Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I went on a hunt a while ago for a bunch of comfortable shoes I could actually run around town in, and at Tip Top Shoes in NYC, I discovered Fly London. I have this version, and the pictured shoe looks like the update. If you’re used to wearing heels, this will be a good commuting shoe — to maintain the hem height on your pants and to walk to and from work more comfortably. If you have problem feet in general, this could be a great shoe to wear with pants or dresses as we get into spring weather. The shoe comes in a bunch of fun colors (and the older version has even more). It’s $180 at Zappos. FLY LONDON Plan717Fly

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  1. Sloan Sabbith :

    I think these could look okay on, but I find them very un-cute just in the photo….

    • Senior Attorney :

      I looked at the video and I think they look even worse on. Next!

    • Anonymous :

      They look like comfort shoes, but I think they’re kind of cute in the video. I think it real life you wouldn’t really notice the chunky sole, since you mainly look at shoes from above. Nobody views them from the angles we see in pics online. I haaaate the new trend of using velcro on shoe straps, though. Clarks has so many velcro straps this season and they’re not as adjustable.

    • Agreed.

      I’m really trying to find extremely comfortable shoes for walking around (that aren’t an athletic shoe or some variation on that) and really struggling. I want a “comfort” shoe that doesn’t look like a comfort shoe. Is there such a thing?

      • Best I have found is Gentle Souls (you have to sort thru some weird styles though) & Kork Ease sandals for summer.

      • S in Chicago :

        Yes! I just found a dream flat. Vionic brand. I went with the pointy toe and lacing style but they have others that look more like a traditional flat. Excellent arch support, rubber bottom, suede-ish sides that have nice give and a point that doesn’t crunch your toes. I could totally commute in these without blinking an eye.


        • Also this is super comfy I ended up buying patent version in multiple colors https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Klein-Womens-Fabric-Ballet/dp/B00XKRTNW6/ref=s9u_simh_gw_i2?_encoding=UTF8&fpl=fresh&pd_rd_i=B00XKRTNW6&pd_rd_r=JXFR7X5GMZCT0YQ6NHF1&pd_rd_w=Eeuk9&pd_rd_wg=aWVgh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=&pf_rd_r=0R0MJGT3XAZTKZHY6YDK&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=781f4767-b4d4-466b-8c26-2639359664eb&pf_rd_i=desktop

    • Yay! Open thread’s! I love open thread’s but not these clunky sandals. I do NOT look good in sandals or open toed shoes, so the manageing partner will NOT reimburse me for these, nor would I wear them. I saw alot of these over on W72nd Street, but that is on the UWS, and Dad says there are alot of women there who realy do NOT care what they look like, b/c the men are desparate for any woman, they will go for any earth-woman wearing these. FOOEY! I say we MUST look good to get the best guys, and these are NOT for women who are fashion consius.

      I am goeing home early to do my 10,000 steps b/c I took a cab into work today. I had eaten some bad chicken last nite, and needed to be sure I was near a toilet in case the urge hit me. It was lucky I did b/c I had SO much gas in the cab that the driver turned around to look twice at me. HE must have said FOOEY but I could NOT help it! Anyway, I got it out of my system now, and hope NOT to be so gassy again today. YAY!!!!

    • I have owned fly of london sandals in the low heels — a very differnt looking sling back style though — , and they were super comfortable, and read more funky than clunky(I wore mine so much that the heel was worn through after three years of heavy usage). I also had tons of compliments when I wore them, though they certainly are not to everyone’s taste. The heel is actually quite bouncy, yet stable, and works both for my bunions, narrow heels, and sore back.

      Beware there are some higher heeled heights, and lower ones– looks like this is the lower heel,– they do fit differently in terms of size from style to style. This style is a bit too long for me in the correct size, and too narrow in a smaller size.

    • I looked through the entire line and these are the only ones I’d wear: http://m.zappos.com/p/fly-london-poma-ground-concrete-cupido-mousse/product/8843578/color/675345

      • Those are really pretty! I think they would look good with a fit and flare dress or olive skinny pants.

      • I thought the Cade04Fly were kinda cute, but not as comfortable, I’d guess, since it’s a heel rather than a wedge.

  2. Let's Play A Game! :

    The nicest thing anyone has ever done for me is/was: __________________

    Hoping to bring up some happy memories as we play and that we create a list that give examples or ideas of things we might consider doing for others in our lives so we keep this kindness going!

    • DH + sister surprise :

      I do musicals as my hobby. I flew home after staffing a week-long conference for work to find that my husband had cleaned the entire apartment. That was awesome. He then tells me that he has a surprise for me after my show that night… and we drive to the airport to pick up my sister, who flew in to surprise me for the closing night of my show. Husband talked to the stage manager and offered to take my place at set deconstruction so that I could hang out with my sister the next day. It was the nicest combination of surprise, thoughtfulness, and sacrifice of time/money/energy that I’ve had in a long time. They collaborated to surprise me and I had no idea until we took the airport exit ramp :)

    • Senior Attorney :

      I don’t think I can pick a “nicest,” but a few years ago when I was fairly newly separated and my son was thousands of miles away in the Marines, a friend sent me a surprise gift box from Harry & David that really brightened up a bleak Christmas season.

    • I guess mine is something I do and something that was done for me…

      There’s a flower company with a 1800 before its name that has $5 cookies, including shipping. I often send them at random to friends just to brighten their day and never thought much about it. Then a friend sent me one and it made my whole week. Having the experience helped me to realize what a difference tiny surprises can have, so now I try to send a few every month to friends. I figure, even just cycling through the friends whose #s are in my phone and whose addresses I know means I probably spend $15/yr if that per person and that’s nothing to make friends super happy.

      • What an awesome idea. I am totally bookmarking that!

      • I love this idea! Can you provide a link? Google is failing me.

        • https://www.1800flowers.com/cookie-gifts-under-25?storeId=20051&catalogId=13302&langId=-1&brandIdTab=&categoryId=400098513&orderBy=3&multiBrand=&pageSize=700&currentPage=1

      • Senior Attorney :

        Thanks for this! I just sent my son some Easter cookies!

      • When I lived in Austin, there was a company there that would locally deliver warm cookies. I used to send them all the time as thank yous or pick-me-ups! I didn’t know there was something nationally – SO USING THIS!

        • Anonymous :

          Insomnia Cookies is in most towns/cities with a college or university, and they deliver warm cookies. I don’t think they’re that great though. My go-to food item to send people is See’s Candies.

          • I think the local one she may be referring to is Tiff’s Treats and they have delicious cookies. They are in several Texas cities and Atlanta now.

        • Anonymous :

          For people in the RDU area, their delivery area is quite small, but there are locations of Insomnia Cookies near each university campus. I haven’t had a chance to try them myself, but like Anon @2:37, remember a local cookie delivery service I loved.

        • Wildkitten :

          Insomnia Cookies is in many locations. When I went through my breakup last summer I had dozens and dozens sent to me (I was in a different region for work so all my best friends were distance.)

        • https://www.1800flowers.com/cookie-gifts-under-25?storeId=20051&catalogId=13302&langId=-1&brandIdTab=&categoryId=400098513&orderBy=3&multiBrand=&pageSize=700&currentPage=1

    • Answering twice, sorry…

      I was out of town for 6 months and found out I had to vacate my apartment back home, with only a few days between returning from my trip and needing to vacate. A friend had my space house key in case of emergencies. She offered to handle most of my move; she took photos of all items and asked me for bottom line pricing of what I wanted to sell, then posted to sales websites, met the buyers, collected the money, and put it in my bank account. She also scrubbed the place down to ensure my security deposit for me. When I returned home, everything was done (including taking art down from walls, etc.) except my own packing and she’d left moving bags/boxes/tape for me to use. This was about 10 years ago and every time I move or hear about someone moving or see a moving commercial, I think of her and of that. It was epic for both my anxiety about the process and for the actual process. …aaaaand now I’m going to email her and thank her again for that!

      • Oh my god, that sounds like the best friend ever.

      • That is shocking.

        What did you do for her in return?

        An the answer should be a plane ticket to Paris or the like. Seriously.

        • Wildkitten :

          Sometimes people are really really nice and it doesn’t mean the person on the receiving end is rich.

          • Anonymous :

            she still owes a big…. “or the like….”

            Because otherwise, that is truly using/abusing a friend.

          • WTF, anon 3:36, no it does not she’s using or abusing her friend if she can’t return something in the same price range as a freaking trip to Paris. She didn’t coerce or force the friend in any way.

        • 15+ years of friendship, she lived on my couch for a month when her housing situation fell apart the day of her move, we’ve traveled together, camped together, road tripped to move each other together, and hopped planes solely to visit the other when we’ve lived in different states. Neither of us have tons of money by any means (each makes under 40k/yr) but we make each other a priority consistently, which is worth more than any monetary gift!

      • Anonymous :

        When we receive help, we aren’t always in the position of reciprocating. My mother taught me to pay it forward and that is what I have always done.

    • After an incredibly terrible first time LGP, my friends gave me a Red Tent-inspired celebration. They brought me flowers and even thrift store jewelry, and took me out to lunch. It was truly wonderful, and took all the focus off the doosh I had slept with and put it on my female power.

    • Baconpancakes :

      When we were still just friends, my SO planned an entire trip for us to see friends and hike in Seattle. I told him I wanted to see those “big islands that stick out of the sea, surrounded by mist,” but I wasn’t really able to do any planning. He made all the reservations, planned the itinerary, and found the beach I had described, La Push, and when we hiked to the beach and the rocks came into view, it was exactly like I’d imagined. We had started casually seeing each other at that point, but that kind of clinched it.

    • Anomnibus :

      We got a snowstorm earlier this year, but I was too sick to shovel my car out, so I just hoped the 40-degree + rainy day we were anticipating would do the job for me. A couple days after the storm, I looked outside and saw that someone had shoveled and cleared the snow off my car for me!

      Turns out, it did warm up and rain the next day, so it wasn’t necessary, but it was still a really nice gesture. Sometimes people in my city are so cranky, it’s easy to forget there are some warm hearts out there.

    • layered bob :

      1) after a mild disagreement/difference of perspective that felt like it might be the end of a fading friendship, the friend emailed to say she had tried the thing we were arguing about, and I was totally right about it, and she was sorry about the distance that had come up. I think it took a lot of strength to do that rather than stewing on it and letting the friendship die, and it opened the door for me to make my own apologies and amends, which I was probably too selfish to do otherwise.

      2) I went to a college where people did not ever share notes/outlines with classmates. One semester (ten years ago) I was having the worst time (family/personal stuff) and one class was a particular struggle. An acquaintance who I barely knew noticed, took notes the whole semester for me and gave me her outline before the exam along with an encouraging note. She went out of her way to help me when there was no reason to other than just being really nice.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      I had to drop out of college a few months into my third year for health reasons. No insurance, no family support. One day, the couple I babysat for in college told me they’d gone to my school andpaid off the tuition I owed from that semester so I could go back to school the following year. Without their help, who knows when or how I would have been able to finish school. They asked only that I pay it forward some day. Still makes me cry 25 years later.

      • Are you still in touch with them? What an incredible gift! :)

      • Anonymous :

        That’s a lovely story.

        I hope you write to them every few years, to let them know where you are.

      • Seattle Freeze :

        We are still in touch! I actually kept watching their kids for several years into my 20s until they didn’t need a sitter anymore. They really took me into their family and I’m so grateful for that. I’d love to do the same thing they did for me someday, maybe call up the student aid office to see if I can clear up someone’s account so they can start fresh.

    • Anonymous :

      First semester of grad school. I was living on the other side of the country from my family, lonely, exhausted, overwhelmed, feeling like the dumbest person in the program, joyless in pretty much every respect. As the most junior grad assistant, i was stuck running the last discussion section of the evening, 8-10 pm (which, as a morning person, was really hard on me). One night in early December, after I had finished teaching (but with a mountain of homework left to do) , I trudged to my desk in the library and found a pyramid of wrapped packages. The largest was about 3 feet long. It was an artificial Christmas tree, and the other boxes contained a complete set of decorations–lights, garland, balls, glittery snowflakes, wired ribbon bows. Hope, joy, and Christmas spirit, right there waiting for me. The giver was a woman 2 years ahead of me in the program who I knew slightly. The best part of the story? It was her own tree and ornaments. She gave me HER OWN Christmas decorations because neither of us could afford to buy new ones. That little tree has been with me for almost 20 years now, and even though it’s falling apart and I have a “grown up” tree in my living room, I continue to put it up each year.

  3. What Do You Spend Your Money On? :

    It’s been my observation that people tend to spend their excess money in one overall category (clothing, home, gifts, conveniences, food, etc.). Where do you spend yours and do you wish you spent it differently?

    I spend mine on conveniences… I’d rather go without a new dress or take-out food in order to afford to pay someone to paint a room or deal with moving things or washing my car or putting my furniture together or whatever else than do those things myself. I know people say that you appreciate things more when you do them yourself but that’s 100% not true for me, I appreciate it more when the thing is done and I didn’t spend days anxious about it or cursing while trying to do it myself.

    • Spiritual :

      I spend part of my disposable income in sessions with an angel therapy practitioner / reiki healer. I know it sounds like I am out of my mind especially that I am not even christian. But I use these sessions as therapy and like to think I am improving my life by clearing the negative energy

    • Convenience things – biggest one for me being take out bc I don’t want to have to cook.

    • Lately it’s been books. Other than that, I think travel (and it’s not usually lavish vacations, just getting out of town for a weekend but I always seem to spend more money than I’d planned on those trips).

      • Anonymous :

        Definitely books! My goal in life was to earn enough to buy books whenever I wanted. I’ve been there for a good many years now and love it!

    • Yay! I spend alot on clotheing and food, and then on my apartement’s furnishings, and then on my computer, iphone, ipad and jewelery, and then on my Grandma Leyeh, Grandma Trudy, Rosa and Ed’s Kid’s, food for Myrna, the cleaneing lady, and food at work. By the time I am done saveing for my 401k, I am just about tapped out. Lucky that Dad handles all the bills or I would be lost! YAY!!!!

    • Food

    • Anonymous :

      Travel. We probably spend $20k a year on it, which is a lot, especially considering we have a household income of ~$150k. Probably $5k of that is visits to our families on the other side of the country, but most of it is just vacations and weekends away.
      I also like to indulge in meals out (but not terribly fancy ones) and conveniences like a house cleaner but the actual dollar amount is small compared to the travel line item. I am definitely frugal when it comes to clothes and home decor and don’t spend much money at all in those categories (because I always think “couch or weekend getaway? definitely weekend getaway”…)

    • Mary Ann Singleton :


    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Books and clothes.

    • Clothing. Cosmetics. Vacations. Shoes. All the shoes.

    • We are a $300k+ income family – by far the biggest thing we spend money on is putting our money in college funds.

      Other things:
      – eating out
      – books books books
      – clothing
      – stuff for kids

    • Conveniences: take out + Uber/taxis

    • Shoes. My shoes are nicer than my clothing. I love Stuart Weitzman. A lot.

  4. Dianne Bentley is my HERO :

    Not sure how many are following her story but what a class act and what a great example she has set in calmly gathering evidence while refusing to take her cheating husband’s [email protected]! (This isn’t a judgment on anyone who decides to stay after being cheated on, just a comment on how empowering I hope this example is for those wanting out.)

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes! I read about her today and wanted to stand up and cheer!

      • I looked to see if she had a social media account that I could follow or message her on. I just want to be friends with a woman who is so strong!

      • Anonymous :

        Huh. I guess I kind of had the opposite reaction. Like she didn’t think to tell anyone her husband was misuising campaign funds until law enforcement contacted her. She first found out back in 2013. Didn’t he even get elected in between? To me I just feel like she was after a (deserved) divorce settlement.

  5. Table for One :

    Mid 30s, single, childless/childfree, living solo with pets. Wondering about the cooking/meal habits of others. Sometimes I feel like an overgrown college student for eating take-out or cereal for dinner many nights or snacking throughout the day rather than cooking at all. Is this what everyone does or do I need to grow up? Friends who live with others (spouses, kids, etc.) are always cooking and such and it seems like such a waste to buy tons of ingredients for a meal for one or to be living on left overs since I eat small portions anyway, but I do wonder if I’m somehow stunting my life growth by eating like I’m still a broke college kid (I’m not wealthy by any means, but not as broke as I was as a student).

    • Senior Attorney :

      When I lived alone I didn’t cook much for myself. I like to cook so I’d have somebody over at least once a week so I could cook a proper meal (and maybe have some leftovers) but generally I lived on things like Trader Joe’s entrees and scrambled eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches. And there were a lot of cheese-and-crackers-and-wine dinners, for sure!

    • New Tampanian :

      You’re fine. If you want to expand your cooking/meal horizons, do plated/blue apron, etc and get 2 or 3 meals a week for 2 people. You’ll end up with leftovers and you won’t waste ingredients.

      I am the same age/situation as you and I either make one main dish on the weekend to spread out over the week, have a “tapas dinner” where I basically eat cheese and triscuits with avocado, or I get one of the meal kit boxes for that week.

      You do you. You aren’t stunting anything.

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly, most Americans have terrible eating habits so I wouldn’t try to go out do what everyone else is doing. Decide what your priorities are and do what works for you.

    • You need to learn how to cook if you EVER expect to be MARRIED. I was alot like you, but now I attend cookeing classes b/c I need to attract a man willing to marry me and bear me children. Otherwise you are goieng to eat cereal all your life while others like me will have a man to take us out for dinner EVERY weekend! YAY!!!!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Food is almost a religion for new, so I’ve always cooked, even living alone, but I was fortunate enough to have friends living in the apartment downstairs I would share meals with. I made a lot of feezer-friendly food and would package it up in single size portions to avoid leftovers for days. I also had a lot of people over for dinner and would cook for them and only have two days of leftovers, so that helped.

      But I think as long as you can cook, it doesn’t matter that much if you don’t. Maybe challenge yourself to cook two dinners a week, using the freezer/small recipes/friends over model, and after a month if you feel like your life isn’t improved by it, don’t worry about it.

      As long as you’re getting your nutrients, it doesn’t matter that much.

    • Same situation as you. I cook on the weekends when I feel like it and make soups/stews/pastas that freeze well in individual portions so I can have my own meals later. But hey, sometimes I don’t feel like it, so I eat cold cereal or canned soup for a week.

      I do LOVE cooking for others, though, so I’ll host Sunday night supper clubs with my girlfriends or cookouts, etc.

    • Marshmallow :

      When I lived alone (okay, with a roommate, but we cooked separately!) I’d make a big batch of whole wheat pasta with chicken and veggies at the beginning of the week and just reheat meals later in the week. Or I’d throw together a salad. I didn’t cook elaborate meals unless I was having people over, even though I genuinely like cooking. I think that’s pretty normal.

    • Anonymous :

      Eat however feels right to you. I’m in a similar boat, and I never eat an actual meal anymore. Just several small snack-like meals throughout the day. It’s all mostly stuff I don’t have to cook — raw produce, greek yogurt, nuts/spoonfuls of nut butter, hard boiled eggs. I never eat dinner (or anything after like 5pm). I use a microwave maybe once a week, and can’t remember the last time I turned my stove or oven or toaster on. I LOVE eating this way, and I’ve managed to accidentally lose about 10 lbs since I started eating like this even though I am literally eating all day every day because it’s fired up my metabolism so much and I eat mostly healthy/easy things. A lot of people think it’s weird, but you do you.

    • Anonymous :

      Sometimes it’s popcorn for dinner. Or grapes and string cheese.

      Other times I’ll cook a batch of quinoa, and mix in tomatos and mozarella cheese with italian dressing. That’s when I really feel fancy.

      Or it’s getting take-out from Noodles/pizza place/Chinese place, since it’s all in walking distance.

    • If you want to cook (can’t tell if you do) there’s a great book I have called by Frances Price, a chef and a dietician, I think, Healthy Cooking for Two (or Just You). It’s a great book for entry-level cooking for 1 or 2, and a few recipes for 4. It does include tips on shopping and some seasonal menu ideas, too.

    • I cook in bulk. Or sometimes I just have cereal an wine for dinner. It really depends on what I feel like doing. Do whatever you want! That’s like the #1 perk of being single and childfree!

    • Breakfast, lunch, dinner :

      Similar boat. Dinners are often Grubhubbed or fast healthy restaurant or a cheeseburger after ballet barre class. I also crockpot and reheat single portions of lasagna, chili, and soup. Lunches are Amy’s vegan entrees, work cafeteria meals, leftover Grubhub, the odd sandwich. Breakfasts are avocado toast on Udi’s gluten free wheat with fresh grated Parmesan and black pepper; Fage zero with granola; cereal; chia pudding; watermelon cubes; so much iced coffee. I make the coffee every other night and keep it in a big bottle in the fridge. I go through a lot of vanilla soy milk.

      Thank you, peanut butter runner blog author for teaching me some great simple fast breakfast options! Please start looking at food bloggers. You will find recipes portioned for single women and couples, childless contexts

      Lately, my “cooking” has been making wonderful salads on the weekend and accepting that I will not finish the leftovers. I love certain frozen pizzas. And sometimes I treat myself to a fancy home cheese plate with honey, jam, chutney. I eat ketel corn or a 6 inch Subway sub for dinner on my way home from Pilates.

    • When I lived alone in a small town where the only takeout option, I cooked for friends about 2x a week and otherwise ate a lot of hummus & veggies or salad plus protein dinners. I like to cook, so I tried to make freezer meals like dumplings or veggie burgers in bulk on the weekends and reheat during the week.

    • You do you as long as you are comfortable with your nutrition. I am in the opposite boat and looking to get into yours. I’m a singleton living alone who is obsessed with selecting, buying, and cooking food. (Bought my first boxes of cereal in a decade after Kelloggs did whatever liberal-leaning thing they did last year, and they are sitting on the shelf.) After doing that for years, and considering the time and money spent, I am moving in the direction of buying less (for sure), spending less, cooking less, and grazing more. I want to keep my skills, so won’t cut out cooking altogether, but I could really use my resources for something else.

  6. No One Cares :

    What is something you once thought others super cared about that you later realized no one noticed/cared about at all?

    For me, it was keeping the perfect home. I used to deep clean before friends visited and make sure I had a fancy snack or drinks to offer them. Then I got really sick and my priorities changed and, even after becoming well again, I’ve realized that my friends don’t care whether there’s dust under the couch or on the top of the tv ledge or whether the snacks are a cheese board or microwave popcorn, they’re coming to hang with me. Recognizing this took a huge weight off and allowed me to be open to visitors more often!

    • Anonymous :

      Actually, most people don’t care about … most things… about you/me. Most people are pretty self-absorbed. And almost no one is noticing/worrying/criticizing you the way you think they are.

      Once you realize that, it is very freeing.

      • Senior Attorney :

        And even if they do care, they care for, like, a minute. And then they go back to caring about themselves.

        And my “used to care about it a lot more” thing is my house, too. We’re doing some remodeling and we have a bathroom vanity in the middle of the living room, and the den is full of construction stuff, and we’re still having people over. As you said, they’re coming to see us, not a perfect home.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Having an attractive and comfortable house has always been more important to me than having a clean house, but I fully admit that is 100% my own vanity. I love when people say “Oh how beautiful your house is!” No one says “How clean your house is!” Or the reverse.

          Bathrooms, on the other hand, are a sticking point for me. My bathroom MUST be clean. No one wants to see that shiz.

          • I’m this way. My house is currently dusty, and I have a random extra coffee table in the middle of my office that someone is coming to buy this Saturday. I don’t do a deep clean before having people over anymore. But I love the design choices we made, and how it makes our space feel.

            I’m with you on the bathrooms. Mine get deep cleaned every week, and again if I’m having people over.

    • I really care about a clean home. I get physical anxious if I visit a friend’s dirty home. I try to bolt asap and then insist we hang out in my clean home from then on.

      • layered bob :

        agree. I hire it done because I don’ t have time to do it myself, but I keep a very, very clean home. I don’t judge people for their less-clean homes, because everyone has their own priorities, and I honestly don’t mind at all when guests make a mess in my home. But there are friends whose homes I will not visit because their mess stresses me out too much. They are amazing friends, I just suggest we meet at my home or a third location.

      • Yep. I genuinely enjoy clean. And I’ve had a friend tell me she always likes visiting, whenever I live, because it’s always so clean.

    • How well-dressed my kids are. If they have clothes on and aren’t complaining about being too hot/cold, that’s it. Literally no one cares how much I spent on their outfits, or about the stains that only I see, or if it’s Old Navy or Baby Gap. It’s fun for me… but even my parents don’t care as much as I do. That was very freeing to me, and allows me to, um, get them dressed without caring.

    • Literally everything, pretty much.

  7. favorite cartoon character/why? :

    Just curious!

    • I was called Daria for much of my teen years, so she holds a special place in my heart. I’ve always loved the way the Pooh characters treat Eeyore (we know you’re always sad and we still choose to hang out with you and accept you as you are). My favorite current character is Hei Hei from Moana, who comes across as super stupid but is actually mirroring the movie throughout the entire thing. I dig the idea that what others assume is nothing more than comic relief is actually insightful if people paid attention. (My nephew says I have Moana hair -and I guess I do- and she’s never looking for a mate or having to prove herself to men, so this Disney film is my current overall fav!)

    • Bugs Bunny. Because he’s the best (and always manages to outsmart everyone).

    • Scooby Doo – hilarious.

    • Dot, from the Animaniacs. Because I have similar wisea*s tendencies.

    • Cookbooks :

      Marvin the Martian! (And his dog K-9, of course).

    • Baby Blues. Zoey and Hammie are my kids to a tee, down to the hair color and bossy older sister / mischievous younger brother dynamic. (No Wren in our family tho)

      • I guess I mean comic. Is cartoon always animated? I use these two words interchangably and maybe I shouldn’t.

  8. New Tampanian :

    I had the best experience today with… wait for it… a car dealership!

    My lease ends in a couple months and I want to just get a newer model with a new lease.
    Because of a great contact I have, I was able to give my “checklist” of what I needed (no cash, same monthly payment, etc.) via email and they agreed and got me approved etc. without even needing to step foot in the dealership.

    I’m picking it up tonight! YAY!

    • Congrats!!!!!!!!!

      • Yay! Congrat’s! I was thinkeing of buying a car, but if I did I would have to garage it for $900/month, and that is MORE then I want to spend. Dad told me no. I can just rent a car when I need one to drive out of the City. Dad is so smart. I wish I had more of Dad’s MENSA genes! Beside’s, this is what Myrna does. She sold her car and is just doing the HERTZ thing when she needs to drive out of NYC. YAY!!!

    • Leasing a car is a huge waste of money…of course they catered to you…they want your money.

  9. Road Trip Must-Haves :

    What do you require for a road trip in a car? (Think everything from comfort to fun to safety to anything)

    • Snacks that can be eaten w one hand and don’t make a mess.

    • Cheesy road side attractions!

      • Omg if you are on the west coast and ever find yourself on 101 in central CA near Solvang, you MUST go see Ostrich Land. It is amazing.

    • Audio books/podcasts/satellite radio

    • Podcasts or a great playlist

    • Senior Attorney :

      A congenial companion!

    • This isn’t what you’re looking for, but road trips are the only time I allow myself to indulge in the ultimate salty/sweet combo: hot, fresh, salty McDonald’s french fries and a pack of regular M&Ms. OMG.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        this inspired me to go get pretzels and M&Ms, thanks. Big improvement to my Friday afternoon.

    • I drive a lot for work (usually 1-4 hours, sometimes longer) and this is what I usually have in my car:

      – extra water bottles
      – hand sanitizer and wipes (the kind made for use on hands but that can be used on the steering wheel or gross surfaces generally)
      – a small tote bag with nonperishable snacks – nuts, crackers, dried fruit
      – audio books in the CD player and books and/or podcasts on my phone (the Overdrive app and library books FTW)
      – car phone charger; one with two USB ports is nice for traveling with someone else
      – spare sunglasses
      – lots of loose change and small bills for tolls and the like
      – mints
      – a bunch of paper napkins in the glove box (for a long road trip I throw a roll of paper towels into a tote bag that has more and better food)
      – plastic grocery sacks for trash

      • I drive a lot for work too – usually about 25/week (non commuting hours) for half the month. This list matches mine exactly except I have prescription sunglasses. I also keep a comfy pair of driving shoes, an umbrella, an extra sweater and a small first aid kit.

    • I’ve found minty gum to be more effective at keeping me awake than coffee. I don’t chew gum outside of road trips.

    • Anonymous :

      Appropriately placed stops. Ideally a place where gas/food/stretch can be acquired all at once.

    • Bottled water in a cooler.
      Peanut butter M&Ms.
      Sunblock, a visor, and good sunglasses.
      A very large full calorie soda with caffeine as I leave town. Fountain Coke rules!
      Knowledge about well-placed clean rest stops (and when The Kid was smaller, rest stops with changers, preferably in both the women’s AND men’s rooms so that I did not have to do all of the changes myself.
      If The Kid is coming, a fullycharged Kindle with headphones.
      Podcast downloads and a cable to hook into the speakers (if necessary) (Without The Kid, Five Hundy, Splendid Table, or KCRW’s Good Food; by myself, The Treatment).
      Air card for the laptop or Chromebook (borrowed from my office).

    • Anonymous :

      I live in the mountain West and at least a couple of times a year, people turn off onto a mountain road and get stranded. Usually they’re found before there’s a tragedy, but not always. So if you’re going into mountainous or remote/unpopulated areas, I think it’s important to have an old-fashioned road atlas or road map in your car for the state you’re going to be driving in/through. And understand how to read it. When you really need a map, your phone may not have a signal.

      I also keep an emergency kit in my car with protein bars, water purification tablets, water bottles, hats, light jackets, a blanket, roadside flares and a couple of other things – can’t remember what they are right now. Very convenient not just if you get stranded, but if you want to stop at a roadside attraction and need sun protection or a jacket. The blanket is good for when you want to take a break and sit in a park or at a scenic view and enjoy the scenery. We keep small foldup camping-style chairs in our car for the same reason. Instant picnic even if you’re in a place without picnic tables.

      Other than that – we always pack a small cooler with a layer of ice in the bottom and drinks (bottled water, ICE fruit drinks, La Croix) on the ice – especially during summer road trips, having cold drinks is really nice. We also bring a snack bag with packs of nuts, crackers, trail mix; and also bananas, apples, grapes etc. We usually eat meals somewhere along the route, but if we’re going into the backcountry and won’t run into many restaurants, I’ll make sandwiches and put them in the cooler, along with some bags of chips and some fruit.

      One last note – we took a major road trip with five other families last year and in that scenario, it’s good for everyone in the group to have everyone’s phone number – meaning spouses and children too – so someone from each family is always reachable. Many times I couldn’t get ahold of one of my friends, but was able to get ahold of their spouse, so we could keep in touch to coordinate stops, meals, etc.

    • A safe place to take a nap and a pillow and blanket. I hate driving more than an hour and a half.

    • A trash bag to hide my McDonalds wrappers

      Books on tape


      Thermos of coffee

  10. SF inHouse :

    Any recommendations for a restaurant in Barcelona? I want to get a gift certificate for a friend that will be honeymooning there, but doesn’t want/need any traditional wedding gifts.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Or you could just give some Euros. Somebody did that for us and it was super fun!

      • Wildkitten :

        That’s a really good idea! So much more personal than giving cash otherwise, but equally as useful!

    • Barcelona :

      Not a restaurant, but we did this food tour in Barcelona and had a blast: http://barcelonafoodtour.com/food-tours/barcelona-tapas-tour/

    • Eeeeh. I wouldn’t. Honeymoons are so precious/intimate/intentional in how time is spent (or in my case, not spent since we were on a beach and at a pool for 99% of it, although we had a bustling town close by).

      Unless you have a very personal connection to a restaurant in their destination city, I wouldn’t get them that because they’d feel obligated to use it. What if they already have restaurants picked out? What if they don’t want to make reservations in advance/commit to a schedule and then get there and find out it’s too late to get in the door at said restaurant? I just think that, while thoughtful at face value, it’s not a good gift. I like the idea of Euros — that’s cute and thoughtful and practical!

    • amberwitch :

      When I was in Barcelona last year I got the best meal at Suculent in El Ravel. Website: http://suculent.com
      Don’t know if they do gift certificates, though.

    • amberwitch :

      My comment seems to have disappeared, so;

      Suculent in the Ravel district is excellent: http://suculent.com/

    • Anonymous :

      I second the comment that a gift card to a restaurant isn’t the best for the honeymoon. They may have already planned their time carefully and will feel obligated to change their plans to use your gift card. I think a gift card to a restaurant in their home city is better, so they can use it at their leisure. Or an OpenTable gift card that they can use anywhere.

  11. Work/Weekend Wear :

    Having now found my unicorn ankle pants— how many pieces from your work wardrobe do you wear during off-hours/on the weekend? For me, it’s quite a few, since my workplace is very business casual. What are your favorite pieces that do double-duty?

    • Baconpancakes :

      What are these magical pants?

      • Work/Weekend Wear :

        Gap: Bi-stretch skinny ankle pants (petite, I’m 5’4). They’re a bit tight in the morning, but stretch out just enough after a few hours. No saggy knees, and fit at the waist. Tapered leg, hits a couple inches above my anklebone. I’m wearing striped ones today. Best part: machine washable! YAY!

        Also, it’d be amazing if they did come with actual unicorns on them…

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        These are also my unicorn pants. Love them. I own 7 pairs, I think? Pink, black polka dot, black, grey ikat (make me feel SO cool), burgundy, black and white stripe-ish print, grey (but I think I need to replace the grey ones after getting grease on them).

        Wash them inside out to avoid fading, pro tip.

    • Anonymous :

      Ankle pants.

      Which isn’t good, as the more I wear them the more I wash and then they start to fade/look less sharp. So now I have some more worn/faded ones I wear on weekends, and save the newer/nicer pairs for work.

    • Wildkitten :

      All of them. I just switch out pencil skirts for jeans and wear the same tops and my casual work sweaters.

      • +1. I have a few truly casual tops for summer weekends. But mostly my summer weekends are spent living in jersey sundresses, so casual tops have been waning from my wardrobe.

    • Anonymous :

      Very few. I intentionally keep them separate, even though I have a very casual work place, to reduce wear and tear. Work clothes often retire to home clothes.

      Basic Tshirts from LE cross over quite a bit.

  12. Mary Ann Singleton :

    Now I’m picturing pants with unicorns on them.

  13. Mini Boden sizing ? :

    My kid is a 4T. Do I order a shirt in 3/4 or 4/5? I want it to fit for a while but not swim on her.

    This is the first time I’ve ordered Boden.

    • Mini Boden sizing ? :

      She’s 3.5 and still can fit into 3T shirts, but we buy 4Ts and they for better.

    • marketingchic :

      I don’t remember mini boden running overly large – so I’d go with the 4/5. But, wanted to add that I have seen that brand at Nordstrom – so if there is one near you that may be an option.

    • Anonymous :

      4/5. I find mini Boden runs a bit small.

    • Dallasite :

      Also chiming in for 4/5…runs a little short

      • Mini Boden sizing ? :

        Perfect. She’s tall (a solid 4T in pants and dresses for length. I put her in a 3T dress from last year and DH said “you cannot let her out of the house like this.” Haha first of many length battles with daddy).

  14. I know there were threads on this in the past but I’m having trouble finding them. Curious how people decided they wanted 2 kids (or 3), and/or how you decided you wanted to keep it at one.

    I know for some it’s something they always wanted, and I know sometimes life just makes things happen or not happen. But we’re sort of in between being very happy with our one kid and wondering if we should go for 2. If we made a pro and con list I’d say it’d be pretty evenly split. Certainly life would be different with 2 as we live in a HCOL area and everything would just be tighter – money, living quarters, etc. I’ve heard the advice of picturing your life in 10 or 20 years but I honestly struggle with that too. OTOH, I picture two great kids of opposite gender who are going to bring me and each other so much joy but then I also worry that we’ll have a kid with problems or whatever and our life will be infinitely more complicated. I know you can never know so just curious how people made the decision one way or the other, esp. if you and your partner weren’t sure.

    • I think if I was in your position and my pro/con list was evenly split, the deciding factor would be giving my kid a sibling. I know we’ve debated the merits of giving your kid a built-in friend and many don’t think it’s a big deal, but I believe there are a ton of benefits to growing up with siblings.

    • Anonymous :

      One is right for me. I didn’t want to completely miss out on parenthood or being a mom but I also loved my pre-kid life and wanted to disrupt it as little as possible (that sounds kind of bad, but trust me I love my daughter to the moon and back — I just don’t want another one). I always thought I wanted one and that was definitely solidified after we had her. I haaaated being pregnant and absolutely despise pumping. We’re close to weaning and now that I’m on the verge of getting my body back, I can’t imagine doing it all over again. Also looking forward to potty-training and (a little further off) her starting school and being done with the diaper/daycare years. I am super passionate about international travel, and feel that will be much more manageable with one kid, both for financial and logistical reasons. I’m an only child and was happy, and we don’t have close sibling relationships as models (DH and his sister are civil but not close, and neither of my parents gets along with their siblings at all). I am from a very small family and an introvert, so I’ve never pictured a Thanksgiving dinner table with 20 people. If anything, the most important thing I hope for in my old age is being near my daughter and her spouse and kids if applicable and that’s easier with one than two or more. My husband would love a second, but has accepted that we’re one and done.

    • I was an only child and my parents traveled constantly for work and my nearest family was 8 hours away. If you want to have just one child, please, please consider what life is like for that child. Because it didn’t matter to me that I had the latest Barbie or the best tutors, I can assure you it did not. Nor has my pricey private school education really paid off all that much in the long run.

      As an adult, I’m pretty wistful about all the things I’ll never have – a special relationship with a sibling, the chance to be an aunt to my own relatives, a vibrant extended family. I have to look to my partner for that.

      If your child will have the chance to grow up with lots of family and close family friends nearby, that makes the situation a bit different. But for me personally, I could never have just one child.

      • Anonymous :

        Well, counterpoint to that – just b/c someone has more than one kid (I’m 1 of 4), still doesn’t mean you get any of those things. I have 3 brothers – 1 moved out of state, 1 I don’t get along with, and 1 I actually get along with and will do things with. So, I’ve had a 33% success rate with siblings. I’m more of an aunt to some of my friends’ kids – since none of my siblings have any. I have a giant extended family – but don’t actually know any of them all that well because of geographic distance.

        • Absolutely true. It’s always a lottery. You never know what you’ll get. But there is no chance of any of those things for an only child – 33% is higher than 0%.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Naw, I’ve been friends with my best since we were 6 mo, and he is actually like a brother to me. My cousin, although she is far away, is a confidant and we are very emotionally close. My SO’s siblings are all close now, but only in the past 8 years or so. Until then, they were pretty terrible to each other, didn’t even go to each other’s graduations. Having an only was the right choice for my mother, and I don’t wish I’d had siblings.

            The grass always looks greener on the other side, but it’s just a trick of the light.

          • Anonymous :

            I have friends from high school who are way closer to me than my biological sibling.

            Happiness is a choice. It’s fairly easy to talk oneself into being miserable over something you can’t control, that you did or didn’t get. Much easier and less emotionally taxing to get over it and move on, rather than going through life feeling sorry for yourself. It sounds like you grew up with a roof over your head, food to eat, a good education, and many other things many millions of people would be grateful for. Maybe cultivating a gratitude attitude would help you feel better about your childhood; I can certainly say that’s been the case for me.

            P.S., Your parents may not have had another child for reasons they didn’t want to reveal to you.

          • Anon @4:14 :

            An only child does what I (with the 3 brothers) did – make friends. People you can actually choose to be with. I like spending time with my friends more than than the one brother I do like. Because even while we like each other, we don’t actually have that much in common.

            There’s nothing magical about blood relations, except sometimes it gives you more together time to get to know one another. That can be a good thing or a bad thing.

        • Agreed, my husband is an only child and doesn’t feel like he missed anything and vocally advocates for people to have one. Personally, I’ve watched friends go from manageable family lives with one kid to overwhelmed/stressed/ relationship tanking once a second comes into the mix. I think with one you can retain a life that’s not completely kid centric and that’s pretty tough to do once you have two. I also think it’s totally okay to consider your life and your happiness when deciding these things. Kids without siblings do just fine and a sibling is no guarantee of a lifelong friendship.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Also notable: https://www.google.com/amp/s/fivethirtyeight.com/features/baby-no-2-is-harder-on-mom-than-dad/amp/

          • Anonymous :

            Yep. It is anecdata but the people I know with one generally seem way less stressed out and seem to have much stronger marriages than the people with two or more kids. Of course most parents of two or three kids will weather the stress and once the kids are grown they’ll be just as happy as parents of zero or one, but my husband and I decided it was a risk we didn’t want to take. We wanted to be parents but we also wanted to prioritize our marriage and our own identities. One child was definitely the right compromise.

      • Anonymous :

        The idea that only child are alone at home with pricey Barbies and prep school tutors is pretty offensive to parents of one – we spend a lot more time with our daughter than many parents of two or more kids spend with their kids in total. I was a very happy only child but if anything I had the opposite problem of too much parental attention, and the thing we’re most cognizant of in parenting is not smothering our daughter. She’s never going to have the problem you describe. And fwiw, most of my friends who have siblings do not have a special relationship with the sibling. I have two best friends who are also only children (anecdotally, we tend to find each other) and I have a relationship with their children (and they with mine) that is 1 million times stronger than the relationship my husband or I have with our any of biological aunts or uncles.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, I’m batting zero with siblings. I had a brother and two half-siblings and I wouldn’t give you a nickel for the whole lot of them. My brother abused me growing up and has sponged off my parents his whole life, and the halves are pretty much MIA. I am wistful about withing to have been an only.

        My son, on the other hand, is an only and was quite happy. He has a great network of friends and he and I have a great relationship, and he had great relationships with his grandparents, too.

      • Anonymous :

        I grew up with a brother. We fought constantly and actually tried to kill each other – I am not exaggerating, there were weapons involved – when I was a teenager. He later developed substance abuse problems and spent some time in jail. He’s got some mental health issues that he refuses to medicate, and has just barely – at age 38 – managed to hold down a job and maintain his own apartment for over a year. Needless to say, we don’t have much in common and barely speak. Once my parents are gone, I’m positive we’ll never see or speak to each other again (and additionally – elder care will be all on me; my brother can barely take care of himself, much less help me take care of them). My best friend had a sibling who died when she was six. My husband is an only because his only sibling died of SIDS. Even if your parents had had another child, you may not have gotten the rosy-glasses childhood you’ve talked yourself into believing would have happened. The grass always looks greener on the other side.

      • Bensonrabble :

        Of course nobody knows if you will be great friends with your sibling, civil, or hate each other. But a sibling will be the only person who will be with you the entire arch of your life (playmates, teens, young adults staring out, marriage, your own kids, and caring for your parents one day.) This could be the most beautiful thing to give to your child.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a brother and a sister and knew I wanted more than one child as well. We didn’t always get along, but overall I think back and remember lots of fun times together. Now that our parents are aging, I have been so grateful to have people to share that experience with. My husband is an only child and he wouldn’t describe his childhood as lonely, but he did long for siblings. It has also been very difficult dealing with his aging parents all alone. I know siblings don’t guarantee anything, but for us overall it was the right decision. (We have 3 and I LOVE watching their relationships with each other grow. I really, really encourage and try to foster friendship and loyalty between them.)

    • Hubby and I were on the fence about this too. We both grew up with siblings and thought it would be best to give our child a brother or sister but still didn’t know if we wanted a second. IF we had number 2 we wanted them to be close together in age. We took a chance and said if it didn’t happen within a certain number of months (I think ours was a really short window – 3 months) that we would move on with only one child. We got pregnant very quickly and here we are now 7 years later! My kids bicker and argue and complain with and about one another, but there are moments when they are so sweet and kind to one another. Now that I’m on the other side, I feel that my son would have been very short changed in a lot of ways if he didn’t have a sister.
      I am one of four children and my siblings all get along and love one another. None of us lives anywhere near the other but if we did live nearby we would definitely be spending time together.

    • Anonymous :

      My husband is an only child, and as his parents aged, all the responsibilities fell on him. I’m one of four, and my siblings and I can tag-team with our parents. That convinced us to have a second child.

      • Anonymous :

        OTOH, I have a “failure to launch” younger brother who will be 1000% useless at best when it comes to aging parent issues, has accepted lots of financial underwriting from them, and will get half of their very modest estate upon death. So I’m going to have to do all of the work as they age, working with less money for their care than they would have retired with, and if anything is left in the estate after they pass, he will take half of it. I loathe my brother. The whole idea of “giving” a lifelong sibling to your first child makes me want to laugh and cry.

        • Anonymous :

          This. My younger sibling is not a gift by any means.

        • Anonymous :

          Me too, as I said above. Please, folks, do not think of having multiple children as some kind of insurance policy for the future. It doesn’t work that way.

        • Same. I have a younger sister with failure to launch issues and a chip on her shoulder about things like my parents wanting to see her get an education (!). She actually flunked out of college while they paid her ride 100%.

          She’s not completely useless but her inability to see beyond herself keeps us from having an authentic relationship and she still breaks my parents hearts on a regular basis.

          Have another child if you want, but there’s no guarantees that any of those other happy scenarios will happen.

      • That is unfortunate logic.

        Your experience should have made you pledge to make a clear will/trust/medical advanced directives, over time set up a network of accountants/lawyers to assist with finances once you have difficulty, save money aggressively for retirement, and consider moving to a location/downsized accessible apartment/community where you can age in place and/or access assisted living/nursing home options so you dn’t have to impose on your children and where there is good and close medical care and services for seniors. Because I guarantee you, your children will help even less than our generation helps our parents.

        And you should never have kids to take care of you in your old age.

    • I’m an only child and I had a delightful childhood and I’m still happy being an only child. I think there was a time around middle school where I wished I’d had siblings, but that went away. I know that I’m the only one available to take care of my aging parents, but I wouldn’t shirk that responsibility even if I had siblings so that really doesn’t matter to me.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. I loved being an only as a kid and I’m very happy about it as an adult. My parents are mid-60s, so I havent really lived through them aging yet, but I think there is a lot the parents can do to ease the burden on the kids. My parents are very frugal and have became quite wealthy (in large part because they only had one child), so they will never be a financial burden to me. They plan to retire at age 70 and move to a retirement home in the city in which I live (and will move sooner in the event of a major health problem), so I will not have to travel or move to care for them. When they can no longer live independently, they will move into the retirement home’s assisted living so I will never have to care for them in my own home (and they have made it clear to me that they wouldn’t want me to, so I don’t feel guilty about it). They have met with a lawyer and made detailed funeral and estate plans. I’m not saying everything will go perfectly, but I don’t think worries about being a burden as you age is a good reason to have a second kid. Better to get your finances in order and make detailed plans for retirement/assisted living so you won’t be a burden to your kid(s) at all.

      • +1. I never wanted a sibling and have built deep friendships with people in my life. I’m close with my parent and have less than no interest sharing the burden of caring for him as he ages. I don’t want to have to consult anyone else about decisions, and I can’t imagine not being the one to handle things. I have one friend with a sibling she’s close to, but everyone else’s relationships with their siblings seem to range from mediocre to people who had abusive siblings. It seems like a roll of the dice to me.

    • Anonymous :

      I was ambivalent about having a second child, for various reasons. My first had colic and was a nightmare the first five months. I ended up with postpartum depression and was scared I’d have it again. We would need to do IVF to have a second and the odds of success were low. I missed the freedom of pre-kid life. We live in a HCOL area where the public schools are not great.

      And…despite all this we made the decision to try for a second, we were successful with IVF, baby is now three months old (first is three years), and I’m very happy we had a second. In the end, it was not a choice I could explain rationally. I just felt like someone was missing from our family. Now I feel perfectly content and have no desire for a third. I’m so glad I followed my instinct and my heart.

      Hope that helps!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      No advice, but I originally read it as ” and/or how you decided you wanted to keep one,” NOT “keep it at one” and I was SO horrified momentarily.

      • Even if you did read it that way, don’t be horrified. Deciding not to parent gives other people the opportunity to create or complete their family via adoption.

      • Anonymous :

        I read it that way also, but thought it was hilariously flippant.

    • You just never know how your kids/their relationships will turn out, ya know? I think this means parents have to do what they feel is best for themselves and try for what they want.

      I have one sibling — a brother, who is 19 months older than me and absolutely my best friend. I cannot imagine life without him; he is my loudest cheerleader and biggest support. Our dad recently had major surgery, and he flew in to be there (I live nearby already). I cannot tell you how comforting it was to have him there with our mom through it all. I am so grateful.

      You can’t count on this kind of relationship though, and it seems to be the exception rather than the rule, from what I have observed of my close friends.

      My best friend is the world’s most well-adjusted only-child. She is brilliant and reaped the benefits of her parents’ undivided attention. I know that she longed for a sibling, and that her parents had secondary infertility. Some things you just can’t plan for. She has deep friendships and has built the scaffolding of family that she wants in her life. I certainly consider her a sister.

      Her husband’s life would be infinitely less painful and difficult if not for his younger brother, who refuses to treat his mental illness and is violent. They have less than zero relationship — he is constantly on the alert for his brother showing up unannounced and causing a problem… not to mention the heartache this has caused their parents.

    • Anonymous :

      We’re also stopping at one. In addition to the points mentioned above, I know not one but two women who had one child and then naturally conceived twins on the second pregnancy (no family history of multiples in either case). We had always planned on just one so twins with a first pregnancy would have required an attitude adjustment but I have no doubt that in the end it would have been wonderful. But three children is simply unfathomable to me. I know myself well enough to know that if I’d had three my marriage or my career or quite possibly both would have imploded. It was a non-trivial factor in our decision not to try to conceive a second time.

    • I got “knocked up” with #2 unintentionally (WTF CONDOMS?) but I am so, so glad I did. Having two kids close in age (21 months) has been a blessing and I wouldn’t trade my baby son for the world.

  15. amberwitch :


  16. Singing your MOH speech? :

    I am going to be my only sister’s MOH in her upcoming wedding, and am obviously expected to make a speech.

    However, I’m instead thinking of singing a song that holds a lot of meaning for both of us- For Good from Wicked. I am not a great public speaker nor am I a good speech writer, and I also know that I won’t be able to hold it together through a heartfelt speech– I would be a blubbering mess and my words wouldn’t be audible. However, I can sing this song without sobbing.

    This would be a surprise for my sister but I wouldn’t do it if I had any doubt that she would appreciate it. But from the perspective of a wedding guest, would you find this obnoxious/attention-seeking, or cute?

    • I’d find it weird/uncomfortable, sorry.

      • Anonymous :

        Any more weird/uncomfortable than the typical rambling speeches full of inside stories?

        • Anonymous :

          Maybe not any more weird and uncomfortable, but definitely more attention-seeking. You will be *that* person at the wedding trying to upstage the bride (even if that’s not your intent).

        • Yes. Much more uncomfortable. It seems like you’re making the moment about you, not about the bride.

          I’m not a fan of wedding toasts, generally, but I actually shuddered thinking about sitting through one that was someone singing.

          Anecdata: The valedictorian of my high school sang a portion of her graduations speech. I still have second-hand embarrassment and discomfort when I remember it. She was a beautiful singer, but it was very much not the right place for it.

        • Original Anon. Yes, considerably more uncomfortable. Unless you are a completely known superstar singer – not just best in my high school and I was in a capella in college – like, Carrie Underwood good… and you can frame it so very perfectly so that it’s not attention seeking, I wouldn’t touch this with a 10-foot pole.

        • Anonymous :

          Dramatically more weird. I’d think you were attention seeking with no understanding of social graces or boundaries.

        • Yes. Like so so so much worse. Here is how you do a speech/toast: 1) one sentence on who you are 2) mention how beautiful the bride and day is 3) one thing you love about the bride 4) one thing you love about the groom (or other bride if SS) 5) why they make such a good pair. toast and you are out. 3 minutes. With some exceptions, no one remembers the toasts. thats fine, the goal is to just be articulate and pleasant so everyone has a moment of “awww” and then moves on. OP didn’t even mention she can sing well! this would be talked about for YEARS to come.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes. Like so so so much worse. Here is how you do a speech/toast: 1) one sentence on who you are 2) mention how beautiful the bride and day is 3) one thing you love about the bride 4) one thing you love about the groom (or other bride if SS) 5) why they make such a good pair. toast and you are out. 3 minutes. With some exceptions, no one remembers the toasts. thats fine, the goal is to just be articulate and pleasant so everyone has a moment of “awww” and then moves on. OP didn’t even mention she can sing well! this would be talked about for YEARS to come.

    • If it has a lot of meaning for the two of you, I’d say go for it. I would preface the song with a statement about what it means to you, so that everyone else is in on the story, but I think that particular song is pretty self-explanatory about what it’s trying to convey.

      • You might consider only doing 1 verse to cut down to make it less of a “you” performance, if that’s a concern.

        • Thanks, that’s a good point. Definitely planning to cut out some of the less-applicable middle part.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 with a preface and shortened version, I think it would be fine.

        I’ve seen something like that a few times, and how it looks as a guest really depends on how “in” you are to the significance or relevance.

    • Anomnibus :

      It could come across as attention-seeking, like you’re trying to put on a show rather than just tell your sister how much she means to you in your own words. Key word is “could” – I may be biased because I grew up a theater nerd, and theater kids singing Wicked just to show off was kind of A Thing. Ultimately, it depends on how the bride feels about it, so I’d ask her if she’d be okay with you singing a song instead of giving a speech. Don’t make it a surprise, because it may not be the kind of surprise she wants.

      I’m sure that with some practice, and maybe coaching from a friend or family member, you could hold yourself together through a speech.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d find it weird. I think if the song has special meaning for you two, you should quote from it or have the DJ play it to introduce your speech or maybe sing a few lines, but for you to stand up and sing the ENTIRE song comes off like you think the wedding is a recital for you, which it’s not. I love Broadway in general and Wicked specifically, fwiw, so it’s not about not wanting to hear that kind of music.

    • Attention-seeking. My sister has an incredible voice. She’s welcome to sing for me any time. But to do it during a speech at my wedding would make it all about her. Plus, you’re sort of displaying an inside joke (or bond, you get it) with your sister that guests wouldn’t get.

      Also, and I mean this in good spirit, who’s to say you won’t cry in the moment!? Crying during a speech would be a lot less awkward than crying during a song… :)

    • I would not do this at a wedding but would consider it at a rehearsal dinner. Alternatively, I would consider making a slide show of your sister/her fiancé, use “For Good” as the background music, and rather than give a speech, play the slide show instead. “As the MOH, I knew I couldn’t get through an entire speech but wanted to share a short video that says how much she means to me. Congrats sis and fiancé!”

      And if you do this, make sure it is the shortest possible version of the song– rehearsal dinners get long and people get bored. Also this only works if the dinner is at a venue with dependable A/V equipment.

    • Wildkitten :

      It is one of my most strongly held beliefs that when it comes to toasts the shorter the better – like under a minute, if you aren’t a skilled comedienne, and under 3 if you are.

      Can you listen to Wicked as the getting ready music?

    • Anonymous :

      Please don’t do this. I went to a wedding where a member of the wedding party sang a song before their toast and literally every person at the wedding was talking for the rest of the evening about how weird and attention-grabby it was. You will attract much, much less attention with a traditional speech, even if you are not a good public speaker and stumble through it.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I totally get your impulse, and if I were in your shoes I’d want to do it, too.

      But I fear the majority is right — it’s likely to come off as attention-seeking and also it is too long. Stand up, say one heartfelt thing, sit down. Boom! Everyone will love you.

      • Senior Attorney :

        And also? If your speech is short and heartfelt nobody will care if you cry. They will find it endearing.

        • +1. I commented upthread about my deep aversion to things like singing toasts, but I always find it to be really sweet when someone tears up.

    • Anonymous :

      The best wedding speeches are: 1) short (especially if the guests have to listen to speeches before they get to eat), 2) amusing and/or 3) heartfelt. If you stand up and say a few sentences about your sister, even if you start blubbering, you are guaranteed to deliver at least #1 and #3. People will be thrilled with your speech. Trust me. Don’t sing.

    • OK! Thanks. You have me pretty much convinced. I feared it might come across as attention-seeking, which is the last thing I would want for my sister’s wedding.

      I will just practice my speech a million times so I don’t cry (because I acknowledge it’s cute to tear up, but really don’t think it’s cute to sob to the extent that you can’t speak).

      • Anonymous :

        You certainly wouldn’t be the first to the sob to the extent you can’t speak. It’s really not that big a deal unless you stand up there blubbering for five minutes. Just keep it short and all sins will be forgiven.

      • Marshmallow :

        I agree! Don’t sing for the reasons others have identified. Even if you cry, it will probably come across as cute and heartfelt. Just keep the whole toast short and from the heart and you’ll do great.

      • Find a quiet corner to read your speech to yourself before you have to deliver it to the group. You can get any tears or other strong emotional reaction out of your system and you’ll be much calmer when reading it the second time.

    • Anonymous :

      I have been to weddings where this was done by guests who were professional singers. It was fine, but I find singing a bit boring and quickly tune it out. I’d rather listen to your speech. Nobody thought they were attention-grabby, it was technically a nice thing to do.

    • I don’t have strong feelings about the singing, but I definitely wouldn’t want to surprise the bride or groom with anything like that. You should ask her about it.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I was at a dinner earlier this year where the keynote speaker sang a REALLY long, slow song and it was just humiliating second-hand embarrassment. Pass.

    • Anonymous :

      Do not do not do not. I would hate this as a guest and you absolutely should not do this as a surprise. By all means, quote the song in a brief toast. Do not sing.

    • I don’t know the lyrics, but what if you quoted the meaningful passage in your speech? It would at least make it easier to write.

  17. Postpartum Capsule Wardrobe :

    Help, please! I’m heading back to work in about a week after maternity leave with my second. I still have 10-20 lbs to lose from my most recent pregnancy. This is all to say: I need all new clothes. Nothing fits. And I am a litigator, so I need some fairly formal clothes asap–which will hopefully be needed for only 6 months or so until I work back towards my old clothes.

    So my questions:
    1. Any recommendations for what would go into a capsule wardrobe for spring / summer / fall (i’m thinking something like: 1 black or navy skirt & pants suit, 1 grey skirt suit, maybe 1 other skirt, 1-2 cardigans, 4-5 blouses, 2 dresses).

    2. Any inexpensive but decent looking brands or specific items you’d recommend? Like decent inexpensive suiting with some stretch? Professional washable blouses and dresses? I’m eyeing the Calvin Klein everyday line at Macy’s for the suiting, since it’s very well priced.

    3. Are 2 button suit jackets dated? With a postpartum bust, 2 button jackets seem more flattering (nip at the waste, more coverage) but they are hard to find! I have some old ones from j crew that I love, but they are too small now. And seems like j crew doesn’t sell them anymore. Like this: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/suiting/super120s/twobutton-jacket-in-super-120s/86034

    • I would check out some of the Betabrand items. The dress pant yoga pants might be too casual (though if not, they’d be perfect since they would fit through a couple sizes, but they have some great dresses with a lot of stretch as well as blazers.

    • Dallasite :

      I did this recently- for question #2, I found good options at Talbots’s that were very forgiving to a post partum body. I went during a sale so the outlay wasn’t too bad.

      • +1 to Talbots. I also go to court and their sheath or shift dresses with duster coats or no close jackets are your friend. Plus, you can have the coats altered as you size down. Swap out for cardis on non-court days.

        I also have had luck with Kasper separates from Macy’s or Amazon. I buy two sizes of everything that I get on line and return what does not fit. Their sheaths often have princess seaming or higher waist lines, so they hide a lot. Plus, average costs should be low.

      • Coach Laura :

        +1 for Talbots. Their extensive online options are helpful as you can often have two choices for jacket or pants style plus skirts. Also Talbots outlet.

    • Marshmallow :

      Ann Taylor is having 50% off everything today/this weekend, including suits. I’d go that route for an affordable suit you won’t be wearing forever. I have two of their seasonless suits (the two-button one and the collarless one) and find them both really comfy. I am busty and also find two-button suits more flattering! If it fits you right I don’t think it’s dated.

      • Marshmallow :

        Oh, but I will note I DO find the branded/metallic buttons on a lot of CK suits dated. If you get a CK suit with those flashy buttons, I’d just change the buttons out.

    • Wildkitten :

      IMO Buttons are totally a fit thing, so if two buttons are what work for you, wear them. Look wherever you want, like Talbots, and then ctrl-F for “stretch.” +1 Betabrand separates. My yoga pencil skirt started to pill when I wore it every day for like 2 months, but that’s what you’re looking for in a temporary capsule wardrobe anyway.

    • Anonymous :

      I say go for the CK suits — I have 2 of them with the 2-button suit jacket and they wear surprisingly well for an inexpensive suit.

    • Get the Lauren Conrad black blazer from Kohl’s.

      Some front wrap tops (not for under the blazer)

    • I’d get 2 suits with jacket/dress/skirt/pants. This should give you maximum mixing/matching options. Talbots is a good place for this, and they have some pretty deep discounts on suiting on their website plus 30% off site-wide at the moment. Their crepe suiting says “dry clean” but I wash it in cold water, hang to dry and then steam out any creases before wearing.

      I’d also get 5-6 blouses (I’d err on the side of more because my baby tends to spit up on me just as I’m trying to get out the door). I’d look for cheap and washable options at Loft, AT, BR, etc.

      Then use cardigans (my cardigans still fit me with a 10-20lb weight gain, so I’m assuming yours will still fit), scarves and shoes in your existing wardrobe to create more outfits.

  18. Hunting in Boston :

    BOOM! EMPLOYED! (I feel like I want to share with the world!)

    I am an attorney trailing spouse – made a very educated/confident decision to move for husband’s job and spent the last 546 days un/underemployed. I know because I’ve kept track :( kept my head high but some days were just. not. good.

    JUST accepted an offer with a firm with people I’m very psyched to be working alongside. Good Friday indeed!

  19. Rainbow Hair :

    Do you want to help dress me for an event?!

    I’m going to a fundraiser in Los Angeles. Dress code is “formal” but I don’t think it will be fussy. The founder is my friend’s hairdresser and I gather they are suuuuper hip and my friend has actually rainbow hair instead of just hidden rainbow underlights (what I have).

    I would love to get something a little bit funky, but still formal. Being able to wear a bra is mandatory. Would love to spend under $100. No RtR.

    • I vote go with something neutral that you have in your closet (little black or blue dress or pants and a fun top) and spend your energy/money into funkier jewelry or fun makeup colors, and totally do your hair in a way that shows off the rainbow… he11, maybe even choose accessories or crazy shoes or makeup that goes with the hair so that it becomes a focal point. Better to have some fun silly pieces of jewelry that could be toned down or played with than to spend lots on a crazy dress you may never wear again!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Ha, that’s a valid point. Or maybe I use this to address the lack of a party-appropriate LBD in my wardrobe anyway, and then go nuts on rainbow accessories…

    • Anonymous :

      I have no specific recommendations, but pricewise, I’m thinking maybe take a look at Macy’s and possibly Michael Kors? I feel like I’ve seen things with animal prints and interesting details. Also, check out nordstromrack online if you haven’t already. Some great deals there on clearance.

    • Look at the brand Dress the Population on Nordstrom Rack. Lots of dresses walking the line between formal and funky, and on sale under $100.

  20. "Come at me" :

    When did the phrase “come at me, I don’t care” become a part of conversation? ELS used it on the Bernie thread this morning and I find it so odd. Is there a phrase that is more unnecessarily hostile and combative in the English language? Maybe “make me” or “your mom”…

    I’m posting this because the unnecessary fighting on this site is a huge turn-off to the many women who come here every day for community, advice, and to talk to smart women. If you find yourself typing the words “come at me”, please consider whether you need to rethink your post or take a step back that day. It contributes nothing except anger and hostility, and reflects worse on you than on the person you disagree with.

    • I think the self-righteous ones complaining about other posts are more annoying, but to each her own.

    • "Come at me" :

      I hear that, and I often agree, but in this case, I felt like a specific request to avoid a specifically hostile phrase might be worth putting out there. It’s frustrating to see political posts degenerate into vitriol after just one or two badly phrased contributions.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s frustrating to me that you’re trying to police a phrase just because you don’t like it.

    • I’ll preface this with the fact that I have never posted anything on here that was hostile or that others have deemed mean- So I’m not part of the problem here, but it really does seem like people can be way too sensitive sometimes.

    • Anonymous :

      omg. it is a popular internet phrase originating from the jersey shore. It is part of internet speak- don’t take it literally as in “Approach me for a beating you idiot.” Honestly you could not sound older, more sensitive, or more out of touch. Feel free to google “come at me” or “what is a meme” to learn about internet language in general.

      • "Come at me" :

        Feel free to take yourself to a therapist to find the source of your anger that causes you to lash out at Internet strangers who suggest that rudeness in online posting is detrimental to the community. I wish you all the best for finding that elusive peace and happiness in your life.

  21. Help New Freelancer Negotiate and Set Wage :

    What do I say my hourly fee is if I’m looking to make $50-75/hour after taxes on a 1099 form?

    Last time I said $45/hour and the client said OK right away so now I know to raise it a little bit – any ideas?


    • Wildkitten :

      Google says add 30%, so $100/hour.

    • You could say $100/hr and add something like “standard rate starts at $100/hr” if you want to allow yourself to upcharge if it’s tedious or awful or inconvenient work and/or you could add some wording at the end after the price to indicate a willingness to be open to discussion if you want to be considered for work by those who may not be able to afford $100/hr but with whom you might want to work.

    • Another freelancer :

      My rate is $100 for one of my clients. I net just under 50% of that after all taxes, but this is factoring in that DH and I are in the 33% tax bracket for federal alone, with or without my income. Add in 6% state and then both employer and employee SS/Medicare (about 15% all in)…and that’s 53% to taxes alone.

      I charge more for certain clients/work, but for my Main client (who basically calls me with work and the meter starts), I do $100 because it’s just so easy.

    • What type of freelance? If it’s writing, most will pay a flat rate or a per word rate.

  22. Any ideas for when you are at the beach by yourself and you have keys, important items? I would like to swim, but need to keep an eye on important items like my keys.

    • I just bury them real well – stick them in my shoe and then bury under some clothes etc

    • I ask a nearby woman or family to keep an eye on my stuff.

    • I try not to take any important items except my car key–not even the clicker. A little cash, something on paper to read, what else do you need? Depending on how I feel, i might put the key in a shoe or the book, or I might stick it in my suit top when I swim.

    • You could leave it with the lifeguard or at a lifeguard station. Or with a nearby family.

    • Canadian_MBA :

      I take my electric door clicker off the key chain and just take the car key. I put this on a tight lanyard/tight bracelet or in a drybag that I can easily take on my person or affix to my air mattress. That way, I can swim or float to my heart’s content on hot days!

  23. I think those are ugly, but now I’m feeling uncertain about my own taste in shoes. My teen doesn’t like my new shoes. He thinks I should’ve gotten saeyl clew blue diamond Sperrys instead.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      Rest assured that these featured shoes are hideous. The shoes you linked to in that print might not win over teens, but they’re definitely cute. The shape and style are very in.

  24. I bought the orange flowered romper from the Victoria Beckham at Target line. It fits great (which is a miracle for me for a romper), but I am unsure about how to style it.

    I am short, so I want to avoid looking juvenile or (even worse) like I am trying too hard to appear a lot younger than I am.

    I was thinking flat black or black patent sandals or black open toed wedges, a white denim jacket, some fun dangle earrings and a couple bangles, but could use some input (and also shoe suggestions; I have the rest covered).

    Or should it just go back?

    • You want to minimize your accessories, as Orange Flowered romper sounds like a lot of outfit all on it’s own.

      Black sandals reads a bit harsh. I’d go for tan sandals. I like a wedge/platform here, as a romper reads a bit dress-y to me.

      Cute earrings. No bangles. Great sunglasses.

  25. naturalizer stretch? :

    I purchased some Naturalizer suede pumps online, and they’re a tiny bit snug at the vamp on my right foot. Will they stretch at all? I don’t need them to stretch a lot, it feels like just the amount that you would normally see when breaking in a new pair of heels, but if they don’t really have any give, they’ll have to go back.

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