.

        Threadjack: does anyone in the Hive do competitive long-distance running? I do not understand what is up with the track outfits women wear in races. Why are they wearing underwear? They almost all have shorts tans of a standard running shorts length, which leads me to believe they prefer to wear shorts when training. So … why is the race outfit not also shorts, if shorts are the most comfortable thing? If they didn’t all have such obvious shorts tans I wouldn’t question it, but they DO!

        • You don’t train in the same outfits or sneakers you race in. That’s like questioning why people wear racing flats for races and not for training runs.

          • To be clear: I’m not questioning it because I don’t think they should be showing skin. I’m questioning it because it’s an imposed uniform and it seems like the uniform is different for men and women and I don’t get why.

            Do you not wear the same shoes to train as you do to race? I didn’t know that. You don’t have to break the shoes in?

        • I think it’s a thing about feeling competitive. Putting on the bun huggers makes them feel fast and puts them in the right mindset to race.

          • LOL at them being called bun huggers.

          • Ugh…. We used to wear the bun huggers on my high school volleyball team. I HATED IT SO MUCH and was so upset that some Olympic team must have inspired the uniform. I was insecure as it was, genetically blessed with cellulite from an early age no matter how thin and fit I was, and here I am walking and jumping around in my underwear.

            Finally, the coach realized we were so self-conscious she got rid of the uniforms.

        • Anonymous :

          I always thought it was to be as streamline as possible since at that level the contestants are sometimes milliseconds apart and they do not want any drag at all.

        • It’s to reduce drag. Every millisecond counts in a race, unlike in training. Just like swimmers shave their bodies.

        • Wildkitten :

          They probably train for comfort but race for performance. I’ve never played a sport where I wore the same thing in practice as for competition.

    • Anonymous :

      Let your daughter push the issue, if she wants to. She can poll her teammates for support/petition-signing/complain at the school board/reply to the email/etc.

      • +1

        17 is old enough to decide how far she wants to push. You should be there to back her up or not as hard as she wants to be backed up. And offer moral support at home to acknowledge that it’s not fair and she is in the right.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – she might find her male friends agree that this is unfair.

    • My daughter goes to Berkeley High and she was part of the group that was responsible for getting the dress code taken down. It had all kinds of restrictions on girls like no spaghetti straps or visible bra straps, no exposed midriffs, but none for the boys, many of whom sag their pants or wear shorts year round. This is worth fighting, in my opinion, because it’s a huge double standard, and coaches like your daughters need to get woke.

      If your daughter has lots of guy friends on the team, I’m sure they’d back her up on this!

      • OG Monday :

        That would be awesome if all her male teammates were supportive on feminist principles, but I think it’s at least as likely that she’d just be seen as a squeaky wheel. Either that, or socially it would become about who wants to see whom shirtless (or not). I agree with those above saying to defer to her in how far to take this. If she’s all in, go for it, but if she’s not, follow her lead.

      • I just have to say go BHS! Signed class of ’91 (the only class that won the spirit cup as juniors…)

      • Anon for this :

        I don’t see a problem with a dress code that says no visible bras or underwear. Most men don’t wear bras.

    • Anonymous :

      What does your daughter want you to do? She’s the one that will have to deal with the fallout, so I wouldn’t intervene without her blessing. Not worth chasing a cause at the expense of your daughter.

      • sweetknee :

        Pretty sure that she wants to just let it go, as she is concerned about backlash from the coach, and maybe some of the male runners. Part of me wants to abide by her wishes, and part of me wants to fight this ration of crap, because it is patently unfair and discriminatory.

        • What is the unfair and discriminatory part? She wants to go running in her underwear – the coach said no. The boys are not running in underwear as they are wearing it UNDER their shorts. As a girl she requires extra underwear up top that they don’t which should also be UNDER something – like a tank top.

          • Who says sports bras are always underwear?

            See: every yoga class I go to and the Olympics. The tank top is optional.

          • WHAT? At this point, I would support her if she wanted to run topless! I don’t think sports bras are underwear. They are not really bras. They are supportive tight tops that show the belly. If she want to run in a lacy victoria secret bra, then you could say she was in her underwear.

        • I totally get where you are coming from, but if she wants to let it go I think you should have a conversation with her about why you want to fight it, the unfairness, discrimination, etc., but that you respect her wishes and support her in her choice to let it go.

          • +1

            Honestly, if she’s afraid of losing her spot on the team, she might have good reason to fear that. There’s a good life lesson here. Sometimes, people are just misogynist and sometimes those people have power over you. When those two things are the case you have to weigh how hard you want to fight for your right to just be a person. Sometimes the scale tips towards not. It’s infuriating, but it happens.

        • I think you should let her let it go but acknowledge that it’s unfair and s*cks. She’ll probably have to deal with a lot of double-standards in life, and sometimes you have to decide that this isn’t the hill to die on.

          Another idea, and what I probably would have done in high school, is for her to push the limit as far as possible–thin white tank tops with mid-drift showing, for example. But I always got satisfaction at p*ssing off authority figures who were enforcing ridiculous rules. Still do, actually–to the extent that my husband has told me he’s not going to bail me out of jail when I’m a smarta** to a police officer (so I’ve lined that up with another friend).

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I think I misread your initial post in that I thought it was your daughter who was driving this issue forward. If she doesn’t want to push it, then I would respect that (although I might also talk to her about the importance of taking a stand and how the world has progressed thanks to those who risked everything to fight injustice).

        • JuniorMinion :

          She may just decide that this is not the hill she wants to die on. I’ve had plenty of those. Sometimes, especially in school where I at least found that many teachers behaved like little dictators overseeing their own fiefdoms (apologies to the wonderful teachers out there for this analogy), it can sometimes be better to just recognize that something is BS, have you (mom) also recognize its BS and just move on knowing in a year or two this coach won’t be part of her life.

        • Anon in NYC :

          I completely sympathize. I would also feel rage at the double standard because I don’t think that wearing just a sports bra is indecent. But, I agree with others that you should follow what she wants.

          Just ask her – tell her that you’re willing to go to the mat for her on this issue, but that there could be consequences that she may not like (like all of the boys having to wear shirts, or some of her friends being mad at her). Tell her that even if you fight this fight that you may not win it. Ask her how she’ll feel if she just lets this go.

          At 17, I would have really appreciated my mom talking to me about some of these things. I was a kid that deeply felt injustice (real or perceived) and I could have used some perspective rather than just being mad about it.

    • I don’t get what you don’t get. Boys are girls are built differently. What’s ok to be visible on a boy isn’t on a girl. I don’t believe underwear should be visible – that’s what a sports bra is. Are the boys running in their boxer briefs or are they putting on another layer over those boxes briefs – ie shorts? You and your DD are the kinds of women giving all the normal ones out there a bad name bc you must prove you are ALWAYS right, who cares about decency?!

      • I’m joining “Never to many shoes” in my snarking: Plenty of guys run in the equivalent of boxers with nothing underneath. Why is not ok for a woman’s sports bra to be seen? Also, please explain what you mean by “decency”?

      • sweetknee :

        The boys actually don’t usually wear underwear at all. The running shorts have a netting in them. I have a son who runs for a middle school team.

      • sweetknee :

        The only thing that would be visible in her wearing a sports bra is about 4 inches of abdomen.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Decency? So you think it is more acceptable for men to run with literally nothing on top than for women to run in their sports bras (which are compression garments, not VS push-ups)?

        Puh-lease. Take your old-timey morality back a hundred years where it belongs.

        • I’m stuck in moderation above, but agree completely. Men run in the equivalent of underwear that hide nothing. Why is it unacceptable to you for a women’s sports bra to be seen? Also, please explain what you mean by “decency”?

      • JuniorMinion :

        See every olympic uniform, the crossfit open, and a good portion of the gymgoers in any given class. This is totally normal. Sports bras, specifically, are designed to be quasi-outerwear.

      • Let’s unpack that “decency” comment. What, specifically, is “indecent” here?

        Is it the stomach? because the difference between a tank and a sports bra is that the young woman’s stomach and back are visible. So it must be the display of the stomach you believe to be immoral or lacking in respectability (which is what “indecent” means).

        But you don’t object to the display of a young man’s stomach – just a young woman’s. Which means that you assign a different moral quality to a woman’s stomach than a man’s. That’s what I’d like you to explain.

        As for my two cents, for official high school practices, I’d prefer that boys and girls both be required to wear shirts. Because skin cancer is real, y’all, and getting high school kids to put on sunscreen is a PITA.

        • Anonymous :

          What – everyone MUST agree with you? Yes I do think having everything out there with just a sports bra is different for a woman. Yes a bare torso for a woman is different than for a man bc women have s$x organs up top that men don’t and I think the area around those should be covered – the same way men cover a few inches above, below and around their main “area.” And to the poster above – 4 inches of abdomen? Is OP’s daughter a midget? Bc from the bottom of a sports bra to top of underwear for most tall/avg woman is 12+ inches.

          And so what if Olympic athletes do it? If she’s so talented, send her to the Olympics where it’s ok – not public high school. I do believe that women bring a lot of leering/comments upon themselves. No one is saying wear a burka but I do think women have a responsibility to cover up – which only means a tank top here.

          • OCAssociate :

            You clearly do not know what a s$x organ is; women do not have them “up top.”

          • “I do believe that women bring a lot of leering/comments upon themselves. No one is saying wear a burka but I do think women have a responsibility to cover up[.]”

            This = a perfect illustration of rape culture. You should be ashamed of yourself.

          • Anonymous :

            I happen to believe in personal responsibility. Yes men should not force themselves upon women. But women should consider avoiding situations where men will leer at them. A 17 yr old running around half dressed would be one of those situations; most cross country teams run all over town – people do see them. If that’s rape culture than fine. And fine – they’re not technically a s$x organ bc you aren’t making a baby with them but don’t act like no man has ever been interested in that area and that no woman has ever shown off that area.

          • lawsuited :

            The fact that men sexualize breasts does not make them de facto sex organs. The whole point is that women’s bodies should not be governed by the way men view them. If men leer, it’s the fault of the leering man not the woman he’s leering at.

          • blueberries :

            If an adult leers at a minor (or even another adult), it’s really the leering adult whose action is worthy of blame.

          • I feel sad for the women who don’t find men running with no shirts sexy and hot. A six pack abdomen is ever bit as sexy and big boobs in a girl.

          • I believe in personal responsibility too. You know who can’t stop catcalling? A woman. I’ve been catcalled in sweatpants and a puffer jacket. I’ve been catcalled in a choir robe (yes, during the Palm Sunday procession). And I’ve been catcalled in a cocktail dress. It isn’t about what you’re wearing or how attractive you are. It’s a demonstration of power.

            You know who 100% can stop catcalling? Men. Here’s how it works:

            1) Man sees a woman walking down the street.
            2) Man does not open his mouth and yell “HEY BABY NICE T*TS.”
            3) Woman continues on her way, as does man.

            If you want personal responsibility, there it is. A man, taking responsibility for his own f*ing mouth because he is a grownup and a decent human being.

            I hope you don’t have daughters, and if you do, I hope they have someone in their life who understands that s*xual violence is not the victim’s fault.

    • Am I the only one that thinks the Coach’s stance is really understandable? I’m making assumptions here, but it strikes me as completely reasonable that a presumably middle-aged man does not want to put himself in the position of having a young girl in his care be in her underwear. Maybe I just have too many reference points of male coaches acting creepy toward high school girls.

      • Anonymous :

        So should a female coach allow female runners to go shirtless but not the male runners? The appropriate attire gets dictated by the gender of the coach?

        Either both male and female runners can go shirtless or none of them can.

      • NoNoNoNo. His stance is not understandable. This is rape culture: “If only she weren’t wearing X, I, as a man, could control myself.” NO.

        It is completely normal for HS and college cross-country runners to run in sports bras. This is literally situation where a woman is asked to cover herself due a man’s discomfort. NO.

        If your daughter was a swimmer, would she have to wear a half-wetsuit while the guys wore speedos? No. Because normal (women’s) speedos are what even high school female athletes wear, EVEN THOUGH IT MIGHT MAKE THE COACH UNCOMFORTABLE.

        • anonymous :

          I totally get how it would make the coach uncomfortable. If I were the coach and I knew I could impose such a policy, I would probably really want to. That said, I still think it’s upholding a double standard.

      • Ok then why are the young boys in his care allowed to be in their underwear? Running shorts and boxers leave a boy equally exposed.

      • Anonymous :

        I see OP’s point of view but I also see this point of view. And I think MJ’s “this is r*pe culture” is a gross oversimplification. The coach isn’t saying the women need to cover up because he (or the boys) can’t control themselves, he’s considered about what it looks like to outsiders if teenage girls are in their bras near a middle-aged man and honestly in our extremely litigious society, that’s a valid concern.

        • Anonymous :

          *he’s concerned, not considered.

        • Litigious? What cause of action exactly do you think someone would have if a teenager girl was in a sports bar near a middle-aged man?

          • Anonymous :

            I meant that the coach might be concerned that one of the girls would accuse him of leering or touching them inappropriately. I’m in no way suggesting that OP’s daughter or her friends would do that, but I don’t think it’s an unreasonable thing for an adult man who works closely with teenage girls to be concerned about.

          • What a teenage girl is wearing has nothing to do with whether or not a man is leering or touching her inappropriately. If he’s concerned about being accused of doing that, be can address that concern by not doing it.

          • Wildkitten :

            +100 Torin

          • Anonymous :

            That’s an extreme oversimplification. Yes, of course he should not leer or touch anyone inappropriately, but the fact of the matter is that a small number of people are wrongly accused of things like that and if he is wrongly accused, people may be more likely to believe these accusations if they’ve seen his female runners running in their bras while all the other girls x-country runners in town keep their tank-tops on.
            Again, I’m not necessarily saying this is a justification for his actions. I see OP’s point too. But I do understand this perspective (which is not necessarily the coach’s – this explanation came from another poster here).

        • Nope. Maintaining an equal policy towards the young men and women in his care will serve him better were he to be challenged with inappropriate conduct.

        • Yes, this.

          Coach is leery about what other folks will think of him. Frankly, it’s more weird when he’s emailing with a minor about her [email protected] he’s in a no-win here.

          And if they’re distance runners (I was), they’re probably on streets/parks/trails, out of coach’s site/supervision. I get that women should be able to wear whatever they want, but I don’t want to be the guy in charge of a team of 25 high school girls wearing just a sports [email protected] So many weirdos that can’t be controlled.

          She can wear a bra on her own runs, or (if she’s really into it), when she’s out of his line of sight.

          • Anonymous :

            No, there’s a very easy win. All he has to do is require the boys to wear shirts.

          • But the boys don’t fact the same risk that the girls do. I’m all for equality but we also have to recognize our fundamental biological differences too. Women are $3xually assaulted far more than men. While it is never a woman’s fault that they were assaulted, women every day have to weigh the risks and benefits of every action they take. When you are responsible for minors, you are responsible for weighing those risks. Sketchy Jimmy gets caught wanking it in the park as the team runs by. No one blames the girl but they do blame the coach for letting the girls run topless. I’m never a fan of the argument that if everyone can’t receive a benefit than no one gets the benefit. That’s like saying we can’t give women maternity leave if we don’t give men the same amount of leave. It would be awesome if we did that but in reality, women have a biological medical need for the leave that men don’t.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Part of r*pe culture is assuming that there are more false claims about s*xual assault than there are other crimes. There actually aren’t.

          • Anonymous :

            Where did I say there were more false claims about r*pe/s*xual assault? I understand it’s not falsely reported at a higher rate than other crimes. But we’re not speaking in terms of overall crime stats here. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say a male high school girls’ coach is more likely to be accused of inappropriate s*xual interest in his female student than he is to be accused of burglarizing her car, for example.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            You pointed out our litigous society. I’m saying that if he’s not doing anything wrong then there isn’t anything more to worry about here with allegations than there would be for anything else.

          • Anonymous :

            That’s a false equivalency. You can understand that, overall, s*x crimes are not falsely reported at higher rates than other crimes but still consider the actors in a given situation and recognize why an adult male who works with teenage girls might be more likely than many other people to be falsely accused of that kind of crime. There is no contradiction between those two statements.

    • You’re not the only one that thinks the coach is right and OP and her D are just trying to make an issue; longer response stuck in mod.

    • Trust your daughter’s judgment. Print out an Office for Civil Rights complaint form, give it to her, and then let her take the lead.

      • No. Do not do this.

        If she wants to rock the boat, get a crop top, a mesh tanktop, anything but “just” a sports bra.


        Scarred child of crazy parents who would never let things go.

      • Wildkitten :

        I think this is fine, c. It’s letting the daughter take the lead, which is appropriate.

    • Ok, she’s the captain — does she make & hand out inspiration materials ever? My son is in cc & track, and his coach makes these photo collages of highly ranked athletes & puts inspirational messages on them for the team; he posts them in the high school hallways before meets also. Some are a well known athlete with their freshman-year high school cc or track times on it, for example. Your daughter could start doing the same, making collages of women track stars from the Olympics, nationals, whatever, to hand out to the team, and you know what, the athletes in the pictures are all wearing the equivalent of shorts & sports bras.

    • The key word in your post is “rage.” Truly, this is a First World issue you are enraged about. By all means file a lawsuit, take it to the district superintendent, and, yes, get the press involved. And get all the other parents riled up, too. The coach will be distracted (maybe he will quit or be fired), more meets will be lost, he will take a dislike to your child, and if she ever needs a recommendation from him, good luck with that! And you’ll still be in a rage months from now.

  29. Anonymous :

    Any recommendations for things to do in Annapolis over a long weekend in April? Already planning on the Naval Academy and a sunset schooner cruise. Staying at Loews. Thanks!

    • Annapolis :

      Eat: Sailor’s for oysters, Iron Rooster for brunch, Davis’s for crab pretzels, Lemongrass for Thai, Boat Yard or Carroll’s Creek for crabcakes
      Drink at Pusser’s on the dock bar and watch the boats, walk through the historic district to look at the houses, listen to live music at Metropolitan, shop for antiques on Maryland Ave

  30. Anonymous :

    The old age caring threads got me thinking… I’m an only child of divorced parents, plus I have close relatives who are childless that I imagine I would like to help out in their later years. Nothing is imminent as everyone is in good health but all are over 60, while I’m mid-20s. I am pretty much in the dark about everyone’s affairs except DNR. What can I do now – without being presumptuous or morbid – to prepare me and them for what will happen? Is there anything you wish you would have done, or you think your family members wish they had done?

    • Certainly ask each parent if they have made any end of life plans or have directives you should be aware of. My Mom and I make a point to have the conversation once a year to generally keep each other up to date on any changes that developed in the past year. My husband’s Mom sent a general email out to him and his siblings giving a brief overview as well.

    • The Conversation Project has great resources for this if you’re not comfortable starting the discussion on your own.

      Good for you for thinking about it.

    • Definitely ask your parents to tell you and show you where important documents, safe deposit box keys, etc are.

      • anonymous :

        Yeah, but also be prepared that they may not be willing to talk about these things with you. I’m an only child of divorced parents, and my mom will literally not discuss this with me at all. I have no idea what her wishes would be, what kind of end of life care she does or doesn’t want, where her will is, or ANY of that. And I think she doesn’t want to share because it’s uncomfortable to think about death. The result is that I’m going to be responsible for things that I have no really understanding of what she wants. Ugh.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m the one who posted this morning. I’ve had the opportunity to discuss these issues with my young healthy parents and in-laws as they have been going through the process as caregivers. If you still have an older generation, that could be a conversation starter. My mom keeps saying “I hope I don’t do this to you.”

  31. PSA: Go watch Tank and The Bangas’ TinyDesk Concert from NPR this morning. It will bring joy to your Friday.

    (Link in reply.)


      • OMG I love it. I heard Tank interviewed when they won but I didn’t really get to hear a very long clip of their music. They are fantastic! (but my favorite part of the video is watching the awkward NPR white people trying to groove)

  32. I just have to re-post my favorite tip from this place.

    I have chicken stock making itself in my crock pot right now. Every time I make a roast chicken I stick it the carcass/back/wing tips etc in the crock pot with some water and whatever leftover onion & celery tops, and maybe carrot peelings if I have them, and 8 -12 hours later I have really great chicken stock. I buy organic chickens just to be sure the broth is good. Lately I’m saving all my chicken bones in a ziplock bag in the fridge (like chicken thigh bones) and doing a weekly batch.

    I used to put the stock into pint jars and freeze, which works really well, but recently I bought a stove-top pressure cooker, and I now pressure can my jars of stock. Its really the greatest thing ever. I made rice the other day with my homemade stock and it was so much better than plain rice.

    • Yes to this!! I finally worked up the motivation to do this with the Thanksgiving turkey and all of the odds/ends of vegetables and it was amazing. I used a massive stockpot and froze it all in quart size bags.

    • Anonymous :

      I save all my veggie scraps in baggies in the freezer (carrot peelings, onion ends, celery tops, mushrooms about to go off that i won’t eat, etc) and use them for broth. It’s impressive how much they add up to.

    • Great idea

  33. paging emeralds :

    Emeralds, thinking of you and your pup this week. Let us know how you are doing.

  34. Slow cooker :

    Thanks to the commenter who recommended the Slendr Kitchen chicken barbacoa recipe last week. Made it last night–husband and three kids all loved it!

  35. Hope I’m not too late to get comments: I never really learned how to use make-up, and I’m trying to get into it now. I’ve had a lot of luck with youtube makeup videos, but most of them are for night looks, and I’m looking for more daytime/work advice. Does anyone have any makeup vloggers who focus on work appropriate makeup?

    • Anonymous :

      Yes! Im going to give usernames but they are all fairly well-known and should be easy to find. Leighannsays, kathleenlights, pixiwoo (lots of dramatic looks too, but sift through and they do a ton about makeup basics/simple looks), Stephanie Nicole (also lots of general info on makeup/skincare, she works in the industry), Sharon Farrell (check out her videos on multiple looks with one palette). Do you have any age or skin type preferences for some more specific/relatable ones?

    • I have been enjoying Marnie Goldberg!

    • JuniorMinion :

      If you google makeup tutorial and put the words “work appropriate” in front of it I get some results that look pretty appropriate that you could try – will depend a lot on your coloring

      I have found it easiest for work to do foolproof makeup. After my skin routine I do the following at least:

      I don’t use a primer, as I use a k beauty occlusive that sort of serves that purpose…
      CC cream (you could sub foundation here): Apply with fingers to your face. Enjoy sensation of finger painting.
      Concealer (NYX): Under eyes with fingers, spot treat blemishes
      All over bronzer (I prefer Matte or something lower key – currently using Rimmel): Apply with kabuki brush
      Highlighter (Currently using the Elf one which is ~$1): apply to apples of cheek with fingers, spread diagonally to highlight cheek bones
      Mascara (Almay hypoallergenic): Apply as directed
      Lipstick + clear gloss or nourishing lip stain: I love all things NYX makes in this department

      Sometimes add:

      Brows: using a nyx brow palette, comb, gel and fill
      Eyeshadow: play with a variety of neutrals (I have a palette) but you may want to get something like an almay / revlon palette that tells you which neutral goes where
      Eyeliner: sometimes – although i have teal / light blue eyes, pale skin, and light hair so I have to be careful to not look too night friendly. Depending on coloring your mileage here may vary. I never tightline because I wear contacts

      Few different views I found below if videos aren’t your thing:

    • The one and only you will ever need: Lisa Eldridge

      • Marshmallow :

        I came here to suggest her! Lisa Eldridge 4eva. And her coffee table book is an actual work of art, too.

      • +1 Lisa Eldridge definitely keeps it simple enough for the everyday woman. A lot of other youtubers do daytime looks that require 18 products and an hour of your life.

      • Yes that’s who I was going to suggest too. She has lots of great daytime looks and is an amazing artist.

    • Marshmallow :

      I have toyed every once in a while with starting a beauty blog with a professional bent, because I have yet to find one I really like and I think there’s a hole in the internet world for this kind of thing. Anyway, since you’ve already gotten good suggestions but I just like to talk about makeup, here’s my work routine.

      Skincare: this is different for everyone but the most important step. I cleanse, then use serum, an oil (dry skin), and moisturize. If your moisturizer or foundation doesn’t have SPF, add SPF at this point.

      Eye shadow: I usually skip this, but if you’re going to do it– do it before any other makeup so if you mess up you can wipe it right off. If I want eye shadow, Bobbi Brown shadow sticks are the bomb and they are so easy to apply with your fingers. Just keep the colors fairly light and matte (no shimmer). Eye liner if you feel like it.

      Base: I really like Urban Decay One & Done, or Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. Light, sheer, good SPF, easy to slap on quickly with fingers.

      Eye Primer/ Concealer: I use Bare Minerals CC Eye Primer under my eyes and on my lids as a shadow primer. That’s usually enough coverage, but if you want more I like YSL Touche Eclat for something sheer or Urban Decay Naked Skin for more coverage. The only exception to my powder rule below is that you should set your under eyes with a small amount of powder immediately, to prevent creasing. Immediately! Watch Jackie Aina’s video about this for a laugh.

      Blush: I use cream blush, like Bite Multistick or Jane Iredale tint. Pat that in with your fingers: pink goes on the apples of your cheeks, and if the color is more brown, a little closer out toward your temples.

      Powder: Setting powder should go after the last cream product on your face but before powder blush if you’re using it. Since I use cream blush, I use powder at this point.

      Brows: Glossier Bow Brow. If you buy one brow product, buy this. Life changing. Don’t skip this step.

      Mascara: Optional, but good to put on last so you don’t get any powder stuck to your lashes.

      Lips: This varies day to day depending on how much reapplication I can commit to. Often I just use whatever I used on my cheeks for my lips, especially if I’m at the gym. I also really like liquid lipsticks for work because they stay put. Try Sephora Cream Lip Stain for this, they have a fantastic color range with lots of “nude for you” shades.

      Well, that was a novel, but it was fun. I’ve gotten this routine down to about 15 minutes, thanks to avoiding stuff that requires brushes and just using my fingers for everything except setting powder. As JuniorMinion said, enjoy the sensation of finger painting!

  36. Anyone getting anything at the BR Friends & Family sale? I’m not really seeing anything that’s catching my eye, which is disappointing. I got 4-5 things there over Black Friday and loved each of them, so I was hoping I’d have the same luck. If you have any great finds, let me know – I’d love to take advantage of 50% off!

    • Anonymous :

      I ordered the pink jacket and matching pants to try (not that I’ll wear them together). And the off-the-shoulder white with red dress. But that was it.

      There was also a green wool jacket/pant combo, if pink isn’t your jam.

    • Wildkitten :

      I just ordered a black sweater, black drape top, fuschia shell, black pencil skirt, and the gingham blazer.

  37. Need help wording an email regarding a job posting – basically I want to tell someone that I want her job! She’s a program director at a grad school and I’ve worked with her a little bit to place her students into internships within my company. Now she’s taking a different position within the college which means her current role is open. I’ve already submitted my application but I also want to let her know that I’ve applied. Any thoughts on how best to phrase this?

    • empresaria :

      I would phrase it as questions, not as informational. Ask about the job or ask her to get coffee to talk about it. You can say you applied in the email. What are you interested in learning from her?

  38. car recall question :

    I just found out that a part of my car underneath qualifies for a recall, that they have to replace the section that rusted due to an error being recalled. However, the entire underside of my car is very rusty and the mechanic who told me to look into this recall said that, if they try to fix the rusted part, they could make the rest fall apart. The car is not worth the cost of me paying to fix any resulting damage but I do need a car. I have an appt. at a dealership on Monday but does anyone know about this? I want to be prepared and to know my rights.

  39. Senior Attorney reporting in from junior high :

    It’s super late in the day so probably I won’t get a lot of responses, but this has been bugging me all day so here goes: Let’s assume my office is a medium-ish sized law firm, which it’s not but the analogy works. The other day there was a partners’ meeting, and afterwards some of the litigation partners went to lunch together while I just went to my office and ate Whole30 chicken salad. The next day I ran into one of the corporate partners and she cut me dead in the parking lot. Turns out they corporate partners are mad at the litigation partners because on that day and on other occasional days, the litigation partners have lunch together and don’t include the corporate partners.

    Today, in an effort to make peace, I sent an email to all the partners suggesting we all go to lunch together at a place we all like. Some sent their regrets but the corporate partners in question pointedly snubbed me. I ended up going by myself and meeting up with Lovely Husband. I feel awful and have a knot in my stomach and it’s making me crazy because these are women in their 50s and 60s who (a) should know better than to behave like this and (b) are supposedly my friends. And (c) did I mention I was having lunch alone in my office when the offending behavior occurred (not that it matters because we are all grown and can eat with whoever we want?)

    I feel like there’s nothing I can even do to make it better. LH says I should just ignore it, and it’s on them and if they want to be jerks there’s nothing I can do about it. But ugh. It’s giving me relationship PTSD remembering my former husband and how he used to give me the silent treatment, and I just hate it.

    Assuming good intentions is a no-go because the corporate partners have told one of the litigation partners that they are in fact mad and it’s about this. I don’t want to indulge this ridiculous behavior but it seems as if I don’t, the relationships may be irreparably damaged. But I don’t even know what to do.


    Ugh this is so dumb…

    • anon in sv :

      Bishes be cray, haters to the left, go high like Michelle Obama, basically. You did absolutely nothing wrong, but they’re pressing on YOU because you’re the one they’re getting the desired anxiety reaction from.

      This totally sucks and I’m sorry you’re in this situation.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Thanks. That’s a great thought about getting the desired anxiety reaction. I will put that in my pipe and smoke it for a while…

    • I am so sorry you are dealing with this. It does sound trite, but I know things that should be trite sometimes weigh heavily, especially so, for me anyway, when there is a sense of injustice or a sense that the problem is totally unnecessary. And these grown women acting like junior high girls is exactly that- totally unnecessary.

      Who knows why they’re acting like they are, but good job to you for making a kind and mature gesture. Now go enjoy your weekend!

    • Are you a litigation partner in this scenario? I am confused on how you know the corporate partners are mad without anyone telling you. can’t you just say “Oh i didn’t go to lunch” its confusing that it got to this point but Im guessing its because these are all difficult personalities? try not to let it bother you!

    • oh eff this! You discovered a problem amongst the office children that wasn’t even given to you in an adult manner, you offered a solution, and the children balked. You’re a grown up, you acted like one, they are children who act like that. None of this was your fault, it’s not yours to fix.

      In short, hold your head high, you’re awesome. Just know that dealing with them will be annoying until they find some other petty garbage to bicker about. <3

      And booooooooooo to the ex for the long time trauma inflicted when someone gives the silent treatment throughout a relationship. he's gross and I'm glad you're with someone who meets you for lunch and is worth giving up your jewel box for (both a metaphor and, knowing your home description, not a metaphor)

    • Sorry you are dealing with this! If the feeling of snub from the corporate partners has been going on a while, it may take more than one try to smooth things over. I’m not condoning their behavior, but maybe think of what you did as taking the first step and it’s up to you whether you want to try additional steps or decide it’s not worth the frustration.

    • They are ridiculous. Be as kind and inclusive as you always are, and their immaturity is on them.

    • They are being ridiculous. Be as kind and friendly as you always are; their immaturity is on them.

    • That sounds so dumb, but you know, I’m a big fan of just addressing it directly. Can you swing by the corporate partner’s office and ask her to coffee? I’d probably do that and just bring it up. Stupid misunderstandings can blow up and get even bigger over time and since you have to work together it might be worth trying to fix it.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Scarlett, I considered that but honestly I am very torn about reinforcing this ridiculous behavior by initiating the adult conversation that should have come from her, if it needed to be had at all which it didn’t. We’ll see…

    • I’d keep extending the invitation from time to time so that when the other partners grow up/grow tired of being angry, everyone can bury the hatchet (because I assume that’s the reason you extended the first invitation).

      In the meantime, try not to take responses to the invitations personally or seriously. I used to do this, and made myself crazy reading into people’s responses, but now I just tell myself “I had to eat lunch anyway” whether I end up alone, with one other person or with 12 other people.

      And don’t let the current awkwardness between the partners make you awkward. You’ve not done anything wrong, you’re doing what you reasonably can to improve it, and have no reason to be in knots.

  40. I am a visible minority working in a smaller centre.

    City is more mixed than you might think but the profession is 90% white.

    Anyway one firm (think consulting, advertising, accounting)… basically a professional firm with a website hired a young woman of colour and did not put her on her website for two years. There was speculation she had moved or was fired or she was no longer working there as a professional because she wasn’t on the website. I honestly would have probably referred work to her if she had been on the website.

    Apparently though she was working there full time with White people with the same job title and they just didn’t put her on the website for two years even though her colleagues (all White) were on the website. And yeah, they just kept updating the website but not adding her (the only professsional woman at the firm who isn’t White).

    It got back to that firm that I and others said that this was racist. Sounds like they are doing a photo shoot asap to get her on the website but that they aren’t happy.

    Thoughts? Was casually saying that this seemed racist wrong in some way?

    • Wildkitten :

      No this was an important thing to flag for them and next time you’ll know to flag it even sooner, because you got really quick results! Good job.

    • You did the right thing.

      There seems to be a backlash against the word “racist” by conservatives right now, but my experience with conservatives who feel this way is that they want to be able to say racist things and not be called racists. Um, no.

    • Some of my WOC friends don’t want their photos on the firm’s website. Just a thought.

    • If you knew enough about it not wrong. But if she had asked to not be on the website (didn’t like pictures or didn’t want her picture up) then you were wrong.

      • lawsuited :

        If that were the case her bio could have been added to the website without a picture. Given that people thought she had been fired/moved on, it sounds like she wasn’t included on the website in any way.

  41. I’m not sure this will get through because i’ve posted a couple of replies that are mo dded, (why? I don’t get it)

    Thanks to all who helped me with my deposition blues on Friday. For those who didn’t read, I was deposed as a subject matter expert on Wednesday and my attorney thought I answered too many questions and was mad at me. Also, the attorney on the other side was a disrespectful, sarcastic, yelling jerk.

    Anyway, today I received the draft transcript (which my attorney received Thursday, UGH, why could he not forward it until today?)

    I would change very little about my responses. Some of you used the example of “do you know what time it is?” as a question that should be answered “yes” or “no”, not “3:15.” I looked specifically for examples where I told him the time, and at one point I not only told him the time, but I told him how to build a watch. But it was nothing harmful, because my answer was to read words from the contract in question. In fact, I now realize that a big part of the other attorney’s questioning was an attempt to get me to interpret the contract, and I didn’t do that once. I literally read the relevant part of the contract every time.

    Now that I read the transcript, I am also happy that the other attorney comes across badly. He said sarcastic things like “oh you finally answered the question. that must have been hard for you” in response to my questions. I sincerely doubt anyone is ever going to read this entire transcript other than me, but it makes me feel better that I wasn’t just being dramatic in my memory of how awful those six hours truly were.

    Many of you advised me to get another attorney. Unfortunately, I can’t. He is in-house and this is his job. I don’t report to him and he doesn’t report to me, but I am going to speak to my boss about the fact that I was ill prepared before the deposition, and not professionally advised during the depo.

    • Jolynne Smyth :

      Good for you! Depositions – very stressful/tricky.

    • FWIW, I’m a gov lawyer so my witnesses also don’t get to pick me, but I try my hardest to prepare them for depos. I had one last week. We had 3 phone conversations in the weeks before the depo & I emailed him relevant documents and a “how to be a good witness” handout. Then we met for 8 hours the day before the depo, almost all advising him to tell the truth and then practicing Q & A, so he would be prepared for what might come. His actual depo was only 3 hours long. In the debrief afterwards, he told me how well prepared he felt, and that it made a great deal of difference in his confidence level. This is the kind of prep that my office typically does, if not more.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m in Big Law and we do a similar level of prep (if not more) with our witnesses, who are usually relatively high-level employees of the company we are representing.

  42. Jolynne Smyth :

    I’m a relatively new manager in my organization. We finally have some staff support. Wondered if anyone had suggestions for software (or maybe excel templates are the way to go?) to provide overview, tracking, reminders for a myriad of various long-term and short-term projects? I’d love a very organized new staffer to take the lead on setting up some tracking and procedure-documenting protocols (flow charts, as well as reminders) – but all the info on the web is overwhelming and we have pretty much zero procedures in place now.

    Thanks for any thoughts!

  43. Too many wrinkles, no time for ironing :

    Someone a few days (weeks? who knows!) posted about their favorite travel steamer and I just. Cannot. Find. it. So if anyone has recommendations (preferably from amazon) it would be much appreciated! Thank you.

    • Wildkitten :

  44. The weekend is almost over, so I may need to post this question again next week. I’m in a flux for summer travel. I have 4-5 weeks and would love to go to Europe. I’m worried about the safety and uncertainty with the world right now. I’m also not sure which city to fly into. If I flew into one, kind of centrally located, I would hope to be able to travel to other cities. Any cities recommended? I’d love somewhere not overly touristy. Any thoughts appreciated.

    • Anonymous :

      I think the following are (relatively) off the beaten tourist track (some more than others probably) and still have a ton to see and do: Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Lisbon, Dubrovnik.

      All of those places are perfectly safe from a crime standpoint, although if you’re a novice traveler you may feel comfortable in places where English is the native language (I think you could easily spend 4-5 weeks exploring England, Scotland and Ireland) or where there are more American tourists (which tends to be Western Europe, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean as opposed to Eastern Europe).

      Major capitals in Europe are super well-connected by train so I think wherever you fly into you can easily visit lots of other cities. If you want to go to a region that isn’t a major city (e.g., Cinque Terre in Italy) I would recommend choosing a nearby city in that country to fly into.

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