Weekend Open Thread

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  1. Decided to go back to school for a Master’s degree in a different but still congruent field to what I’d been doing. Just found out that I got a small scholarship for Women In Leadership, as I was identified as “the type of woman who will better the world.” My essay/interview focus was on women, POC, LGBT people needing to be included in historical documentation and in education systems, not just hetero cis white males. Anyway, I’m feeling kinda proud of my scholarship but it is only covering about 1/6 of the cost, the rest comes out of pocket, which is a hardship for me but worth it to me. I keep reading about women’s scholarships that go unclaimed because no one applies but I’m beginning to think that’s caca used to sell “we’ll find it for you” scholarship searchers. I’ve done the basics but not finding much. Not even sure I want to mention this scholarship to others since it’s such a small percentage but I am feeling a little proud of myself about it. I wish C’rette had a scholarship to apply for!

    • Off-key Valkyrie :

      One-sixteenth is hardly small. Good for you!

      Also, have you looked into soroptomists scholarships? They had one for graduate level, and I believe it was the kind where winning a small local one put you up for a larger regional one, etc.

      Just a thought. Congratulations on what you’ve already accomplished and good luck finding more!

      • 1/6, not 1/16. yay for you, …! :)

        And yes, it would be lovely if ‘retters had a scholarship fund, we should have one for people going to school, for people needing professional wardrobe pieces, etc. Heck, maybe even a clothing swap since so many are so well-dressed here!

      • Senior Attorney :

        And one-sixth (which is how I read the post) is not at all small! Congratulations!!

      • In order for me to get the scholarship I was offered, I have to start the program on 6/1/2017. Most of the scholarships I am finding seem to not be awarded until several months or even a year after that date. I do hope other readers check out the website though, it sounds like there could be some great opportunities!

        • Is it possible to apply for/use a scholarship to pay for a single semester, for example? Obviously you’d rather have funding for this first semester or quarter or whatever schedule you’re on, but it may be helpful to have some funding for a future semester, too.

    • Anon in NYC :

      That’s awesome! Congratulations!

    • There’s a women’s group called PEO that awards scholarships – might be worth looking into them. I got $15,000 my last year of law school. Every bit helps!

      • Thanks… these appear to require a PEO member to sponsor my request to be considered, which seems unlikely since I don’t know anyone in the organization. I hope someone else sees this though who can use it <3

    • Congratulations!

      If you were in a sorority in college, check with their foundation arm about scholarships. They typically aren’t large, but it’s something and they’re generally available to alumnae.

  2. CPA here…can it be April 18th already?

    Wishing good luck and responsive clients until April 18 for all of my accountant/CPA friends!

  3. Let's Play A Game! :

    The random object that makes my life easier is:

    For me, it’s a set of rubber grippers that I bought for about $5 on amaz0n. They’re flat pieces of rubber (and one’s cone-shaped) that let me open jars and bottles without much strength. Not only does it make living alone easier, but it makes it so much easier for jars that my small hands can’t wrap around or for soda bottles that seal so tightly after being opened and re-closed! (Will post a link below this comment)

    What makes your life easier?

    • The keypad on my front door. It can take two codes at a time, so I keep one in place all the time for me, my SO, DS and my ex (we are friendly, he lives three blocks away) and I can set or change the second one as needed for repair people and house guests. I don’t have to fish around for keys or juggle if my hands are full, I can go out (when I walk) and not carry keys at all, and it’s super-convenient to let other people in when needed without having keys floating around.

      • BabyGotBackIssues :

        As someone who used to have one at my old condo and locked out at 2am last weekend after losing my keys, YES to this!!! My new one arrived yesterday, it is now sitting to be installed once this stormwind passes.

        • can these be installed on rental units or is it just for home owners?

          • Anonymous :

            I would guess that your landlord would not be super pleased about not having access when he wants it, but you could ask.

          • I assume it’s in addition to a key, not in place of. I would not want entry to my house controlled by just a keypad. My garage keypad is run on batteries.

          • Our keypad lock has a physical key option as well.

          • Yes, mine has a key also, and I keep it on my key ring in case the batteries die.

          • BabyGotBackIssues :

            Always get written permission, my HOA had a specific type we could install at our condos and the bylaws require a key kept with the property management for emergency access into the unit (i.e: someone’s water overflows from upstairs!) Yes, there are ones that allow you to keep your original key tumbler or allow key matching. I am not so certain I’d go for the SmartPhone one because there has been a rash of cars in my area with keyless ignition/smart entry and their break-ins from somehow the security systems being bypassed.

        • I went one further in my new house and have a smartlock I can open from my phone! So nice not to look for keys. It does take a physical key in case the battery dies.

    • newbinlaw :

      Sticky thing on the back of my phone. A kate spade one was featured here awhile ago, but you can get them for $5 on Amazon. I keep my ID, favorite credit card, and work badge in it and it is a GAME CHANGER in my life.

      • Oooh! Link?

      • Anonymous :

        Those do appeal to me, but I love having cute phone cases and the sticky thing kind of ruins it.

      • Anonymous :

        Was going to say this. I got my stick-on phone pocket as a freebie at a conference, but will buy one if I need a new one. It’s​ great for going to the gym or running out to pick up lunch.

        I also now use it when I go to the store, as my best friend was robbed at knifepoint a few months ago in a grocery store parking lot and they took her purse. The cops told her that thieves sit in parking lots waiting for ladies with big, expensive-looking purses to walk by, because they figure they won’t just get a wallet, but a resellable designer bag, a phone, the garage-door opener to the house (which they now have the address of), designer cosmetics, and all the other sundry things we keep in our purses. Since then I try to only take my phone with ID and debit card to the store with me.

        • I had a bag stolen from a hook under a bar (I was dancing and paying NO attention) and thought I would never see it again due to it matching you description of a stealable bag. The thief was so stupid that they only took my phone (a junky corporate 4s, locked up with passcode that would brick the phone after a few incorrect entries) and a couple of credit cards. They missed the fanciest credit card because it was black in a dark colored wallet. They dumped the rest of the bag, and a passerby noticed it and gave it to the police, and I got it back that weekend. I could not believe the thief passed up designer bag and wallet, credit card, keys to a car parked outside the bar (why not try the door open thing and see which car lit up), keys to house, nice makeup, etc.

          • Anonymous :

            It’s cool you got your stuff back. My friend has gotten nothing back, and within hours of her purse being stolen, the thieves put thousands of dollars on her credit cards, tried to cash one of her checks, and listed her bag, wallet, designer sunglasses and portable phone charger on Craigslist (the listing disappeared before she or the police could follow up). Within a week they had tried to open credit cards and get loans in her name. Her phone was in her pocket, not her bag, so they didn’t get that – or her garage-door opener, which was in her car. But they did get a spare house key she had in her wallet, necessitating her changing the locks at her house (at night on a Sunday, cost her over $1,000). The police told her that many parking-lot purse thieves operate as part of organized rings and get very good at what they do; they develop fencing contacts to move merchandise and enlist family members to spend money on the stolen cards as quickly as possible. My advice is, carry as little with possible when going out. My friend has spent hours and hours dealing with this since it happened.

          • …and this is why carrying checks in your wallet is a terrible idea. Or using checks at all when any alternative is available. Don’t use checks!

          • Anonymous :

            No kidding. She had to actually get a new bank account number, which then necessitated updating all her automatic bill payments. What a pain. Checks belong in a locked, secure place in a house; I never ever carry my checkbook any more. My friend is old-school and was still carrying hers; she won’t do that again obviously. I wish I didn’t have to use checks at all and could just get rid of them, but my son’s school only takes payment by check for anything we pay for there.

    • https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F67TLFC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    • Senior Attorney :

      My garlic twister: https://www.amazon.com/Next-Garlic-Twist-GTA-Purple/dp/B0046CBC4Q

      It also does ginger. I use it almost every time I cook, and it really helps me stick to Rule Eleven: Always Double the Garlic.

      Runner up: External battery for my cell phone, which can’t seem to hold a charge all day.

      • anon a mouse :

        Interesting – I have one of those and I hate it. I think my hands aren’t strong enough to get a good mince.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 I buy the jarred minced garlic. I’m sure it’s not as good as fresh minced but it gets the job done.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Mine is tangential – garlic peeler. I rolled my eyes at this unitasker when my mom gave it to me, but it is actually amazing and makes me so much more likely to use fresh garlic than to just want to buy it in the jars pre-minced.


    • Marshmallow :

      A very short Lightning cable on a keychain, so I can charge my phone pretty much anywhere (or helpfully offer to a client or friend in a pinch). Honorable mention to lipstick-sized external battery.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      A fidget cube. I always fidget with my hands, and if I don’t have anything to fidget with, I’ll pick at my hands/cuticles. This is both not professional and not good for me.

      So I have a fidget cube.

      • Does yours make clicking sounds? A coworker got one for me and all the buttons make clicking sounds. After watching Goliath, it totally changed that for me.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a silicone suction cup thing you put over the drain stopper thing on a bathtub so you can fill up your tub all the way and it doesn’t drain! It’s life changing. I got it on Amazon.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I have a silicone keyboard cover on my laptop. It keeps the keypad looking shiny new underneath, and makes it very very clear that it is MY computer, not someone else’s. It has saved it from a few splashes, too.

    • Mesh zipped cube to hold external batteries for electronics, cables (including old and new iPhones ven though I do not have them), external plugs (including one that allows two cables to plug in at a time from a tip on here several months ago), a small pad of tiny Post-Its and a pack of tape flags, and two pens. Fits in any briefcase or lit bag and keeps everything organized and handy. Easy to pull out and drop in the security tray at courts without having to fish for things in a purse or bag. Allows me to be prepared for anything and to be able to have charging ability for myself and others.

  4. Anonymous :

    I am starting to think that my mom is a classically toxic person. My biggest issues are (1) I say something about myself and she immediately relates that to herself — it’s impossible to have a “normal” give and take conversation with her (2) she CONSTANTLY bad mouths everyone — especially her friends — with the undertone always being how much better/kinder/smarter she is, (3) she is incapable of hearing me when I ask for change – she gets defensive and tells me how I exhibit all the same traits, and (4) she is needy and expects me to make any major decisions for her (and then complains about how unhappy she is with the result).

    She is 75 so this isn’t changing. Does anyone have advice? I don’t feel like she is toxic enough that I have to cut her out but I’m just over it. I dread going to her house, I dread calling her. She asked me the other day if I was hoping she would die soon (wtf?) and there was a moment where I felt my heart lift at the thought. The worst part is that as she ages, she is getting worse. Her memory is slipping and she just makes stories up out of thin air about things I never said or did. And she is getting more needy in terms of not being able to handle things around the house or her finances. Physically she is healthy and I could see her living to her mid-90s and I don’t think I can handle this that much longer.

    • JuniorMinion :

      You need to set up boundaries and have an honest think through for yourself what you are and aren’t willing to do for your mother. Are there other people in her life who can fill some of her time? Can she get involved with any sort of senior resources in her area? Adult day care / your local senior center / YMCA can be a great place, even for people who are mentally pretty with it. Often they have computer classes / tons of activities and it allows people who maybe don’t have cars / tons of stuff on their plates the ability to socialize with others and participate in things. My grandfather, who was mentally sharp as a tack but physically infirm loved it. He was the earliest adult adopter of email and digital photography that I knew.

      For yourself though, I would recommend setting up a schedule (if she’s not truly toxic to you) like you will call her on x day and see her on y day every week. Set these things up so that you always have somewhere to be / something to do afterwards and can’t get sucked into a pity party phone call. I would also refuse to engage when she badmouths ie “Mom if you continue to speak like that about person x i will hang up / leave”

    • Anonymous :

      Aging parents can be really hard.

      1. Call her on a set schedule for a set period of time (don’t tell her that – just make a point of calling her on a regular time on certain days) so that you have a routine and don’t Use a few white lies – ‘have to go mom, dinner is ready/early meeting/need to get some laundry in, let’s talk tomorrow’ to wrap up conversations after an allotted period of time.

      2. Don’t emotionally invest yourself in the content of the conversations – expect that she will complain about her friends. Nod/agree and let her vent. Chat about a few innocuous topics – weather, your cat, whatever. Don’t take her opinions too seriously or personally.

      3. Don’t ask for change. Just make the change. If she calls at a non-scheduled time, let the phone go to the answering machine because you’re ‘in the shower’ – send her a quick text to say ‘heading to bed, will call you tomorrow’. Decide how often you will see her weekly/biweekly and decline other invitations – headache/early meeting etc.

      • I have done essentially this with my mother. For a time she was so toxic I cut her out completely. For a number of reasons I decided to reopen the lines of communication, and this is now essentially what I do. My strategy is to text her a few times a week, and meet her for dinner about once a month. If we go out somewhere for dinner (instead of me going to her house which is what I used to do), there’s a natural sort of flow to the restaurant service that brings the meal to a close in an hour and a 1/2ish, and then we part ways. She rants about how stupid everyone around her is for an hour and a 1/2, and I just nod and drink my wine and go home. I used to try to push back when she was being toxic and try to get her to understand other points of view, but it’s easier if I just let her rant.

    • If you’re not cutting her out, the only choice left is to figure out how to deal. Since she’s unwilling to change, it means you can only change how you deal with her. That narrows down options! What about only talking her calls while you are handling an errand or a chore? That way, you can quasi-listen while mopping the floor or going through mail or grocery shopping or whatnot so that you’re too distracted to process all of her garbage but when you hang up, even if she was particularly awful/annoying, you’ll have benefited from the experience because a chore will be done (haha make that 2 chores, considering how you feel about talking with her)!

      As for anything more, try to stick with emails if she emails, so you can scroll quickly through her drama. Not sure if you see her often but try limiting those interactions to either a quick lunch or maybe she can run errands with you to get the aforementioned benefit when time with her is up.

      Just make sure you care for yourself so her negativity doesn’t rub off on you!! <3

    • I’m sorry you have to deal with this.

      Do you have any siblings to help spread the responsibility? I think you need to start to think about how you will need to help mom long term.

      Is she living alone right now?

      Is she receiving regular, good medical care?

      Unfortunately, her basic behaviors will not improve, and if she is starting to show other signs of cognitive decline, it may worsen. Sometimes a geriatric psychiatrist can be helpful. My parent was only willing to see one after he was seen by a doctor for memory issues (many seniors will be willing to do that) and then the memory doctor recommended the geriatric psychiatrist.

      I recommend not trying to change her, and try to distance yourself from her as she complains/vents. Just surf your phone, read a magazine etc…. Acknowledge you are listening, stay out of any opinions/judgment, and limit time on the phone with her. Set up regular phone calls, sharing with siblings. Start setting up regular trips home to visit, and start thinking about what will happen long term as Mom is not able to manage the Home anymore.

      Obviously, she cannot live with you.

      It’s really hard.

      But it’s still… Mom.

      If possible, plan on being home on a day when she will see her primary care doctor, and go with her. Call the doctor’s office ahead of time and mention you have noticed some memory issues, difficulty managing finances, anxiety, worsening personality traits etc… and ask if they can assess these discretely while you are there to help.

      And start slowly looking into assisted living/senior living options in her area.

    • Just one other view: Maybe the relating to herself is her attempt at bonding. It is a contribution to the conversation (not focused on you–the ideal) but still an attempt to recognize what you’re saying. The complaining is definitely tough, too. But again, that may be an attempt at connecting as well (I trust you and therefore feel safe to gossip). None of the other suggestions move your relationship forward and I dare say risk making it far worse. How about the next call you focus on asking her questions about herself or experiences she had prior to having you (maybe with her own mom)? This accomplishes two things: Gets her off of the negative and gets her some attention so she stops trying to bowl you over. You also are likely to find the convos more interesting or at least recognize what’s shaped her how she is. I’m 43. My advice 10 years ago or more would have been more like the others. As Ive aged though and seen more people pass, it gets easier to see your relationship with parents isn’t all about how they make you feel. You start to see them as their own fallible people entirely separate. That also helps.

      • I (also in my early 40’s) agree with S, above. My mom is in her 70’s and is similar to yours. I also have friends whose mothers are mentally ill and truly toxic (borderline personality disorder and the like). They have to put strict boundaries down. But honestly I think to a certain extent for my mom and probably a lot of women in her generation, there’s a certain amount of years of pent-up bitching that is coming out. My mom has taken to dropping the f-bomb with regularity. Because she can. She tells everyone what she thinks (even if I wish she’d keep her mouth shut sometimes). Because she can.

        I think it’s easy for us to forget that when those of us whose moms are in their 70’s/80’s now were young, if a man told you to sit down and be quiet, you were expected to actually do it. Also, that they were not raised to think about taking care of things like housing/financing, you weren’t supposed to worry your pretty head about it. Many women my mom’s age have never paid the bills, many of her friends don’t even know how to drive. It’s so easy to forget.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Get thee a copy of “Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent” by Grace Lebow and Barbara Kane. Will change your life the way it changed mine when my husband found it at Barnes and Noble and thrust it at me after the umpteenth impossible fight with my parents.

  5. Anonymous :

    Interested in getting views on this – how much do you all think about networking with me or ever feel like – oh I shouldn’t email him/ask him to coffee/lunch bc he may think I want him or what would his wife think?

    I’m 35 and a lawyer and maybe it’s bc I’m single but this has NEVER crossed my mind. In the last 2 weeks – I’ve called a male mentor who is about 5-7 yrs older (married w 2 kids – was my senior associate when I was a 1st-2nd yr so I’ve known him for a decade) for career advice; he connected me with another male colleague who I vaguely knew by name – 2-3 yrs older than me; and separately I reached out to a 45ish yr old expert witness I worked with ~5 yrs yrs ago who I am trying to get coffee with and HE suggested meeting at work in the city or in the suburbs outside of work hours if that’s easier. I haven’t thought twice about sending out any of those emails – and if someone’s wife were to see them, she’d see “I’ve been working at x place for y yrs and would love to chat further about career things. Coffee?” types of emails.

    And yet a similar topic came up in front of a bunch of women I work with and I was FLOORED that they are young lawyers (age 27-30) whose first reaction at reaching out to a man is “what will his wife say.” And the man in question was 60+ yrs old.

    Is this a common worry for female professionals (I know it is in Mike Pence’s world – but I mean big city professionals who aren’t particularly religious)? How do they EVER network if they are so worried about men — at least for me I’ve always been in the financial services areas of law which are like 80-90% men at least in the senior roles.

    • Anonymous :

      Meant to say “networking with men” – keyboard issues.

    • Honestly, the whole Mike Pence thing has made me start to reconsider this. To be more precise, I’m not worried about what the men’s wives will think, but it has made me wonder if we’re all being s3xualized and I feel a bit insecure about my status as a professional.

      • +1. The fact that my (male, 20 years my senior) boss was not scandalized by the story was eye opening for me, too.

        • Anonymous :

          Meaning – he agrees with Pence? Or he thinks there’s no “scandal” in Pence dining with a woman alone?

          • He was sympathetic to Pence’s position. He does not share it, but expressed to me (who he has solo meetings with regularly, drives together to meetings with, etc) that he thought it could be smart to “keep someone from accusing you of something you didn’t do.”

      • Marshmallow :

        This. I worry that even outwardly respectful men are s3xualizing me/ see me as a temptation/ would not network with me for this reason. It’s pretty awful.

        • Anon for this :

          On the flip side, I deal with *more* men wanting to speak with me, I suspect because they want to be seen talking to the pretty young attorney in the sea of old men. A few of them have turned into good contacts a few were a total waste of time but I guess that’s how it goes with all networking. My point is, it feels a bit icky to realize a guy is only talking to you for one reason. I don’t think they are trying to pick me up or actually have any hope of sleeping with me. It’s just that undertone of $3xualization that’s skeevy.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          In my experience, they are s3xualizing you/us.

          I have worked with/for enough men with thin filters, and they’ve made it clear that my woman-ness was A Thing in how we worked together.

          On the other hand, my current boss is a man and there is nothing at all like that in our relationship. Because he’s a legitimately good person. Few and far between, they are, though.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            I have been so lucky that all three of my male supervisors are just amazing lawyers and people who respect others as people, not s*x objects. Even writing that while thinking about these men seems absurd- all three of them regularly recognize when something happens to me and not them that it’s their male privilege, and they’re verbal about it. “No, client. Sloan is an intern and she knows more about this than me- she is not my secretary. You didn’t ask that when I brought Jim last month, who was Sloan’s age and also a law student.” And then they often ask me later if I wanted them to handle it differently and/or what they could have done better.

        • Marshmallow :

          Boo, I thought everyone would say that. Yes. Generally I think I agree I get this vibe from about half the men I encounter professionally. I’m lucky that my direct supervisor/ senior associate absolutely 100% is not this way and we have a really genuine rapport that’s just two colleagues. It does not feel weird to be alone in his office, having coffee or dinner, etc.

          And again… why is that a Thing that even needs to be typed? Blargh.

    • That’s bullocks. I know we’re having a bit of a “vintage” moment in gender relations, but I personally believe the only way to push things forwards is to keep doing things they way they ought to be done in a gender-equal world. Sometimes it’s going to piss you off or make you uncomfortable.

      Happens to me. It’s caused plenty of frustration. Admittedly, I have taken the step of ensuring a “networking” drink after work is a group and not just myself and a male colleague. Coffee during daylight, however, I would have no qualms about attending. As a woman in finance, I would quickly run out of mentors and people to network with if I worried about meeting men in public.

      But overall, I completely disdain the idea of changing the way I do business based on my or someone else’s genitals.

    • Anonymous :

      I am also in a predominantly male dominated field. I have sent similar emails but the people in question were in far flung locations so any conversations were on the phone or Skype. I would not think twice about sending an email like that because the reason for meeting is clearly stated in the email. True, there are plenty of affairs that start this way but I’m assuming that from a wife’s perspective a red flag in terms of messaging might also include text messages of a more personal or flirty nature. In the case of a spouse who would read more into an email about networking, then it says more about the spouse in question and that particular relationship regarding trust—i.e. there are reasons for the mistrust probably based on previous indiscretions that have nothing to do with you.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you’re being totally appropriate. But, I would be inclined to meet up primarily during the working day for coffee or lunch at a cafe or restaurant in the business district and intentionally avoid suggesting ones that are located in hotels. Would avoid an evening meeting at a restaurant at a hotel in the suburbs because I think there is more reason for that to be taken the wrong way.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here – definitely. He volunteered the suburbs bc we both live in them – but there is no reason to take him up on it and I’m not. We both work in the city – will meet in the city for a 3 pm coffee at one of the million Starbucks in the business district. Also agree with you re hotels – I love hotel lobbies/bars bc they tend to be a bit quieter meeting places where you aren’t jockeying for seating. Yet I have never once suggested that to a male colleague (though I’ll go if the person I am networking with suggests the place); come to think of it — I’ve only ever done drinks at hotel bars after work with female colleagues.

        I was just surprised that I have younger female colleagues who just don’t network with men, ever, anywhere . . . .

        • Anonymous :

          “I was just surprised that I have younger female colleagues who just don’t network with men, ever, anywhere . . . .”

          I’m in academia and I recall having a discussion about why there are such few women and this was one of the reasons someone gave i.e. the difficulty in or the unwillingness for senior male colleagues to mentor women, except for those fields where women are the majority, in most other areas it’s difficult to advance if you never ever network with male colleagues

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I feel like hotel restaurant lunches/dinners feel more businessy than downtown restaurants. Maybe because my city doesn’t have a defined business district so if you are out to eat downtown, those are also the date night spots. The hotel restaurants are just full of business travelers and people doing business.

    • Yay! Open thread’s! I love Open thread’s and these pump’s, but I can NOT buy open toe’d shoes, said the manageing partner, b/c the judge does NOT like to see women’s toes. FOOEY b/c $59 is not expensive, but $30 would be a lot better for me with the 50% subsidy (tax NOT included).

      As for the OP, yes, it is an issue when a 35 year old woman attorney at law starts up asking “to talk and have coffee,” whether in or after hours with a MARRIED 60 year old, that can be an issue. The wife of the 60 year old man will think that he is out late with a young female and either thinking of cheateing or worse with the 35 year old woman lawyer. It is especially so since you say you are NOT married. I have this same issue b/c my cleints are often that age and they ALWAYS want to take me out to drink after work, and I know they would do as much as I would let them do, but I am NOT interested in haveing s-x with a 60 year old man with a beer gut and bad teeth who works for a grocery store or it’s insurance company. No that is NOT my idea of a hot date! You must know that whoever that schlub IS married to can NOT be that much of a catch, either, so she will be VERY jelous of her man goeing out with a young woman like you (or me) after hours.

      It does NOT matter that your intentions are good (I trust you are NOT lookeing for a fling), but it does NOT matter. The wife will surely peg you as the harlot that must wear the scarlet letter for corrupting their spouse by doieng all kinds of s-xueal things that you would NEVER even think of doieng! FOOEY! So keep this in mind when you phone up (or text) some 60 year old in the hope of makeing a connection. It is FROUGHT with Danger, as dad says! FOOEY! And have a great weekend! YAY!!!!!!

    • I think it’s 100% fine to contact someone with a professional request to meet and that meeting in an office or a lunch setting is completely appropriate or up to the married person to set a boundary about. I would shy away from meeting for dinner (if that’s not what colleagues generally do) or grabbing a drink somewhere that could be a date location (so a nearby bar/chain restaurant is probably ok, an expensive steakhouse or candlelight dinner type place maybe not so much). This way, there’s no chance you look like you’re hitting on them and (more likely, in my experience), there is lesser of an opportunity for them to think it’s ok to hit on you!

    • Senior Attorney :

      My husband is 60+ so I can answer the question on the floor: I’m his wife and I say “go for it!”

    • Anonymous :

      In my experience – how women feel about this has something to do with the type of environment in which they started their career. For me – I started in NYC biglaw. It was a fairly fast life. People were doing all kinds of inappropriate things with others in the office – so you merely wanting to get a drink or coffee and talk about work – please that was normal. So I never gave it any thought – besides obvious things like not suggesting meeting in hotels or over candlelight dinners.

      So then I moved from NYC biglaw to DC gov’t – and it’s not like I wanted to give up my network – so I pretty much functioned similarly. And then I got to know my coworkers in the gov’t – who started in the gov’t/spent their whole careers there. They don’t network much (prob bc they are lifers so why bother) and while they don’t say it – even the young ones act like “networking” is just an excuse to go out dating or something. They are the ones making comments like – oooh I don’t want to ask John to get coffee to discuss X department bc he’s going to think I’m hitting on him or what would his wife say. As I’m looking at them going – WTF – do you normally hit on people at Sbux at 2 pm?! I keep my networking meetings etc. private but I can only imagine what they think of me — wouldn’t be surprised if they thought I was the home wrecking type.

    • Wait, I’ve been living under a rock starting a new job. What’s the Mike Pence thing? Link?

      • Anonymous :

        He won’t have dinner alone with women who aren’t his wife, even women he works with.

        • Or lunch or coffee or any other meal, I think.

          Taking it to the extreme:


    • Anonymous :

      This is something that I worry about all the time, but I’m in sales in a male dominated field so I do it anyway. Even if they do ‘take it the wrong way’ (hope springs eternal!) I dial up the professionalism and friendliness, and remain stubbornly oblivious to their hopes/expectations. For instance, a new client once asked me over lunch if I knew what it meant when people put their keys in a bowl at the beginning of a party (referring to 70’s style partner swapping) and I cheerfully replied that I think it’s a great idea to proactively prevent drunk driving like that, then I launched into an anecdote about a recent dinner party I hosted and asked him if he hosts dinner parties. Totally shut down the conversation without alienating him, he remained a client. This is the only area of my life where I’m inclined to play dumb.

      So no you’re not doing anything wrong, and even if the meeting does take a turn, it’s not your fault and there are strategies for handling it.

    • Anonymous :

      I encounter this BS regularly – apparently idiot men think that the fact I am walking my dog down the street means I’m hitting on them and they can say all kinds of S to me. GTFOOH.

      Listen, if a man is going to interpret a coffee networking meeting as me hitting on him, then so be it. The only thing I can control is how I act (professionally), how I look (professional), and what I say (all above board items). What a spouse/SO is worried about is between them. I DGAF. I am in this for me. No one else is going to do it for me. Do I go to a hotel for drinks at 8 p.m., absolutely not, but I will go for ONE HH networking drink especially if it’s in a group and I for sure will do coffee and lunch. EFF THIS NOISE.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        YES. ALL OF THIS.

      • THIS. This is women being punished for a man’s behavior (or inability to behave), and all sorts of ridiculous. I’ve never once compromised a man’s purity while networking over coffee. Really difficult, I know, but I did it.

        • Saraphina :

          Your comment reminded me of this gem: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/20/veronica-partridge-leggings-yoga-pants-gives-up-lustful-christian_n_6508764.html

    • We are glad that somebody locked him down, we are just networking! :

      Men say this all of the time. I am glad you are in a field or a niche where men actually network with you, instead of talking to you about their wives, suggesting you would make a great wife, asking you out on a date.

      Young male lawyers and older lesbians are just as bad as the old white men. The wife stuff often appears to be some sort of power play to remind women professionals that they are outsiders.

      • Frozen Peach :

        +1 million. I see the younger (mid-30s to mid-40s) attorneys pull this stuff (including excluding women from firm client events) way, way, way more explicitly and frequently than the generation above them.

        Maybe it’s like, uh, one generation still remembers the Mad Men era and some of the starker and more obvious reasons feminism is like, a thing?!

    • Anonymous :

      I hate to say this, but it matters how we dress. There are young lawyer who don’t wear professional clothes to business lunches or dinners with male experts or other male lawyers and witnesses. I would definitely wear slacks and a blazer to such a meeting. Not a dress even though I wear dresses to work.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I’m sorry, but no. That is *ridiculous*.

        Professional dresses and skirts are just that. There is no reason to not wear them when meeting with men in a business setting. None.

        • I agree. If it’s a dress you wear to work, and it’s appropriate for work, it’s appropriate for a business meeting or event.

          What even is this? I mean seriously. People need to THINK about what they are really saying. Won’t wear a dress as an attorney to a meeting with a male expert. WHY? No really, if it’s a suiting dress/court appropriate dress how is it NOT appropriate for a meeting with an expert? Because what? He’s going to be so taken with your legs he will be unable to answer the questions you’re posing and…and what? Seriously, WHAT?

  6. I know ASOS usually takes fashion to weird places, but this is just too far: cold should blazer

    • BabyGotBackIssues :

      Interesting! I recently found a split arm/cape-like blazer at a thrift store the other day (virtually new!) and wondering if it is still office appropriate? I don’t necessarily have a dress code although I like to present myself as neatly and professionally dressed when around the clients with more formal dress codes. To describe it, it looks similar to if I were wearing a jacket around my shoulders (ala a cardigan) and a shell of the same fabric. I liked it, but don’t want to look as if I’m hitching on a fad. To me, it looks classically demure of the sophisticated golden ladies of the silver screen. I have a wild streak on my fashion preferences so sometimes I need a “Stiff Eye for the Stray Gal” opinion on attire for the office.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Does it look like in any way, shape, or form, like a costume? Hard pass.

        Definitely wear it for brunch/drinks/wearing to the theatre though. It sounds super cute for non-work events.

        • Ditto. Love it for a formal event such as a black tie wedding! So much warmer than a dress.

  7. Icebreaker :

    I’m struggling with something others here might find fun: what are office appropriate topics for “two truths and a lie” about myself? Also, am I actually supposed to be fooling people, or letting then win?

    • Icebreaker :

      I should add, it’s for a mandatory happy hour this evening, which I’m not thrilled about. I’ve been at the job almost 2 years, and it’s never been a good fit socially, but these social “bonding” things are the hardest.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s more fun if you don’t let them win. The best “truth” I ever heard in a business context was from someone who once had lemonade with POTUS (several presidents ago). Choose interesting and maybe slightly quirky facts you don’t mind sharing that can spark conversation later in the event. Funny jobs you had as a teen are always good.

    • Anonymous :

      I like to do stuff from my childhood because it is very safe for work and not usually something someone knows unless they know me pretty well. Travel is also a good theme. For one of my truths I often say the number of countries I’ve been to.
      I like to stump people but I don’t think it really matters if you make it easy or hard.

    • Anonymous :

      I do teenage jobs and languages. So like I have worked in a pretzel factory and I speak Italian. Easy to remember and to change up. Lots of people have at least some second language skills and have had quirky teenage jobs so hard but not overly difficult to guess which might be true vs lie.

    • The concept is just for people to get to know each other, so it’s never really meant to be shocking (in a professional setting), just an ice breaker. Here are some that come to mind that I’ve used:

      I have lived in _________ (small town or major city or somewhere completely unexpected works best).

      I have ______________ (types of pets) named __________ (you can get silly with names here or use the name of someone known in your field as being a founder or pioneer).

      I am allergic to __________ (name something either super common or super weird) and I only found this out when I __________ (went to x country or x state fair) and ______ (name some weird thing you tried).

      My favorite song to sing in the car when I’m stuck in traffic is ______________ (80s pop songs or some silly boy band song often goes over well here).

      When I’m sick in bed, I always marathon watch ________________ (tv show/movies with a specific actor).

      I know everyone loves __________ (common food/drink) but I actually can’t stand it!

      • Anonymous :

        These are great but please don’t do the allergy one. Food allergy is a medical condition that shouldn’t be joked about. I have a kid with severe food allergies (as in repeated hospitalizations) and so many people think it’s made up.

        Good alternative in the same vein is to say the most unusual food that you’ve eaten – like deepfried mars bar and haggis at the same meal when you visited Scotland.

        • Anonymous :

          I think you should lighten up about the allergy thing – the point of the game is to tell two truths and a LIE, and the lie is immediately revealed. I agree that regularly saying you’re allergic to something when you just don’t like it is completely inappropriate and harms those with real allergies, but I don’t see the harm if you play the game and say you’re allergic to something and then immediately tell everyone it’s not true.

          • Anonymous :

            We’ll have to agree to disagree. I think it both introduces and trivializes the concept of lying about food allergy. You wouldn’t suggest that someone lie about having diabetes or MS or Crohn’s so not sure why you think food allergy is fair game.

        • Why do you assume she was suggesting that as a lie? She seems to be giving options people could use as their own truths since those are often tougher to come up with in a work setting than lies.

          • Anonymous :

            My concern that it introduces the concept that a food allergy ‘might’ be a lie, that food allergy is something that a person might lie about. Lying about food allergies causes real problems when people with food allergies are not taken seriously. In my view it’s better not to include food allergy or medical conditions in general as a topic that one might be lying about. There are so many other great options for this game without having to get into medical conditions.

          • I’m allergic to eggplant. I’d totally use it as one of my truths in this context because it’s unusual enough to make people go “huh.” I think that, rather than trivializing food allergies, this would be a good food allergy awareness exercise.

          • Yes this: it’s a good way to let people know about an allergy without it being weirdly random. (As a truth, of course, as a lie would just be both boring and weird).

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            To this day, I remember the woman in my 1L class who said she was allergic to paprika in 2 truths and a lie – and it was her truth. I never offered her anything with paprika and I tried not to bring anything with it if I knew I would be dining with her. It was great for awareness.

      • +1 to an awesome list. Mine are always weird food, teenage job, and “once I died my hair blue”, and just switch up which one I lie about.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’ve done truths about doing martial arts, being on a game show years ago, and having naturally curly hair (I blow it out straight every day so it’s harder than it seems). I always think my lies are super obvious but last time I played (a couple of weeks ago) I stumped everybody.

    • Anonymous :

      My lie is usually that I’m a twin if it’s a new group.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I can’t remember in which semi-professional context I played this (might’ve been an association meeting), but I did all travel-related things that sound a little unreal. “I fulfilled the ancient prophecy deciding who would become the next emperor or empress of Singapore,” (it’s this game where you get a ball out from a stone lion’s mouth without breaking its teeth – I think mine was just poorly made), “I wrestled a crocodile and then let it go,” (it was a very tiny crocodile), and I can’t remember what the lie was.

  8. I have this sandal in two colors. It’s my go-to for weddings.

  9. BabyGotBackIssues :

    I recently have been plagued with my MS causing me surprise back issues that are wreaking havoc on my ability to not only sit at work but being able to drive there and home. For now, I have come up with some solutions. I am recognized and entitled to accommodations as being legally disabled, I have recently returned to work on a voluntary basis after recovering on disability the past 7 years. Bottom line is I refuse to acquiesce to my disability! Thankfully my immune system is revamped, my back is the main thing giving me issues. I have to forego my pain medications to be able to mentally do my job.

    For those who have been through this or those on the HR side, how reasonable would it be to ask for the following: a standing desk/variable position desk, flex time to travel during off peak travel commute, flexibility to request a short notice work from home/telecommuting/reduced office hour day (so that I can work from bed if I have to). I also thought about possibly arranging an Uber-type situation for a volunteering co-worker in the office that lives nearby that could be arranged through HR and receive a stipend, or an allowance for Uber to take me between the small gaps to and from the train. The driving part is really the most challenging part of my day, 8 miles from work that is sometimes an hour plus commute. These are merely some thoughts and I’d love to have input for those who are familiar with resolving long term matters with accommodations for disabilities.

    My job is fairly independent as a junior Risk Analyst , I rarely meet with clients in person, the majority of interactions with contemporaries, clients, and co-workers is via phone or email. The business is shy of 200 employees, my office has 10 on site. I have no issues with competency and completing high volumes of work.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I think everything but the Uber is reasonable. Usually it is on you, disability or not, to get to and from work or work remotely. I think the flex schedule, sit/stand desk, remote work is all basic accommodation stuff.

      • BabyGotBackIssues :

        Thanks Blonde Lawyer! I didn’t know if the Uber would somehow give my employer a tax deduction of some kind or offer a paid benefit to another employee. I know I can take it on my personal expenses, I didn’t want to come across as being out of my mind for suggesting it as an option for my employer.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Just to be clear, I wish the law was different. The disability transport system is overwhelmed and it would be great if more employers would voluntarily offer transport options.

    • I am so sorry you are going through this… also, I am so in love with the name you used to post about it. so so in love with it actually <3

      Maybe you can talk with HR about the ideas and mention Uber and see how they react? Say it like you're spitballing and see if they agree or nix the idea? Kind of a "can't hurt to ask" but also a "not completely asking" way?

      • BabyGotBackIssues :

        … : Thank you! :) And I like your idea! I like to feel it out and make sure that I’m not going to get the eyeroll treatment from my company with my suggestion/request. I know that concessions is a great approach and a way for everyone to have what they require fairly. I have not heard of employers doing the Uber idea but I also know I’m not in a totally unique situation either.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m an HR professional.

      “a standing desk/variable position desk”

      This shouldn’t be a big deal.

      “flex time to travel during off peak travel commute”

      If this kind of flexibility, to shift work start and end hours, is offered to others for other reasons (or no real “reason”) it shouldn’t be a big deal. They may ask for a doctor’s note explaining why this is necessary (not beneficial; necessary).

      “flexibility to request a short notice work from home/telecommuting/reduced office hour day (so that I can work from bed if I have to).”

      This is not unheard of, but expect a lot of questions about how short “short-notice” is. If this will create a hardship on your boss or coworkers, they have the right not to a grant it. Also, if it’s not customary for people to work from home in your organization, expect pushback here. And for them to ask for medical documentation on the necessity of this.

      “I also thought about possibly arranging an Uber-type situation for a volunteering co-worker in the office that lives nearby that could be arranged through HR and receive a stipend, or an allowance for Uber to take me between the small gaps to and from the train.”

      Nope. Getting to work is your responsibility under any and all circumstances. Their responsibility to accommodate you begins when you arrive at your work location, they do not have to help you get to work.

      If you can’t handle the commute, it would be better to ask for a semi-permanent or permanent work-from-home situation. That’s not an unheard-of accommodation, but they also don’t have to grant it if they feel it would cause any kind of hardship for them.

      Very bluntly, you’re a junior employee and while you have rights under the ADA, how far they are willing to go to create accommodations is going to be limited to how much it creates problems in the business, and how valuable you are to them now. I would definitely have a discussion about the first three items, but please understand – they need to balance their business needs and concerns of other employees and their perception of preferential treatment against what you’re asking for.

      • Anonymous :

        This came across harsher than I intended. I’m surreptitiously typing in the middle of the world’s most boring CEU seminar. In your circumstance, I would absolutely pursue a part-time or full-time work from home situation. That will create less issues with “well, but why does SHE get” from your co-workers, and enable your company to keep you as an employee while you keep yourself happy and healthy. It never hurts to ask.

    • full of ideas :

      Re: getting to/from work: Are there any public transport options? You could also see if there is a ride share program set up in your area (often organized by DOT, but many private ones too). Even though you wouldn’t be sharing the driving, you could help with costs and that’s usually welcome.

  10. Govt Mule :

    The practice in my office is to schedule meetings based on your availability in outlook calendar. You are expected to keep your calendar updated. I like this – except for the one coworker who consistently schedules meetings through lunch. He likes to eat lunch late – like after 2. He also likes to schedule meetings at the last minute so often lunch time is the only time available Yesterday I was treated to a meeting from 11-1, Wednesday was 12-2. Which alone, wouldn’t be so bad. But both days I already had other meetings before and after. Am I being unrealistic to think a coworker should avoid lunchtime? Or at least only do it on a very infrequent basis? I am tempted to put a recurring appointment in my calendar to give me a lunch. But that seems petty?

    • Anonymous :

      I would put a recurring appointment on your calendar over the lunch hour. It doesn’t seem petty to me.

      • Anonymous :

        This is what I do. My assistant knows it’s movable if important/absolutely necessary.

      • +1 if he’s not your superior and if meetings aren’t set in stone in advance, his lack of planning shouldn’t equal your lack of meal time!

        • +1 I agree. You are entitled to time to eat! If the reason he’s consistently doing this is lack of advance planning, tough cookies for him!

      • Sames. I made it a tentative one, and advised my close associates it’s okay to schedule over if there’s no other possible time. I work with a lot of people in Central and Eastern time zones who don’t think about their 2 or 3PM meetings being at lunchtime. If I didn’t defend the lunch hour like this I wouldn’t get to eat til 2, either, and that is no good for anybody.

    • Oh I do this shamelessly. If I am setting aside, say, Tuesday morning to review an agreement, I just block my calendar for it. Otherwise people invite-bomb or assume you’re not doing anything because your calendar says “available”!

      • +1 I always have time blocks on my calendar for lunch because I go home to take care of the dog and I block off time when I need to focus for a chunk of time.

    • If your calendar shows you are available, then I can see why someone would use that time to schedule. I block my lunch hour on my calendar – people can’t be expected to be mind readers and know when you like to eat, or know that the time blocked out like at 1 isn’t for lunch already.

    • I’d block out lunchtimes on days where you are going to have morning and afternoon meetings. Is this guy senior to you? Is there a reason you can’t push back on the time or offer to meet over lunch?

    • Anonymous :

      Not petty at all. I have done this before, and I will also block off areas of work time on my calendar and make it look like an out-of-office appointment, if I’m on deadline and need to get something done.

      My view is, if my co-worker is not aware that other people exist and have needs that May differ from their own, I will do what I need to do (within reason) to make sure my own needs are met.

    • Scheduling a meeting over anyone’s lunch is a faux pas in my org. We’re central time and expected to be considerate if other attendees are in other time zones to avoid their lunches as well. If push comes to shove, I usually reach out to make sure lunch hour is okay assuming I’m setting up a meeting with just a couple of people.

    • What’s with all the two-hour meetings scheduled last minute? Seems excessive.

      In your situation, I would absolutely block out time for lunch, travel or note-taking time between meetings, and time to work on projects. If anyone and everyone is checking my calendar, I want it to reflect my actual availability. If a meeting needs to happen and I don’t have availability, then the organizer needs to check in and I can magnanimously move things around.

    • At my company, if you schedule a meeting over lunch, you have to order lunch for the group. It really reduces the number of lunch meetings to those that are absolutely necessary because of a last-minute issue, etc.

    • Bring your lunch to the meeting? I’d probably respond to the calendar invite with something like, “That time works for me but I’m going to have to bring my lunch because I have meetings book ending that time block.” I bet other people would bring their lunches to the meeting too.

    • I have muy 30 min lunch break as a recurring appointment, but I am also very blunt about saying I need to eat otherwise I will get sick then proceed to go to lunch and decline the meeting.
      I work very long hours, in the middle of nowhere, never complain. But I just can’t skip meals otherwise I get migraines and wouldn’t function properly.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Thank you for this. I have a similar coworker and I have just been skipping lunch when this happens– at least a few times a week (always on super short notice so other things can’t be shifted). I get migraines and cranky and generally feel wretched by the end of the day, but I’m in a support role and am so trained to do what clients want NO MATTER WHAT that it genuinely hadn’t occurred to me–

      I’m allowed to eat lunch. That is a thing.

  11. Anonymous :

    Would this annoy you? I have a friend who complains about work ALL the time – like every time we talk for the last yr or two. I’ve posted here before and have tried (not very successfully) to implement some of the tips given – but reality is – I still try to listen and be helpful when she’s going on about how others at her work don’t work hard; or the latest slight by her boss where she didn’t get credit or whatever it may be. And one of these stories takes a half hr at least. (Reality is she’s at a non profit where she loves the work so maybe she doesn’t want to move on even though she says she does.)

    So I have my own work issues (who doesn’t) and while I don’t talk about them usually – I brought them up just to get a bit of advice. It wasn’t even a half hr story of – then this happened, then that happened, can you believe it, I’m so mad – like hers are. It was more along the lines of – I’m just not motivated by this, I want to move on, but I don’t know how. And both times – I got 2 word responses and a clear lack of interest in discussing it. I was left thinking – huh – you will give me 30 min long he said/she said stories over and over again for 2 yrs and I can’t talk about my work stuff at all!? Am I being petty?

    • Anonymous :

      You need to move on. Either end the friendship or accept that this is the way your friend is and stop complaining about it. (And I have to say I find it a little ironic that you are annoyed by your friend complaining about work and yet you have complained about your friend at least three times here in recent weeks).

      • Agree that this is the way that the friendship will be for OP so she needs to distance herself. But disagree that it’s odd that OP is complaining – isn’t that the point of anonymous internet boards?? So you can vent about someone who is irritating and that venting allows you to tolerate them and not say something to their face?

      • Anonymous :

        Why are you still friends with her? Echo either end the friendship or realize that she DGAF about you.

    • First Year Anon :

      You have posted several times about this friend. Honestly, she sounds like a bad friend. Stop hanging out with her. I don’t think this will ever change.

    • You have now become your friend in that you complain about the same topic over and over and over. You clearly accept this dynamic so why bring it up here repeatedly? We are your impatient friend telling you to PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS.

    • Anonymous :

      Incessant complaining – I can kind of understand. I don’t like it but we’ve all been there – where something looms so large in our mind that we talk about it in complete detail ALL THE TIME. But ignoring you/not wanting to talk when you bring up something important to you? That I don’t have patience for – sorry but a friendship is a 2 way street; if I can listen to you complain all the time, then you better be willing to listen to me once in a while too.

    • You have GOT to move on from your annoyance about her talking-either make peace of get rid of her. You have complained about this at least 4 times. You’re becoming your friend.

      Her not reciprocating by listening to your concerns is a bigger issue. That would be worth bringing up (easier said than done, I know), and if she can’t meet your needs in this regard, end or scale back the friendship. I have a friend who does this. It’s hurtful. I’ve scaled way back.

    • Anonymous :

      Just ease away from the friendship. No need for a blow out fight or anything – but no need for you to feel like her on call therapist either. Then when things settle down for her, I bet she’ll be back in the mix.

    • Nudibranch :

      She is a Drama Llama. You are her audience, not her friend.

      The only one who is going to set boundaries is you. By listening to her, you’re enabling her/filling her needs. Why would she quit?

  12. How do you sign your emails?

    I’m in a role where I frequently have to send business emails outside my organization to peer organizations. My boss uses “Best,” but that doesn’t feel like me. I used to use “Regards,” but that feels too formal these days. Ideas?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Kind regards?

      Best regards?


    • Anonymous :

      I use ‘Regards’ or ‘Thanks’.

      • +1

        Best is weird to me. I see it and wouldn’t be offended to receive an email signed that way but it just feels weird to end mine that way.

    • Anonymous :

      My workplace is pretty casual, but we work with some external customers. Usually I will sign emails to the customers “Best,” especially before I’ve met them in person. For non-customer emails I usually just sign my name without any sort of sign-off unless I’m asking for something, in which case I say “Thanks.” “Thanks” feels weird to me unless you are asking them to do something. So I will send an internal email saying “Could you send me the XYZ info? Thanks, Anon” but if I were just sending them something I would say “I’ve attached XYZ document. Anon”

    • Just don’t use something cute like “Cheers!”

      I just introduced into evidence at a hearing a number of e-mails from the HR person on the opposing side who uses that sign-off automatically, even when it is wildly inappropriate. The e-mails at issue concerned how to handle the facility and the employees’ work schedules in light of potential civil unrest while the city was waiting for a jury verdict in a highly publicized police shooting of yet another unarmed black motorist.

      She sounded ridiculous in messages like, “The judge has asked the victim’s family to come to the courthouse at 5 p.m. today. Cheers!” and “Black Lives Matter is calling for demonstrators to gather at the police district headquarters two blocks from the plant at 6 p.m. Cheers!”

      And, no, the employer wasn’t Pepsi . . .

      • Anonymous :

        Yikes. Cheers is a very standard sign-off in Canada and Europe but I would imagine most people have the sense not to use it for messages like that.

        • Anonymous :

          + 1

          I’m in Canada and use/receive Cheers on occasion but never in the context of something serious like court filings or protests.

        • Anonymous :

          Also, maybe this is me being judgy but when people from the US use cheers I always think it sounds phony and/or they’re an annoying anglophile who did a semester abroad at some point.

          • Cheers is fine as a casual signing off. It used to be a British thing but has spread across the pond a few generations ago.

          • I’m an American (with British heritage) and “cheers” as an email sign-off sounds very fake-British/Canadian to me when used by people who grew up in the US. Americans don’t really use it as an email signature. Of course people say cheers when toasting with drinks, etc. but that’s different.

      • Anonymous :

        That made me guffaw out loud. HR people….

      • Senior Attorney :

        My wedding planner always signed hers “party on!”

        Probably not a good idea for other industries…

      • Employment Lawyer :

        Now I’m really curious about what your case is about! Can you share some public info?

        • It’s a grievance under a collective bargaining agreement. The employer decided preemptively to shut down operations for the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. second shift (after working normally in the morning) two days in a row, thinking each day that the jury would come back that afternoon and that Bad Things could happen. When all was calm, they called the third shift back in both nights. But the employees on second shift lost two days pay because their work was cancelled. 20 percent of a weekly paycheck is a lot for these workers (for anyone!), and the Company could have just paid them; no one else lost any pay.

          And there were protests after all, but they were entirely peaceful.

    • Midwestern Constitutent :

      I usually use “Thank you kindly,” but my emails outside the company are mostly requests for something. I’ll use “Best” when I’ve used “thank you” in the previous sentence. Internally, I tend to use just “Thanks.”

      • I use “best” when I’m informing and “thanks” or “thank you” (depending on formality of relationship) when I’m requesting. And if it’s a short, informal message, I don’t sign off at all.

    • “name”

      first name if it’s someone i have a friendly, casual relationship with and the topic isn’t super formal.

      Full name and sig block (title, email, phone etc) if it’s a more formal email likely to be printed or forwarded.

      I don’t like auto signatures that say “Thanks, Name, Sigblock” because I’ve received emails like this:

      Yell, Yell, Yell,
      You Sukc,
      Go to H3ll,

      Ahole Smith
      Please consider the environment before printing
      Keep smilin’, have a great day, keep your head up

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        HAHAHA. This signature is awesome. I had a former coworker famous for this type of yelling email (complete with a cheesy “inspirational” quote at the end).

        • Baconpancakes :

          Man I fracking hate inspirational quotes at the end of emails.

          And who prints emails unless they actually need them? Seems passive aggressive to put that “don’t print” thing in the signatures.

    • I pretty much always use “Thanks” or “Thanks very much,” because really you’re almost always asking someone do something when you send them an email. Even if I send someone a document or information, I usually end it with “please let me know if you have any questions,” which is worded as a request, and therefore “thanks” seems to work just fine. External emails to clients I haven’t met in person get the more formal “best regards.”

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Best, sincerely, or thanks. Depends on the context.

    • full of ideas :

      Regards, thanks, or if casual/friendlier “take care,” “talk to you soon,” “looking forward to it” — all followed by my name.

    • “Best” is considered the worst.

      Regards or Thank you is best

  13. Moving Back :

    Am preparing to move back to a city I went to college in but haven’t lived in for about a decade. Am single/no kids/mid 30s. When I visit annually, I get together with friends, whom I keep in touch with regularly via phone/email. Would it be super weird to send an email to them to ask them to keep me in mind when they’re running errands or going somewhere with their kids or have down time or whatnot?

    I understand they’re not used to having me local or they might think I wouldn’t want to just hang at their house watching tv with them or go to the zoo with their kids, but I would like that stuff. I don’t want them to think “I’m back and expect you to have all the time for me that you did when we were college kids when I last lived here” so I’m afraid of coming across as needy or something.


    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think this is super weird, but I think it would probably be more natural to email them once you’re back in the area and see if they want to grab coffee or something and then when you do you can say you’d be happy to hang out with them and their kids in a low key way.

      • Yeah – and keep in mind, they may not want you to come over and watch TV or grocery shop with them on a day one of the kids is having a meltdown. Just get in touch with your friends first and let things develop organically.

    • Anonymous :

      Treat it like any other move. Tell them – moving back on X date. Once you’re in town, try to get together with them once – lunch/dinner/whatever. At that get together say – you’d love to hang out with them and get to know their kids more, so if you feel like company at a soccer game/school play etc. def give me the heads up. That said casually makes it clear that you are ok with being around the kids and don’t just want to hang out when there’s time to go out – which sometimes there isn’t. Then each friend can decide if it works for her or not; some will love to have you around with their kids but I also find that many moms these days are very protective of “MY time with MY DH and kids” and don’t want others around for it.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree with advice above. I’ve done this and it does take some time to re-establish friendships so don’t get discouraged. For me it honestly took 2-3 years before I felt I was truly back in the swing of things. In the meantime maybe devote some of your extra free time to meeting new groups of people.

    • Go for it :

      I landed back in my undergrad city and it’s been amazing–easiest move ever, tons of friends!

    • full of ideas :

      I think this is weird for an email. Go see these people and bring it up. If that’s not possible, call them and bring it up.

  14. Marshmallow :

    Commiseration, please.

    I’ve mentioned on here before I have sensitive skin and struggle with eczema. Well, I finally got allergy testing done, and apparently “sensitive” = “allergic to everything under the sun.” Most problematically, I’m allergic to generic “fragrance” and a number of preservatives. So even certain things that are fragrance-free or unscented (like Tide Free and Clear) are unusable for me because they contain the forbidden preservatives. I have a list of ingredients to avoid and a limited list of “safe” items, so I do at least have a place to start.

    Tonight I need to start the process of reading every label in my house. And kissing some of my favorite fragranced cosmetics (and perfumes) goodbye. Wahhhh.

    Has anyone successfully narrowed down a generic “fragrance” allergy by trial and error? Clearly not all fragrances are created equal and I’ve used multiple products over the years with no reaction, so there’s got to be a way to tell what compound is actually irritating me. Any success stories with ridding your life of environmental allergens? I have zero respiratory symptoms, it’s just a skin rash, which makes it harder to tell immediately whether something is an allergen for me or not.

    • Anonymous :

      If it’s skin rash then it’s likely to be something contacting your skin regularly. Dryer sheets can be triggers for some people. Get the unscented ones and cut them in half which is enough for most loads. Are you taking anything? My allergies act up when I’m stressed. I took a low dose of reactine daily for two years (under advice of my GP) and that seemed to reset my sensitivity level a bit.

      • Marshmallow :

        I already had allergy testing so I know exactly which compounds I’m sensitive to, so it’s less a trial and error to hunt for the cause than just a ransacking of my apartment looking for exact ingredients in stuff I own. :( We don’t use dryer sheets but we do use Tide Free and Clear, which apparently I am still allergic to. Blah.

        I have a topical for the rash which helps a lot. I was on Doxycyclene for the inflammation but the doctor is letting me go off it for now and see how I do. Not being on antibiotics constantly will be really nice.

        • Minnie Beebe :

          I’m going to plug a good friend’s business here, but if you’re looking for a truly all-natural, fragrance-free laundry detergent, try Meliora K. It’s my friend’s business, and she’s amazing, and it sounds like it would be a great option for you.

          • Marshmallow :

            Thanks, I will look into it. Seventh Generation pods are on my “safe” list, but every other recommended brand is something I’ve never heard of.

          • full of ideas :

            Pods seem like a bad idea — why expose your skin to the extra chemicals in the pod shell? Can’t you just use liquid or powdered Seventh Generation detergent?

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Try those thick wool balls you throw in the dryer – I bought a set earlier this year and love them.

    • I don’t have any experience with that, but I’ve had really good luck with natural home/beauty products from Whole Foods, so that could be a good starting place.

    • Apparently Tide is known to be irritating. I use “natural”/”organic” free and clear laundry detergents. I’ve tried biokleen, it was okay, as is Method free and clear. I’m going to try Puracy next. I would attempt the scented versions but I’m terrified of how my sinuses would react. I stick to a very simple skincare routine, although delving into the world of Korean beauty has not been as terrible and irritating as I was worried about. Foundation and stuff – no go. They all make me want to claw my face off. All fragrance is the devil as far as I’m concerned. I gave hundreds of dollars worth of stuff to my sister and told her to never wear it in my presence. Unfortunately, I can smell it on her if she wore a spritz a week ago and her jacket retained the scent. It’s very frustrating.

      • Anonymous :

        Tide is uber harsh, which is why it does such a good job cleaning clothes. I won’t go near it.

        • Anonymous :

          My only allergy/skin sensitivity is to Tide. My mom washed her towels in it once, and I got a rash from using a dish towel to dry my hands. I don’t know what’s in that stuff, but yikes.

        • I’m ok with Tide Free but any of the scented Tides really give me a headache

    • Sensitive Skin :

      A gentle welcome to this club! I have sensitive skin as well. I have found the Smartsheep wool dryer balls on Amazon to be a great alternative to dryer sheets. I stock up on anything from Seventh Generation when Target has a Cartwheel offer or sale (laundry detergent, soap, dishwasher detergent, dish soap) and their tampons and pads from a local store (check Seventh Generation’s website for where they sell specific products). I just switched to Native deodorant and it doesn’t seem to be irritating my skin so much. Cerave skincare is sold at Target and has a cult following on the Skincare Addiction subreddit (for good reason). The Cerave moisturizing cream in a tub is what I use for face and body – I bought a pump from Amazon that fit the tub. Jewelry is a big no-no for my skin – almost everything except platinum or gold breaks me out (yes, being sensitive to cheap metals will negatively affect your accessorizing and bank account). Best of luck!!

      • I actually really like the Native deodorant. Goodbye to antiperspirant buildup on armpits and clothing.

      • Marshmallow :

        Thanks for all the recommendations! Seventh Generation looks like it’s going to be a really good option for cleaning products. Oddly, Laura Mercier is all over my “safe list” for cosmetics so I will have to gravitate towards her stuff more, although it looks like many of my color cosmetics do not contain fragrance or the problematic preservatives.

        Re jewelry– can you believe I’m allergic to GOLD? Gold. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Thank goodness my wedding bands are platinum, but I’ve been buying gold earrings for years on the thought that they’d be less irritating.

        In retrospect, I should have realized far sooner I had a fragrance allergy because deodorant used to cause a rash until I switched to Dove Sensitive. I can’t use anything else.

    • Commiserations. I had an allergy test and it turned up positive for cocoamide betaine (and all its variants), a super common sudsing agent (in particular in anything “natural” or “botanical”). This explained everything for me. I am basically allergic to all soaps, shampoos and detergents. I now only use dr bronners castile soap, a special detergent I order online (even hypoallergenic detergents caused issues), and a “cleansing creme” instead of a shampoo. (I don’t love the cleansing creme, the other stuff is fine.) I still use soap in public restrooms but probably shouldn’t, but at home I’m religious about this. The only laundry detergent that works for me is Dapple Baby Formula, I get it on Amazon.

      • Marshmallow :

        Yeah soaps and cleansers will be a problem for me too. I’m allergic to decyl glucoside which apparently is touted as a hypoallergenic cleansing agent used in a lot of “sensitive” cleansing products. Looks like CeraVe cleanser is safe. Thanks for the tips and good luck!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My derm was treating me for a different issue but while dealing with it he wanted me using only “All” brand free and clear. He didn’t even trust the generic “All free and clear.”

      • Same. All brand only.

      • Coach Laura :

        Same here. All Free and Clear brand only. The look-alike Costco brand made me break out.

        But I do use the Tide free and clear on dog blankets and utility towels and boy does it get dirt and odors out better.

        Sorry for the hassle Marshmallow. I’m sensitive to most cosmetics except Clinique and Almay, and have to use unscented products for almost everything.

      • Wildkitten :

        I find All Free and Clear pods don’t dissolve in cold loads.

    • Allergy Tests :

      Marshmallow, tell me more about these allergy tests. Were they blood tests or skin scratch tests? I also have very sensitive skin, but was under the impression that it was skin sensitivities, not allergies (i.e. caused by some kind of physical or chemical irritation, not an immune reaction), so I’ve never bothered with allergy tests for this kind of thing (I also have respiratory systems, so I’ve done them for pollen, mold, etc.). However, I might have an actual allergy to parabens and some other preservatives. Is this one of the things they tested? And anyone else have suggestions for bandages that actually stick but don’t give you a rash?

      • Marshmallow :

        It was a patch test. They covered my entire back with a patchwork of little tiny squares soaked in potential allergens, taped it all up, and it sat on my skin for about three days. When they peeled up the squares, they looked for red reactions, welts, etc.

        I don’t know what they tested that came up negative, and I should probably go back and ask out of curiosity. They seem to have tested a pretty wide range of substances: in addition to the more common fragrance mix and a few preservatives, I also tested positive for gold, cobalt dichloride, “mercapto mix” which is essentially rubber, neomycin (the active ingredient in Neosporin), ylang ylang oil, and bee propolis. I should confirm but I think the doctor noted that I didn’t come up positive for general beeswax, just propolis.

        I’m not sure that the difference between sensitivities and allergies is really meaningful, since I think “sensitivities” are also immune responses and you’ll want to avoid the trigger. So bottom line I’d definitely say get the test done if you suspect you’re being triggered by certain substances.

    • A recommendation for personal care products is to check out some of the resources for patients with breast cancer. A lot of cancer patients prefer to seek out products that are paraben (common preservative) and phthalate-free since they can disrupt hormone balances.

      I’m not a cancer survivor, but some preservative-free brands I like are Odacite for skincare, Acure Organics for hair, Shea Moisture for soaps, and Ilia, Vapour, RMS Beauty for makeup. Some of these brands use essential oils for fragrances, so maybe get a sample or do a spot test before using them.

      • Marshmallow :

        These are all great recommendations, thanks!

        As far as I know I’m only allergic to one particular essential oil, so I should be in the clear on that.

    • Anonymous :

      Try Allergen Wash

    • This is frustrating. As someone suffering from less & more severe allergies, I commiserate. On my last holiday, I have discovered yet another allergy – to certain types of fabric softeners. He hotel I stayed in had to wash my sheets, towels and everything I could touch separately and using only pure water. Otherwise, I would get violent rash and blisters all over my body.
      On the bright side, you are lucky to have such a thourough MD to do such an extensive testing. Some are lazy and only make patch tests for the top 10 most common irritants. Great that you are now aware of what is causing you troubles and can take control over your life. Yes, the search for the “safe stuff” will be frustrating, but once you figure this out, your life will be so much better!
      Also, I am stalking this thread for tips for fabric softeners ;)

  15. Is no one concerned about the war crimes committed by a president? Or am I the only one secretly freaking out at my desk?

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Also freaking out. Trying to just get some work done today, despite my lack of sleep last night.

    • Anonymous :

      Our prez? What would be the war crime? Missiles? Bc you can act first and ask for congressional authorization up to 60 days later. What it is it with liberals freaking out 100% of the time.

      • Anonymous :

        What’s with conservatives bombing countries first and asking questions later

        • Anonymous :

          What questions should they ask? Did you really mean to use the chemical weapons that you violated international law by merely possessing let alone using?

          • Just a counter-point: I find his justification of “the beautiful babies” hollow when A) he has denied those same babies refuge (in violation of our international agreements and B) he alerted Russia prior to the strike that we were gonna do it.

            I think it’s posturing. And that’s what makes me angry.

            Carry on.

          • Anon 3:47 :

            Alerting other major world powers is standard – that’s why Canada and Germany also got a call. It might be posturing, but what were his other options? 45 is awful in general but there is no clear path forward in Syria. Assad’s use of chemical weapons is totally unprecedented and should not have been ignored. Anything less than an air strike would have been seen by Assad and Russia as ignoring it and made Assad bolder.

          • I’m not saying I’m against the strike (I’m certainly not, and I’m as liberal as they come). I think we waited far too long.

            My issue is the same hypocrisy that you’re seeing on the liberal side was rampant on the conservative side when Obama wanted to do something about Syria. Plus, I don’t buy that he cares about children for the reasons stated above.

            I remain skeptical of his ties to Russia, which is probably coloring my perception there.

            But to reiterate: my issue isn’t the strike. My issue is the crap they have been saying for months and years about congressional approval that doesn’t matter when their guy wants a strike, and the faux care about human suffering.

          • Agree with ELS. Attacking a country to protect the people you refuse to let in as refugees is asinine, especially given the risk of civilian casualties in any strike. His motives are even more suspect because he warned Russia and Russia is suspected of supporting those who attacked the civilians initially.

      • The only war crime that has been committed is by that piece of garbage Assad. May he rot in hell 1000 times over. Not a fan of Trump but I’m glad he did something. He has my support 100% on this issue.

    • Anonymous :

      I truly deeply hate 45 but I would not necessarily call the targeted strikes on a military target a ‘war crime’. With a Russian veto on UNSC, they would not have been able to get UNSC approval and thus legalize. And on customary international law, the use of chemical weapons, let alone against civilians, has been illegal for close to 100 years. Canada expressed support. Germany has not criticized. 45 is truly awful but I’m not convinced that this will be viewed broadly in the international community as a war crime.

      • Anonymous :


        Completely agree.

        This makes me anxious as h3ll, and I can’t believe we are bombing only 3 months into this presidency, and I loathe Trump…. but…. this probably should have been done years ago by Obama/worldwide consortium.

      • Anonymous :

        This is where I’m at with it too.

        I hate 45. I don’t like war. Is this chest-thumping posturing? Absolutely. Is 45 the worst kind of idiot? Yes, of course. But it’s about time someone did something. Assad is already president of a wasteland but apparently won’t stop until every living thing in Syria has been exterminated. Assad gassed a bunch of kids to death. Enough already. Let’s do something resembling anything to at least say, we saw what you did and you need to pay for it. People talk about WWII Germany and what they would have done to fight the Nazis. Well, take a look at what’s happening in Syria, folks. Years from now, we will look back in shame at the suffering we didn’t prevent.

        And honestly, I feel the same about North Korea. I understand it’s a complicated situation. But people have been starving to death under twisted dictatorship for years. Said twisted dictators have made specific, targeted threats towards the U.S. and its allies. How long can we let that continue? Will we wait out that situation until Jong-un gasses a bunch of kids in the street?

    • I am more concerned about people using this to drum up support for Trump. I don’t know enough to say whether the action will actually help any Syrians on the ground, but we all need to watch out for false flag actions here. Trump has shown that he is not a friend of the Syrians, especially not Syrian refugees, so let’s not believe this is all for humanitarian purposes. That being said, Syria is a humanitarian’s nightmare and I’m not sure how the USA can help.

    • Anonymous :

      You realize the international community is congratulating him, right? Canada? Germany/UK have expressed agreement. There are internet memes circulating in the Arab countries saying “we love Trump.”

      I didn’t vote for him and don’t like him – yet I am a conservative and am really sick of liberals (which comprise 99.9% of my friend/coworker group) needing a reason to find that everything done by a non-Dem MUST BE wrong.

      • I live in Canada and we are abhorred

        • I want to assemble legal widgets :

          LOL. I think you mean appalled. But yes, some people to abhor Canadia.

        • Anon 3:47 :

          Also in Canada. Work in international affairs and have heard zero people who had a problem with this.

          Canada’s left leaning daily paper, The Star, reported that “The only Canadian political leader to speak out against the U.S. missile strikes was Bloc Québécois Leader Martine Ouellet.” https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/07/canada-not-part-of-us-strike-on-syria-but-backs-efforts-to-stop-atrocities.html

          Which means that even the NDP didn’t oppose it.

        • I read that as “I (am an American citizen and) live in Canada and we (the U.S.) are abhorred (by the Canadians I know).”

          • ***I am Canadian and we are abhorred (by Trump and the situation at hand)*** Is that better?

          • Or we abhor I suppose. Ugh. Got to love grammatical errors after a long work week

      • I just heard that Syria has launched air strikes from the air base that was hit by US missiles last night.
        This is what really concerns me – what happens next – and where.
        FWIW also in Canada

        • Supposedly there was concern about other biological weapons being stored on that base that would have been dispersed had the target been drawn a bit bigger. That seems like a pretty wiley way to keep part of base protected and operational.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I find it all very complicated. I think the action was right. I think it should have been conducted differently. Talk to other state dept officials. Get congressional approval. Talk to our allies first. Checks and balances and all of that.

      Just a warning, if you are into watching international news, Al Jezeera’s reporting of the chemical attacks are extremely graphic. I was not ready to see it. They literally showed children dying, gasping for breath, being carried out. The American news normally warns before showing graphic images and edits out the worst of it. This was unbearable to see.

      I am not at all a Trump supporter but I support the action, just not how it occurred.

      Also, for the person that mentioned “false flags” I was reading a list of statements from various countries about the attack. Some that are in support of Syria say that it has not yet been proven who was behind the chemical attack. I have not seen that aspect covered in the media yet. Are there really people questioning whether the attack even happened and if by who? If so, what are they claiming? That it was just staged? That the people were really injured but it was by some other group? Those are some pretty big conspiracy theories if that’s the case.

      • BBC has covered this extensively, and the arguments that Assad was not behind this are not legitimate.

        • “BBC covered it extensively” isn’t proof that Russia and the U.S. didn’t have some kind of hand in the attacks. I have no proof either – but given that Trump badly needs to shift attention away from the investigation into his Russia ties and this would make it look like he and the Russians are at odds and always have been, I’m not believing everything I read. You shouldn’t either. Stay aware, stay critical, and don’t take Trump at his word.

          • No, I mean that BBC covered this “false flag” argument, not that BBC covered the attack (although they did). Unless some commenters are live on the ground in Syria (and maybe even then), we’re going to be dependent on news coverage to arrive at our own conclusions. I’m plenty aware and critical and I don’t think the US gassed Syrian children.

      • Anonymous :

        The only ones questioning it also think pizzagate is a thing

        • The area that was attacked by chemical weapons was also attacked by bombs, and a Russian drone was seen flying over the area before that 2nd attack. What’s making me lose sleep is wondering if the chemical attack was done by the Russians and not really the Syrian government. What are we getting into.

    • I am concerned about it and I will say that I’m not sure if I support the airstrike because of the consequences down the line. Assad is a butcher of his own people- no question about it. But so was Sadaam. After decades of Sadaam, America decides to remove him from power and Iraq is suffering from decades long civil strife and by some measures is much worse. What’s the end game here with the airstrikes? To remove Assad and put in the rebels? I think that would be a terrible idea that would eventually result in ISIS taking over large swaths of the country, similar to what happened in Iraq. And I do think ISIS is worse than Assad (although, it’s hard to believe anything could be worse). I think Americans have a tendency to want to do something RIGHT NOW without paying attention to the long term affects. Also, it’s crazy to me what meets with American consternation when it comes to the ME. Maybe it’s because I’m Muslim, so the plight of Syrians suddenly mattering to the President in light of recent events is just something I view with immense skepticism.

  16. Anonymous :

    Calling all Dallas peeps… I’ll be in town the weekend of May 5th for a family function, and need to get my hair done (blow out or updo, haven’t decided). Looks like the closest dry bars to my family’s place (which is in Addison) are Plano and North Park, which are both a 25 minute drive. I know people drive EVERYWHERE in Dallas and maybe I should just suck up the 25 minute drive each way, but does anyone know of a good place that is closer, ideally in Addison? I tried Yelp but didn’t find much.


    • Anonymous :

      I work in Addison but haven’t seen one; I’ll try to take a look next week and “page” you. I don’t know where a dry bar is in Plano, but I live there and it shouldn’t take you that long to get there on the weekend.

      • Anonymous :

        thank you!!I recognize 25 minutes is not a far drive in Dallas, but as an east coaster who walks everywhere it’s too much to bear :)

    • Go to the Northpark one for sure. It’s a very easy drive. I doubt it would take 25 minutes on a Saturday unless you got lost. Northpark is a great mall too. Lots to see and shop.

  17. Counting Macros :

    I’m intrigued by counting macros to lose some excess weight. Does anyone have a preferred app to track macros? My Fitness Pal seems to require a monthly fee and I’m wondering if there are other / better resources out there.

    • Anonymous :

      MyFitnessPal should be free. There is a premium upcharge, but you don’t need it to track macros

      • I use LifeSum and I like it more than MFP. You can scan barcodes. It’s also free.

        • Anonymous :

          You can scan barcodes on MFP too! Don’t know if it’s a new feature but when adding a food there is a little barcode icon in the top right.

          What else do you like about LifeSUm? I’m always open to a better interface

    • I use MFP. It’s free, you can set your own macro goals, and it also allows you to scan barcodes.

    • Wildkitten :

      My Macros +. Also there’s a facebook group for women doing IIFYM and they’re great.

  18. iOS coding recommendations? :

    trying to learn to code on my own (can’t afford expensive tuition), any recommendations?

    • Anonymous :

      CodeAcademy or look for a Ruby on Rails group (my local tech incubator holds a women-only class to get started in it that is very popular). The same incubator also offers a variety of classes over weekends (I know I’ve seen an iOS specific one) for typically $50-200 and longer certifications that are 12 ish weeks long and much less expensive than school tuition.

      What type of coding and for what purpose though? As a hobby or a career change?

    • I have had good luck learning to code (in python in particular) using Coursera courses – they are completely free. I like the python ones from Rice University, but there are lots of options from different schools, in different languages, and focusing on different types of programming (statistics, graphics, etc.).

    • Anonymous :

      You’ll find a million free tutorials by googling. If you don’t get the first one, move on to another. You can also buy a book if you like that structure. You absolutely do not need to pay anything to learn.

  19. I want to assemble legal widgets :

    Aside from doc review, what do you all think are the most assembly line type attorney jobs? After years of being in a demanding field, I am looking to change to something that is not that challenging/intellectually stimulating. I’m thinking a specialized, maybe transactional area? Ideally, I would like to be making $75K.

    • Not a lawyer, but my sibling does a lot of social security disability cases, which seem fairly standardized.

      • full of ideas :

        +1000 — the law is set up so people can represent themselves so the CFRs are clear re the requirements. You usually don’t charge a fee, but get a portion of back due disability if your client wins so there is some lag time in getting a practice going. Signing up to get leads from a national company should help bring in clients. I only take clients that have been denied but asked for a hearing before time ran out.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Wills and trusts.

    • Subpoena compliance.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Well… the foreclosure mill people I used to run across in court had assembly-line type jobs. But you might have ethical qualms with that? (I would caution you that the truly boring, repetitive work… it can be pretty rough.)

    • Insurance claims work can be like that. Specifically, Workers’ Compensation defense work (staff or panel counsel) or the low end of liability claims work.

    • Certain torts defense work?

  20. Diana Barry :

    Micellar water – how do you use it? I got some and if I splash on my face/eyes, it doesn’t do much with my eye makeup and I still have to scrub. What am I missing? TIA!

    • Nothing? Micellar water doesn’t remove my eye makeup very well either, although maybe that is to be expected because I use longwearing/waterproof stuff. I don’t find it to be much a of miracle product.

      • Anonymous :

        You are absolutely supposed to use it on something, cotton pads. That’s likely why it didn’t work, but I also find they have varying efficacy based on the brand

    • Anonymous :

      Pour it on a cotton round (the thin flat ones, not the puffy ones) and GENTLY press and rub your eye makeup off, and your face. I use one for each eye an let it soak the mascara off a bit to minimize pulling.

    • I apply one soaked cotton pad to each eye and press for 3 sec and then I wipe off. I use a third to wipe off the rest of my face. Works just fine for me.

      • Agree about soaking a cotton pad and then leaving it on your eye for a bit before wiping off. I’m really glad I watched the Lisa Eldridge video about taking off makeup before I tried micellar water. You do need to really wait for a while before wiping it off. If I do that, everything comes off easily.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Yeah, cotton pads are what I use.

    • I don’t splash it. Too expensive and I don’t get how that would work anyway. I use ifon a cotton pad, after I wash my face, to get rid of the traces of eye makeup my facial cleanser leaves behind. I like it because, unlike eye makeup remover, I don’t have to rinse it off. I wouldn’t like removing my eye makeup from scratch with it, but after washing, it does a great job on that final step.

    • I squeeze generous amount on flat large cotton pad and then first remove my foundation using light circling motions. Then I use a new pad or two to remove my eye make-up – again, generous amount of micellar cleanser, then gently press on eyelids/eyelash area to allow the product to soak in, then gently wipe that area a few times in different directions (as you would do with any other eye makeup remover).
      I like to splash cold water on my face after I am done with micellar cleanser. Also, not all micellar cleansers are equal – some simply do not have the right ingredients and are too weak to remove anything. I had to try several brands before I found the best one for me. I was quite (but not 100%) happy with basic Garnier and Bioderma micellars (available in every drug store), but finally decided for a specialist brand (Isis Pharma Aquaruboril Micellar Cleanser – but this one is difficult to find).
      One thing I have noticed – micellar cleanser works best when applied to dry skin (so do not splash any water on your face before you use micellar cleanser).

  21. Read the recent “momsy” discussion with interest. Late 40s, working mom with classic style. I know that I need to refresh my wardrobe but no longer like the color scheme, work appropriateness or styling of long time wardrobe staple brands (e.g., Lands End, Eddie Bauer, Talbots) and so I continue to put off shopping. Would love some suggestions for moderate priced brands with classic updated styling.

  22. High efficiency washer woes gone :

    Hi, it’s Lilly. From time to time there has been complaint and commiseration here about the problems with the current models of washing machines. Like a lot of you, I had issues with clothes not seeming clean, funky towels that no amount of bleach would clear, wash cycles that take forever, and so on. I wanted to share that I’ve solved the problem! There are two caveats – it involves throwing money at the problem, and it’s not a super good solution in areas where water conservation is a serious concern. I was very unhappy with my three year old Maytag washer, and I replaced it with a Speed Queen. Specifically, this brand still has one model that is an old fashioned washing machine. There are no electronics, it is purely mechanical. It has no plastic, it is metal. It has a wash cycle that works like they used to, where the tub fills with water to wash, and the tub fills with water to rinse. Apparently the newer machines almost all have a rinse cycle that involves spinning the clothes while spraying them, and that is all. I am convinced this is the reason for funky towels and mildew smells in the machines. Anyway, sorry about the novel, but I am so happy with a washing machine that actually works, that doesn’t stink when clothes sit in it for a few hours, and that has our towels rid of the funk, that I just wanted to share. Supposedly this is the only old style machine still on the market, and Speed Queen is going to phase out this model at the end of the year. I just re-read this and it sounds like a flipping ad. I promise I don’t work for this company, don’t know them, nothing.

    • Lol, my cleaning person said she’s cleans for a couple of people that swear by their speedqueens.

    • I recently read an article about Speed Queens having a cult following. I happen to have a lucky laundry pair that *knockwood* has never had problems (14 year old Maytag Neptune set, which has make it through all the laundry of a family of four this whole time) but if I did, I’d look into a Speed Queen set.

      I’m on vacation now at a condo complex outfitted with Speed Queens and they do seem like workhorses. However, I will admit that the dryers are a bit harsh. I’m used to my Maytag drying clothes just enough to be dry but not to be shrunken. Unfortunately the Speed Queen drier shrank a couple of my son’s t-shirts, which had been through several cycles of the Maytag at home without shrinking before we went on vacation.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oh man I want a good, non-stinky washing machine soooo badly. But I live in SoCal, so I really ought not to get a water guzzler.

    • We’re still using our simple 16 year old machine. Hope it keeps going!

      • My mother in law passed away 2 years ago and she had a classic old school washer and we took it and we LOOOOVVVEEEE it. Took the set- dryer actually gets the clothes dry, too. I can’t remember what brand they are, they must be 15 years old. *fingers crossed*

  23. Is it true that Botox can fix RBF? If it matters, I have always had RBF, it is not something I have developed with aging. also i’m late 20’s. But with serious RBF.

    • depends what makes it RBF… if it’s an eyebrow wrinkle thing, that can be changed, down turn mouth can maybe be changed but it might make you look like the Joker, if it’s a general posture/intense eyes thing, that’s just something to either work on consciously or accept!

  24. Avenue jeans plug :

    For the “bridge size” and plus folks here, I want to give a shout-out to Avenue jeans, which I ordered on a whim when they had a sale, all pairs for $19 each. I bought one pair of skinny ankle-length jeans in a dark wash; a pair of dark-wash “jeggings” (but they don’t feel like leggings at all, just like normal jeans, albeit a little stretchier); and a pair of dark-wash straight-leg jeans. All three pairs fit true-to-size (I’m a 16), are the right length on me based on what I expected from the descriptions, and are really comfortable. The dark washes are dark enough without looking black. Most miraculously, the jeggings and skinny pair fit me in the hips AND the waist, with no gapping. That hardly ever happens, as my waist measurement is a lot smaller than my hips. Can recommend if you are more pear-shaped or hourglass and in the market for jeans.

  25. Any favorite islands in the Caribbean to visit in June, or a couple easy islands to travel between? Looking for ideas.

    • I’d love to go back to the Caymans for a week this summer. Definitely take a catamaran out to Stingray City to swim with the gentle giants. Starfish Point is also worth the drive, but can be a little tricky to find. It’s past Rum Point and tucked off the edge of a residential neighborhood. Have a great trip!

  26. Sloan Sabbith :

    Thanks to everyone who recommended the Indian Museum for lunch in DC. Got lunch there today and had an absurdly good (albeit expensive) bison chili Indian taco and apple tart.

  27. For you ladies who have been pregnant or TTC — any advice on sunscreens to use? I live in the south and love being outside in summer, but have read that most “chemical” sunscreens — pretty much everything out there! — has ingredients that should be avoided and that physical sunscreens (like zinc) are better. I bought Neutrogena’s physical sunscreen for my face, but it takes forever to absorb. I also tried bare minerals’ prep step, but the smell is…just awful. Any advice on face / body sunscreens would be very appreciated! Same for makeup you loved and that was pregnancy-friendly…. I’ve been sticking to bare minerals but am not crazy about it….

    • Anonymous :

      Not pregnant or TTC, but I am allergic to most chemical sunscreens. I love Cerave sunscreen face lotion 50 spf. It has micronized zinc and titanium dioxide.

  28. sunscreen rec :

    Check out Elta MD sunscreen. They have various types on Amazon- tinted, nontinted. Goes on extremely well, works for my sensitive skin and suggested by a lot of dermatologists. Wear this all the time (including when I was pregnant and breastfeeding) and give it to my friends who are expecting to prevent the “mask of pregnancy” that hormones can cause. good luck!

  29. Super excited for a girls trip to New York in June! We will be there for almost 2 weeks. Any recommendations on hotels, something centrally located?

  30. Anonymous for venting :

    I’m having trouble sympathizing with a friend’s struggles right now. She’s separated from her husband after nearly 30 years of marriage, and they’re working on what looks to be a pretty amicable divorce ( for example, he’s insisting she take part of his military retirement, while she’s insisting she’s an adult who doesn’t need his money…) She had an affair with my husband that lasted at least 2 years and that I found out about almost exactly a year ago. After a lot of work, we decided to stay together.

    Her complaints on social media about how miserable she is and how hard the separation is and how stressful it all is are annoying the [email protected] out of me. I keep thinking that if she has spent more energy on her marriage instead of spending it on my husband, she might not be having this problem. I’ve warned her a couple times that I’m really not the right person to be asking for pats on the head and there-there’s from. I haven’t followed that up with “If I’d given you the kick in the @$$ you needed years ago, maybe none of us would be so stressed out” but I have certainly thought it.

    • Why on earth would you stay with someone who cheated on you for TWO YEARS, but especially why on earth are you sill friends with her!! Why are you speaking to her or seeing her social media? That’s insane lady. Block her on social media.

    • Wildkitten :

      Unfollow her. Do not be friends with her. She is not your friend.

    • Anonymous :

      Why in earth would you even attempt to stay friends with a woman who had an afffair with your husband? She’s not your friend. Cut off contact with her.

    • Anonymous :

      It makes me kind of sick that you are still “friends” with her. Where is your self respect? Why are you speaking with her at all after she humiliated and betrayed you?

      • Yeah I think if you want any chance of you and your husband making it, she needs to cease to exist in your world.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah she dated ops husband for two years. Clearly that’s the first place she is going to go back to now that she is divorcing. This is honestly the most flabbergasting post. Like 1) that you are trying to work it out with your husband after a two year affair with your friend and 2) that somehow this friend is still in the picture???

    • Anonymous :

      Sweetie, I think you need a kick in the @ ss. You are a good person for even continuing to try to relate to this person but you will not be getting any medals from anyone for being the saintly person in this situation who continues to try to emotionally support a morally bankrupt and selfish person. I probably would have burned her car with all her stuff in it, Waiting To Exhale-style by now.

      Block her on social. Block her phone number so she can’t call you. If she emails you, report the emails as spam and block the address. If she goes to your grocery store and you might bump into her there, change grocery stores. If she comes to your house, pretend you’re not at home (or turn the garden hose on her, that’s more my speed). Most of all, make it very clear to your husband that if he has any contact with her whatsoever, the detente you’ve been able to negotiate is over and he’ll be out on his @ ss.

      I’m all for acting like grownups and trying not to cause scenes. I understand life is complicated and human relationships are complex. But no trifling, husband-stealing b *tch in the universe is going to try to make me feel bad for not “supporting her” through her divorce, which she caused. By having an affair with my husband. Read Waiting to Exhale, listen to some Helen Reddy and Beyonce’s Lemonade album. Don’t take these crumbs from people; you deserve better.

  31. Best Calendar- Combining App? :

    Follow up to post earlier in the week about the best apps:

    I’ve been searching high and low for a calendar app that will grab everything on my work calendar (outlook) plus everything on my personal calendar (iPhone) plus any google calendar i set up (might create one for the summer when 3 college kids are home to manage work schedules, meals, etc) so that I just have to access that one calendar on my phone to keep everything straight. Right now, I am putting all my personal stuff on my work Outlook calendar, and while I can mark things private, I just hate having other people be able to see stuff in case I forget to mark it. Has anyone solved this and if so, what app?

  32. Anonymous :

    Any suggestions for last minute tax help? I found a mistake in mine this weekend and now want a professional to review the rest before I file. I’m in NYC but have to file in multiple states due to the nature of my job. I travel during the week, including this week so can’t physically go into an office to meet with a professional. I really shot myself in the foot here timing wise, so would be extremely grateful for any helpful suggestions.

  33. Are MM Lefleur clothes really great? What pieces are the best??

    • I tried one bento box and returned everything. Most pieces were unlined which I did not like. Dresses were too short waisted. Love the look of them but have not found the right fit yet.

    • Melanie Halvorson :

      I returned all the pieces I bought too. The pieces had a structured style but no built in structure. If you have a model’s body, you could wear them or if you like very-oversized clothes, it would work too. I was really disappointed. They said that their items are unlined to allow for them to be machine-washable.

    • Melanie Halvorson :

      I returned all the pieces I bought too. The pieces had a structured style but no built in structure. If you have a model’s body, you could wear them or if you like very-oversized clothes, it would work too. I was really disappointed. They said that their items are unlined to allow for them to be machine-washable.

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