Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here. 

For some reason, it’s white skinny jeans season, and I’ve been on the hunt myself for a pair of white skinny jeans. I’ll have to give these Articles of Society jeans a try because they’re only $59 and very highly rated, with a nice distressed look at the knees and a little bit of stretch. They come in sizes 24-32 (00-14) at Nordstrom. Sarah Distressed Skinny Jeans

Here’s a plus-size option.

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  1. Question for the group – my former big law firm has reached out to get my thoughts on how the firm is doing with respect to women attorneys, and how they can improve. I left because my section head was batsh1t crazy – asking me to bill time off the books for her personally (which I didn’t get billable credit for!!), crossing personal boundaries, inappropriately blaming others for mistakes, etc.). It wasn’t a firm issue, it was a partner issue. Others who have left the firm (at this point, the most senior associate has been there 3 years, everyone else has left) have commented fairly directly on her behavior in their exit interviews.

    Is there any point in my giving feedback to firm hr at this point? I didn’t when I left. I still work in the same field, locally, and just can’t see the benefit of engaging at this time. Any wording to politely decline to comment?

    • I would give feedback; even if it is anonoymus, you can just copy and paste what you said up here, but do NOT use your name when sending it in (in HARD COPY). That way, they won’t know it’s you and you will be abel to give HONEST feedback.

      When I worked for the goverment, I had to evaluate my summer supervisor, who did NOTHING but look out the window rating women (1-10). He was a looser, but to listen to him, you’d think he was busy haveing s-x with some of the most beautiful models in the world (in his dreams). I wrote that on my evaluation. By then I knew I was not goeing to get an offer, so I figured I could be honest. And I was. YAY!!!

    • This is a waste of your time with no possible upside for you (I am firmly over the idea that these corporate initiatives ever work in any substantial way), so just lie politely. “I thought the Panel Discussion for Women in Law that you held last year was great. Sorry don’t have time to get into more detail, but I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment. Best of luck with your initiative!”

      • Anonagain :

        +1 There is only downside potential here for you. It’s like an exit interview, except now you don’t even owe them a polite fictional explanation. They won’t change anything re either the cray partner or their general silent sexism based on anything you say now, if they haven’t done so already. If it’s just generic HR outreach (not people you maintain ties with) I might not even bother with a lie or a response here.

        • Good point – I read quickly and was assuming this was a personal ask from a former colleague. If it’s just a generic survey sent from the HR department, I’d delete without a second thought.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I wouldn’t lie. They’re trying to make a record that everything is fine, and I wouldn’t assist them in that. I’d just say “So sorry, I have a lot on my plate right now and can’t really give this the attention it deserves. Best of luck!”

    • Employment Lawyer :

      I disagree that it does not matter. If they ever get sued for sex discrimination and they’ve done a survey, and there are results that say there was a problem and they didn’t address it, it will be bad for them. If there is a survey saying everything was fine, it will help them. Now, whether you want to burn a bridge by being honest, that’s a different question.

      I’d be inclined to say something true but somewhat vague if sexism was an issue. “It was not a positive environment for female employees when I was there. I’m now in a place with a lot more room for upward mobility. Best of luck with your survey.”

    • “As I am still in the field and local, I am unwilling to be candid.”

  2. White jean PSA – I got a bunch of white skinny jeans from Nordstrom to try on the other day, although I was interested in non-distressed ankle/cropped ones. I ended up keeping the NYDJ Alina Convertible Ankle Jeans. They are more high-waisted than my other pairs of jeans, but are comfortable, not see through (although I plan to wear lightly colored undergarments anyway), have nude front pockets so those don’t show through, and I was able to get them on sale. I am 5’4″ and change and they hit me a couple of inches above the ankle which is a good spot for my frame – I am mostly leg.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      Thanks! You’re probably my body-type twin (5’4 and change, skinny pear with some leg muscle from running?) and I loved your going-out top recommendations a while back. I would love a pair of white jeans, but as a messy person with a messy toddler, I’m afraid to take the plunge!

      • As for shape, it sounds like we are similar, yes! I am very straight on top (no chest at all), but based on off the rack clothes, my hips and legs are proportionally larger than my waist. I have that perpetual problem of if they fit my legs, they are too big for my waist. The NYDJ are snug on my legs, but not so snug in the crotch or butt that I feel obscene wearing them to work, if that makes sense.

        If it makes you feel any better, I got salsa on them the first day I wore them. I carry a Tide pen with me or Shout wipes for a reason. They do look really sharp though – I say go for it! And then buy some Bleach ;)

        • ponte python's flying circus :

          Ha, thanks! How is the sizing compared to say, Loft? I feel like sizes in so many brands (and even the waist measurements listed – 25, 26, 27) have no relation to reality any more.

          • I don’t own any Loft pants, so I can’t help you with that :( Sorry!

            I have a hard time finding dress pants that fit me properly, so I stick with JCrew Minnies. I take a 0 in the Minnies and took a 0P in the NYDJ. The 0P Minnies are too snug. Hope that helps a little?

          • Anonymous :

            Loft runs big.

  3. A Little Anxious :

    Happy Friday! I’m looking forward to an upcoming vacation very much, where I’ll see many friends I haven’t caught up with in a while, but also, my ex will be there as we share many mutual friends. This was a very serious year-long relationship that ended amicably, and I haven’t seen or made contact with him at all since the summer. I have no interest in ever restarting the relationship (there are some things that will never work) but miss it all the same. Any tips on how to handle from your experience? I don’t foresee any major problems as he has respected my wishes for no contact, and want to avoid being overly nervous. Thanks!

    • Practice delivering, with a big smile, all the gushy but platonic social niceties about how nice it is to see him, how well things are going for you now, and how you wish him the very best. Repeat.

    • Good luck with this one. I did this once. Everything went well for the first couple of days then he did something douche-y and I reacted like a crazy ex-g/f. Whoops.

    • Each morning, identify something generic about the vacation you could talk briefly to him about if cornered. Like “which restaurant did you eat at last night” or “how great were those fireworks?” or whatever. Neutral and safe and easy to get out of. “Oh great! Okay well have fun today, I see X over there and want to say hi!” and then you are free to leave. Or suddenly need to get off the elevator. Or whatever.

      You are the calm friendly ex who is not making a scene or making anyone uncomfortable. He can pick whatever role he wants to play, but you don’t have to engage him or support him.

      I would not do Julia’s advice, I wouldn’t talk about yourself or the future at all. Keep it generic and brief and get the hell out.

  4. Anonymous :

    I have never found a pair of white skinny jeans that don’t show all my lumps and bumps (plus, pockets). It’s my white whale.

    • Julie fit from Loft :

      The Julie fit from Loft white skinny jeans are your white whale. Thickish but comfortable. I am a serious pear and they are perfect off the rack, which never happens. [NYDJ are awful on me — not enough butt / thigh room and bordering on uncomfortable if doing a lot of sitting.]

    • Anonymous :

      Try Kut From The Kloth in the Diana cut. They’re thicker, not sheer, and have an eased skinny fit. I love them so much I have 2 pairs.

  5. Anon Update :

    I’m not sure how many folks will remember, but I’m the anon who wrote in about a year ago because my husband had come out as bisexual to me. At the time, he was asking me to agree that neither of us would bolt for the next six months or so. I can’t tell you how much your support meant (especially those of you I talked to via email). I know I always wonder about certain posts, so I thought I would share an update. We found a counselor familiar with mixed-orientation marriages (if you ever find yourself in this situation – do this if you can – do not just go to a regular couples counselor), I started individual counseling, and he joined a group for men coming out as gay or bisexual later in life. I ended up not agreeing to the six-month thing. I told him I would stay as long as I felt like it was the best choice for both of us. We’re still together, very committed to each other, and very committed to monogamy. This has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life, and has shifted my view on a lot of things. I hope and am hopeful that we’ll spend the rest of our lives together. Obviously, nothing is written in stone and no relationship is promised, but I can honestly say that my life is more full of joy than it was a year ago. We’re continuing with counseling for the foreseeable future, but it no longer feels like we’re trying to save our marriage. It feels like we’re trying to build a better marriage. I don’t want to gloss over how hard this has been. There were many many moments of deep, unspeakable sadness and so many tears, but I’m glad I didn’t leave.

    • Anon Update :

      And I’m glad I know my husband better, and I’m glad he no longer has to carry the weight of a secret.

    • Anonymous :

      Wow, that’s quite an update. Thanks for sharing. Do you mind us asking – how do you both think about this working going forward? Genuinely curious. OK to not answer too.

      • Anon Update :

        We envision moving forward in a monogamous marriage where one partner happens to be bisexual and dealing with issues that arise. As I now know, this situation is not nearly as rare as you would think. We started out with every possible option on the table and we worked with our therapist to figure out what it was we both wanted, and this is it.

        • As a bisexual in a monogamous hetero relationship, I want to tell you that your answer made me smile. So often bisexual people are viewed as permiscuous, when that is not necessarily the case. The important thing is being able to be 100% yourself with your partner.

    • Anonymous :

      I remember you and thank you for the update. Great to hear your good news.

    • This was beautiful. I remember your post, and thank you for sharing an update. I’m so happy things are working out well for you and your husband.

    • That sounds really hard, and I’m so glad you’re getting through it. All the best to you and your husband.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m curious if some of your sadness/unhappiness in your marriage is because he wants to be with men? Or is he ok identifying as bisexual but staying monogamous with you?

      • Anon Update :

        The unhappiness/sadness was primarily due to feeling like the rug had been pulled out from under my feet. My husband is my best friend, and for a while I felt like I didn’t know him at all. I had taken for granted that our marriage was divorce-proof. To find out it wasn’t, was very difficult. He is comfortable identifying as bisexual, but being in a monogamous relationship with me. To be clear, I didn’t give any ultimatums. We talked about the Dan Savage monogomish model. Nothing was off the table. In the end, this is what we both wanted.

      • Anon Update :

        My sadness/unhappiness was primarily due to feeling like the rug had been pulled from under my feet. My husband is my best friend, and I suddenly felt like I didn’t know who he was. Nothing felt safe and nothing felt permanent. That’s a pretty disconcerting feeling. He is okay identifying as bisexual but remaining monogamous, as many married or coupled bisexual people do.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Wow, that’s quite an update! I remember your post and I’m so glad things are looking up for you!

    • Legally Brunette :

      Thank you for sharing this update. I wish you and your husband all the best and a very long, happy marriage.

    • that’s great! my (male) fiance is bi and I am straight and it has worked out great for us. best wishes!

    • If you are the anon I talked to by email about this issue, I have thought of you often and am very glad to see this update!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m so glad to hear this! Wishing you all the best. Monogamy where one or both partners is bisexual is less rare than you think, and it’s reasonable to expect that a bisexual partner be just as monogamous as someone who is straight or gay – that’s what a committed relationship means, after all! My husband is bisexual, but I knew that when we began dating, and it’s been more than a decade now. I totally understand the massive impact of such a sudden revelation after years of being together, but I’m so glad that you are moving forward.

      • +1
        There are some good articles on A Practical Wedding on this (mostly coming from a bisexual woman married to a man’s perspective, but there are comments from people with bisexual husbands too).

        • Anon Update :

          The amount of information and support I’ve found online has been kind of incredible. It was a huge revelation, but, at the end of the day, I’m still married to the same good, kind, loving, and supportive man. I know this isn’t a marriage everyone would sign-up for, but I’m glad it’s the one I’m in.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            I’m a bi woman in a monogamous marriage with a man. I’m lucky in that I knew this about myself before I met him, and he knew before he committed to me, but it seems to be working out just fine (9.5 years together). I have moments/days/months of being like “ugggggh never sleeping with a woman ever again?!?” but honestly, I have similar “uggggh”s about never sleeping with a new man! But it’s so, so worth it to be with him. I’m sharing this because I feel like I’m in a good place with my marriage, and monogamy just = monogamy, regardless of my orientation — and I hope y’all will find yourselves there!

    • Thanks for the update! I’m so glad things are going well!!

    • Hi. You may want to consider a prescription for PREP drug protocol. It prevents the transmission of HIV.

      If your husband ever “slips” it could be a tough thing. HIV is actually going up – doubling or tripling among gay men in some cities. In areas where prep is easily available it is dropping.

      If my husband came out as gay curious I would get on prep pronto.

      • Would you recommend that a woman with a straight spouse take prophylactic antibiotics in case her husband sleeps with another woman and gives her chlamydia? The idea that a bi individual is somehow less capable of monogamy is both ignorant and insulting.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m not this anon, but chlamydia and AIDS aren’t really analogous since chlamydia is easily treated with a round of antibiotics after diagnosis and AIDS is incurable. I don’t think the implication is that bi people can’t control themselves, but that AIDS is the most deadly and life-altering STD and it is far more common among the gay community. To be honest, if AIDS were as common among straight people as it is among gay men, I’d probably insist on condom use except when TTC, even in my monogamous marriage to a straight man. I trust and expect my husband not to cheat but I recognize there is a small possibility he will and I don’t want to gamble with my life. (I think condom use is an easier and simpler solution than an AIDS drug protocol, fwiw).

          • The comment pretty clearly suggests that a person who is bi can’t be trusted to be monogamous, which is an old, nasty stereotype about bis*xual people and is fairly insulting to the OP’s spouse who is clearly working through a difficult realization about himself while honoring his commitment to the OP.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I disagree with this. They’re “very committed to monogamy” in her words. I fear that the notion that he might “slip” is based in unfortunate, outdated stereotypes about non-het men.

      • “If my husband came out as gay curious I would get on prep pronto.” I’m going to assume good intentions here, but I do find your comment more than a little problematic. First, her husband came out as bisexual not “gay curious” whatever that means. Second, I think this is probably a case of “know your marriage.” If someone has otherwise been a faithful and trust-worthy spouse then I don’t think this is a logical next step. All in all your comment seems more a reflection of your own marriage and beliefs about sexuality than it does a piece of advice rooted in the OPs post.

  6. What is a reasonable amount to expect to be paid per hour as a 1099 independent contractor working as an in-house employment and litigation attorney for a fortune 500 company? MCOL area.

    • Err… I’m an employment attorney. If you’re actually working in-house, you would probably be a W-2 employee (possibly a temporary one), not a 1099 independent contractor. But if you’re being retained as an outside lawyer, then billable rates apply.

      • I know it sounds odd, but they only need someone part-time and on an irregular schedule. I suspect there are some political/budget issues at play, and this is the compromise they’ve worked out. I understand that legally I would probably still be considered an employee. I’m just having a hard time figuring out what would be a reasonable hourly rate assuming my compensation does not include benefits or bonuses.

        • Anonymous Poser :

          And I am neither an accountant nor an attorney, but self-employment tax can be kind of high–on top of not receiving benefits or bonuses.
          Maybe consult with an accountant?

  7. Anonagain :

    Re-posting from this morning’s thread since this one opened up right after I posted…
    Argh. Any tips for working with a person who has zero respect for my abilities and assumes everything I do or say is wrong, in the very short term? I’ve mercifully been able to avoid this person for a while but need to deal with him again now. Not looking for long term advice like getting the hell out right now…I’d just like to get through the day without throwing things or crying at my desk. Thanks and happy Friday to all!
    And thanks to Senior Attorney for chiming in on the other thread (aw shucks, on my little post? I feel so real here now!). Anyone else want to play horrible colleague bingo/poker?

    • Anonymous :

      I think it becomes a mental game. Accept he will not change and there is nothing you can do to earn his respect, so don’t try. And that’s going to to seem weird, because he will be sending you signals that you need to fix something about the way you are behaving, but there’s nothing there for you to actually fix. You act professionally because *YOU* are a professional, not because it’s going to make him see the light and change.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been going through this myself after starting a new job 6 months ago and it DID get better. I worked hard, kept my head down, was super nice to the mean person in question, and let my work speak for itself. I haven’t cried at work in months! Good luck, I know it’s so hard and demoralizing but as long as you are your awesome self, don’t worry about the other person.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m sort of in this situation, and I’ve basically swallowed my pride and started running every little thing past the senior person. That way, if she okays something she later decides is wrong, it’s on her. And, if she gets sick of it and realizes I’m competent, she’ll give me more runway. Often she has me do something I think I would have done better in a different way. I generally try once or twice to neutrally explain why my way works better, but if and when I’m shot down, I just swallow my pride and keep going. It’s frustrating and not really helping me grow, but otherwise I will perish from frustration. If I work with her again, I’ll be more assertive, but now I’m in survival mode.

      • Anonymous :

        Tried that at first. Then realized that the things he has me do that he then decides were wrong are…still on me (because I should have talked him around, I guess?). Unless someone he actually does respect weighs in on my side. I’m not going to win this one, just need to survive it for now. Good luck avoiding your version of this person in the future!

    • I’m an anon who answered the previous post on the other thread who said that I called him out aggressively–I probably should have added that we are both in medicine and I practice a subspecialty that is hard to come by, so I knew that by retaliating I was unlikely to get in trouble. Medicine tolerates a lot of ego and bad behavior. Once I realized that they would have a very difficult time getting rid of me (and hadn’t gotten rid of him for far worse behavior), it made it far easier to have a personal zero-tolerance policy for workplace a$$holery. I’m also small enough to admit that it felt great to finally rip him a new one.

      • Anonagain :

        That’s lovely – good for you for fighting it out in the open! Unfortunately not an option for me even though I’m not the only one who’s noticed this person has difficulty accepting things said by women.

        • Thank you–I wasn’t sure whether or not to post my experience but added the caveat because I wasn’t sure if this was an option for you! As for this guy in your situation, I’m willing to bet he’s got pervasive issues with women that undoubtedly affect his personal life if they slop over into his professional behavior. I find it helpful to assume that they go home after work, sit in front of their computer and do nothing but read those “men’s rights activist” forums. (A little hidden contempt for someone can go a long way towards protecting your own psyche from their toxic influence.).

    • When dealing with truly awful people, for me it’s helpful to remember that they are outside my control and I can only control my actions and reactions. To that end, I like to play a game where I try different strategies to see what the result is. E.g., kill with kindness, be direct, ignore completely. Doesn’t solve the problem of them being terrible, but does keep me amused and, more importantly, helps me distance myself from their reactions. Wouldn’t work for everyone, but I find it helpful.

  8. Favorite foods for al fresco dining? Doing this as an impromptu at-home date night. Bonus points for things I can get at Whole Foods and assemble quickly.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Cold salads from the deli area of Whole Foods and charcuterie with super cold white wine or your beverage of choice.

    • I would get some fresh fruit (precut), maybe including grapes. Cheese and maybe something like chicken salad (premade at whole foods) and some nice crackers. And pie. Whole Foods also has good quiches and pot pies that could work for al fresco dining.

    • Anonymous :

      Not pre assembled but this is a good, quick go to with a bottle of white wine: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fettuccine-with-shredded-zucchini-fresh-ricotta-and-lemon-zest-51189620

    • My food choices out me so hard :) :

      I am way late for this, but….

      Caprese salad, corn salad (cut fresh corn off cob, sautee with garlic, mix with cherry tomatoes & basil), grilled & sliced chicken sausage with a variety of mustards, herbed ricotta with toasts, shrimp cocktail…

      and some cold, cold, cold pinot grigio!

    • lawsuited :

      Cured meats, cheese, fresh bread. Done!

  9. Anonymous :

    I’ve got a herniated disc that has really started to act up and need to put my heels back in the box for a while. Any suggestions for professional shoes for a bad back? Tying my shoes this morning to go to PT took a herculean effort!

    • Anonforthis :

      I (literally) feel your pain. I hurt my back and decided to retire my heels for all except special occasions. Finding shoes that are comfortable and look ugly is HARD. For wearing with pants, I had good luck with Dansko (I like the Prima better than the Professional) and Naot, although in my experience they run a little narrow. I also have some Rockport Cobb Hills flats that work.

      You might also think about orthotics. They helped me a lot when the issue was clearly not just heels but shoes with no cushioning in the sole. Good luck. I look forward to anyone else’s suggestions because I went to Nordstrom last weekend with the full intention of buying two pairs of shoes for summer and could not find a single pair that was not painfully ugly, painfully uncomfortable or both. (Although part of the problem is that my eyes have not adjusted to block heels yet – even though I know they are better for my back.)

      • Anonforthis :

        DON’T look ugly – finding ugly shoes is really easy!

      • Just recovering from a bulging disc and got Hispanitas platform derby shoes. They were a splurge for me but, after wearing sneakers for the last 6 months, I just love them. I wear trousers every day though. Don’t think they’d work with skirts.


        • Ooh those remind me of these boots I got this season! http://www.zappos.com/p/coolway-1caila-black-leather/product/8779669/color/72

        • Old golden loafers :

          Hispanitas are my go to work shoes. Closed, round-toe, ballerina-style, with a 1 inch heel. I have two pairs in navy and plan to add more when I can.

      • Also tried these – the pointed toe doesn’t fit my wide foot but they might work for you.

    • Fellow injured person here :

      Hello! I had to retire my heels last year due to a bad knee and I also feel your pain. I have had some success with Vionic – really good arch support, although most of the styles are a little grumpy for my taste (I’m 27).

      • Anonymous :

        Haha I love this description.

        • I also have a disk problem and a foot problem, Vionic is by far the best shoe. But I also agree that they are frumpy. I have 1 pair of ballet flats that are fine and they do have espadrilles that look promising. Plus I have their tennis shoes. There are a few decent styles but it does break my heart to look at all my lovely designer shoes sitting sadly in my closet :(

    • Get orthotics. Buy oxfords/loafers. Mourn your heels. If possible, commute in sneakers, doesn’t matter how fugly they are.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks for all of these suggestions! I frequently wear dresses and skirts and am completely stumped on what kind of shoes I can wear.

      • I have the Rockport Cobb Hill ballet flats in my shopping cart right now. Might be worth a try for skirts!

      • Fellow injured person here :

        I wear exclusively skirts/dresses to work, and it’s definitely hard. Once my knee got a little better and could deal with not having arch support for a few hours at a time, I started wearing normal flats during working hours. But for about a year my only pair of work shoes were Vionic flats that fit my custom orthotic.

    • Anonymous :

      I have arthritis in both knees and both hips and sold off all my fancy heels last year. I swear by Ecco ballet flats, and I have one pair of Ecco heels (2 inches high) that I can actually walk in, as long as I’m not walking far. I think it’s a discontinued brand, but I also have a couple pairs of Rose Petals shoes – including a pair of low heels – that work.

      My physical therapist told me that the key to wearing heels without pain is you do not ever walk distances in heels. Ever. I keep a pair of athletic shoes and a pair of supportive ballet flats in my car and my office so I can switch shoes if I have to, and on days I know I’ll be walking, I wear flats and outfits conducive to flats. It used to bother me not to wear heels with dresses, but I got over that after I realized – hey, I’m not going home at the end of the day in agony any more. And for me, wearing bad heels would also mean pain for days afterward.

    • Bluefield :

      I recently tried the Trask Ana Oxford and they are the most comfortable shoes I own. More comfortable than sneakers. They’re a little expensive but very worth it. I wear them with skirts, but it’s a look.

      • Bluefield :

        To give a little more context, I have hip issues and need a lot of arch support. Trask has amazing arch support and my hip does not hurt at all at the end of the day.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I have gradually switched to almost entirely flats. No injuries, early 30s, just sick of my feet hurting all the time. I don’t have any helpful shoe recs, but I had all my skirts hemmed to hit just above the knee so now they look intentional with flats. I also find that a pointy or almond toe, for me, looks more intentional than a rounded ballet flat (though I also wear those sometimes). Basically I have tried to make all my clothes look like they are meant to be worn with flats, rather than looking like I need heels to complete the outfit, which used to be my default.

      • +1 are you me?

        My feet don’t hurt anymore and a few years on from the switch I no longer think flats look weird with pencil skirts, which is a thing I read on this blog a lot. I think the idea that certain shoes shouldn’t be worn with skirts is all in our heads and only a thing because heels have been such a fashion for so long.

      • I’m jealous. Flats really hurt my feet and back.

        • Are you wearing non-supportive flats? There are some seriously cute shoes out there with a beautiful top that have nothing but a but a flat piece of rubber between your foot and the ground. They kill my back – I look for something with padding+support.

          • Support isn’t the issue. My arches and foot ligaments need a little height.

          • Bonnie, I am like you.

            It is rough.

          • Bonnie, I am like you.

            I used to always walk on my toes as a kid. Now, I prefer a heel too. High arches, and ligaments issues with me too.

            I just bought flats… Expensive, comfort ones… But they feel just wrong on my feet.

            I need to get some chunky heels made for walking.

      • Canadian_MBA :

        This is sounding veeeeery familiar, except I’m dealing with a serious, long-term knee injury that has created numerous negative side effects (arthritis, patellar-femoral syndrome). Aside from doing my own physio daily, I wear flat(ish), padded, supportive shoes such as Taos, Rockport/Cobb Hill, Geox, Arnold Churgin (Canadian chain that just went out of business), as well as low-heeled, padded leather boots and the like. I make sure to commute in sturdy, supportive shoes such as my Asics or a comfy pair of rain boots.

        What I like most is living pain-free and being able to zip around the office in my signature style without inducing further pain!

    • Different back problem but dansko clogs have helped tremendously both with my back pain and plantar fasciitis.

    • I’ve been having fairly serious knee problems and I don’t love flats. I have been buying low block heels and I like the look, as long as the style is not too clunky.

      I have the Sam Edelman Lara ankle strap pump (wearing them now and they’re really pretty), SJP Dame (in a beautiful pewter color leather), and Topshop Jolene (three strap mary jane but it may not be available).

    • Sprained ankle here. I have the Cole Haan Alice Bow Skimmer, which is black flat I think looks fine with skirts. I also have an old pair of Ferragamo pointed toe flats.

    • I’m with some of the others – I wear dansko clogs for a few days when I’m having heel or knee issues. They work not because they’re flat but because the sole is inflexible. That said, I don’t think they’re professional at all, as I am not in the medical profession.

      Mainly, I want to recommend the blog barkingdogshoes dot com. Kristin tests and recommends shoe styles for various foot problems, I don’t recall back problems specifically, but most of the styles she ends up recommending are flat or low heel and supportive. If there’s a comfort shoe out there that doesn’t look like a comfort shoe, she will find it.

      I don’t know her personally but have bought a handful of her recommendations and I’ve found her advice to be spot on.

  10. I just wanted to thank Kat for responding to the feedback about affiliate links, which I think we already discussed, but also about near-daily Nordstrom picks. I was one of the critics of the Nordstrom frequency, and, this post notwithstanding, I have noticed more variation in the sources of the recommended clothes and accessories. So, thanks!

  11. Ankle issues :

    Very random question….anyone ever have os trigonum excision surgery? (The os trigonum is an extra bone behind the Achilles tendon.) Mine has been bothering me for a year or so. I had a cortisone injection in the fall which relieved the pain temporarily, but it’s back, so I’m contemplating whether to just go for surgery now or try another cortisone injection to tide me over for awhile. Just wondering your experience with the surgery and recovery time, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s a pretty common problem in dancers (I’m a ballet nerd). I can’t speak to it personally, but Megan Fairchild (a Principal at NYCB) discussed on her podcast here: http://balancing-pointe.com/114-ask-megan-what-is-an-extra-bone-in-your-foot-and-should-sara-have-surgery/

  12. How do you force yourself to work when you have no motivation? I actually like the work I do (but not my firm) but I’ve been having such a tough time forcing myself to actually do it. I’ve done a lot of mindless internet surfing instead, which is less than ideal.

    • Making an actual paper to do list and crossing things off of it is very satisfying for me.

      • More effective for me than a to do list is a schedule (which I recognize is always subject to interruption). For example: 9:30-10: respond to emails; 10-10:45: prepare letter to Smith case opposing counsel; 10:45-12:30: research for summary judgment motion; 12:30-1:15: lunch, etc. I’m not completely wed to it, as there are always new calls and emails, but it locks me down better than a to do list that I push off until 3 pm.

    • Anonymous :

      Probably time for a short vacation if you can swing it.

    • Anonagain :

      Pomodoro timers! A defined chunk of work is much easier to tackle than AllTheWork. If the standard 25 minutes on is too much to motivate for, start with less (15, even 5 if you have to). Then a defined break (standard 5 minutes, with longer break after 3 cycles). It encourages a habit of starting back to work again and not getting sucked into the internet vortex forever – and it creates defined time for mindless whatever so you still get an immediate, less-guilt-ridden reward for doing that little chunk of work. It’s saved me at times.
      Also, along with having a paper to do list – print a paper daily calendar that shows all the hours/half-hours, and mark down what you do with each chunk of time as you go through the day. Kind of like keeping a food journal, just the act of writing it down (with no judgment, just observation) will help motivate you to have something good to record. The Now Habit is also great if you want a lot more on this….

    • SoCalAtty :

      Making a list and using the pomodoro method (learned here!).

  13. I have a first world problem.

    Fiancé and I are early twenties and fairly recently moved in together. We currently have a mish mash of hand me down dishes from my mom and they are fine and work great, just ugly.

    But I just fell in LOOOOVE with a beautiful dinner set that is currently half price. I really want to buy them but I guess I’m wondering if we should just wait and register for them? Our wedding is May 2018, if that matters and I’m afraid since it’s so far away that it may not be available/half price.

    I should just buy it myself, right? My mom insists I should wait and register.

    • Buy it now. Register for something else. Move on with your life.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Can you afford the dishes? Would they make you happy? Then buy them.

    • newbinlaw :

      buy them and also send me the link.
      getting married soon and can’t find any dishes we like.

      • Haha, I’m really picky too! These speak to me on a spiritual level because of my love of polka dots

    • Anonymous :

      I would buy them.

      But when you register, I would register for the set and then immediately show the set as purchased on your registry. You don’t want someone to see the associated items (serving plates/tea pot/whatever) and assume you intended to register for the set as well but forgot and so they buy it for you. It seems like an odd thing to mention about but often when sets go half off, it’s because they are being discontinued so you don’t want to get stuck with a double of something that’s difficult to return.

      • +1 this is what I would do. Buy the set now and then register for all the extras associated with it or that would coordinate. (And definitely yes to showing the set itself as purchased.)

        You shouldn’t have to explain yourself to mom, but if you need to, then explain that you’d rather people spend their money on X, Y, Z. Like new bedding or grown-up towels or a camping tent or whatever big ticket items you plan to register for. The stuff that you wouldn’t necessarily buy yourself, but that would be nice to upgrade or receive.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Yeah just buy them. I got married at city hall – but even if I hadn’t I am a person who enjoys baking / cooking and has a little collection of “stuff I like” that I would likely have not been able to register for as most of it was picked up on sale / on the fly. May 2018 is a really long time to wait for dishes / other essential culinary thing you really really want (I have lots of these items).

    • But whatever gets you through, like four or eight place settings. Then register for addtitional place settings and completer pieces.

      Cute pattern !

  14. Pass the Tic Tacs :

    I have a colleague who has terrible breathe. You can often smell it from 5-6 feet away. This has been like this for quite a while. We have a $1000 dental allowance as part of our benefits, so I know that he can afford to go to the dentist…but just doesn’t. No amount of dropping hints, talking about the dentist, etc. seems to get through. It’s been over a year now; is it time to drop the passive hints and straight up tell him? Anyone want to give any advice/scripts on handling that conversation? So awkward, but this is getting ridiculous.

    • Legally Brunette :

      We had a woman in our office who had terrible BO. I believe that HR was informed and she was gently spoken to about it. I’d feel so terribly awkward bringing it up directly (although it’s probably more mortifying to have HR come and talk to you about it). I don’t know…just a hard situation all around.

      • Pass the Tic Tacs :

        Alas, small company, no HR!

        • Then talk to his supervisor. If you are his supervisor, then take him to a conference room at the end of the week towards the end of the day and just tell him. “People have been noting your breath. Please address this with the appropriate medical professional. Thank you.” Or something like that.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, I agree with Brunette, at this point after it’s been so long, go to HR. They know how (or should know how) to handle this kind of thing sensitively or can coach you on how to approach him. If his breath is that bad he might have a serious medical problem that needs attention.

    • Anonshmanon :

      it is absolutely time to bite the bullet and approach him directly. Pick the end of the day, so he doesn’t have to stay at work all day feeling self-conscious. Maybe even the end of the week.
      For a script, the archives at ask a manager should definitely have something good.

    • Also, it might be a medical issue, not dental.

    • I have a medical issue that causes bad breath. I know I have bad breath. I try to mitigate it but it doesn’t work. I can brush my teeth, rinse with mouth wash, floss and chew a stick of gum but you will still smell my bad breath. The only thing I can do is try not to get too close to people when I talk to them. It sucks. He probably already knows he has bad breath. I don’t see a lot of good coming from telling him.

      • Pass the Tic Tacs :

        Sorry that you have this issue, and if my post brought up any bad feelings for you. We have a close working environment (very small company) and pretty much talk about our doctors appointments and whatnot, so I just don’t think he has anything medical going on. I can tell you what he’s been to the doctor for in the last few years (carpel tunnel), and that he definitely has not been to the dentist. Without any medical or dental treatment, does he really know? That’s what I’m struggling with. He also lives alone and doesn’t have any close family, so I’m not sure who would tell him.

      • What medical issue causes bad breath? Sorry that you are going through this.

        • There are many medical causes for bad breath, but I know that my breath is definitely not great when my allergies and other respiratory problems are bad, due to the constant postnasal drip and having to breathe through my mouth. I’m pretty sure it’s not as bad as what she’s describing, but it doesn’t matter how meticulous I am about oral hygiene, it’s still just a little off, and I think this is quite common.

        • It’s digestive. It’s better now that my digestive condition is under better control. The stench comes from my guts, not my mouth. The more dehydrated I get, the worse it gets. I think part of it is malnutrition when I’m ill. Like ketosis but not on purpose.

      • Yeah, I just don’t think this is your place. I would be humiliated if I were this person, and you have no idea what is going on in his life. I would tell a coworker about carpal tunnel and leave out the bad breath dr’s visits.

      • Lots of Nope :

        Yeah, just because someone is open about one thing doesn’t mean they’re open about all the things. I have a chronic illness that I’m super open about to my supervisor, but I’m not gonna be like “Went to the urogynecologist today because I pee my pants every time I laugh!” Don’t assume he has nothing going on because he hasn’t told you. He doesn’t have to share everything because you’re a close team.

        • Pass the Tic Tacs :

          Fair enough – good reality check. I do think we are closer than normal colleagues – for example my DH and I bailed him out of jail last year. But after I thought about your comments and the others, I agree that he totally might not share.

          • I love when people bury the lead like this. if you BAILED THIS GUY OUT OF JAIL you can say hey Paul- your breathe stinks its distracting people from all your great (non jail related? ) qualities.

          • I was so worried you were talking about my husband and his damned ketosis breath until you mentioned jail. Unless my husband is a master criminal at hiding things from me, I’m pretty sure he has never been to jail.

      • Anonymous :

        I disagree. I know a lot of gross men, apparently more than normal, but some people need to be told to brush their teeth, the same way some people need to be taught about deodorant.

      • I wonder of my ex had a medical issue? His breathe smelled alot like an open cesspool, so I always thought it was b/c he did NOT brush his teeth regularley. FOOEY! However, after reading these post’s, I can’t help but think that Sheketovits might have had some medical deficiency. He told me his uncle had breathe like him so mabye there is something to it. DOUBEL FOOEY! Fortunateley, I do NOT have to smell that breathe, huffeing and puffeing on top of me any more. That is a REAL relief for me. YAY!!!!

    • You let it go.

      The only thing I have sometimes done is asked the person if they want something to drink, as I am stepping out to get water/coffee/whatever. Because probably the most common cause of bad breath is dehydration.

      Otherwise, you keep your distance, and deal with it. You do not publicly humiliate the person by talking about it with others, or confronting the person.

      Trying to drop hints about the dentist is not useful. Problems that a dentist would fix or encourage are not going to change this.

      And why you should think someone would share personal gastrointestinal medical problems with you at work is beyond to me. This is not usually done at all. Carpal tunnel is one thing, as almost everyone has a little carpal tunnel these days at work, so it is completely acceptable to mention..

      He knows. I promise you.

      • Not always :

        I don’t know if he knows. A distant cousin of mine often has terrible terrible god awful body odor. She has a very adoring husband totally in love with her, and she was/is a successful professional. I really don’t think she knows.

      • Pass the Tic Tacs :

        I do feel like I need to say that I was never planning on publicly humiliating him; I don’t agree that private short conversation is the same thing as public humiliation. I’ve thought about it for a long time, and I would want someone to tell me if I was in his place. I don’t agree that he knows, but I am going to agree that it’s not my place. Glad I asked the question here and got the wisdom of the hive. :)

    • Is he married/partnered? If so, he knows. My DH is doing the stupid ketosis diet and it gives him this aweful breath. I call it dinosaur breath. He was oblivious to it, and even after I told him he didn’t really get how bad it was. I had a very frank convo- it’s bad and I’m sure it’s noticeable at work and he either has to stop the diet or find a work-around. He’s an exec and client facing.

      (Fwiw he really likes the diet so he tweaked it to be less lean meat, more fat, and more carbs than are typically allowed. That, plus keeping mouthwash in his desk, chewing gum & brushing teeth 3x/day has helped.)

      If the guy isn’t married you may need to go the HR route. It’s hard; my husband is my husband! And it’s solvable (stop the diet). But he still was super defensive about it/didn’t get how bad it was until I mentioned it several times and in no uncertain terms.

      • Pass the Tic Tacs :

        He’s not, his ex left him about two years ago. He doesn’t have any close family either. That’s what made me think it was possibly my place, but maybe it’s not. It wasn’t a conversation I was looking forward to having in the first place, so I’ll take the out and let it go per those above comments.

      • Anon (other anon) :

        So funny, I commented above about worrying it was my husband until OP mentioned jail.

    • This is none of your business. He is likely afraid of the dentist. Get over it.

  15. Confidence? :

    How do you bring your confidence up after a bad work environment?

    I’ve seen others post here about similar things. I’ve been working in a big-name consulting firm for about a year, and I’m going to leave in a few months. It was a bad fit, moving on. Regardless, I feel like it has made me less confident, more jittery when doing simple things like writing emails or talking to seniors, definitely worsened my anxiety, made me not act like myself honestly.

    I do actually have anxiety and am on medication. But more superficially, what are things to do to clear this from my mind?

    • Is it possible for you to take a professional course that could help you learn new skills? Such as presenting to an audience, business communication, etc.? And/or, take a class in something completely unrelated. Anecdotally, I’ve noticed that my friends with anxiety benefit from creating things, so making a cooking or knitting class.

      • Anonagain :

        Yes, Godzilla always gives good advice! Some more ideas to consider: intense physical exercise (sprints/boxing/etc.), improv, singing, crochet (way easier than knitting!). Also, maybe not quite what you’re looking for, but The Credibility Code by Cara Hale Alter is great for specific, very concrete and detailed advice for how to be taken more seriously and appear confident and authoritative – if your confidence has been shaken and you’re jittery, this could be help by giving you specific tools and exercises to work on the outward effects of that. Good luck!

    • Been there! Take as much of a break between roles as you can. Medication and therapy with a big break between roles really helped, and I made sure to be incredibly thorough in choosing a positive environment for my next job.

      • Confidence? :

        I’m actually going to grad school, and have a month off in between – but I keep wanting to make that break longer! Now I know how careful to be when choosing jobs in the future

  16. Need a paycheck :

    Help. Been job hunting after a redundancy. I came close for several job a couple of months ago (down to the last two on three occasions) but it’s been quiet since then. However got a decent interview this week for a role that was advertised at one title then downgraded a bit. Interview was fine and I got an offer at a basic rate today BUT one of my ex-colleagues also has an offer at the same company but in a more prestigious role and a higher salary and is starting soon.

    Ugh. I need a job and the market has been quiet BUT the thought of going into a new company in a more junior position than my colleague (we were at the same level at our previous company) really hurts. Plus I was contacted on the morning of the interview about another role in the same company (same role as my ex colleague has been offered) but rules say I can’t apply through two different routes to the same company. So I know the other role is higher paid.

    In any other situation I’d take the job offered even although the job wasn’t quite what I initially applied for or at the salary I anted, BUT I feel sick knowing that I’d be below my ex-colleague. He’s a nice chap and I have no problem working with him, but I can’t get my head around working junior to him. My previous company didn’t do Equality and I knew I was getting paid less than most of my colleagues but I thought this was my new start. I feel like seeing the excolleague every day in a higher position would just be painful.

    Any advice?

    • Who contacted you for the higher role? Can you have a candid conversation with them? Seems like this is something they should be able to work through for you, if you were invited to apply…

  17. Advice Please :

    I work as a freelancer. Total annual income is approx. 48k before taxes. I work from home, which means I deduct some things, as the IRS permits. However, I am finding that student loans and some other programs base their decision on the income before the deductions. This means that I actually only make/keep about half of the income as my income (the rest goes to materials, supplies, required technology, etc.). Is this just tough noogies for me or…? Wondering if I should start a company or something and have all payments go to the company and have the company pay me as an individual so that my personal income number that I’m judged on is accurate to what goes into my pocket, but I know nada about this topic area and have no clue if that’s smart or what would be smart to do here.

    • Anonymous :

      I can’t speak to the tax implications, but you should absolutely have an LLC (or other business entity, depending on your situation) and business bank account that you are routing things through. It’s super cheap in most states to set up a sole-member LLC and you don’t need a lawyer to do it. It gives you an extra layer protection if someone were to ever go after you monetarily.

      A separate business bank account will also make it easier IMO for you to track your business expenses and make it cleaner in the event the IRS ever audited you.

      • Anonymous :

        +100 to all this. A business structure will allow better and cleaner deductions of business expenses, may open up the opportunity to take deductions you couldn’t before (it depends on what you do in your work, and other factors) and will also help you if you get audited. Setting up a single-member LLC is pretty easy and inexpensive in most states. If all my income was from freelancing, I would definitely start an LLC.

  18. Personal Mentoring :

    I know we talk often about professional mentors but what about personal mentors?

    Wondering your experiences with people in your personal life who have mentored or guided you (more of an aunt or grandma type role than a friend type role) and being on the mentoring side. How did you find your personal mentors? How did your mentees find you?

    Are there organizations that are something for adults? So many women have life experience to share (especially those who are single or whose kids live far away or something) and so many women seem like they’d love to have an older, wiser type person in their lives.

    • Baconpancakes :

      My mother’s best friend was my mentor as well as my second mother. She was very successful in the finance sector, traveled the world, didn’t take bull from anyone, and was both kind and no-nonsense in the same breath, and inspired me to be that kind of woman. Unfortunately, she passed away a few years ago. While my mother had a successful career, she wasn’t particularly ambitious, and was definitely not a woman to press for raises or promotions, or deal with office politics, unlike her best friend. Now, as my career progresses, I keep wishing my mentor was here to talk to, to tell me what to expect and what to say in certain situations. I’m not sure where to find someone else I trust and believe in the same way.

  19. biker babe :

    Interesting comments in today’s earlier thread re: school and kid’s fundraisers.

    What do we think about adults fundraising for causes? Do you do any fundraising through the year? How have you seen it done well, or poorly?

    Yearly, I ride a 150 mile bike ride for the MS Society, and reach out to my network to fundraise. Friends, family, colleagues have been incredibly generous, and I usually am in the top fundraisers for the Fortune 500 team I ride with. I try not to spam people – no more than 2-3 emails over the course of three or so months, and 2 facebook posts. I hand-write thank you notes to each donor, send them photos from the road, and pen a humorous recap email. Most everyone seems to love it, and I get a pretty significant amount of support and people cheering me on. I would never hold it against anyone if they didn’t donate.

    • This totally works for me; it gives me opportunities to know what you’re up to, plus a reminder in case I meant to do something the first time I heard but forgot, but it doesn’t smack me in the face every time I sign onto social media. I think the goal has to be that the info is given, the info can be reminded about, and there’s never any pushiness, trying to manipulate a sense of obligation, and never causing the person to feel like they’d lose your friendship if they don’t donate.

      Typically, I just donate if/when I can, but this conversation led me to break down why I feel as I do about things, so here goes (and please, no need to tell me I’m dramatic or something, I broke it down for this chat, not because I think this way in the moment every time):

      I find that the issue I have with unknown children or unknown anyone at my door is that 1st, I have a moment of panic when the bell rings (was I expecting someone? am I dressed to receive someone? etc.) and I start with feeling forced into a meeting I didn’t agree to. Then it feels unfair to me that someone with puppy dog eyes is asking me for something without my having time to think or plan for it in my budget or research the charity (I’m pretty conflict averse, so I’m good at polite declines via email or social media, not so much face to face). Then, if I give, often they try to get me to give more (for just $5 more, you can get….), which feels like pushing me even further from a point I already didn’t want to be at. Then, when they leave, I feel like I got taken for a ride or put on the spot. It ends up being unenjoyable every time a stranger shows up.

      When it’s a loved one and when it’s via social media or email, I take the time to research, I make the decision, I move on with my day. :)

      • Anonymous :

        um, maybe don’t answer your door then?

      • JuniorMinion :

        I hear you – the Jehovah’s Witnesses / people selling stuff / etc. manage to always come to my door right as I am relaxing on my couch in my undies. I feel rude not putting clothes on and answering because my TV / living room is right next to the front door and I know they can hear me…. Plus often its a neighbor telling us that we’ve left our garage open or something of that ilk so I don’t want to just stop answering the door.

    • 3 emails seems like kinda a lot, if it’s just to ask for money…

      • I don’t feel like it is.

        • biker babe :

          Oops, accidentally hit enter. I don’t feel like it is. First email is 3 months ahead of time, generates 20% of total donations. I will lots of hear “I saw your email, so glad you’re doing that again! I’m definitely donating!” when I see people in person (I never ask, they bring it up). Send a prompt/reminder about 5 weeks before the event, will get probably 40% of my total from this email. Last one goes out the week of the event, with similarly high response rate to the 2nd – nothing like a deadline!

      • I’m with you Ruby, I would be super annoyed at 3 emails. But then again, I’d be annoyed at 1. Post it on Facebook and leave it alone. This is like those bloggers who send out email alerts, twitter links, FB links, instagram links, and Snap Stories every freaking time they have a post. Okay, I get it. It makes me unfollow them on all but one platform, which is not at all their intent, I think.

        • Anonshmanon :

          I always thought this is exactly their intent. They assume different groups of people follow them on different social media, so they advertise their new post on every channel.

    • I’m fine with this as long as the money I donate is going to the charity, not paying your way to participate in the activity. That can be a very slippery slope with these kinds of events. What I really want to see is a big fat personal donation from the participant before I fork over my contribution.

    • cat socks :

      The emails and Facebook posts would be fine with me because I can review the information and then decide if I want to donate and how much.

      Also, I would appreciate the thank you note and follow up. Glad it’s working for you!

    • In general, the adult doing the fundraising is ‘paid’ in kind by the beneficiary organization. In this example the adult is participating in a bike ride which, while undoubtedly difficult, is purely recreational and doesn’t benefit MS patients directly. I feel like I’m being asked to subsidize a friend’s hobby.

      • Exactly. Presumably, you have some kind of fundraising minimum that you’re asking me to help you hit. The only time I’ve seen this done well was something like this:

        [Facebook post]
        “Hi friends, as you know, I personally survived breast cancer 3 years ago. I’m participating in X event that benefits Charity. I’ve made a personal donation to cover my entire fundraising minimum to participate, but wanted to let you know that I’ve done due diligence and support this org because of Y (reason included that she personally benefited from them during her illness/recover). If you have been looking and are interested, you can click my link below or just go to the org directly. Thanks!”

        Basically only posting because it’s super personal, saying you’ve done the research and think it’s a legit org (and not just hey, it’s the one they picked for this event, so whatever), and sending it out more as a FYI than an actual solicitation. (I ended up giving a sizable donation in her name.)

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I view this as a sacrifice and challenge that the participant is making to raise awareness for the cause. I guess there is a split in opinion. Some people would prefer “hey, donate money to the MS society.” Others would prefer “I care so much about the MS society that I am committing to biking 150 miles to raise money for the cause. Please donate.”

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Also, as a board member for a non-profit, I recognize that you need occasions to fundraise around. You want to remind people “hey! Donate to us.” You want your supporters reminding others “hey, donate to them!” The way to get that to happen is by having fundraising events. The most well attending are walks and 5ks.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yep. Also as you get older, you may find that more of your peers are involved in the non-profit world, as board members, volunteers, or what have you. And it will become more usual for everyone to be hitting up everyone else for their respective events.

      • The most successful solicitation that I’ve seen was a friend who had been volunteering at airports to help people affected by the recent Muslim ban. He had been working tirelessly for two weeks at that point and posting updates for interested friends on FB. He posted a message saying that it was his birthday and he hoped that people would consider donating to his pro bono organization. He had 10x his goal in just a few hours.

        Why don’t people do work for their community encourage donations? Donate 150 hours of teaching literacy or picking up trash or running a blood drive. I’d be far far more likely to donate if incentived by those actions, rather than bike rides or group walks. The volunteer work doesn’t necessarily even have to match the cause.

      • Anon (other anon) :

        I’ve posted before about how grumpy I get being asked to donate to Team in Training kind of stuff, where it’s some friend or colleague’s personal goal to run a marathon so they get all of us to pay for their trip and call it charity. The expense ratios on those contributions are astronomical and at the end of the day, the participant isn’t doing it because they had a charitable urge, they’re doing it because they want to have this personal achievement. Paid for by all their friends. / end rant

  20. Roadtrip Tunes :

    Favorite songs, albums, etc. for long road trips (think 2+ days)? Making a playlist for a road trip that’s not til the holidays but that I am getting excited about already. Won’t have wifi or data to use during the drive so I’ll need to purchase/download beforehand (so I know that means lots of podcasts are probably out).

    • You can download podcasts!

    • This is where the library is your friend. Is there a genre you’d like to explore? Artists you’d like to hear deep tracks from? Request them now, and start making your mix!

      After the bar I took a data entry job to pay bills and my favorite part was going deep into artists catalogs. The Beatles mono box set was recently out then, and I believe it got me from Monday morning to Friday lunch. Also deep into Otis Redding, Prince, James Brown, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Jens Lekman, Rilo Kiley, Sleater-Kinney and so many more..

      What kind of music do you like? On road trips I like a mix of the new (and new to me) and interesting and things I can sign along with. Also in case I get tired I always have “Born to Run” and “Warewolves of London” on deck.

      If you have eclectic taste and like Bob Dylan–his Theme Time Radio Hour episodes were really excellent listening for long drives. They are all available at themetimeradio dot com for free download. All the shows are built around a theme with facts and stories from Bob (not much of his music though). Each episode runs about an hour.

    • Senior Attorney :

      My favorite album for road trips is The Traveling Wilburys. Love them so much and so fun to sing along!


      Also: Hamilton, Book of Mormon cast albums.

    • Frankie Valli, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, Frank Sinatra. Jersey shore (not the show!) music.

    • We went on a family vacation road trip last summer and downloaded a few episodes of a podcast (TED Talk Radio) for when the radio signal was out. It was great.

  21. Sloan Sabbith :

    I’m giving a presentation to a class of social workers tomorrow. Generally for presentations, I would wear a shift dress, heels, and a blazer, but that feels so formal for a Saturday class. Do you think burgundy ankle pants and a black nice tee or sweater (depends on the weather) would be appropriate? I’d probably wear either leopard print or black flats.

    • Anonymous :

      Sounds great.

      side note – I’m looking for leopard print flats, which ones to you have?

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Ona leopard print flats from Target. One of 4 pairs of the Ona flats I have, and I’ve worn out two pairs in the past few years. Love them. And they’re cheap, so you can experiment- only reason I bought leopard print flats was because they were $17 and I figured that if I hated them, I’d skip coffee a couple times and be fine.

      • I just got Madewell leopard print flats (calf hair) and they are amazing. Comfortable, nicely shaped, well made.

    • Macademia :

      I think that sounds fine. You can add a blazer or sweater cardigan if it is chilly.

    • anon for this :

      I present to social workers often… it’s typically editor or other dress pants, solid color top, younger people often wear a basic sweater. Some get fashion forward but most are overworked and underpaid and may need to sit on floors or in others’ homes or may work with clients without much money so they’re not going to be wearing fancy attire. As long as you look like you gave a [email protected] when you chose your outfit, no one will care about much else.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Yeah, I’m a legal aid attorney, so I work with social workers a lot (hence why I was presenting), and our client populations often overlap. When I’m with clients, it’s very much dress pants and a nice shirt or sweater because I’m often in shelters, prisons, etc and don’t want to look like the intern with the Birkin. I try to dress up more for presentations to providers while still looking appropriate for our work and income.

    • Kate spade. Super comfy for my very picky feet. Gobs of compliments whenever I wear them. Spendy but classics I will wear a long time.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a very cute, very comfortable pair of pointed toed leopard flats…but they’re Ivanka Trump. I’m not going to throw them away as the money is already spent, but I do make a face every time I put them on.

  22. Reposting from earlier this week. Does anyone have recommendations for a good travel-friendly combo tote pack/backpack? I’d like a tote with removable or hideable backpack straps in plain black. A padded laptop pocket and a zip closure are a must (style less so, but it should be at least reasonably appropriate for business casual settings). TIA!

  23. Recommendations for almond-toe flats that are comfortable and supportive? I want to start wearing better shoes (i.e. good for my feet) and haven’t found a flat that feels like I can walk around all day without a problem yet doesn’t look matronly. I generally prefer the look of heels over flats for work, but I’ve found that I’m okay with almond/slight pointy toe. A slight wedge is okay– my normal work shoes are a 2″ wedge, so I’m probably looking for something .75″ or less. Thanks in advance!

    • I should clarify– looking for a nice-casual flat, not fancy patent leather. Suede okay, but general not shiny. To wear with jeans, dresses, occasionally pencil skirts (although I really prefer a heel with skirts and dresses). Under $100 preferred.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’m not sure if they’ve got anything like it right now, but I got a pair of e360 very slight wedge heels from easyspirit that I love and they’re ridiculously comfortable.

    • AGL. They’re pricey but excellent.

    • Toms flats? They’re pretty freaking comfortable.


      • Sloan Sabbith :

        God, I love my Toms flats. They look like crap now, but they’ve been heavily used.

    • I’ve had some good luck with Rockport flats in the past. A few years ago they had a style that was like the current pointy-toe Adelyn but with an almond toe and I constantly kick myself for not buying more back-ups at the time. It looks like they currently have a “Total Motion Hidden Wedge” that might hit some of your criteria – I’ve also seen shoes similar to this style from different brands at DSW.

    • Old golden loafers :

      Hispanitas, although maybe they are more expensive in the US. They are usually around 100`€, down to 70`€ during sales.

    • Vionic makes a pair that are nice. Just don’t go for the calf hair ones… I had the hair rub off on the point of the tire.

  24. Sources for necklaces? :

    So, I am on the hunt for a specific type of necklace. Semi-precious stone bead (or other natural material), strand necklace, with no metal at all. All one material. I’m thinking Etsy might be the best source for this, but would love any personal recommendations for actual stores, online stores, or Etsy sellers. Thanks!

    • Look for undyed natural stones, about 18-24 inches in length, on hand knotted silk. Any local beader should be able to make this for $50-75 depending on the stones

    • lawsuited :

      Definitely Etsy, because even if you don’t find exactly what you want you will be able to find someone who will make you exactly what you want.

  25. I can't tell anyone this IRL :

    I went through IVF to freeze embryos. It cost a fortune and the embryos will be viable for 10 years. I’m old enough to be worrying about my fertility but not ready to have kids even though we’ve been married a while. I just needed to get that out there! So glad I made this decision even though it cost my entire fourth-year associate biglaw bonus.

    • Congratulations! I went through IVF as well recently and it is no picnic. I had ovarian hyper-stimulation and remember thinking that if pregnancy was as uncomfortable as having enormous ovaries then I wasn’t cut out for either (this has not been true so far.)

      • It sucked. I thought all the sims were fine but nothing could prepare me for the trigger, HOLY WOW. I had my extraction last week and am still bloated AF, but on the day of the extraction I fairly HOBBLED to the hospital. Pathetic. Anyway, feeling so lucky that i Have this option since i’m not ready for kids, but wish it weren’t so taboo. Like when people ask “are you guys planning to have kids” i could just be like “they’re on ice!”

      • PS congrats on your pregnancy!

        • Thank you! I will freely admit, because I’m anon here :) that after the trigger I felt that they were taking too long taking me back to the OR and I totally cried to my husband, saying “GET THEM OUUUUTTTTTT.”

      • Anonymous :

        Ugh, about to freeze my eggs. Is it really as awful as this sounds??

        • Wasn’t awful for me at all. The few weeks of shots and then the retrieval were totally fine. Only annoying part was the constant blood draws.

        • I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make it sound scary–i suspect that I had more problems because of the hyperstimation (when many follicles mature at once.). I know plenty of people for whom it was way easier. Also, mine wasn’t particularly uncomfortable until the last 2-3 days prior to the retrieval. (I’m the anon from 6:20 above.)

        • Hi– I am the OP of this thread. Hope you’re still reading. The part where you inject yourself with hormones is really not that bad at all. It’s a lot of injections but by day 3 you are seriously like, OK, whatever. The needles are pretty little. You can do it.

          When you get the trigger shot, you do bloat kind of a lot for 4-5 days after. I am very heavy as it is, so I kind of felt like a whale, but even so I just wore a big loose dress and it was fine.

          Overall I’m really glad I did it and it’s only 2 weeks of your life. And you know, a ton of money. But so worth it for the peace of mind and freedom to do what you want to do.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Congratulations to both of you!

  26. Nordstrom Rack :

    Can someone explain Nordstrom Rack to me? It seems like they have fancy regular Nordstrom brands on sale and then a bunch of random, poorer quality brands, right? Are the former just things that failed to clear the sale section of the regular Nordstrom? Or are they irregular/damaged items? I ask because I’ve ordered a couple of things from nice brands and they’ve had some issues — torn, uneven, etc.

    • Outlet shopping has become so popular that outlets are now mainly lesser versions of their parent brand or store. They sell cheaper lines of merchandise that are direct to outlet and would never be stocked in the main store.

      Nordstrom also sends some of their unsold clearance items to the outlets but this has come to be a smallish part of their inventory. Same for Off Fifth and all the other big retail store outlets.

  27. Have we already discussed the series finale of Girls? I wish the series would have ended with the penultimate episode. The final episode seemed random and waaaay too Apatow-like.

    • Agreed!! I thought the penultimate episode with all the Girls dancing and Hannah flashing forward to moving into the house was perfect. This episode did nothing for me and felt like it had nothing to do with the show.

    • I know the ending isn’t popular but I loved it. I’m a mom so that was part of it, but the whole thing –

      Hannah with her post partum hormones making her extra Hannah-like,

      Marnie trying on another fake personna/life’s calling and finally figuring out that she needs to grow up,

      Hannah’s mom being in the f*ck-it-all stage in her life and laying out Hannah in the way we’ve all wished she would do from the start of the series,

      Hannah understanding her mother and motherhood when she meets an insufferable teen/herself in a flashback and finally having the lightbulb moment.

      And then the baby latching on finally. Loved it.

      The hormonal irritability – realistic
      The baby crying all the time – realistic
      Feeling like your baby hates you – realistic AF

  28. Anonymous :

    So, I’m on my way to court this morning and sharing the elevator with another attorney (a stranger). The elevator stops on his floor and before the doors open he says “I just have to say, you’re gorgeous” and steps out. So many mixed emotions. How would you feel? What would you say?

    • Depending on my mood, I would either sing “Don’t Hate Me ‘Cause I’m Beautiful” or I would fall back on a variant of my default answer for when guys tell me to smile, which is “oh good, I’m glad I’m decorating your world to your satisfaction.” (That last is usually delivered with as much scorn as I can muster, and to be honest is the much more likely response than the singing.)

    • Anonymous :

      Stare at him like WTF. If I was notably attracted to him, I’d say thanks, likewise.

    • I would be flattered. Unless he is one of “those guys” it probably took courage for him to say that. Not saying he’s not one of “those guys” – you know, super-smooth with women. But most likely not.

      What would I say? Probably nothing, to the elevator door after it shut. If I saw him again and he made some other comment (and he was cute, and I was single) I’d probably say something like “Is this how you psych yourself up to ask for a woman’s phone number?” or, “You might want to work on your moves, they seem a little old-school.” Or, “Hi, my name’s Jane, what’s yours?” accompanied by a sardonic look. If I was not single or he was not cute, or I just wasn’t interested, I would just say “thanks” without making eye contact, or I would shoot him a look and then ignore him.

      While I know some folks might say it was inappropriate for him to do that in a professional setting, you don’t know the subtext or agenda here (or even if he had one) and so just take the compliment. As you get on in years you’ll remember these kinds of comments with great fondness, believe me :-)

    • Old golden loafers :

      If I perceived it was a genuine compliment I would say thank you, and it would brighten my day. I have had random strangers, both man and women, compliment me and it does brighten my mood.

      If I perceived something else (creepiness, threat) I would probably keep silent, and the find the perfect aswer some hours or even days later. And it would cloud my mood.

    • If you didn’t feel like he was creeping on you (and you know when someone is) I think I would just take it as a compliment.

      If it were me, I’d probably say “hello, gorgeous” every time I looked a mirror for the next week or so.

    • My first reaction to reading this was that it would probably make my day, as a nice compliment. It seems like he wasn’t hitting on you, and maybe took a lot for him to say it.

    • Caveat: Not meant to be a humble-brag.

      This happens to me all the time and I find it embarrassing/ inappropriate in a professional setting. I do not consider myself a stunner, nor do I dress to emphasize any “goods”. Depending on if I think the person is more sweet or creepy I either quietly say thank you (particularly if there is a colleague in the elevator with me) or pretend that I didn’t hear it (I live in NYC, so this is a well practiced method).

    • so inappropriate. OK in a bar. not ok in a workplace.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m inclined to agree. I’d be very flattered if a man said this to me in a restaurant or a bar or just in passing on the street (I think I’m cute but I have never in my life received a compliment like this), but in a professional context it would really bother me.

        • Yes! This has never happened to me and it is totally flattering, but “gorgeous” is not exactly what I’m going for in court! I just want to be respected

        • I agree as well. This does happen to me with some frequency, both at work (I’m also an attorney) and in random places like the grocery store. In the grocery store, I generally say thank you and go on my merry way with the compliment, assuming no creepiness. At work it’s inappropriate and obnoxious.

  29. Any recommendations for authentic dim sum in Chicago? There are so many options in Chinatown I’m having a hard time narrowing them down. TIA.

  30. I’m looking for a cute hat, visor or cap for weekend activities (kids’ baseball games, light hiking, picnics at the park). I have a scala large brim and the brim is too large and impedes my vision and my DH thought the beige made me look older than my age (40). The medium brim was okay, but the lavender color I got made me look like I was going to high tea with the Queen, and I live in jeans and t shirts on weekends so it was all wrong for me. I’m thinking you runners and golfers might have some good suggestions, preferably with links. Thanks in advance.

    • I’ve been seeing solid baseball caps a lot lately and think they can look surprisingly chic. I prefer them to straw because straw always reads beach to me. Nordstrom has several for under $20.

      • lululemon visor or squishee hat :

        I agree that baseball caps are great, but recently found a visor at Lululemon that is made for water sports, but has a wider brim than most caps. I also found a Eric Javitz Squishee hat on ebay that is cute for more formal settings or the beach too. good luck. sun protection is my passion :)

  31. Has anyone ever done a real estate deal where the same realtor represented both parties? Did the realtor cut the fee, rather than collecting the full 6%? I understand there’s the obvious risk of whether she can advocate for your own best interests in this scenario. Anything else I should consider?

    We’re on the buying side. We’ve been working with her for a few months. The neighborhood we want is super competitive, so she sent postcards seeing if anyone was thinking about selling. Someone has now responded, and she’s meeting with them this week. I’m not sure whether she’d represent them too, but that’s my assumption. We’ll discuss it this week, so I want to be prepared going into the conversation.


    • Anonymous :

      First of all, I wouldn’t assume she intends to represent them too unless she’s said that. Some states don’t allow this. I would be very hesitant to enter into a real estate transaction as a buyer without my own agent. 6% is a typical real estate commission (that’s normally split between buyer’s agent and seller’s agent). A dual agent might accept 5% so there is a tiny savings there but it’s not much, and it’s the agent who really comes out ahead. Also as a buyer you won’t pay the commission so this is not really a positive for you – it would be a slight positive for the sellers. The obvious negative is the one you’ve identified, that she may not advocate for your interests, and this is particularly true because a higher purchase price translates into more money for her, so her interests are naturally far more aligned with the seller’s interests than with yours.

    • Anon Buyer :

      We are in this situation right now – just wrote an offer today after nine months of hunting (specific type of property so it’s been challenging). Having worked with our agent for this long, and knowing what we do about her and the market, we feel comfortable that she also has the listing. She is working with the seller on their next purchase, and will sell our house too, so she’s incentivized to make sure everyone gets the right deal, which is not necessarily the cheapest for us or the highest price for the sellers.

      I was nervous about this scenario in theory, but haven’t found it to be an issue yet. Possibly if the offer negotiations become contentious, I would change my perspective, but we wrote a solid offer so I remain hopeful!

    • I bought and sold this way in a condo building that sort of had its “own” realtor. The realtor cut fees by 1% on each side. We had a good experience, but it also was in a condo building where we were unlikely to have dealbreaker issues that an agent would need to sort out.

  32. Have any of you ever felt like maybe you’re just too intense? I tend to have immediate and strong attractions to people, whether platonic or romantic. An example is that in nearly every workplace I’ve been in, I have developed an immense crush on a male coworker (usually a quiet, cerebral one). Eventually the guy finds someone else who is always meeker than me.

    I do have warm and strong relationships. If they had to list my faults, my friends and family would probably say I’m emotional and headstrong, but they also tell me these are positive qualities (for example, I volunteer a lot and care deeply about nurturing friendships). But these do seem off-putting traits for the guys I’m interested in.

    I absolutely love deep thinkers and strong minds. I feel despondent that no one is attracted to these qualities in me.

    If you are of a similar personality type, have you found a partner, and did you feel that you had to mellow out before you did?

    I’ve been to therapy, I’ve spent time reflecting on this, I practice yoga. What else can I do??

    • I’m like you. I found a husband who loves my science degree having, vegan, biking, city dwelling, minimalist, small space living, weirdo self. That said, a lot of people find me… Intense. I’m okay with that though, I care a lot about being a good person so I’d rather be a good person alone than mellow out for the comfort of others.

    • I don’t have the same personality exactly, but I am pretty quirky. I march to the beat of my own drummer and am attracted to others who are like that also (both for friendship and romance). Just learned I am an ISFP on myers briggs, which explains a lot. Anyway, I used to think I’d never get married because I couldn’t imagine even the kind of guy I’d marry. Most of the guys I’d “loved” were unrequited crushes or other fantasy. The guys I actually dated (ie who liked me back) we’re just ok. Then I met my husband and he was my best friend almost instantly. It was like I didn’t know what I really wanted until I met him, and he isn’t much like the guys I had unrequited crushes on, though there are similar characteristics below the surface.

      I guess my point is that it only takes one person you like to like you back to have a long term relationship, and maybe you just haven’t met that person yet. But dont give up! Trying to change your personality is futile and not productive if goal is to find someone who likes you for you.

      You say nothing about actual romantic relationships…What is your dating life like? Fantasy relationships/unrequited crushes are…tricky. I’m susceptible to them too (still, though now I just find the fantasy a pleasant diversion, not agony). The downside when you are single is you can’t let yourself live in your head too much at the expense of pursuing real life relationships. There is a tendency to imagine someone is perfect for you when, if you were actually dating them, they might not be. And then you discount people you meet who are on surface very different but might be perfect for you if you got to know them, because you are holding them up to the fantasy person/crush as comparison. There is probably a more concise way to say that, but I’m too tired. Good luck OP.

  33. Typing from the other end of the house :

    So! Hubs and I got in a spat today, nothing Earth-shattering but we definitely didn’t feel like talking to each other for most of the day. What do you do when you have a fight with your live-in significant other? Sometimes I leave the house, but I didn’t have any shopping I needed to do (and I prefer not to recreationally shop when I’m emotional, because then I buy things I don’t need). I thought about going to a movie, but there’s nothing much out I want to pay to see. My friends weren’t able to meet up on short notice today (they all have their own families and their Saturdays are usually as crazy as mine). So I stayed in our bedroom and pouted until we were ready to say sorry. I feel like I need a better strategy for next time.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I don’t have a partner, but these are my pouting go-tos. Or my “My ex would not leave the library at the law school and was scowling at me and I had to stay in the area for a thing later,” which happened A LOT. Often with dramatic sighing from across the library and making sure I knew how unbothered he was as he laughed and chatted.

      Coffee shop, go for a nice long walk alone with music, wander around a bookstore and add books to your want to read list (or a library), go for a run, go to an exercise class.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’d suggest going to the gym or for a run or bike ride or whatever. It gets you out of the house and by the time you’ve had a nice workout you’ll probably be ready to patch things up.

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