Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Are these not super fun workout leggings? I haven’t seen the rainbow mesh effect before and I really like it.  They’re on sale, along with a surprisingly large group of great workout gear for $60.99. (Love this little workout headband!) Pictured: ‘Moto’ Mesh Inset Leggings

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  1. treat yo self :

    I just got my first paycheck for my side hustle (coaching fitness) and want to buy myself something nice. this has been a really long process for me and definitely marks a transition in my career and life in a lot of ways. I want to buy myself something to commemorate it but have absolutely no ideas. My usual “new job!” gift to myself is a new purse, but I don’t want/need a new one right now (nor a new gym bag.) Buying workout clothes, though I love them, seems anticlimactic, and I don’t have any ideas for/am not really in the mood for another tattoo right now.

    Any ideas? Budget about $150 (after setting aside for taxes)

    • What about simple jewelry? I’ve been looking at these for myself https://www.amazon.com/Gold-Rope-Band-3-Piece-Stackable/dp/B0154CG2E6/ref=sr_1_6?s=apparel&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1490982852&sr=1-6&nodeID=7192394011&psd=1&keywords=stacking+ring+gold&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011%2Cp_n_material_two_browse-bin%3A114274011%2Cp_36%3A100-15000

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      Really nice pajamas or a robe? I never want to spend money on lounge or sleepwear, but I just bought PJs from J.Crew that make me feel like a million bucks.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Mini spa trip!

    • Simple tiny star necklace. (Etsy)

      Lotus flower necklace (they bloom from muck! Dogeared makes some!)

      A domain name

      Man in the arena/daring greatly

    • fitbit!

    • Anonymous :

      Good sheets!

  2. I can’t imagine working out in faux leather.

  3. Kids and introversion :

    There have been a few good discussions on here lately about whether it’s worth it to have kids. I want to ask about that as well, but in the context of two things – introversion and lack of amazing family support. My husband and I are both introverts who really enjoy having quiet, unscheduled time to just do whatever we want to do. The worst thing for me in particular is having back-to-back plans all weekend for multiple weekends in a row; I NEED at least some time to myself without tons of deadlines or commitments looming. In general, I’m worried that having a kid will leave us with no quiet time, and even if we take turns taking the kid out so the other can have quiet time, that leaves us with less time together (we are very close and spend a lot of time together). Do any fellow introverts have any insight? Someone said on the recent post about this that the positives about having a kid felt very abstract while the negatives/impact on daily life were real and constant. That worries me, and that’s before even considering the risk of having a child with severe physical or mental disabilities or other special needs. I have always imagined having kids, and I still smile at the thought of taking them to Disneyland or celebrating Christmas morning, but I’m very afraid of the impact on day-to-day stress and on personal time. My husband is the same way, although I think he has not really pictured having kids as a definite goal in his life.

    Secondly, my relationship with my family is okay, but can be a bit strained and I need to limit my time with them before I go crazy. My husband’s few remaining family members live abroad with few prospects (at the moment, anyway) for coming to the United States, although we are trying to bring them here. Basically, we don’t have a big family between us, we have a fairly small group of friends, and we would be going at it alone in trying to raise kids. Is this wise?

    Any insights would be appreciated, especially on the introversion piece.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m an introvert who feels the exact same way. I actually used to work in childcare, and while I LOVED kids, there were many times when I wanted to lock myself in the bathroom and hide just to get a break from the constant noise/grabby hands/demands. I can barely cope with busy weekdays and weekends, I just don’t know how I’d handle children 24/7.

      No advice, just wanted to acknowledge that this is a legitimate reason not to have kids, IMO.

      • OG Monday :

        +1 about the “legitimate reason.” Pretty much from the beginning, I’ve known myself well enough to recognize that day to day life as a mother* would make me angry, depressed and exhausted. I’m very introverted and need a lot of quiet, calm and rest. I know I would love a child if I had one, but I think due to my mood I would make him or her feel unloved and unwanted, which would be deeply sad. Why do that to myself or a kid?

        *I think I’d do ok as a 1960s-era father.

        • espresso bean :

          OG Monday, your asterisk comment cracked me up!

        • Anonymous :

          Ditto on wanting to be a 1960s dad but not wanting to be a mom (or a 2017 dad, at least a good one).

        • Anonymous :

          Hilarious. But in all seriousness, I feel the same way. If I accidentally got pregnant I would probably have the kid, but otherwise, I don’t see it as my path.

        • Anonymous :

          Omg, if it were not morally reprehensible, being a 1960s father would be divine.

        • And this is exactly why we chose not to have children. I’ve had the same thoughts, right down to the 1960s dad comment. And I think it’s been the right choice. Every holiday season, I get a tiny bit sad as all the smiling picture cards arrive in the mail, but then I remind myself I really only wanted the Christmas card, not the day to day work that goes on behind that picture.

      • First off, decide to have kids or don’t, not my life, not my decision, you do you. No judgement from me.

        I just had to respond though- your comment made me laugh because I can see myself saying that. I seriously can’t stand 95% of other peoples kids. I do like and enjoy most of my nieces and nephews, but no way could I ever do child care.

        However, my kids are a totally different ballgame. They are great (most of the time). I also have pre teens and teenagers, who are seriously great – my 17yo has been my chauffeur the last 2 weeks because I broke my ankle and he has not complained or demanded anything, for example.

    • I have nothing to offer on the introversion issue (my problem is being too extroverted), but the book “All Joy and No Fun” was helpful to me in working through some of the abstract issues.

      Also, one practical tip from someone who has no family in town on either side: if you go the kid route, you need to plan your alone time in advance so that you can have outside coverage. If you are not a planner (i.e. book ahead, book ahead, book ahead, it never is TOO early to arrange babysitting), then getting down time, especially with a young child, can be very difficult, particularly if you want to do something other than sleep (we did not go to a movie for five years after The Kid was born because one or both of us would have conked out). We manage by having an entire stable of babysitters at any given time (like six) and by not hesitating to get one on a weeknight if one of us is travelling or working late.

    • Sassyfras :

      I’m an introvert (husband is not) and we are raising our 2 year old without family nearby. I won’t lie to you, it is tough. It is hard to have two working parents who both need me-time and a kid who needs lots of care and attention for the time being. We make it work by creating a consistent routine. For example, my husband does whatever he wants to do on Tuesdays and Saturdays and I get Wednesdays and Sundays. Every other Friday, we get a babysitter and go out for a date night. I wish I had more time to do what I wanted, but at the same time, my daughter brings a level of joy to my life that I could not have comprehended before I had her. And now that she is potty-trained and (mostly) sleeping well, it’s starting to feel a little easier. I’ve found that I need to be very clear with my husband when I feel like I am overextended, touched out, and desperately need to be alone or veg out. He will often take the kiddo out of the house for hours to give me time at home to chill, or I lay in our bedroom with the door shut + locked with a glass of wine and binge watch Netflix for a few hours. It’s definitely possible to be a happy, introverted parent. Hope that helps!

      • Sassyfras :

        I also want to add: I agree with another commenter above that this is a legitimate reason to not have kids. As much as I love my child, I often miss the freedom and quiet of my pre-baby life. If you aren’t (mostly) sure that you are ready to say goodbye to that, it might not be the right decision for you.

      • ponte python's flying circus :

        +1 on clear communication, especially about being touched out and needing to recharge. Husband and I are both introverts with no family nearby, and now that kiddo is nearly 2 and will happily play on his own, it is a lot better. We trade off taking kid to swim lessons on weekends so the other spouse gets a chunk of time alone. Plus – young children nap!

    • Another pair of introverts :

      My husband and I are both introverts, and we now have two adult offspring, one an introvert and one a super-duper extrovert. That one was a challenge! So. Much. Talking. But I have always been able to retreat into a book — to the point where someone has to shake my arm to get my attention — so I’ve always felt I had “enough” time to recharge. Thankfully, both kids also loved to read and wanted to have plenty of unscheduled time. You don’t HAVE to do Cub Scouts AND soccer AND children’s choir. We are academics, so never lived near family, which would have been nice, but we survived (with a weekly housecleaner).

      • OMG yes – we are two introverts with two introverts and one extrovert (not super duper, but still), and she does NOT stop talking. She often comes with me to run errands and when I get home I’m mentally exhausted. Work is a real saving grace, honestly, because I sit in my office quietly for a large part of the day and do work and errands and browse the internet on my lunch break. We did a lot of trading off when the kids were younger, and now that they are older (4, 6 and 8) we trade off with the chatterbox (the older two can happily entertain themselves for hours).

    • Anonymous :

      – for me, my kids are like my husband – I don’t feel the same need for alone time as I do when I’m around my mom or other people. Not that I don’t need alone time away from my husband, but I can also enjoy ‘alone’ time with him so reading a book on one end of the couch while he’s watching something on his Ipad on the other end. Kids are like that, you can integrate them into activities that don’t involve a lot of chatter. Movie night rewatching Disney classics with the kids is the best.
      – DH and I trade off weekend mornings – I get alone time on Saturdays until noon and he gets alone time on Sundays until noon. He usually goes for a run by himself and then putters in the garage. I tend to sleep in, do a bit of yoga in our room, take a shower, read a book. We started this when our first was a newborn so the kids are totally used to it. He leaves a coffee in a travel mug and a breakfast bar outside our door for me.
      – zero kids activities planned on the weekends. Max one kid’s birthday party per weekend. I ask my mom to take my oldest to the party lots of times. My mom takes my daughter to swimming once a week and other activities are through afterschool care. You could also hire nanny to take them to swimming/soccer etc after school which leaves your evenings/weekends free. We don’t go the nanny route because letting my mom take on some of those activities cuts down her demands to spend time with us at other times.

      You don’t need tons of immediate family in your city to raise kids. You do need a ‘village’ but that includes paid childcare, help from family members, help from friends, and meal delivery services – it’s the system you establish that provides the right balance for you. Good luck with your decision.

      • Anonymous :

        I also want to add re: it takes a village, your village will naturally grow and develop after you have a kid. You will meet other parents, childcare workers, etc.

        • Wendalette :

          Actually, sometimes you have to actively make your village. DH and I have a 4 year-old, and work full-time. I actually have a 2 hour commute and DH often has 10 hour days. Our daughter is in daycare longer than we’d like, but usually DH works an opposite schedule from me so that helps. BUT, it leaves NO time for meeting other parents or finding decent sitters outside of maybe using a service! Up until last year, the only parents I knew were my co-commuters and co-workers, and co-daycare parents, few of which live anywhere near us. We’ve never been able to get to know neighbors well enough to ask them to babysit and we have no family nearby.
          Sometimes it really is a Herculean effort to build a support system. But I am an introvert and really enjoy just being home with our daughter during downtime. DH is also an introvert, but is less tolerant of being a homebody, so we have to compromise and get a sitter if he wants us to go out together. Fortunately we did manage to cobble together a small support group: DH’s best friend, who was up until last summer seemingly a confirmed bachelor; a former co-commuter turned good friend, who is now available to help some now that HER kids are grown and her work schedule is more flexible; and our daughter’s first daycare provider. It took all four years of our daughter’s life to build our solid little village, but it’s worth it.
          So, just saying, if you go the kids route, it might be really hard before it gets better and can take lots longer than you expect to build your support system, so don’t get too discouraged if it’s not instantaneous. And keep and open mind as to who you consider as support. Folks you might have been sure of, even with their avowals of help may not come through, and folks that never crossed your mind may end up your right hand. Just use your best judgment and trust your instincts too.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Both my husband and I are introverts and have kids. It is important to me and my husband to have time with our family, together, talking about our weeks etc. We prioritize that on weekends. You don’t have to do packed to the gills weekends (and activities) like seem so popular in upper middle class America. Of course my kids play sports and have some other activities, but I don’t go to every single thing either. This gives me and my husband a chance to recharge, spend time together (without kids), and for them to spend time with their friends.

      And I agree. The idea of constantly running around and driving people around is absolutely terrible. It is one of the reasons we remained in the city-all my kids can walk to school now. All of their activities are walking distance, the two oldest can take a city bus/ride their bike, and if we do need to drive them it is short and easy. This also promotes independence, and it is important to me for my kids to be independent and be able to manage things on their own.

      Neither my husband nor I have any family except each other and our kids. This is fine, and I also have no family drama. I have a full-time nanny, and she is wonderful.

      I am sure someone out there will think I sound like a terrible mother, but meh. Everyone parents differently. This works for our family.

    • Introvert with kid here. A normal night or weekend involves all three of us in the living room with my husband and I on our phones/laptops and kid playing with his toys/books. He does pretty well with not needing 100% interaction and when he does want to play with us, my husband and I take turns being “on”. We both understand the value of good veg out time and we make downtime at home a priority.

    • Kids and introversion :

      I should add that my husband and I both don’t do well with little sleep. I want to be a great mother to a child, but I’m worried that I’ll be irritable, exhausted, and even angry all the time with the lack of personal time and the exhaustion (as well as stress from expenses, daycare, etc). I dealt with too many parental mood issues in my own childhood and would never wish it on my own kid, but it seems so hard to predict what will actually happen if I have one. Maybe everything would be great and the kid would sleep well and love downtime too – but if he or she doesn’t? There’s no going back.

      • This is me. I leave work early or work from home and give myself some downtime before getting the kids from daycare. Also, evenings.

      • I really hear you in this. I’m still on the fence about kids for exactly this reason and I never hear anyone talk about this. I don’t not want kids because I want to travel the world and go out late whenever I feel like it, but because I’m already completely exhausted and need a lot of downtime and naps on weekends to even function (I also have multiple chronic health conditions that make lack of sleep and noise very difficult to manage.). I just can’t see any way to have kids and a job without being such a mess that I’d be a terrible parent.

        • I agree that I would love to hear more about kids, sleep, and chronic illness. From the outside, sleep deprivation looks like the defining characteristic of new parents, and even healthy, young parents seem significantly impacted. I feel like parenting goals lower at times to “keep the kids alive” for the chronically ill moms I know (and I 100% respect the effort that must take–it just all looks unbelievably hard).

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        From observing friends, I think kids and introversion can work if you are a night owl. Kids go to be pretty early. Then you have time to just relax a bit. But, I don’t have kids so take that with a grain of salt. I bet all you moms are laughing out loud at me right now. When the kids go to bed you are back to work, doing dishes, doing laundry. My goal if I have kids though is when they go to bed it’s me time.

        • I think you are actually right on the mark. Our down time is after the kids go to bed. We try *not* to do the housework at that time because it is our chance to take care of ourselves. I left biglaw and am in a job that does not generally require me to work from home at night. Our au pair does the kids’ laundry; we have a house cleaning service come every week; and, I have the kids help with other chores. A lot of this comes down to being very intentional with time and money. We don’t do a ton of extracurricular activities so that we have weekends free. And we spend our money to free up the time we do have.

        • BWAHAHAHA. Even as an infant, The Kid did not go down before 8:30 p.m. And the younger he was, the earlier he got up . . . his first year he routinely woke up before 5:30 a.m. Which he could do because he got naps each day (us, not so much).

          It did get a lot better somewhere between the time The Kid was 4 and 5, At that point, I stopped feeling like I needed to go to sleep within ten minutes after he went down for the night (not that I GOT to do that before, I just NEEDED to) and began to find out all the popular culture I had missed for the last four plus years. And now he even sleeps in all the way to 7:30 a.m. (occasionally 8 a.m.!) on weekends, which helps a lot.

          I do have friends whose kids went down at 7 p.m. every might. One friend’s kid went down at 6:00 p.m., but he work every day at 4:30 a.m. and her hubs worked nights, so that had pros and some big cons.

          TL;DR: YMMV. There is no planning with small children. Be prepared. Bring your towel.

          • And most importantly, don’t panic.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            8:30 is still earl y to me! I usually stay up until midnight so that would give me 3 1/2 hours.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            But I understand that doesn’t work when you have to get up at 5:30. I don’t get up until 7:00.

      • You adapt. You figure out how to make the most of the time you have and that time can be enough. I remember first starting working after being in school and being exhausted because I needed to concentrate and be at my desk for 8 hours unlike in school where it was much more broken up and unstructured. Soon it wasn’t a big deal. Parenting is kind of similar. I can’t imagine having or needing as much free time as a I did before I had a kid. Also, kid sleep issues and other developmental phases can be brutal while you are in them, but they do end at some point. It’s not like you are signing up for 40 years of sleeping in 3 hour blocks every night.

    • I’m an introvert with 2 kids. For me it was rough when they were babies. I nursed each kid for 1 year, so I had zero time by myself because someone was always literally attached to me most of the time that I wasn’t at work. But looking back, that time went quickly. Now that they’re in elementary school, they’re very independent and will play together for hours. On a typical Saturday I will have 2-3 hours to myself while my kids are outside playing with their buddies in the neighborhood. I can drink coffee and read a book! I can play the piano! I can watch a tv show! My older kid is a big reader so we can sit together and read in silence. I guess my point is that it gets easier as they get older. At least so far . . .

      • Anonymous :

        I’m not OP and I don’t mean this in a snarky way at all, but the fact that you think 2-3 hours of me-time is awesome is actually one more strike against having kids.

        • It’s all relative.

          I was in biglaw when I had my first and actually found the transition pretty easy. A newborn is actually easy compared to a demanding biglaw partner who insists that you make 2 plus 2 equal zebra at 6pm on a Friday night. I found that my amount of “me time” from biglaw to parenthood was pretty similar. Only, I loved and adored my children; I decidedly did not feel similarly to the partners who threw tantrums in biglaw.

        • Kids and introversion :

          I am OP and I tend to agree; I’m worried that 2-3 hours won’t be enough, especially if it’s sandwiched between other obligations . If I’m at a birthday party from 10-12, have two hours to myself from 12-2, and then a swimming lesson from 2-4, that’s not going to feel very relaxing to me. In response to another question, I am also NOT a night owl at all, but I’m not sure alone time before the kids wake up would work since don’t most kids tend to wake up early?

          Thanks so much everyone for all these perspectives; they are very helpful.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m an introvert and I just want to say that my son is the light of my life.

    • I’m a semi introvert and DH is a major, textbook introvert. We have 2 kids. With kid 1, we traded off for alone time. This went out the window with kid 2, so we adapted.

      I get alone time weekend mornings. DH takes them to the library. DH gets one weekend afternoon to do whatever he wants. Sometimes that’s take our older kid to the library and the two of them (the apple didn’t fall far…) bury themselves in a book them go out for a snack.

      We also have a big chunk of quiet time after the kids go to bed every night- they’re both out by 7:30 at the latest.

      The first year is rough. Infants are needy. But it’s do able and now we are all introverts together. My 4 y/o likes to play alone, as does my 2 y/o.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a major introvert and my husband is too, to a lesser degree. We have three kids. Two of them are also introverted, one is much more extroverted than the rest of us. However, we ALL love to be home together. Sometimes that is watching a movie or reading on the couch. The more extroverted child often has friends over and so they hang out together. I make an effort to go to birthday parties, etc. even when I don’t want to so my kids can see their friends. But whenever we get back home we almost always have “quiet time” because we all kind of need to decompress afterwards. My extroverted one is involved in a time-intensive sport, but as she has gotten older I just drop her off at practices. I go to all the games and make some small talk with the parents, but I am definitely not as involved socially as some of the other parents are with each other (which is fine with me.) I do offer to host all the girls sometimes just so my daughter is never left out–if that makes sense. As the kids have gotten older it is easier to have more alone time. Everyone sleeps well and on a nice schedule, they all like to read independently, and play together.

    • My husband and I are introverts. Our 3-year old takes after both of us. Since he was very young, he’s been pretty good about entertaining himself with books and toys – he does not require 24/7 interaction.

      We’ve arranged a system where each parent gets some 1:1 time with the kid on the weekend, while the other parent gets to recharge by doing solo activities. That helps. And having the kid as my ‘excuse’ not to have to participate in mandatory-fun work happy hours, etc. has been awesome.

      My husband have less actual time together, just the two of us – but having a shared goal / purpose in raising a child to be thoughtful and brave and creative and kind has brought a new kind of closeness to our relationship.

    • Honestly, the book Bringing Up Bebe convinced me that I could be a successful happy parent because it described a style of parenting that works very well if you are an introvert. It’s pretty much opposite of the American hyper involved in each other’s face 24/7, always-kids-first method. It advocates early and gentle sleep training, not prioritizing your kid over everything else in y our life, making time for yourself, and having high expectations for your kids while fostering independence and patience in them. It turns out that it’s not that I didnt want to be a mom, it’s that I didn’t want to be a traditional American mom. I also stopped at one, because American or French, I know my limits.

      • One and Done :

        +1 to knowing your limits. I always had an ideal of how many children I wanted. But once I had one, I realized I wouldn’t be a good mother to multiple. I was so stressed out in my son’s youngest years. I didn’t even enjoy it. I have many regrets about that, but I do not regret stopping at one child.

      • anon a mouse :

        I haven’t read the book, but having a kid was the catalyst for me to really advocate for what I need. I get up an hour before the house on the weekend so I can have coffee in silence and read my silly magazines. And there are times when my husband wants to have friends over and I ask to postpone for a week or two because I need a night of quiet.

        So much is situation dependent, and kid-dependent (ours is pretty easy so far). But I never really realized just how much quiet time I need to recharge until I had to strategize for how to get it.

      • My parents are both pretty introverted, and I’m an only child. I think one child was probably easier for them than a house full of kids would have been. (Although my mom, the youngest of three, has been known to say that one is not necessarily easier than three because you can’t just send the kids off to play with each other).

      • In House Lobbyist :

        I also loved that book and we try to parent that way too. We try not to do too much organized stuff and honestly my kids want to stay home and play most of the time. My husband and I often wonder what we did before kids without all that free time but I wouldn’t trade it at all. Kids are amazing in what they say, think and remember. Or kids have mad our lives so much fuller – even if I only get to go to the bathroom alone when I’m at work.

    • Anonymous :

      My husband and I are both introverts. We have (and wanted) three kids. We never considered not having kids BECAUSE we were introverts. That’s crazy. My extroverted parent friends don’t seem to have an easier time parenting, honestly.

      It’s obviously not like living alone, but it’s also not like a social situation. The biggest difference is that we don’t schedule as much as other families. It means that our kids have fewer organized activities – but that’s fine! We stay busy reading, gardening, hiking, crafting, cooking, etc. We also attend smaller community events, which works out because we’ve realized that we see a lot of the same families – introverts unite! We probably look a lot more lonely to outsiders, but since we’re introverts who like each other, it’s fine. I have to put myself out there more to attend PTA meetings and meet other parents (because I want to) more than an extrovert, but it’s fine. We’ve definitely made solid relationships with other families and parents.

      Having family to rely on for babysitting or other downtime is really nice, but people who don’t have family nearby or get along with their family have kids all the time. Close friends can make up the difference.

    • Greensleeves :

      My husband and I are both introverts. We have three kids, the first an introvert and then two extroverts. I won’t lie, the younger two exhaust us sometimes. As someone else said, so much talking! The early years are the hardest, for sure. But it helps that little ones go to bed pretty early, so you can get your quiet time in the evening. As they get older, we’ve still enforced bedtimes that balance their age and desire to stay up with our need for downtime, which involves usually involves some awake but reading time in their rooms at the end of the day. Where you live can make a difference as well. We live on a street with lots of kids, so they often go play with their friends and that helps too. The biggest challenge we have is that the youngest is VERY social but there aren’t many kids her age around, so she often looks to us for interaction and entertainment. We have to push her to amuse herself sometimes. It is workable, but it is definitely harder sometimes when we’re just all done with interacting. I think being aware of your limits is important, structuring life in a way that you still get some quiet time, and getting regular time away through date nights, trips, etc can really help. Limiting activities to a level you can handle is also vital, although those limits seem to creep as you see your kids become passionate about something! Also, I agree with others who’ve said this is a legitimate reason not to have kids.

    • To the OP, I am like you in that before kids (and even now with kids) I need to schedule down time. I can’t do something social on both a Sat and Sun b/c I just need me time. I think when people are around me, I am very social and friendly but I need the me time. I think this is actually why I enjoy work more now that I have kids (I have a 2 year old daughter and I’m expecting my second baby any day now). I like being able to go to work and have the separation. I can sit in my office and drink coffee in silence. Granted, I’m actually having to do work while I’m drinking that coffee in silence, but it’s made me appreciate certain aspects of work way more than I used to.

      I also don’t go out on Fri and Sat nights like I used to. My daughter is in bed by 7PM so unless we have plans to go out, I’m straight chillin. My husband and I are both big law attys so Mon-Thurs we’re almost always working at night after she goes to bed. And then I can also do my regular beauty appts (hair, waxing, etc.) and just put them in our joint calendar so my husband knows he has to handle our daughter solo on those days/times.

      Long story short, depending on your work schedule, and I guess depending on the Sleep Gods (since we’ve been blessed with a textbook amazing sleeper), you can definitely still have your ME time with kids. :)

    • Introvert here with an extrovert husband and extrovert son. I have next to no time to myself. Daycare is where I work so I commute almost everyday with my son in traffic. My husband isn’t too involved with my son when I’m around, and he works every Saturday. I have about 6 hours to myself once every three weeks. I have people who can help me if I’m really screwed, but parents are all a few hours away. Sometimes I think I will lose my mind and have resumed smoking to make some kind of boundary.

      And I love them both and they’re never shut up selves with all my heart. I really hope we have another kid (but fingers crossed for an introvert like me that just wants to sit quietly and read). Things change with the years, it’s a relatively short period of life that they even care to be with you all the time. It’s just a season of your life. It’s no picnic, but I’d make no trades.

      And pro-tip for birthday parties: send regrets immediately. Be the first. I’ll go if I like the kid or parent. It really doesn’t matter.

    • I am an INFJ, my husband is an extrovert.

      Becoming a mother has, as expected, radically changed our lifestyle. Before the baby, hubby constantly wanted to go out, travel here/there, try this restaurant, do this or that. Since baby, we spend way more time at home and I’m loving it. It’s too much hassle to get the baby ready, go out, have him go bonkers, box up the meal, come home, etc.

      I’m still trying to figure out how to best manage working and childcare so that I have enough downtime. I work as a physician and love my job, but the nonstop interactions (often emotionally charged, or the conversations are about difficult topics) leave me exhausted and I need time to regroup/recharge when I get home before making bottles. I’ve accepted this about my personality and have the babysitter stay an extra hour and a half after I get home. It’s made a big difference.

      Sleep training was also important to me. I need my space and sleep or I don’t function well. We started at 5 weeks and baby sleeps throughout the night.

      So my experience is that having baby has made my life have more meaningful and I feel more content. But it has required a conscious effort on my part and lots of understanding on my husband’s part to make sure there’s a balance and that it’s not just work/parenting/housework/work.

    • Vaguely related, this was shared on the mom’s site a few days ago. I’m an intj, thid confirmed I would be terrible as a *stay at home* parent. As a parent who works with a sopportive introvert spouse who also works, we’ve figured it out. http://www.businessinsider.com/personality-type-most-likely-to-be-stay-at-home-parents

    • Don’t have kids if you suspect it will make you unhappy. Unless you are nearing forty, then you need to make the decision now.

      There is no way to know the personality of your kid beforehand. I know moms/dads who just take their kid/baby with them wherever, and the kid/baby is content focusing on doing their own thing. Others are more needy. By age 7 all kids will mostly be doing their own thing anyway, regardless of temperament and you’ll feel so lucky to have their attention when they feel like it.

      But all those hobbies for very young kids, forget them, if they feel like a chore. Kids need free, unstructured play alone and with other kids. Signed, all Finnish children’s psychology and development researchers ever

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        I don’t completely agree with the don’t have kids if you think it will make you unhappy. I couldn’t imagine a scenario where my happiness didn’t go down for a period after I had a child, and I was right. I definitely did not enjoy being pregnant and all the changes we had to make during that time, and the first 2 years (esp the first 9 months) were absolutely torture. The sleep deprivation and noise was worse than I could have imagined. I was in the military in a non-democratic foreign country. That was easier, I swear to god. Nothing could have prepared my husband and I for this. I was unhappy, but I do think it was even worse for my husband. He cried so often I was worried about his mental health. He is not a crier either.

        But now that my son is older, I love being a patent. We have adopted 3 older children as well, and this has been a great experience. Maybe I wish I would have realized I wanted children, but not an infant, but I learned that in practice.

        • I worded that wrong. I meant unhappy in the long term. I also hated pregnancy, the constant contractions, bed rest, sleeplessness. I probably had ppd, or just really wacky hormones that made me super worried all the time and I cried a lot. I was also deliriously happy at other times. I was soo in love with my baby. It was a roller coaster of emotions. I admit I have forgotten most about the first months, partly due to sleep deprivation, kid started sleeping better at 1,5 YEARS. I guess I think of it as the price I needed to pay to have this wonderful life now.

          I am kind of wanting another child and I hope now that I know what my hormones will do to me I would do better. I’m still on the fence though.

  4. Apologies if this was discussed yesterday….

    So I am appalled by Pence’s refusal to alone with a woman w/o his wife present. On the other hand, I understand if a religious Muslin or Jew refuses to be alone with a man w/o her husband present. The only way I can reconcile this double standard is that I don’t care if Pence refuses to be alone with a woman, but I DO care if the VP of the United States refuses to be alone with a woman.

    Am I making sense?

    • You make sense, but this is not acceptable behavior regardless of religious beliefs. If one is going to be “in the world”, then one must, in fact, be in that world. That means dealing with people of various genders, preferences and religions on equal footing appropriate to the context (e.g. politics, court, religion) and not barring them because of your religious beliefs.

      I have dealt with attorneys in my practice who have similar policies and I call them what they are . . . sexism. I have a friend that is an observant male Jew and we get lunch together (sometimes he or his wife pack us sack lunches so that he can observe dietary laws) or drive to CLEs together.

      The fact that the VP of the United States takes this position just proves that sexism has been institutionalized in the current administration. And that is not acceptable.

      • “The fact that the VP of the United States takes this position just proves that sexism has been institutionalized in the current administration. And that is not acceptable.”

        True that.

        I have family members who are Orthodox, and they don’t share those extreme views, although men and women still worship separately in shul. I am trying to think if the Amish are also segregated..??

        I like how you phrase “be in that world.” I guess this is what I mean, in that Pence should feel free to behave anyway he wants…in his world. But in the larger world, that behavior just isn’t gonna fly. (Pig.) Oops, sorry, did I say that aloud?

    • Anonymous :

      so what if the VP were a devout Muslim man (or woman) who refused to shake hands with someone of the opposite sex? What would you think then?

      the fact is, some religions are oppressive and we shouldn’t be tolerant of oppressive views simply because they claim the mantle of religion.

      • Anonymous :


        Let’s not pretend that these religious traditions aren’t rooted in deep misogyny.

      • First Year Anon :


      • And let’s note that this administration points out oppression (of women and LGBTQ) when it is practiced in the name of Islam.

      • Cosign. Germane the discussion: Henry Bagish’s classic essay “Confessions of a Former Cultural Relativist.” (http://thebestofhabibi.com/no-2-spring-1994/cultural-relativist/_

        • I read the essay; well worth the time. To use Bagish’s formulation, if you value equal treatment of all people regardless of gender, then religious or cultural customs that effect differential treatment of people based on that reason should be rejected. Just be prepared to take it to its logical conclusion . . . positing in that fashion quickly leads us to paternity leave, female Catholic priests, and unisex bathrooms. Y’all ready for this? I am, but everyone else may not be . . .

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, it makes sense, but religion or not I would be EXTREMELY offended if a male colleague at any level refused to be in a room with me, or shake my hand, or anything like that, to the detriment of our work.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s nonsensical in the business world. Seriously, where do you draw the line? If a man and woman are in trial together are they allowed to work late in the office? Eat lunch in the same room during a break? Can they go get lunch at a restaurant? What about celebratory drinks/dinner after? And what exactly is the alternative if you’re not supposed to do any of these things – just not work, not eat, not be part of the team?

      Also – a lot of our talk on this topic has been about women being disadvantaged because they get excluded. But men don’t have a stranglehold on power anymore. Now I’m handing out the work and I can tell you, that male associate who refused to go out to dinner with me the night before a hearing because he had to get home to his wife – he’s never getting work from me again. I think men are going to change their tune when they realize, oh sh!t we’re starting to really shoot ourselves in our foot with our misogyny.

      • Yay! Open thread’s! I love Open threads, but these leggings are NOT for me b/c I onley love COTTON leggings. FOOEY!

        As for the OP’s, I can argue both sides. I understand men who do NOT want to be alone with me b/c they worry they might offend me or their wife if they say/do something that is embarasing s-xuealy and beyond their control (it hapens), and I, on the other hand, understand women who do NOT want to be alone with men (both b/c they worry about the man doeing things voluntarily or involuntarily), as well as NOT trusteing that they (the woman) won’t do something impetuous, such as jumping on top of the man if he is NOT married. I have often THOUGHT of doeing things with a cute guy that I would NOT think if the GUY was NOT alone in a room with me, so I often think I should NOT be alone with him. When I was in law school, I went to the library and was lookeing in the stacks for a book when a 3rd year came down the row and put his hands where they did NOT belong. There was NOT anyone around so I told him that he should find some place else for his hands. If other peeople were there, he would NOT have put his hands there, so I think it is a GOOD idea for men and women NOT to be alone in alot of places. YAY!!!!!!

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I don’t take issue with that hypothetical if it’s in a social context (I disagree, but that’s their prerogative).

      It becomes problematic when it’s in the public sphere. You can’t cut someone out of a work situation (whether it’s a handshake or a meeting) because of your religion, the same way you can’t expect to only sit next to those of your same gender on transportation because of your beliefs.

      • OP here. Yes, thanks. I like this rationale, along w/ Ms B’s: you need to act appropriately in the world you are occupying. Perfect.

    • Anonymous :

      It bothers me even if there’s a religious reason. People can do whatever they like in their personal life, but you need to treat men and women equally at work, whatever your job is.

      • Exactly. My friend’s dad wouldn’t shake my hand at his reception and I was like, whatever. I don’t care what the dad thinks of me.

        But to the orthodox guy in my meeting who wouldn’t make eye contact with me or answer my questions, that is not ok. If you’re going to work in the world, you need to bend your (ridiculous) religious principles to fit in with the world you have chosen to work in

  5. I’m in the market for slim, tapered ankle pants for work, and I haven’t found the unicorn pair yet. I’ve tried BR, Ann Taylor, and GAP (those felt like leggings to me) so far— J Crew is next on the list. I’m 5’4″ and need a petite size as well. I liked the thickness of the BR pants, but the bottom part is a little too flared rather than tapered for my taste (to the tailor’s they go). Any recommendations so I can skip the extra tailoring $? Thanks!

    • cat socks :

      Check out Macys. They have a pretty good selection online. Maybe also Nordstrom. If you want to do some digging, you might find something on Amazon.

      I randomly found a pair at Target a few months ago. I’m only 5’0″ so I need to get them hemmed a bit.

      Did you try the Sloan pants from BR? I was thinking of trying them b/c they looked fairly slim. I also prefer a more tapered than flared look for ankle pants.

      • Thanks! Yes, I own a patterned pair of the Sloans, but the ankle is indeed more flared than I’d like. The online comments seem to indicate that it’s a change from the previous year’s more tapered style.

    • Try Uniqlo

    • I am just under 5’5″ and I have quite the collection of JCrew Minnies. Once I found the size that worked for me, I bought a bunch of them on Poshmark. I LOVE them. They are comfortable, work appropriate in my office but also for social occasions, and very versatile.

    • I’ve been a huge fan of the J Crew “martie” pants. I always need tall sizes, so unsure about the petite sizing.

    • Anonymous :

      Boden’s 7/8 pants! Seriously, they’re amazing. I’ve had two pairs for years, in heavy rotation, and they still look fantastic.

      • Co sign. Love the Richmond 7/8 pants. Wear like iron, and always nice colors or patterns.

      • In-House in Houston :

        I’m 5’7″, would I get the regular or long 7/8 pants at Boden? I’m terrible about determining the right length for me for ankle pants. I truly want ankle pants and not cropped/capri pants. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      jcrew factory lexie pants–they come in a short inseam (28 inches) which i still need to have tailored. but, they do taper in at the ankle. and thanks for the tip on the BR sloans. I have been looking for a pair that is more flared at the ankle.

    • I am 5’4″ and found a very nice pair from Land’s End Canvas – they are skinny on me without being like leggings. They’re wool blend, but unlined, which you may not find acceptable.

    • I have a few pairs of Theory Navalane pants (all bought on sale – I think they are not good value full price) that work well. I have to size up in comparison to my usual size in the brand.

    • Thank you all, lots to try!

    • Anonymous :

      I really liked Lands End chino mid-rise ones. AND you can get them to hem them to your desired length. Leave some extra for shrinkage. They are great quality and fit me like a glove (nipped in at waist, no gap).

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I wear slim tapered pants almost exclusively. Two bargains I’ve found:
      -Liz Claiborne (really!) “Emma” fit pants at JCPenney. They come in two fabrics – go for the thicker ones.
      -Target’s bi-stretch twill pants. I got a ton of wear out of a wine-colored pair before I ruined them with mod podge.

  6. Does anyone happen to have a recommendation for evening shoes for someone with bunions? I need a wider ball of foot area (my foot is only slightly wide, but it’s curvy where the bunions are) and some kind of strap (or the shoe will fall off my foot, since my heel is narrow). I tried on a bunch of Clarks and some other brands, but for some reason my pinky toe side was entirely hanging off the footbed on all their wide sizes. I found a pair of Rose Petals that look like they will do the job, but before I give up and order them I’d like to see if there are any actual attractive shoe options out there. I have extensively searched and am wondering if I am missing some brand that doesn’t come in a wide width but runs wide enough.

    • Anon also :

      Check out the blog barking dog shoes (all one word). She posts about shoes that work with bunions pretty frequently.

      Even if you find an older post with a discontinued style, you can often get these new in box on eBay or Amazon.

    • Try Nina brand :

      Check out the Nina brand at Nordstrom (and perhaps elsewhere). They come in wide widths and some have low heels. I have a pair I bought for our son’s wedding and have worn them multiple times to other weddings and events. Very comfy! No strap, though.

    • Many independent shoe stores will stretch leather shoes out for you so they fit comfortably.

    • Anonymous :

      Stylish evening shoes in wide are almost impossible to find and I have no idea why. Badgley Mischka, Stuart Weitzman and Naturalizer make some styles in wide. I am not a fan of Nina- I thought they were cheaply made for the price. I find that Clarks are too wide in the heel, but not enough width or depth in the toebox. I’ve had decent luck with Payless and BP for cheaper shoes.

    • Take a look at Repetto. It’s a brand that started as dance shoes, and they have several heels with ankle straps. The forefoot tends to be a little wider, and there’s good padding.

    • Clarks shoes!

  7. anon for this :

    Someone posted a few weeks ago about going on tons of online dates to find the right guy. I have been doing this. For years. I am apparently not someone who clicks with very many people. Part of me wonders why I bother after yet another lackluster date. I have found love before and I don’t want to give up on it because I mean… what’s the point if you don’t have hope? But as the years go by and I stay here, stuck, while everyone else seems to be moving on, blissfully in love, proclaiming their love at weddings and having kids and forming families, it’s hard to have any hope at all. Late 30s here.

    I see everyone’s problems with their spouses and their kids and all I can think is, “I’d give anything to have those problems and just be NORMAL.” Sharing spouse and kid grievances seems to be a major part of life, but talking about not finding a partner when you really want one is not exactly the kind of thing people make small talk about.

    Can anyone say, “I’ve been there and it does get better.”? I know there is no guarantee of finding love, but I’m finding it harder and harder as pretty much everyone I know (who was actually looking. I do have some single friends who seem perfectly happy being single and do not date, so I’m not counting them) has found a wonderful partnership. I can’t help but wonder what is wrong with me. If I were really so awful, wouldn’t I have no friends and no strong relationships? But I do have those things and I am lucky to have many people that I adore who want to spend time with me, so that can’t be it.

    Trying to figure it out is making me crazy. So then I ignore the feeling and months go by and still nothing changes and then I’m hit with it again at another friend’s wedding or NYE or birthday or whatever other occasion makes you question where your life is going.

    I just don’t know what to do. Should I just accept that this is the best it’s going to get?

    • Anonymous :

      I could have written your exact post in my late 30s. 8 years of online dates (off and on – I took breaks when I was too fatigued to face another bland coffee date). I don’t know if this will help or not but my story had a happy ending. I met the love of my life (online) at 39. Married at 42. Now married for almost 2 years and I still sometimes have a hard time believing that I got so lucky. It just took a really really long time for me. It sounds like finding the right partner is really important to you so I’m hoping that you find that person. Best of luck to you.

      • thank you so much. Your post made me feel like someone understands what I’m going through. And I am happy you found your partner!

    • espresso bean :

      I think you should always have hope. Keep doing what you’re doing and hang in there. I know it’s hard, but is giving up really going to make you happier? Might as well live life on your own terms and go after what you want. Enjoy the good parts of being single and allow yourself time to grieve the harder parts.

      FWIW, I think the spouse and kid grievances you refer to are some people’s clumsy way of making small talk.

    • Anonymous :

      I am in those trenches right now. I wonder constantly what is wrong with me. Everyone tells me they don’t know why I’m single, I’m so great, I deserve such a great guy, etc…I’ve been on dates, I’ve put myself out there, I have tried and tried and I get nothing in return. I don’t know. I too wish so badly I was normal. I’m 32 and I think I’m done.

      I try to be happy with my life despite everything. I have an apartment I love, a job I mostly enjoy, friends, hobbies. There are definitely perks to being alone. I’m introverted so I like having lots of me time to read, watch TV, etc.

      But on Saturday I’m going to attend yet another dinner party full of couples where I’ll be the only single person, and I know I’ll cry myself to sleep after.

    • My mom used to say that if everyone threw their problems into a pile and saw what everyone else was dealing with, you’d probably run back in and get yours back before having to deal with someone else’s. I guess what I mean is having a boyfriend or husband or partner does not equate perfection and happiness. I have a cousin who has been married for 15 years and has two beautiful, healthy children. But her marriage is miserable and she cries until 4am. I have another family friend who is all loved-up but is so far under water in debt that she is on the verge of a nervous breakdown half the time. I’m sure there are people who are envious of you for having strong friendships and to the other commenter, I’m sure there are people who are jealous of your apartment, job, free time, and friends. Some things you can’t change in life and some things you can. You can keep having hope and keep putting yourself into situations where you can meet new people. You can remind yourself that you are good and wonderful and lovely and perfect enough as you are and stop waiting for happiness to happen to you because you can be your own happiness. Keep your eye on the things that fill you with joy and richness of life and everything else is just extra.

    • Anon for this :

      No advice, just commiseration. I’m a few years younger than you (33), but nearly all of my closest girlfriends are married and/or married with children now. My younger sister got engaged on Christmas day this year, and it nearly broke me. I have dated a string of men who would either 1) not commit to me and acknowledge me as their girlfriend, but expect all the trappings of a relationship (emotional support and sex, notably) or 2) pull away after two or three dates.

      And you know what? It doesn’t bother me. It took me a long, long time to get here, and a lot of therapy, but I have finally realized I have a very rich, fulfilling life without a partner. I drum in two bands. I have a prosperous career, a family that loves me unconditionally, and generous friends who think the world of me. I don’t want to share my life with just anyone. I want someone who wants to make room for me.

      What helped me is developing my own interests, being charitable, and counting my own blessings. Also, check out Sara Eckel’s book, “It’s Not You.” It should be mandatory reading for all twenty and thirty-something women.

      I know it’s incredibly hard, but don’t give up, and be kind to yourself.

    • Been there :

      I’ve been there. It gets better. I could have written this post a year ago. I so hear you about hearing other people’s spouse/kid problems and thinking, “I would give anything…” Sometimes my thoughts made me feel so ashamed.

      But there is NOTHING wrong with you. I spent years trying to figure it out, but it turns out the things that I thought were wrong with me are the things my bf loves the most.

      Don’t lose hope. He is out there and he is looking for you, too.

    • Oh, man. I’m a bit younger than you (also 33) and I just pulled my profiles because I’m in a similar situation – I go on lots of first dates, a good number of seconds, and some thirds… but mostly , it’s a lot of “meh.” I don’t think I’ve quite reached a point of single and happy with it… but I don’t feel like continuing to go on date after date is a good use of my (limited) free time anymore, either.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s not just you OP. I’m 38 and I frequently feel like a leftover that no one wants. It’s hard and sometimes it’s really devastating. There are moments when I see a couple and I just tear up because I want that so badly.

      On the other hand, I wouldn’t be who I am had I not been through a lot on my own. I am strong and I know my own mind. It’s taken me a long time to get here, but I feel like I’m just now in a position where I can choose a partner for life. Because I’m finally becoming “me.”

      The upside for people who find their partners sooner is obvious. But I think (I truly believe this) that the upside for me is that when I find my other half, he will be a true fit. I will fall asleep beside him every night feeling completely at peace in a way I probably never would have felt if we had met at 25.

      My only other thought OP is that you mentioned online dating but not other ways of meeting people. As I approach 40, I am committed to pushing myself on this front — trying meet-ups (ack, scary) and going to all the things I get invited to that I normally turn down. I just think that it’s easier to find someone you can click with when you are among your people, whoever they are — the outdoorsy, the artsy, the intellectuals. Go spend time with them.

      And don’t give up. I know you know that this isn’t as good as it gets, but it’s easy to let those little negative thoughts become your reality. Don’t do that. You are going to be with the future Mr. OP for decades, and it will be so sweet when you find him. Get out there and do it.

    • I think that may have been me – I dated probably close to 100 people before I met my husband, when I was 40 (married him 6 months later). I totally get it – it feels lonely and hopeless and impossible to meet someone, and there’s no guarantee that even with a lot of effort you’re going to. My advice is to do a couple of things: (1) don’t lose the sliver of hope that keeps you out there. That little voice that says “maybe tonight”. It just takes one successful match, and keep going if that’s what you want. (2) empower yourself. Stop worrying about whether he likes you, whether you’re saying the right things and sending the best version of yourself on a date. Send the real version and judge the F out of him. You pick. You decide if you like him and want to see him again. Walk out on a bad date – like literally say “sorry, you’re not for me” get up and walk out. Once you realize you’re in control, you will approach dating so much differently. I was in a mood the night I met my husband. I had actually just walked out on a date a few days earlier (as described above). I thought he was going to be another jerk. So I showed up and just said whatever I thought about whatever topic came up, I didn’t care if he judged me or what he thought, I only cared what I thought of him. And magically, it turned out we hit it off.
      Best of luck to you. It’s lonely, it’s hard, and it sucks until it doesn’t. And I believe that a good person for you is out there, even if he or she takes a really long time to find.

    • I suggest you carve 20 hours out of your week starting now, focus on being “available” and “flexible”, and hanging around places where men go – Home Depot, parks and guns to work out, and local book stores/ coffee shops / etc. You need to be where men are without a schedule, just “be”, so when you meet someone you have time to talk.

      You need to spend another 10 to 15 hours a week on your appearance. Focus on making yourself look very feminine, and non-threatening (aka not a corporate raider).

      I suggest lots of soft dresses, floral prints, pink… Basically girly. Curl your hair. Wear light makeup. Etc.

      Guys pay attention to appearance.

      Lose 10 or 20 pounds. Men like thinner women, and tend to notice them and approach them more.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        I don’t know if this is serious or trolling, but I am totally cracking up at the thought of this mystery woman, with curly hair and light pink lipstick, wearing a flowery dress, just aimlessly hanging around Hone Depot with a gun. (I assume it was a typo, but still.)

        WTF. OP, ignore this advice and keep on being your awesome self.

      • “It’s the funniest story. There I was hanging around Home Depot in my prettiest pink dress, full makeup and curled hair, and I met the love of my life in the plywood section. He said he liked that I was thin and didn’t look like a corporate raider, so it was love at first sight for him.”

        “Naturally, it doesn’t matter that none of this was the real me, because the important thing was catching a man, any man. I never would have thought of this if it hadn’t been for that tr oll on the Internet! Thanks random stranger!”

      • Anonymous :

        As an April Fool’s joke this is only slightly funny, I’m afraid. Try again.

        • There are a lot more men at Home Depot than there are sitting home with your cat.

          A pink dress and some makeup can’t hurt. A single man at Home Depot is at least working on a project and probably not in therapy. Could do worse!

          • Anonymous :

            You’re a complete and total i diot. The only guys who hang around my Home Depot are 300 lb construction workers, or guys who are 70 years old. The OP could do better, most definitely. Nice t rolling, tho.

          • Lots of hunky young guys there on the weekends at my Home Depot.

            But you do you!

            They are probably 1. Not in therapy 2. Gainfully employed since they can afford to remodel something 3. Productive individuals

            But I bet it’s been a while since you yourself have executed a home remodeling project

            I’m guessing you are an elite blue stater. MAGA!

          • “But I bet it’s been a while since you yourself have executed a home remodeling project”

            Does replacing fixtures and cabinetry and repainting my bathroom count? Did that last year (with my husband’s help; can’t leave him out of the credit). So I know my way around Home Depot. Spent lots of time and money there.

            “I’m guessing you are an elite blue stater.”



            Oh, Anon at 2:09. I am so sorry, you are in the wrong place. Return of Kings or whatever men’s rights blog you like to frequent is ——> thataway. I know it’s probably very uncomfortable for you to be here, reading about how we really aren’t all that impressed by guys who are stuck in a 1950s mentality about women, and also reading about women who don’t really give a rip what men think of their appearance, their hobbies, their personalities, etc. But hey, you do you! I am sure sitting in a basement somewhere posting about how in T rump’s America women will finally have to learn their place will lead you to a lot of happiness and emotional fulfillment. In the meantime, thanks for taking yourself out of the dating and gene pools, where, let’s be honest, you didn’t belong. The best thing Men Going Their Own Way could do for women, and for humanity, is to really *go their own way* and get away from us until they die without reproducing themselves. If that’s what you’re doing, then I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Toodles!

  8. I have several weddings to attend this summer and I’m trying to buy a dress. The problem is despite being 32, I’ve never owned a single dress as an adult and I don’t know how to choose one that is flattering. Anyone have any advice on how to start? I’m between sizes 6 and 8. My main problem is the spare tires around my middle. I tried a couple of fit and flare type dresses from Nordstrom as I love the way those look, but they really highlight the stomach rolls. Is spanx my only solution or is there a dress type that may hide the belly fat?

    • espresso bean :

      I have a similar shape and a spare tire, too. I find that fit and flares can work well IF the skirt part is cut a bit higher and the flare starts above my problem areas. If not, it’s all over. You definitely have to try a lot of them on. Good luck!

      • cat socks :

        Same. I like fit and flare dresses where it’s fitted right underneath my chest and then flares out. I find those styles flow over my belly. Rent the Runway might be an option if you want a different dresses for multiple occasions.

    • Shopaholic :

      Also look at trapeze dresses. They may flow over your belly and be more flattering.

    • Re: spare tire. You either have to
      1) live with it
      2) wear shapewear, or
      3) find a style that is not fitted in that area

      I have a similar issue and I’m a big fan of loose tops worn with pencil skirts. You don’t have to wear a dress. Separates are ok.

    • ski bunny :

      Shift styles would probably work.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to shift. For weddings, I’d probably still wear the shapewear (I prefere maidenform, fyi) because of all the pictures, but a shift should work well without too.

        Make an appointment with a Nordstroms stylist. This is literally the exact situation to use one. Tell them everything you said here, you’ll show up and they’ll already have a room stocked with things to try. It will be very efficient and free.

        • Great ideas, thanks! I think a visit to my local Nordstrom is in order. I didn’t even know what trapeze dresses are, but those and shift dresses are worth a shot. Definitely not as clingy.

    • Maybe a dress with loose ruching around the belly area. You definitely have to try things on to see how they look.

      • Genevieve :

        I think the type of fabric and fit is more important than the style. I tend to wear clothes with more structure to the fabric which helps to skim over the areas of your body you’d rather not highlight. If it fits well and it’s structured most styles will look good.

  9. WWYD – I have a friend that was due about a month ago, and I’ve heard nothing about the birth. We see each other about every six weeks but, other than that regular get together, we don’t talk in between. She was excited (as was her husband) about the baby and, even if they hadn’t posted to social media, they would have sent an email announcement for the birth. So, at this point, I’m unfortunately assuming the worst and I’m not sure what to do. Her and I don’t have many mutual friends so I can’t go asking around (though would prefer not to do that anyway b/c I don’t want to spread rumors when I don’t know anything). On the one hand, I want to reach out and say “Been thinking about you guys. Hope things are okay. Let me know if you need anything.” But I also don’t want to intrude on what could be a very tough situation. I’d like to offer support if she needs it, but I don’t know what’s happening, don’t want to bother her and don’t want it to come off as if I’m digging for information. At this point, I think I’ve landed on not saying anything until I hear from her but would love to know if anyone’s had a similar experience.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I think that would be a great note to send to her. It’s not too obtrusive, and if she’s looking for someone to lean on, it’s clear you’re there. And of course, best case scenario is that the baby’s homecoming just unplugged her from social media/announcements/etc. It’s also not too uncommon to overshoot a due date by a week or two.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes – I agree. I think it’s a great text or email to send. Babies can be 1-2 weeks late, so with a 2 week late baby, she’s barely home from the hospital. And, updating more casual friends wasn’t really a priority for me postpartum.

        If, god forbid, something went wrong, your message is a good balance of checking in without being intrusive or overbearing.

    • Anon also :

      I think your instinct is right. If she didn’t have a favorable outcome then she doesn’t need another person asking what happened.

      If on the other hand everything was great, she may just be too overwhelmed to get around to announcing the birth in any format, much less to a casual friend she sees every month or two at most.

    • Anonymous :

      I had a friend who was two weeks late and took two weeks to send out any emails (she had an emergency c-section after a very rough delivery attempt). So I wouldn’t assume the worst quiiite yet, but I don’t see anything wrong with checking in with a mutual friend.

    • Anonymous :

      I think that wording would be good. It can be interpreted well in many situations.

      Some of my friends have lost pregnancies – including one who had a late term still birth – and they would have appreciated people reaching out to say these exact words.

      Also – I always went two weeks past due and was very slow in contacting people – especially after my first – so there could be a happy outcome.

    • I think your wording is perfect and I suggest reaching out (coming from a mom, although granted I have never lost a child so I cannot speak from that perspective). She could be absolutely exhausted from the newborn trenches and just hasn’t had time or energy to send out any sort of announcements.

  10. Anonymous :

    Embarrassed to admit this, but I don’t regularly go to the doctor because I’m generally healthy. The only appointment I actually do is the well woman. I want to be more cognizant regarding health and am wondering what appointments you all regularly have.

    What should I be doing annually? I have well woman covered. I’m thinking about adding an annual dermatologist appointment for skin cancer screening and an eye doctor appointment. I haven’t had glasses before and haven’t been in around 4 years, but am wondering if I should consider something like computer glasses for work.

    • espresso bean :

      I do that plus derm (super pale here), and eye doctor. I try to schedule them around the same time, like first quarter of the year, so I can just get everything out of the way.

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely get an eye exam – eye health goes way beyond a prescription for glasses. At my last exam I learned I had a cornea infection that could have blinded me if left untreated (I wasn’t having symptoms yet so I didn’t know). They test for glaucoma and all sorts of things.

    • cat socks :

      I have a yearly appointment with my OB/GYN and get a Pap smear every other year. She also prescribes my BC, which is free through insurance.

      I get a physical with my primary care physician once a year. I have hypothyroidism so I need to get blood work done each year to make sure my meds are correct. I wouldn’t have known about the thyroid issue without the blood test. Also, my husband’s health insurance puts money in our HSA once we do our yearly physical.

      Dentist twice a year for cleanings.

      Eye doctor once a year b/c I wear glasses/contacts.

      I think it would be a good idea to see an eye doctor even if you don’t wear glasses. They can examine the overall health of your eyes and check for issues like glaucoma.

    • Anonymous :

      You can use your vision benefits for sunglasses.

    • I don’t think you necessarily need to add doctor’s appointments if you are generally healthy. How old are you? IANAD though so maybe that’s bad advice.

      I go to the OBGYN and the dermatologist once a year, but I’m an extremely pale person who has outdoor hobbies and a family history of skin cancer on both sides so I don’t feel the annual dermatologist visit is optional for me. Your skin may vary. I have glasses but don’t go to the eye doctor unless I feel my eyesight is deteriorating again, which it hasn’t in a few years. I seem to be able to read the same street signs at a distance as others with good vision so I think I’m fine. I’m early 30’s, for reference.

    • How old are you? First time a went to a dr. for any kind of “well exam” (ANY kind) was at age 32 – since then I’ve gone every 18 months-2 yrs which I figure is better than nothing. Will go to the eye dr. every 2-3 yrs. I think this stuff kicks up in your 30s. Would NEVER have gone in for any kind of physical in my 20s.

    • Anonymous :

      I go to an OBGYN for a well woman visit yearly and a pap smear whenever she says I need one (which I think is now every 3 years). I go to the dentist for cleanings, but I don’t see any other doctors. I did ask my gyn at one point if I should go to a dermatologist for skin cancer screening and she said it wasn’t necessary unless I saw something changing on my skin or I had a family history, which I don’t. I have perfect vision and have never been to the eye doctor in my life. Maybe I’m the opposite of a hypochondriac but I’m perfectly ok with just the well-woman visit and the dentist.

      • Anonymous :

        I’d suggest going to the eye doctor – maybe not every year, but at least for a base line (especially if you’ve never been), and then every 3-5 years after. Vision isn’t the only thing they check for.

    • Hi,
      You don’t state your age, but assuming you’re a 20-40 something-year-old, my advice is the same: See the eye doctor, get dental checkups twice a year, and I’d recommend establishing a relationship with a primary care doctor. This way, if you ever do have a health issue in the future, you have already seen someone who knows you – and more importantly – who you like and trust. I tell my patients the best time to see me is before they need me. Having a good, established relationship with a doc can really help you out. I’ve called in a refill of medications for someone out-of-state on a business trip, gotten someone into a specialist sooner after a car accident, etc.

      Even if you aren’t “sick”, wellness exams are worth your time and effort. Insurance covers certain exams or testing based your age certain risk factors (lifestyle, family history, etc). In the long run, it’s generally cheaper and easier to fix problems before they become full-blown diagnoses that require more drugs, more testing, more interventions.

      Plus, I really, really like someone giving me a clean bill of health each year. Always reassuring. And I guess I can deal with the dentist lecturing me about my crappy flossing habits…

  11. full apartment of furniture pkgs? :

    A friend’s kid is moving into her 1st apartment and I’m trying to help find furniture. Parent would feel better outfitting the place rather than having her kid look for used pieces and figure out delivery for each. What websites have entire furniture packages for a full apartment at a decent price?

    • Anonymous :


    • Anonymous :

      I would use Ikea. Reasonable prices, neutral furniture (lots of white) so kid can add her own style elements + kid gets ownership in the process by having to do some assembly.

    • World Market sells all kinds of furniture, and a young person won’t find it as matchy-matchy and it allows for more personality. However, IKEA is sort of a rite of passage.

    • Make the kid scrounge around on Craigslist like most young adults do.

      • +1 Seriously, folks, when does the helicopter parenting end? Moving out on your own is a great time to start…figuring this stuff out on your own.
        And yes I’m grumpy right now about having to work on a stupid project for the job I’m itching to quit. But let the kids grow up already.

  12. Anonymous :

    I have never heard of the expression “well woman” but it cracked me up.

    You should see an ophthalmologist periodically, a dermatologist, and a GP or internist. I go to these three once a year (in addition to my “well woman”). And dentist should be 2x/year.

    • Anonymous :

      A “well woman” visit is a very standard name for an annual gyn exam for a healthy woman.

    • Actually, no. People should not see a dermatologist every year unless you have a derm issue that the dermatologist says needs yearly follow-up.

      If you have a family history of aggressive skin cancer, or a history of childhood blistering sunburns, or a mole/skin lesion that is changing or concerning or any new dermatologic problem that your primary care doctor cannot manage….. THEN you could consider seeing a dermatologist to assess your risk.

      Normal;y, people do not go for a skin check every year unless that is recommended based on your history/exam.

      There is no recommendation to see an eye doctor periodically. Optometrists can check if your prescription has changed, but an ophthalmologist is not needed for that and many medical plans don’t even cover this exam. A baseline exam with Ophtho is not recommended until age 40. Then the Ophtho will tell you when to come back.

  13. replace a car or no? :

    Went to mechanic this morning; my 2002 hyundai needs about $2500 worth of work. It has about 90k miles. KBB says it’s worth $1700 private party sale or $750 trade in. Wasn’t planning to replace the car for another year or two due to low mileage and would prefer not to kill my savings to do it now. However, is it stupid to spend more on a car than it’s worth? I worry about fixing it and then some idiot hits me and it’s replacement value is worth way less than I just paid to fix it. However, is that better than spending my savings? (a replacement car would still be used and have to be under 6k).

    Advice please?

    • Anonymous :

      If you have the $2500 for the work, and combine it with about $1500 from a private sale then you have $4K for a new to you used car. I’d buy the $4k car.

      • I’d assume it’s only worth the $1500 if the work was done. So if you skip the work, you aren’t going to get the $1500. You do not have $4k for the car in that calculation.

    • Yes it’s stupid to spend more on a car than it’s worth. Some maintenance is expected but $2500 is over the line, and there’s no guarantee it won’t need a few more thousand in the next year or so.

      You’re probably looking at salvage value at this point.

    • What’s the $2500 for?

      I disagree that it’s always stupid to spend more on a car than it’s worth. If this car only has 90k miles on it and you put this money in, it may last you anther 90k miles, or 10 years. $2500 isn’t that much for 10 years. But this calculus depends to some extent on what the maintenance issue is.

      • Except the car is already 15 years old – I do see some 25-year old cars on the road but I wouldn’t count on it.

        • That’s why I said it depends on what the maintenance issue is. If what is needs are new tires and brakes, that could easily cost a couple thousand, but I would classify it as routine maintenance at 90k miles. If what it needs is a bunch of non-routine engine work (various pumps and hoses failing or something), it might be better to junk it.

          • Not the OP but just got new brakes and tires on my 2005 car (with, I admit 195k miles). Spent $800 and almost traded it in right there (am hoping for another 6-18 months with this car).

      • +1

        I’d argue that it’s not about spending more than the car is worth, it’s about whether the fix will be cheaper than buying a new car. Which, as long as you get a decent amount of driving time out of the fix, is generally going to be “yes”.

      • Agreed. I just spent $1000 on new headlights for my 2002 Acura with 85,000 miles. KBB says it’s worth about $4000. I felt good about it because it’s repairing something unrelated to the engine, transmission, etc. I’d feel the same about brakes, tires, etc. I’d sell the car if it needed expensive repairs on anything to do with the drive train.

    • Anonymous :

      $2500 divided over a year is around 200$ towards a car payment.

      When you are paying as much in a year for repairs as you would be paying towards a car payment it’s time for a new car.

      What happens when the next repair comes along? A car this age is only going to need pricey repairs and they will come unexpectedly. If you shift to a reliable car with an easily anticipated expense schedule it will be easier to plan your life. Ask me how I know. I tried to keep my old car alive with repairs and ended up having to get it towed to the mechanic when it died unexpectedly in an intersection. Don’t be me.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, it’s a Hyundai, not a Ford truck….it’s not built for life. There is a reason those cars come with a 100K warranty. You got a good amount of life out of it. Not knowing more about your finances, I would think maybe you could find one of those $0 down type lease deals or other financing. That way you retain your liquid savings and can just put the $2500 toward the monthly payments.

    • Anonymous :

      Time to replace. Bite the bullet. This was almost my exact situation earlier this year. We got a three year lease on a Honda CRV, which hold their value very well I have a scheduled raise and other likely income, we plan to buy the car at the end of my lease. This gave me an affordable payment to start without blowing all my savings. I know the common opinion on leases, but it may be worth considering. And having a reliable car really is worth something.

      • The value of the lease depends on the interest rate and the residual value built into the lease. For years and years, auto companies have been underwater on SUV leases – the residual value (the amount you have to pay to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease) is higher than the market value at the end of the lease, so consumers are better off just turning in the vehicle. Why would they buy the vehicle at above market price?

        Auto makers did this because it kept their new car production figures high. A substantial portion of those lease-end customers just decided to start a new lease on a new SUV, and the car companies sold many of the lease return SUVs overseas to the BRIC countries.

        Even though they had technically lost money on the lease, the accounting treatments were pretty favorable in this arrangement, and the companies’ share prices were boosted by the continuing demand for new cars.

        The funny thing is, a low interest rate lease with a high residual value is good for the consumer too. You don’t end up paying for the full depreciation during your lease – the car company (or finance company, because they were in on it too) gets stuck with it.

        So I don’t automatically think leases are a bad idea, if you’d otherwise be buying a new car.

  14. My friends has had a rough year and is going on a month-long camping trip to Alaska. Any thoughtful gift ideas?

    • *friend*, sorry!

    • Anon in NYC :

      This is a random one, but maybe some dehydrated food that they can add water to and warm up on a camp stove. Another idea is a solar charger for their phones/GPS. I assume they have headlamps, but if not, that could be a useful one.

    • Anonymous :

      Is she backpacking and carrying all of her own stuff?

    • lucy stone :

      Your friend is about to have the time of her life. I’m assuming she’s probably already outdoorsy and has her gear, but maybe an LL Bean or REI gift card to get a few more supplies? A Moleskin travel diary?

    • If she’s backpacking (as in truly carrying everything), every ounce counts and what you think is worth the weight varies person to person. That said, if she’s really doing the back country thing, one of these might be useful if she doesn’t already have one:

      It might be best though to just ask if there’s anything she needs or wants.

      • Yes, she is outdoorsy (and I am not, which why I’m turning it over to you ladies) and yes, she will be carrying everything in a backpack. So I was thinking either something light and useful that she will carry around, or something to help prepare for or remember her trip by. Thanks for the suggestions!

        • Anonymous :

          If you know where she’ll be after camping, maybe a massage if that is available? If you really want to give her something physical maybe nice hiking socks (Darn Tough is a good brand), but anything gadgety she’d have to carry may not be a positive.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      Maybe not the most glamorous gift but…insect repellant. I had a friend who did field school in Alaska and didn’t want to use DEET. Well she had to go to a doctor while in field school to get prescription to get the swelling down and buy more mosquito repellent. I saw her 3-4 weeks afterwards and she was still swollen from how many bites she got. It literally must have been in the hundreds.

      Also bar shampoo and conditioner. Way easier to pack than liquids.

    • A friend of mine moved to Alaska for a year (clerkship) and I got her mosquito repellant and a bear whistle or something (something anti-bear, it was a few years ago) as kind of a “gag gift” along with a gift card to REI, which was very well received.

      • Anonymous :

        A friend got me a subscription to “Alaska Men” — not sure if that is still in existence, but it’s a magazine of single Alaskan men looking for ladies.

    • Anonymous :

      If you aren’t outdoorsy (or, even if you are) I’d do an REI gift card. Backpackers (myself included) are really particular about what they want. Packing is much more strategic than carryon luggage.

      For sentimental, think tiny and lightweight: A patch or small fob for her pack, a note of encouragement to carry with her.

    • Wildkitten :

      I am jealous of your friend.

    • I have spent a month travelling around South America (packed like a backpacker, but travelled by a car) and a friend of mine was travelling around South America for two years.
      During this trip, we have appreciated the following:
      External charger (buy the one with highest charging power)
      Headlamp and/or small lamp which can stand on the ground or be hanged in a tent
      Whistle (bear-whistle given her destination)
      Deet repelent
      Merino underwear and merino longsleeve shirt (I have travelled light with only three LS tops, two leggings, 3sets of underwear and then some trekking pants and jackets). They will be super comfortable, breathable, sweat-wicking, they will nit stink and can be washed with just water from a spring or lake. I like Icebreaker brand.
      Photo of your dearest
      Buff headband – it is truly multifunctional and saved me from arctic winds killing my ears
      Filtering watter bottle – this will cut down on the weight she will be carrying as she can refil the bottle from any lake/spring/river and does not have to carry gallons of water with her. Mine is LifeStraw.
      Blister plasters (Compeed or Scholl)
      Extra batteries and extra memory cards for the camera
      Dry/dehydrated food – yes, this might come handy (been there), but since she will be carrying the weight, I would buy this on the spot (refill stock when in a village or a town).

      Since your friend is outdoorsy, it is possible she already has some/most of these things. In this case, a gift card to an outdoor shop or Amazon (I got everything from Amazon) will be nice.

      And tell her not to overpack – one month will fly really fast and in the end, she might find out she didn’t need third of all the stuff.

  15. I assume this is the April Fool’s post?

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Dunno, man, I really like these. I’m not going to spend $60 on them, but I think they’re fun.

  16. An April Fools Thought :

    Lots of folks post “I’m pregnant!” April Fools posts. Please take a moment and think about those who are struggling with infertility or miscarriage and how common this is even if women aren’t talking about it. I know we talk a lot about people being too sensitive for the internet, but in this case, there are plenty of silly jokes to make that won’t potentially gut punch a friend.

    If you are that friend, please know that people aren’t trying to hurt you, even though it might feel that way since the experience is so personal and intense. <3

    • Anonymous :

      Thank you for this. I haven’t even experienced infertility or miscarriage but these posts always make me cringe.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I can’t even believe people would do that! Setting aside the insensitivity, it seems like a decidedly unfunny joke.

        • Yeah, what’s the punchline exactly…? Don’t get how it would be funny even absent any other considerations.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m 32 now and this seemed very common in the early days of Facebook when most of my friends were in college or our early 20s. I guess the idea was that it was funny because it was such an outlandish thing to say? I feel like many of the people who did it were not married or even in serious relationships so it was more of an obviously silly thing. I agree there’s not really anything funny about an established, married couple fake-announcing a pregnancy, even ignoring the insensitivity. Thankfully these joke announcements haven’t been popular in my circle for some time now.

        • I have never understood why some people consider this type of thing a “joke”. Telling someone something plausible and then laughing at them for believing it is not joking, it’s just… lying.

    • oh FFS, I mean the original post, by CAT, about the leggings!

      • Yes I think everyone got that, and good one! I think it just reminded someone of other April Fools.

        • OK, phew. Major miscommunication. I thought there was some post way above about miscarriage to which it seemed I was replying. Too many threads and posts!

  17. more vacation questions :

    Partner and I have realized that our only opportunity to take a week-long trip this year will be in mid-June, so we need to start planning but are having trouble picking a destination. Budget is up to $5K, although we do have some airline credits to use up.

    Traveling from mid-Atlantic. We really like to eat and to be outdoors (though are more for hiking than for beaches). We’ve ruled out Iceland because the northern lights won’t be visible at that time of year. Where else should we consider?

    • The outdoorsy trips I keep trying to plan for that time of year are Denali, Boundary Waters, Canadian Rockies, or Vancouver/BC (if you’d like more of a mix of city and outdoors). If you have closer to 10 days with weekends, I might do Vancouver + Banff.

      Alternatively, if you like the outdoors but aren’t as into camping and hiking, I would think about Costa Rica and Nicaragua. It is just the beginning of rainy season, but chances are it wouldn’t have a huge impact on your trip. Neither is a huge country so you can fly in, travel to a costal or mountain location, and explore another location in that time if you want to.

    • Anonymous :

      Greece. It’s still not high season, the food is great, the wine is cheap, and the beaches are incredible.

      • Agreed, Greece is gorgeous! And you can do some hiking as long as it’s not too hot. Canada is also great – eastern Canada (maritimes) is breathtaking and has some beautiful hikes.

  18. Anonymous :

    How do I style a tan/khaki-colored sleeveless dress. My neutrals are usually black pants or skirt with a more colorful top and accessories or a black dress with black tights. What color tights and shoes should I wear under this dress? What color cardigan do I wear over or long-sleeve turtle neck can I wear under it to stay warmer in my cold office?

    • I don’t wear my tan sleeveless dress in tights weather. It just doesn’t work for me until it hits at least 70 degrees outside. Then any cardigan goes.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I think khaki-colored items read too “spring” to be successfully styled with black tights.

    • Agreed. What is the fabric? If by tan you mean camel and it is a wool garment, you might be able to carry it off with tights. But if it is a tan cotton dress (which I tend to think it is when it is sleeveless), then I would not wear with tights at all. Maybe hose if that is how you roll, but nude.

      As far as another piece to wear with the dress, I’ve done olive with that kind of tan (but it can feel too on the nose and safari-ish) as well as red and purple, but I feel like tan khaki is hard to style.

    • Anonymous :

      Ummmm don’t wear a khaki sleeveless dress? Sorry. It just doesn’t sound cute.

  19. Sloan Sabbith :

    These look like something Zenon would wear.

    • ceetus lupeedis, you’re right! With a single hologram earring…to the protazoa concert. Yes.

  20. I always thought Coke Zero was different because it had a different artificial sweetener than Diet Coke.

    Not true. Coke had to develop Coke Zero because men thought Diet Coke was a woman’s drink. *eyeroll*

    • I’ve never heard this before, but I think they taste different and far prefer Coke Zero…

    • They are different products. http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/1199008

    • Wildkitten :

      Both are true.

      • Both which are true?

        Both drinks use asparatame as the sweetener.

        • Wildkitten :

          Diet Coke uses aspartame. Coke Zero has half as much aspartame, and is also sweetened with acesulfame potassium. Coke Zero was designed to appeal to men who shy away from Diet Coke, yes, but it also tastes different because it uses less aspartame and more acesulfame potassium.

    • Name name same same :

      My marketing lecturer described it as bloke coke. Diet Coke by another name targeting men too embarrassed to purchase Diet Coke.

      • “Bloke Coke” so funny.

        I work with a bunch of techy dudes and to a one they all drink Bloke Coke.

        Might as well sell Diet Coke in pink cans.

      • Aquae Sulis :

        +1 it’s referred to as ‘Bloke Coke’ here!

  21. Advice Please :

    I work as a ghostwriter and have had a client for approx. 18 months. When I accepted the job to write articles for this person, I asked specifically whether the work would be attributed to anyone when it was posted to websites and was told no, it will always go on websites without any attribution. For whatever reason, I never looked up pieces I had written until right now when a friend asked if I ever had. I now see that the person who hired me/who pays me has been posting/publishing them under her own name and that, due to so many publications of these pieces over the past 18 months, is now considered an expert in the topic on numerous websites and elsewhere.

    I feel… not right… about this, but I’m not sure if I can or should say anything and, if so, what to say. Advice or feedback, please?

    • Do you have a contract stating how the writing was supposed to be attributed?

      • Wildkitten :

        Or do you have it in writing in an email?

        • Advice Please :

          I asked in an email about attribution, she responded that it will be published externally without attribution.

          There was never an official contract, just a series of emails. Plus this client is 30%+ of my income, so I worry about being let go and losing that, but I also don’t like being told one thing and finding out another is the case, especially since the client uses their own name on my work to promote themselves as an expert in that field. Am I stuck choosing silence/money vs. speaking up but can’t force them to delete or attribute to me and losing the income?

          • Anonymous :

            I would post this on Monday when you will get more responses. I tend to agree that it’s probably risky to bring this up with your main (?) client, but I would be seriously pissed off.

            What about marketing yourself to other places as an expert in this field as a result of this work? I would imagine you could just tell people that you were ghostwriting for [the name of the person who stole your work] without getting into the details.

  22. Where do you recommend I look online to see “reviews” of a local lawyer?

    I am buying condo. Cheap cash sale. The Appraiser I used who has been in the town for 50 years as a realtor/appraiser recommended the lawyer. But I have never had a lawyer before, and have learned the hard way to do you due diligence.

    • Or, any place I can go to where ?formal complaints/lawsuits against a lawyer would be found?

      I’m in medicine and it can be erratic online where to find reliable info about docs, so I was wondering if it is similar in law.

      • Good luck with your purchase! No advice, but I will be back to follow this thread since I am in the middle of my first 1031 exchange and can use any tidbit of information I can get.

      • The state bar will likely list formal complaints. Other than that, checking their credentials (i.e. where they went to law school, years in practice), and just doing a general google search, I’m not aware of any lawyer “ratings” you could review.

    • In my experience, it is the same with the law. You can check your state’s bar website for formal discipline, but there isn’t much to guide you on a particular attorney’s rep. I choose lawyers based on recs from my friends — I would tell you to do the same.

  23. postpartum corset? :

    I found Kat’s helpful post about her experience with postpartum corset on the mom’s site, but seeking other anecdotal experiences. Anyone tried one? I had a c-section with my second child who is currently 2 months. Is it too late to get the benefits of wearing a corset? I’ve lost most of the baby weight but am fearing that pooch that seems to be staying. I am also recovering from a herniated disc and thinking the stability of a corset would help. Or at least mitigate my vanity…TIA!

    • I was told... :

      these are just for the time the muscles need support, like a knee brace or the like, that once the muscles heal, there’s no need for them, but that continuing to wear them can cause muscles not to work as hard and thus not to heal as well. Also, was told it does nothing for the pooch since that’s about skin and fat, not about muscles.

    • Legally Brunette :

      At least in my experience, it was sadly too late at 2 months (around when I started using it). I used it constantly and did not notice any improvement. I’ve heard it’s a miracle of sorts for those who use it almost immediately after birth. I guess there’s nothing to lose except money for buying it anyway and seeing how it works. Wish I had more optimistic news!

    • In Scandinavia pp corsets are not recommended, because they could push your innards down as well as the uterus. That can make it really tough for the pelvic floor to heal. The result could be a prolapse or just difficulty holding your pee or nr2

  24. Name name same same :

    Any tips for starting a new job. Junior lawyer moving to a bigger firm and into a more specialised area. First time having own secretary and not having an experienced lawyer as direct manager. This role comes with a lot more autonomy than current role. Any guidance/ words of wisdom? Secretary won’t be a direct report but I will be assigning and delegating work to them. This is a massive step up in terms of career ladder and responsibility for me. Excited but nervous.

  25. Anonymous :

    I am looking for tops that I can wear without a bra (34A) and still be appropriate in a pretty conservative environment. Any thoughts? Or is this just not doable?

    Also, any recs for lightweight/breathable leggings for a warmer climate?


    • So, nothing under the shirt at all? Not even a camisole or undershirt?


      I’m 32/34A too, and I would never risk it. I can’t think of any work-appropriate top for this. I’d be too nipped out, as many of us with small girls experience, for comfort going Rambo in a “conservative environment”.

      So, this is an April Fool’s joke…… right?

    • Anonymous :

      if you are that small you can wear most sweaters without a bra, but no blouses.

      • Really? Not any nice quality thin cashmere/silk blends/merino etc…. and cheaper blends also often lie against the skin too.

        You could wear a big bulky type sweater that makes you look shapeless, but those aren’t work appropriate. Or you could hide under a blousy oversized top with a cardigan on top to further hide things. But again, not conservative office wear.

        To me, conservative work appropriate is actually skimming your body fairly close with tailored clothes that are way to risky for braless.

        Would you really want to be known as the young female lawyer that goes braless at work?

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I’m coming from the opposite end of the spectrum 34DDD and I can’t image it would be that noticeable if someone was a 32A or 34A and did not wear a bra. There really isn’t that much bounce, there, right? You are just worried about headlights? Pasties could take care of that. Also, at my size, I sometimes get headlights even with a well supporting bra. I would imagine someone 32 or 34 A could wear a blouse with a blazer over it and no one would ever know.

          • I can’t imagine it not being noticeable. I’m a DD but I know when my friend who is an A isn’t wearing a bra- it isn’t obscene, but I note it in the same way I would notice if I could see my friends bra strap under a shirt- not a big deal at all in social situations. In a work environment described as “conservative” I can’t see being able to pull this off.

    • Not sure why you would want this, however, I think you could do with blouses which have ruffles or folding on the chest. I have a dress from BR from this Spring’s collection that has a folding on the chect (Ruffle-front shift dress) and a one-shoulder top with a generous ruffle – I have worn the latter without a bra (since it was hot outside and I did not have a strapless bra with me).

    • I wouldn’t go braless to work even though I’m also on the small side. It’s just not worth it. I will go braless in my personal life whenever possible though.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      You can do it if you always wear a blazer.

  26. Penny London :

    I have been a practicing attorney for 14 years and ended up in a very specialized area of corporate tax law. I have been thinking about making a switch to family law, something I am more interested in and think I would be very good at. I’m running into a few problems, First, because of my area of practice I don’t know any family law attorneys so it’s hard to meet people in that practice area. Second, I don’t want to advertise that I’m looking to make this change in case it doesn’t work out. One of the partners where I work made a comment that my heart doesn’t really seem to be in [what we do] and that’s without knowing I’m looking for something else. Third, when I do talk to other attorneys about switching practice areas they seem very hesitant because of how long I’ve been practicing. I know that if I were to start a new area of practice that I would have to start over as a junior associate and I’m ok with that but then people start to think there is something “wrong” with me if I’m willing to start all over when I’m 40 years old. So, I’m looking for any advice people may have on how to approach this. Or advice on how to make my current area of practice more interesting and less soul-sucking. Or an area of law that is closer to corporate tax law that would be easier to transition into. I just need to do something different. I’m in DC if that matters. Thanks!

    • I’m 34 and have just made the change to a new area of law. Also going from financial/ corporate to private client law. We will be working for long enough and I would rather do something I enjoy and which motivates me. As the saying goes short term pain; long term gain. Do it. Make the leap. Who cares what people say or think. In 2 years time your experience will stand to you and you won’t be as far behind as you think you will be. Our working lives are long; do what makes you happy. You only get one life. You measure your own success.

    • Anonymous :

      After only five years at one type of law I found it virtually impossible to switch. No one would hire me, people were even hesitant to get into office share arrangements. Instead I left my firm, stayed in my area and built my own practice and firm up. Definately worked out in the end.

    • Anonymous :

      In my city (not DC, but large Southeastern) I know a family law attorney who practiced big firm litigation and switched to family after about 10 years. I would think that you can sell your skills as transferable especially is you are doing high net worth clients, which is what my friend does.

      As an alternative, maybe you could do some pro bono family work? We have a local program where attorneys assist with simple divorces and obtaining DV protection orders. There is also VAWA petitions which are somewhat related. You could get some experience and probably meet some people.

      Good luck! It sounds like a very exciting and interesting change to me.

    • Late to answer, but look before you leap. I have a friend who was a partner in a specialized mostly transactional field who decided to make the jump to a plaintiff and public interest oriented litigation firm. The practices were dramatically different in terms of clients (corporate businesspeople and counsel vs. individuals — often not very sophisticated individuals), project type (2-5 large projects at a time vs. 30 or more small litigation matters at a time), timelines (60 to 180 day projects vs. 10 days to answer a pleading or 30 days to answer discovery and soft deadlines vs. hard court dates), resources (large firm juniors and support staff vs. one receptionist/billing clerk/assistant for four attorneys)., and structure (hierarchical vs. totally flat).

      After spending many years in a field and at a firm where she was well-mentored and trained, going to a firm where she was told to research out answers, touch base with a partner, and use her judgment, it all was a shock to her system, to say the least. For her, the biggest surprise was that she did not find the work gratifying; clients often were very demanding and then not appreciative. Her story has not had a happy ending yet; she did not last long at that firm and now is trying to rebuild.

      So think it through — family law is a very demanding practice at every level. Be sure that you are ready for the kind of demands the practice places on you before you set your heart on the field. Some informational coffees with people in the family law section of your local bar might be a good way to see if this really is the way you want to go.

    • Try an LLM and volunteer work :

      I am in DC, too. Several friends here have used LLM coursework, in combination with volunteer work to transition into a new field. Some only did LLM classes. They also used volunteer work to gain experience, build their skill sets, and establish a wider network for job leads. Be patient and build your network and experience towards your vision of your new career. You have waited this long. Give yourself another two years to move into family law. And be nice to everyone! Be curious, listen to them, and let them help you. DC is a very small place, heck, even DC plus Baltimore is pretty small.

      Several DC attorneys used part time and even online LLM coursework to network with adjunct and full time professors, classmates, and alumni, which led to their career transitions. Some used their status as an LLM student to attend conferences for free or at a reduced rate and networked with people in their desired field.

      You are absolutely right that it is very very hard to change fields. But people have done it. 10 years of white shoe Antitrust to in house counsel for fiduciary law; employment discrimination to appellate litigation; corporate law at a top 3 law firm to government International tax.

      A lot of government contexts overvalue private practice experience, which may work to your advantage. They like to hire people from elite schools and big name firms and stay quiet about the new attorneys’ lack of any relevant experience in the field.

      But volunteer work helps to network you to available government and legal aid jobs. It also helps you figure out what you do not want to do and what is a lot more possible.

      If you can, volunteer with a Maryland, Virginia, or District agency or other pro bono context. You can also get into family law related practice experience doing immigration and asylum pro bono work, volunteering with adoptions, wills for heroes, volunteering to help families who have disabled members set up special trusts.

      There is a lot of appellate divorce work, often high net worth ex husbands appealing alimony due to claimed changes of circumstances, to harass a former spouse, following his marriage to another person. So getting appellate experience may be helpful.

      For moving into family law, I have a Chicago ERISA attorney friend who left her firm after 15 years, set up her own practice, and then moved into a high net worth family law practice as their in house retirement plan assets and QDRO specialist. Someone else in Illinois volunteered for the Guardian Ad Litem and later got a job with them.

      Finally, you need new networks. Outside of obvious stalking grounds, like LLM classes, conferences, volunteer work, go join a bunch of things. Boutique women’s exercise studios have a lot of lawyers. District Pilates, Quantum Pilates, DC Bar Method, Capitol Hill Yoga, DC Biker Barre are all great places to meet and network with other professionals. Alumni group sports teams and projects (working on the annual awards banquet), alumni group game watches (Go Cubbies!), running groups, training for races and regular committed networking before, during, and after a race, book clubs, weekend retreats, meetups, wine classes, language classes, art lectures. Join a schul, a temple, a church, a prayer group, a mosque, an organization that reads to children at lunchtime or prepares meals for the homeless on weekends. Treat your desires career transition as dating for your new career. Some of the best leads come from outside of targeted networking because people within targeted groups tend to all share the same information.

      Also, as far as discretion, stay quiet about a desire to leave your field. But acknowledge that you would like to get some different experience and get support from your existing network to volunteer. Many DC attorneys maintain active pro bono practices in areas of the law unrelated to their day jobs. Some employers are supportive of you spreading goodwill in the universe, especially if it generates positive word of mouth for them. The ABA Tax Section has a robust pro bono group, for example. Go hang out with them and use it to get family law tax experience. Maybe you can gain it through one of their Adopt a (military) base programs.

      Good luck!

  27. Luxury Nanny :

    I know it’s late in the weekend. Looking for advice about potentially becoming a luxury nanny. A bit of background: previous nanny, swim teacher, summer camp councillor, math and science tutor, and adept cook. I hold a BSc in a related field and am Academically published. I figure I could bring a lot to the table for a wealthy family. I’d be looking to make 30/h or so given all my qualifications. Is this reasonable or viable? I’m just very burnt out and job hunting seems to indicate that a woman with my technical skills isn’t wanted (but men with my skills are highly valued).

    • hmmmm.... :

      I’ve wondered about something similar, but alternatively as a high end senior care person. I have background in health care, and could even assist with medical bill/insurance company/Medicare issues, as well as hospice/palliative care.

      I’ve been told it is highly needed, but I’m not sure that most people could afford the cost. But if you found the right family….

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