Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

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  1. Anonymous :

    Repost – What do you all think about moving for a job – when you don’t have to and when your track record of job happiness isn’t great? Here’s the details – started biglaw in a major city; went to another legal job in another major city. Both jobs were meh. I actually LOVE the law and am very happy when I’m left alone to do the work – in both cases it was the politics (law firm esp); environment; fit etc. Basically dealing with miserable people + also feeling like I can’t get ahead has brought me down.

    So I saw an in house job at a company I find fascinating. But it’s in an east coast secondary market, where I’d be living alone (upper 30s and single). Part of me feels like – why bother – it’ll probably turn out to be something bad anyway and then I’m stuck alone in a smaller city where I know no one and am off the Acela corridor (the previous/current job have me living within 1/5-2 hrs of my family). And then part of me is like – this is corporate HQ and I’ve been interested in jobs there before so if I want it, there is no choice but to move out there alone – they aren’t going to move their corporate HQ anytime soon. Thoughts?

    • I wouldn’t move unless you actually want to move to the city you’re thinking about moving to.

    • You don’t have to make a decision until you get offered the job. What’s the harm in applying?

    • Anonononon :

      I agree, there’s no harm in interviewing.

      Also, I think this would be heavily dependent on what the City is and how it matches your personality. Some secondary markets are small, vibrant and awesome and in others I think it could be a struggle.

    • Repost of my response since I was even later than you –

      I think you need to unpack the “politics” and “feeling like I can’t get ahead” parts that make you unhappy, because those are present to some extent in any job you do.

      Politics is literally working with people – trying to get them to do something in a way that isn’t annoying to you, and them doing the same back to you. You’re going to have to work with people in any job, ever, except maybe a lighthouse keeper. So you need to figure out what part of that is bad.

      Feeling like you can’t get ahead happens in every job. You will never be constantly praised and rewarded, and you will never work on Important Work every single minute, so there will always be days where you feel like you’re dead-ending. You’ll need to figure out what kind of recognition/ accomplishment you need, how often it needs to happen, etc, so you can then find ways to ask about the culture and see if you’re likely to get that.

    • Same problem :

      I have the same problem with loving to lawyer, but being miserable with work politics. And I do not get to live near family. So I am really into my garden. Why are columbines easy to grow for everyone but me? Why are the oregano and mint plans thriving? Thoughts on your situation:

      You spend the majority of your time at work.

      Have you hypothesized how you would invest all of the money you would save by not living in DC or NY?

      I keep meeting people who are very happy with their moves to PA: Pittsburgh and Phila.

      What is your concern with the smaller market? A lot of lawyering gets done in smaller markets.

      So many people get welcomed back to DC and NY after they have tried a different experience elsewhere. People in these cities love hearing about how you got down with clients but could not live without whatever it is that people love about the Northeast.

      You are single in your 30s where you live now. Are you contemplating a move to a farm? I do not understand. Most of my DC friends in that demographic have given up or move away and immediately find a great partner. It must be the dating apps.

      Go for it! If your best and worse case scenario is a job offer and a move, you have some time in between to visit this place, meet these people, and get some first impressions.

  2. Bay Area woes :

    I moved back to the Bay Area last year (I spent my whole life here before college) and it’s really hitting me how bad the inequality is these days. There are tons of insanely rich people and houses selling for 500K+ over asking, but then there are tent cities under underpasses in San Francisco and a bunch of cities in the East Bay, my field of work exposes me to the vast health inequalities among the different neighborhoods in Oakland, homeless people are everywhere, and it just feels really hard sometimes to make a life here. When I feel like I am struggling with the incredibly high cost of housing, it becomes clear that I’m lucky to even have my one-bedroom apartment at all when so many others are suffering, but at the same time, it makes it really hard to save for the future and build up an emergency fund when the COL is so high. I’m not sure what I’m really asking here – maybe advice on dealing with it all? I would like to start volunteering to try to give back in some way, but I wonder if there are other ways to address some of the problems here – lobbying local politicians or something. I know that nothing will get better if ordinary citizens try to hide from the problems, but I guess the problems seem so intractable that I don’t know where to start. I also don’t intend to live here forever, so I’m not sure what makes the most sense for getting involved for only the next few years. Any ideas?

    • I moved.

      • Bay Area woes :

        Where? Did it improve things for you?

        • Chicago.

          No, it did not improve feelings of inequity in the world. Life in the US and probably much of the world is unfair, and most people ultimately do what benefits them. Chicago actually put different inequities right in my face. Terrible segregation with more open Trumpisms and racism, and often severe poverty and violence. You should see what it is like to be homeless in Chicago….. I’d pick San Francisco too! But remember, many of those living under the bridge struggle with mental illness and our health care of the severely mentally ill is TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE in this country. So if you really want an issue to rally around… there is your issues. You are never going to make the Bay Area affordable.

          With the incredible improvement in cost of living and quality of life in Chicago, it gave me time to volunteer and really make an impact in things that are important to me.

          I also work in health care and the staggering inequities are very upsetting to me. I try to educate my Bay Area living-in-a-bubble friends and family by sharing my own experiences to give them a perspective. Doesn’t help much because they are so rich and removed from the real world.

          But you do realize you are living in perhaps the most expensive and desirable area of the country, yes? So of course it will never be fair or attainable for most of us, or those of us that will work to serve in that area.

    • blueberries :

      In Palo Alto, there’s a group called Palo Alto Forward that advocates for policies that permit more housing in Palo Alto (like letting people build granny units). This isn’t going to solve the inequality you write about, but increasing supply, if taken up all across the area, could help ease the pressure on housing stock and make it possible for more people to stay in the area. You could get involved with this group or something similar.

      • anon in sv :

        Things really are bad. Nothing is going to improve until the suburbs allow for significantly increased housing density and public transportation access. Both of which are apparently anathema to many communities around me, especially Palo Alto. Participating in local elections helps, getting more young people like you to vote in those elections and advocate for increased housing helps, and I think maybe also supporting statewide efforts to restrict the number of hoops/amount of red tape impeding construction permits and restrictive zoning.

        But that only addresses people who can hypothetically afford housing if there was more of it, not those who are homeless and need below-market housing and/or services.

    • I would probably move. I also grew up in the Bay Area (in San Mateo), and am several-generations Bay Area (my great-great grandfather moved there in the 1850s).

      I have a JD and work in finance and can’t afford to live in the Bay Area. I live in New Jersey, where you can buy a house for 400k.

      I really feel your pain though. The situation in the Bay Area is heart-breaking.

  3. Career suicide? :

    DH recently moved from a Big4 to a regional bank for internal audit. Part of the reason for the move is for better hours so he has time to study for his CPA exam we are also going to TTC in the next year so this move with more flexibility would position us well later on. I thought this was a great move because he’s no longer as stressed and depressed in a toxic work environment and we have more time together. Dramatic improvemt in his mental health can be seen. Before, we would only be able to have dinner together 2x a week and he would be home around midnight almost daily.

    A few people have mentioned that this is career suicide and DH should stick it it for the next 7 years to make junior partner. Partner track was never something on our radar and honestly, I want a present spouse and partner especially when we have kids later on. We are both around 30 so many people have said it was a bad move too early in his career.

    I guess I just the hive’s opinion on whether or. Or you would’ve chosen this path. Mental health and family or the grind and prestige that comes with it?

    • What good is prestige if your mental health is in the dumps? Seriously, kudos to your DH for doing what’s right for him, not everyone else.

    • Based on the fact he is not yet a CPA, I’m going to assume your DH is pretty junior, like 2-3 years of experience at most. Yes, this move will limit him on certain kinds of jobs, like being a CFO in most cases. But that is hardly career suicide – he will still have a lot of options available to him, especially once he completes his CPA.

      Generally, people are advised to make manager (so 5-7 years) in a Big4 before going private, not partner, since at that point it is REALLY hard to get a job at comparable pay in a lot of cases. But I’ve known people who have left after a year, and people who really thought public accounting would be their career and who left after 12 years. Accountants are so in demand right now that it’s hard to make a career “mistake” unless you are looking to get to a very specific goal.

      • Career suicide? :

        He’s a senior with 5 years of experience. He has been taking the exam on and off for the past two years because whatever parts he passed before ended up expiring during busy seasons. Maybe he could’ve studied more but really, he was tired and burnt out all the time that I don’t blame him for not passing all 4 parts sooner. Kudos to those that made it work while at Big 4 but it’s not easy.

        Thank you for the input so far. I wanted a guy check that I did not steer DH in the wrong direction. His career may stagnate a big bow but I think it’s the right decision in the long run.

        • If he’s been struggling to get his certificate, then I think you guys made the right call. I actually advised someone I mentor to do the same thing a few months ago – she’d been in public accounting six year and was a senior, but kept losing exam parts over busy season and when having a baby. Once she went to industry she was so much happier.

      • [deleted]

    • A couple years’ experience in Big4 is all you need for any accounting job I’ve ever seen, and few require that (it’s just a nice to have). I’d argue that the CPA is more important, but of course I am a CPA and never worked Big4, so I’m probably biased. :) Junior Partner is pretty far away if he’s already 30 and hasn’t passed the exam yet? I’d definitely choose mental health and family time over staying another decade at a Big4.

      Seriously, I don’t think partner in accounting comes with the same prestige as partner in law. If he’s happy and you’re happy, you guys are fine and so is his career!

      • Career suicide? :

        Thank you.

      • This. I’m in Canada, but worked public practice for a few years (most of them subcontracting from home while having kids) and then moved to industry because I tax season is really rough on a family. I’ve always felt my designation was super valuable, and my public practice experience was very valuable as far as my skills and knowledge of accounting goes, but people who haven’t been in public practice don’t always understand what an asset it is.

        In my opinion work life balance and mental health are so much more important than prestige. So much more. And I agree that partner in an accounting firm is not the same as a law partner. My dad was a partner in a regional turned national firm. My brother is a lawyer that owns his own practice. Law definitely seems to pay better.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t understand. He has already made the move, right? So what does it matter that partner track would have been 7 more yrs. Are people suggesting he should go back?? The only way he should go back is if he doesn’t like his current job/misses his old environment; that would be a decent reason – he checked out a regional bank and it wasn’t for him and he prefers a client service role. But that doesn’t sound like the case. Sounds like he’s happier – mental health is visibly improved, so why go back to a position that made him unhappy. This is not career suicide. It’s a different path certainly – and by taking that path maybe some doors are closed to him (but presumably others are open – what if he moves up over the yrs to be c-suite in a regional bank – someone has to, would that be bad??). Ignore the noise.

      • Career suicide? :

        Yes, he has already made he move and people are suggesting that he made a mistake and should donabck. Granted, the people making these comments don’t even work in accounting or any related field. He just see it as leaning out too early.

        Thanks for the comment about ignoring the noise.

    • People in public accounting think that going to private accounting is the Worst Thing Ever and like to give you dire warnings. There’s a lot of drinking the Koolaid in public accounting. It’s the only way they can convince you to work 70-80+ hour weeks for months on end for a $70,000 salary while harping endlessly on your billable hours, your realization, your efficiency, etc. Most people work in public accounting for 3-5 years and then move on.

      When I left, people made it sound like my life and my career would be over. You know what? I work 2/3 the hours for the same pay and I am not an anxious wreck 24/7. I have friends, hobbies, and I get to see my kid before she goes to bed at night. That to me is a win. Will I ever have the title “partner”? No. Oh well.

      Also, there is a range of public accounting. Not all firms are big 4. I worked at a large regional firm with a 1700 billable hours per year target (which doesn’t sound bad until you realize that tax season is only 6 months of the year), but some of the other public accounting firms in my town are a lot more chill and have much more relaxed requirements. Once your husband passes the exam, if he wants to go back, he can probably go anywhere with his big 4 experience, including to other public accounting firms that are more work/life balance friendly if he wants to.

      But no, this is in no way “career suicide”.

      • CPA here and this is exactly what I would’ve wrote. I seriously don’t know why people stay in public. I like to get paid for the hours I work…

      • As a side note this is what I’ve done:

        1) public auditing for 3 years followed by public tax for 3 years.ended at 72k with significant unpaid OT.

        2) private tax position for 2 years. 4 weeks of OT per year otherwise 40 hrs. $91k amazing benefits.Company went under and I also had a baby so…

        3) public acct with strict max of 30 hours per week. $75k

        I would never want to be a partner. The partner I work for said she hasnt slept more than 4 hrs a night in 10 years due to anxiety. That can’t be good for you.

      • I moved from a staff accountant position at a small firm to a senior accountant position at a large international public company, and then when I was promoted I had more than doubled my salary from the small firm with way, way better benefits. Not to mention month end is so much more reasonable (even with the one day tight close we had) than tax season. Public accounting gabpve me an amazing accounting foundation but industry is where it’s at.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Sound like you both are getting what you want, so forget everyone else. Celebrate that you want the same thing as your spouse, because it really only affects you two.

      At the best they are offering you advice to get a life that they misunderstood you to want by pointing out something that you already know (that it’s hard/impossible to switch back) – at worst they are forgetting that you are not them. Neither makes them horrible people – but you don’t have to listen either way. Keep going with what’s making you both happy and makes sense for your life together.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      All that matters is that you two are happy and can pay the bills. You don’t need an extravagant lifestyle and those who do make partner at a Big4 or BigLaw may have great professional lives, but nonexistent personal lives. What good is having the prestige and fat paycheck if you can’t enjoy your life. To each his/her own.

  4. Hard Choice :

    Anyone want to share any stories (good or bad) about having a baby with someone you just stated dating?

    • A friend got pregnant on the third date (or somewhere around then) after birth control pill failure, decided to have the baby and stay with the father, loves motherhood, and just got married to the father (baby about 2 years old now). It really worked out well for them, but she considered all her options and definitely hadn’t intended to get pregnant. If you are in this position now, consider what YOU want, first and foremost, and then see if you are able/interested in building a life with the father. Things can work out and they can also not, but it helps to know what you WANT to do before deciding if you CAN do it.

    • I have a few questions about your post to get you more relevant replies.

      (1) Is this a not yet conceived baby? (Different issue make vs. keep)
      (2) If not yet conceived, is this a joint decision with that person?
      (3) If yes, does he also want a baby or is he just agreeing to provide you what you need to make the baby?

    • Anon for this :

      Husband’s good friend had been a long term relationships only kind of guy. Had his heartbroken. Decided to have his first one night stand. Got her pregnant. Married her. Friends and family were very concerned this was a bad idea. According to FB, they are still happily married, they have another kid, a house and a dog. Worked for them, won’t work for everyone.

      • This sounds like a real life (possibly happier…!) version of Catastrophe on Amazon Prime!

      • But also, FB can be incredibly fake.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 listen to this episode of hidden brain

      • Anon for this :

        I just have to say that the world seems so unfair sometimes. Why is it that a good chunk of the people I know have gotten pregnant didn’t want to be and at the same time a good chunk of the people I know who want to be can’t get pregnant. Why can’t the universe just balance this out? Just to be clear, I’m not saying the pregnant people should give their babies to the not pregnant people. I mean, hey universe, get the people who want to be pregnant pregnant and leave the people who don’t want to be pregnant alone!

    • Also anon for this :

      Good friend is currently having a baby after planning to conceive with someone she’d been dating for a few months. She figured they were old enough and she’s close enough to declining fertility (late 30s) that it didn’t make sense to wait. Two months after she got pregnant, he decided to break up and get back together with his previous partner. They’re still planning to coparent and all, and I think he’ll be a good coparent, but it’s not the situation she envisioned when they decided to TTC.

    • Based on your username, I’m guessing that this was unplanned and you’re trying to decide what to do? No experience/advice but I wish you good luck, no matter what your decision is.

    • Sassyfras :

      I got pregnant after dating this guy for just over a year. We were already engaged, so a whirlwind romance any way you look at it. Getting through the first year with a newborn was tough since we didn’t have years of a rock solid foundation to draw upon. That being said, I know people who have been together for a decade and still struggled through that time. The baby was an oopsie and I do wish we would have had more time together, just the two of us… but we are a happy family, daughter is 2.5 now.

    • Anonymous :

      A few years ago, a friend of mine got pregnant by a guy she’d been dating for two months. They both already had kids from previous marriages. They originally decided to keep the baby and raise her as friendly coparents. But they kept dating, and when the baby was about 18 months old, they got married. Then, my friend had an affair – she met someone who she described as the “man of her dreams, I just met him too late” – and she and her husband broke up, pretty ugly divorce. She’s still with the guy she had the affair with. There’s no moral to the story here. Just, this is what happened.

      There are so many factors here. There’s a lot you don’t know about someone a few weeks or months into dating them. Having a child with someone ties you to them in an irrevocable way for the rest of your life. If you’re facing an already-happened pregnancy, you have options. Good luck to you.

    • I dated a guy for a while who had an unplanned pregnancy with a woman he’d only dated for a few weeks. They broke things off romantically to focus on figuring out how to co-parent. They never got back together, and she married when their daughter was about two. They had a very solid co-parenting relationship – to the point that they socialized a fair amount (like, family dinner every couple of weeks) and he and his daughter’s stepfather became independent friends and ultimately got season tickets to one of our local sports teams so that they could take the daughter to games together.

      He wasn’t right for me for a variety of reasons, but his/their maturity in handling the situation was really impressive. I think it helped that there wasn’t an emotional relationship, really, between him and the mother of his child – they hadn’t really formed a strong attachment by the time the pregnancy occurred.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I know another story like this, with different details of course. I think what made it work was that the parents were committed to making coparenting work, at the expense of ego, of romance, of everything else. And they were generally mature and level headed and had mostly aligned ideas about parenting.

    • Anonymous :

      It generally worked out – we got married when our kiddo was ~1 yr old, and I am currently gestating #2.

      However — we knew each other for years before dating, so this is maybe not the story you’re looking for. We had just started dating, and decided (perhaps foolishly) to have a baby together in the first, say, 6 months. Or two months. Depends on which of us you ask ;). I had an easy pregnancy, which I think was very helpful in terms of our …not driving each other crazy.

      Honestly the first 6 mo of baby’s life were HARD. I mean, I know they’re hard for everyone, but we got into a lot of arguments that probably could have been hashed out before we had a kid. Division of labor, time alone and together, things like that. It’s not that any of them was particularly insurmountable, it was that we were both running on very little sleep, had a thing that required very high input with very low output, and frankly, were still getting to know each other.

      Good luck; I would not want to make the hard choice you are facing right now.

    • Anonymous :

      Y’all might remember this thread from a few months ago but I’ll retell the story now. My best friend conceived (on purpose) with her bf of several months, within about a month of moving in together. He relapsed into a fairly recently “recovered” drug addiction almost immediately upon conception. Best friend terminated the pregnancy and it was absolutely the right decision for her.

      Like others said– clearly not the experience for everyone. Just an anecdote.

    • I know someone who got pregnant 1 month into a relationship. Everything was fine until the baby was born. They had different views on how to raise a child and it became a terrible situation for all involved. Needless to say they broke up shortly after the child was born. Luckily they were able to avoid going to court over child support and parenting time, but it was pretty ugly for awhile and still isn’t that great.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I know one couple – they had only been dating about two months when the woman got pregnant. She was financially secure and decided that she was going to have the baby but told the guy (my friend) he was completely off the hook. Long story short, they started to coparent, realized they liked each other quite a bit, got married and had another baby. Totally anecdata but it worked out well for both of them.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a friend that accidentally got pregnant after about a month of dating — they’re now happily married. It can definitely work out, but it depends on how you feel about the other person. I think you probably have an idea of whether or not you want a long term partnership with this person, even after a few dates. Go with your instincts.

      • My freind Lorie met a guy and within a month she had had s-x with him and got pregenant right away. She was very strictley brought up and her father was very mad that she had had s-x with this guy so soon, and she was onley dateing him for a few weeks when she started haveing sex and she did NOT have protection from his sperm. As it turned out she DID have the baby, but did NOT marry that guy. She was very pretty so other guys were lining up to date her (and one guy married her), so it turned out OK for her, b/c she is STILL married to the guy who married her. YAY!!!

    • Anonymous :

      My best friend was born 363 days after her parents first date and she just turned 29 and her parents are one of the cutest couples I know :-)

    • I have a couple of friends who have gotten pregnant unexpectedly while dating the fathers of their children. In both cases they’re still in relationships with the fathers, but I know they’ve struggled a lot. I don’t think they’d still be in the relationships if it weren’t for the babies.

    • That was my Aunt and Uncle. They were married until his death around age 75, happy and quite successful too. 4 kids, too many grandchildren and now great grandchildren for me to easily count.

    • A friend had a baby with a guy she had just started dating (I think they were together maybe a few months). They’ve now been together 12 years, have an 11 year-old and a 9-year-old and seem happy.
      It wasn’t an ideal situation for either of them but they made it work somehow.

  5. Working remotely :

    Other than word of mouth, how do you find a company that allows remote work? Is there any kind of job search site or something where you can see which companies are best for remote work and/or telecommuting? There are a few companies in my field that I know have some people who work remotely, but I’m not sure if they started out that way, and if I see a job listing for a particular city, it seems odds to apply and then ask “actually I want to work remotely, can I?” How do you find a position that allows it right off the bat?

    • On Indeed, you can search for “remote” as the location.

    • Old golden loafers :

      Do have a look at askamanager dot org. She has a very recent post on niche job boards.

    • The USPTO is known for their telework program and I think they’ve won awards for it. Possibly the orgs giving the awards has a list of the award winners that you could research?

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, it has. It can be very difficult to be hired at the USPTO though. They have lots of applicants for each position.

    • Anonymous :

      Depends which field you’re in. In my experience, most large companies with multiple offices are welcoming to working from a home office. Many companies prefer it these days because it’s a cost savings.

    • My sense is this is geographic – very common in the Bay Area, but see issues up thred.

    • werk and themomproject both have a focus on flexible jobs – not all the listing are for remote work, but a lot of them are.

    • My DH works remote and he found his position through a industry-specific recruiter. Look for a place that actively has remote workers and therefore has a system set up for it.

  6. Anonymous :

    I am interviewing for a job which would have me managing numerous people, both at my home office and overseas. I’ve only ever managed one person at a time, but am eager to stretch my wings in this direction. What do you think I should say in the interview if my lack of having multiple reports arises? Would it be better for me to bring it up interviewer has a chance to mention it?

    • I would like to manage more peeople, but my expereince has been manageing no more then 2 peeople, one of which was Mason, and Lynn, my assistant. The probelem was that the 2 of them hooked up and I wound up haveing to fire Mason b/c he NEVER passed the bar and had s-x with Lynn on the confernece room table. FOOEY! Why can’t peeople work together without taking your pants off? DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • I wouldn’t bring it up, but be prepared to say something confident along the lines of “my management experience draws on x skill and I enjoyed x part of the job. I look forward to learning more about this team, working with them, and learning from their experience. I believe my skills of x and x will be an asset in this management role.”

    • marketingchic :

      Have you ever managed a project that involved people that didn’t report directly to you? If you have experience coordinating a team of any type, use that.

    • I went from a job managing nobody to a job managing 10 (yes count’em – 10!) at one shot. In my previous job, I was a consultant so though I didnt directly manage anyone, I worked on project teams where I was assigned analysts to the project, so I temporarily and sort-of managed them.
      I was just confident in my interview and talked through my management skills/experience (esp. in difficult situations).
      This is all to say – you can totally do it! Go rock that interview :)

  7. Baconpancakes :

    Anyone into gingham this season? I’ve decided I’m going to go with this trend, and am looking for a black and white gingham shirt. Short sleeve or sleeveless, casual-Friday work appropriate. Any suggestions?

    • JCrew gingham popover? https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/shirtsandtops/casualshirts/gathered-popover-shirt-in-microgingham/E8858?srcCode=GGBS00006_99104564718_200317638_15965730078_18283950120_c_pla_multichannel_pla-18283950120_9007325&sale=true&isSaleItem=true&sisearchengine=197&siproduct=E8858&noPopUp=true&source=googlePLA&lsft=srcCode:GGBS00006_99104564718_200317638_15965730078_18283950120_c_pla_multichannel_online__9007325&gclid=CMSn5ve22dMCFdWNswodlZYExQ

      I’m a 34C and a 4 fits nicely – no gapping.

    • https://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi41844&defaultColor=3714&N=0&Ntt=gingham&selectedConcept=


    • TorontoNewbie :

      BR has a bunch of stuff right now.

      • TorontoNewbie :


        http://bananarepublic.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=588194003 (no shoulder)

        http://bananarepublic.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=590760003 (blazer)

        http://bananarepublic.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=587256003 (dress that sort of looks like you rolled in a picnic table cloth but I kinda like it anyway)

    • jcrew factory has a bunch & you can get an extra 35% off promo from gilt (gratis).

  8. Keep or return :

    Got these Clarks maryjanes on a whim, they are a really nice tan color not as dark as in the photo. But now I wonder if the look is a little too old for me, I’m in my thirties and was planning on wearing them with dark colored jeans or pants for networking events or to work sometimes. I am in a very casual environment. One of the reasons I am considering keeping them is they are actually comfortable and I can walk in them and the heel works for me since I rarely heels. I have thought of wearing them with dresses or skirts but what colors go well with tan.

    • Keep or return :


    • Anonymous :

      You know your job/industry best – but I would not wear those to a networking event or to work, since I’m not 7 yrs old.

    • Return. I can’t decide if they’re for a 7-year-old or a 70-year-old. And I think these would look weird with a dress–they’re too chunky, and IME the strap across the foot cuts off and shortens your leg too much. Buy some cute, comfortable flats instead.

    • Anonymous :

      Please don’t wear these shoes.

    • Commuting shoes at most.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I like them. Guess I’m the odd one out. I’m looking at the maroon ones though.

    • S in Chicago :

      I like the black version not the other. With tights in cold months that could be nice.

    • Anonymous :

      I would keep them in black. With long pants (not a skinny or ankle pant), you’re not going to see the weird velcro strap (why are they so popular this season???), only the tip of the shoes, which looks fine. I would not keep the brown ones because I’m really a fan of that color with pants.

    • Hideous. Sorry

      • I actually bookmarked these this morning :

        I was looking at these in black this morning. I have really narrow heels and flats won’t stay on, so I really need the strap. They may not be fabulous, but sometimes you just need something like these.

  9. I was nominated to apply (eye roll) for a leadership training program with my company. It’s new so there is no way to tell if it would actually benefit my career. I do think I’d be good in a leadership role, although in more of a “strategic direction and financial decisions” position than an “I’d love to manage a bunch of people” kind of position.

    I’m going to apply, because it’s silly not to. BUT. The application focuses heavily on the (private) company’s (evangelical) values – servant leadership and the like. I’m not UNcomfortable with it (I mean, I’ve worked there just fine for over a year, with no problem!), but it’s also not something I’m entirely comfortable with? I’m straight, white, Catholic woman – pretty darn mainstream! – but my previous experience is in Fortune 100 companies where this is not a Thing.

    Anyway…do you think it’s possible to answer those types of questions honestly without hurting my chances of being accepted? Or maybe it’s for the best to not be accepted because my values just aren’t the same?

    • Can you focus instead on specifics, not terminology? My father was the head of church administration in a large, evangelical church for years, and they used terms like “servant leadership.” But he would have been a kick-*ss VP at a Fortune 500 because the skills are similar even if the environment is different. So, where they ask about “servant leadership,” talk about how you have listened to ideas, reached out and involved people in the process, collaborated across teams, mentored people junior to you, prioritized the needs of the organization, etc.

      • hoola hoopa :

        +1 I definitely think you can unpackage the terms and answer the questions in a secular manor.

        IME with corporate life (outside of a company with religion-aligned values), everything is tied back to mission statements and official company values. I’m assuming the questions you’re seeing tie directly to the mission statement and stated values of your company, but the reviewers are looking for business-looking answers rather than personal spiritual ones, so I think you’d be right in line.

        FWIW, I did a similar program with my company about 7 years ago and it was worthwhile in the end. I was identified as ‘promotion material’ and as someone interested and willing to do more to provide value to the company, I was able to meet upper leadership in conditions where they actually knew my name and skills, and I learned some useful things in the training sessions. I had to wait ~ 5 years before the appropriate leadership opportunity opened up, but I was the preferred candidate, and it was a move that was half more strategic involvement and half management. I’m also more interested in strategic involvement than straight up management.

  10. For those of you who did the opposite of what I requested Tuesday and talked me INTO a lob… thank you! I ended up doing it and I’m sort of obsessed. My hair feels so fresh and on-trend. I got a very blunt, textured cut the length of my collarbones (it looks a lot like the photo of Emilia Clarke I shared). My stylist did an amazing job. I’ve already worn it both stick-straight and messy-wavy and it looks great both ways. Of course, it’s only been 3 days and I will have to spend more time styling it than I did before, but I think it will be worth it.

    For anyone else on the fence, do it!

  11. sister in law money advice please :

    My husband and I have helped his family out with money for a long time. His sister went to college late and now has a job but she’s just starting out at almost 30. She is self-supporting right now but has very little cushion. Health costs for example are a challenge. I know my SIL has some debt from school and we are considering offering to pay it off or cut it down significantly (not sure how much she has). My thought is that we’ll be financially connected to her (and her mother) for years. Perhaps by giving her a chance now to start building some savings, we set her up for greater financial independence and happiness. I worry about how it might change our relationship or hurt her pride. And how it would underline the differences in finances across the whole family. Looking for thoughts/advice. Thanks in advance.

    • I would not do this. I’m not seeing any reason to if she’s supporting herself. If she needs help with a specific health cost, that might be a different thing, but I would not offer to pay off her debts for her.

    • Anonymous :

      Right off the bat, I don’t know if I’d do this. She’s just starting out and is under 30. Let her work on paying off her debt and building her own savings – just as you did at 22 or 25 or whenever you started out. She’s not asking for the money and it doesn’t sound like she’s struggling. The most I’d do is have DH let her know that you all are there should a need ever arise financially. But I wouldn’t open the door to paying monthly bills/paying off her debt bc how do you guarantee that she doesn’t start to expect that/become dependent on it?

    • I probably wouldn’t do this. If I did, I would do it as a one-time, no-strings-attached gift. But I don’t see why you can’t give her a one-time, no-strings-attached gift if a health need/crisis arises. It also sounds like it wouldn’t be no-strings-attached because you would want her to use the money she’s not spending on loans to build some savings and become financially independent. There’s just no way to control what she does with the “extra” money–all you can do is not offer to help/say no to helping in the future, which would be harder if there was a significant health issue and she hadn’t saved to cover it.

    • Anonymous :

      I second the advice to not do this. I would let her know that you’ll be a safety net for her in emergencies that aren’t her own fault (e.g., she’s laid off and can’t afford to obtain very expensive private health insurance, you’ll keep her insured), and then follow through with that promise if something happens. But paying off a huge chunk of debt right off the bat is likely only going to encourage her to develop irresponsible spending habits.

      • It sounds like maybe she already knows that OP is a safety net. I wouldn’t go too far down the promises trail if you think that it will discourage her from forming her own emergency fund because she knows that she always has a backup.

    • anon a mouse :

      I think it’s great that you want to help her achieve financial independence, but think about how best to get there. Lightening her load is only one piece of it. I think it has to come from a place of teaching, and helping her get overall budgeting and financial planning skills. If it fits with your ethos, something like offering to pay for her to attend Financial Peace University might be a good start, and then you could offer to match her debt payments or something, depending on her attitude.

    • Anonymous :

      I would do it as a one time gift (assuming she would understand it to be a one time thing and use the money responsibly) if I could swing it financially, unless as you point out, it would change the relationship, hurt her pride, etc. Hurting her pride would be a major concern for me too, probably more so than whether or not she would use the money responsibly or become dependent.

    • My parents ‘refinanced’ about $25,000 of my student loans when I was going through a divorce [driven in large part by my now ex-husbands addiction and draining of our joint accounts.] They let me wait 5 months before beginning payments, and did charge me interest but at some low amount, 2.5%, maybe?

      It was enormously helpful during an already stressful time. I would have been too proud to accept a straight-up gift of this amount, but I graciously accepted the loan. Perhaps you could consider something similar if you want to help and if she expresses an interest?

      • Anonymous :

        My parents did something similar (though I wasn’t doing a divorce at the time). Refinanced at 1%, and the last few years, they’ve taken my payments and turned around to make a contribution to my IRA.

        • Anonymous :

          That is to say – that’s an alternative. Let her sort out her financial house (debt/savings), but help give her a leg up by contributing to an IRA, since the earlier you start the investing, the better, and it might not be something she can get to early on if she’s juggling debt.

      • Did this too :

        We did this for a family member, basically paid off their super high interest loan and gave them a super low interest loan with us (something like 7% down to 2%). This worked because both parties are on the same page about financial values, and thus, we have a written contract and a timeframe for paying off the loan. We get a check every month for the loan payment and no one ever talks about it. My parents have done this for other family members, giving them a low-rate loan to pay off a high-rate loan, and in each case, it’s worked out. I think the key is making sure that both parties are on the EXACT same page, and then you just don’t really talk about it again. In all cases, no one cares how the loan recipient spends the “extra” money, as long as we each get our checks. You want to be paying off this loan for 10 years instead of 5 so you can go on a fancy vacation? Fine. You want to pay it off right now because you got a windfall. Perfect, pay it off in full. Basically, we’re not relying on the interest, so it doesn’t really matter if they pay it off early. And we can afford to go without the initial sum, so it doesn’t matter if they pay it off over a longer period.

        • Anonymous :

          My parents did this for my student loans. My provider was a nightmare and I was going to refinance anyway. My parents gave me the interest rate I was quoted for the refinance and it works for both of us. Low interest was way better than they’d get for their money at the bank and they didn’t want to put the money in the stock market. I set up automatic transfer so it gets paid every month without anyone having to do anything.

    • Do it if you want to give a generous, no-strings-attached gift. Don’t do it if you have any other motivations.

    • Why not start a Roth IRA for her at the maximum contribution amount? That will free her up to put more money towards her loans, and encourage her to apply her own savings towards the account when she has the ability to do so in the future. Since she is young, she cannot touch the money without financial consequences, and the long term gains will have more time to work in her favor. Win-win?

  12. Anonymous :

    There have been a few threads lately about women having babies alone – good for you and I’m vaguely jealous. Question – do all of you really have families that support this or will you distance yourself from people not to hear their negativity? I can’t imagine any scenario in which my family would accept that I’m having a baby alone at 35 or 40 – there would be yelling; tears and attempts to talk me out of it. As for the extended (Asian) family – ppl would whisper behind your back and likely say rude things to your face for life. It’s not something I’m considering but I’m truly curious – are American families (of these posters not the whole nation) 100% on board bc – yay babies! Or does it become one of those – I want this and am 40 so I’m not asking permission – things?

    • Anonymous :

      I’m Caucasian. My parents wouldn’t be yelling and screaming or making fun of me, but I don’t think they’d be 100% supportive. I think they’d try to talk me out of it (under the guise of being worried about me handling it alone, not judgment about what it would look like to outsiders) and if they didn’t succeed, they would sort of adopt an ‘Ok, do what you want, but we’re not going to be there to bail you out when it all goes wrong” attitude. My parents are not baby-crazy though like a lot of my friends’ parents. I’m actually currently pregnant (with a spouse) and my parents are excited and happy but don’t do seem to be rearranging their whole lives to be The World’s Best Grandparents the way many of my friends’ parents have.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m 34, almost 35, and always thought this (having a baby on my own) was absolutely not an option. The past few months I’ve been considering it more, to the point of figuring out how I might make it work.

      I mentioned it to my mom, as a remote possibility, and she was entirely not surprised or upset. She and my dad would be thrilled. My sister il law told me, several years ago, that they would be so so happy if I were to get pregnant with a one night stand.

      I’m American, with a fairly traditional family structure.

      • Anonymous :

        To answer your actual question, it’s more of a ‘yay! babies!’ thing. My parents are also most likely open to helping out a lot, including financially. Their support would make a difference in my decision. If they were indifferent or very negative, probably would push me to not have a baby on my own,

        • OG Monday :

          Same here. I don’t want kids at all, but this is an interesting thought experiment (I’m 35 and single.) My mom would probably be very wide-eyed about the plan, but she’d get behind it out of excitement to have a grandchild. She would probably handle all the PR with my extended family and bring everyone into line. Once the baby was born, I think everyone would be cooing. Getting practical help, on the other hand, would probably be really hard aside from my mom–and even she is still working and not all that available. My Dad is deceased. My siblings would probably be excited, but they have their own lives.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        My parents are SO “yay babies!”

        I think that to the extent I would get pushback, it would come from their inability to see me as an adult — they’d think they’d know what was ‘best’ for me. BUT once they saw my hypothetical had-by-myself baby, they’d be too in love with him/her to care about anything besides kissing her cheeks.

    • Anonymous :

      My mom wanted grandchildren so bad that she I’m sure she would have been 100% supportive and happy if I had decided to go it alone. We were “late” having kids as it was and she could not have been more anxious!

    • Anon for this :

      My parents are religious so I think I’d get a lot of flak for an un-wed pregnancy looking like I had pre-marital sex (the horrors!!) and be pushed to adopt so some less god fearing teenager doesn’t have an abortion. Because that’s how it works. /s

    • My mom recently took me aside, said she thought I should be a mother regardless of whether I ever got married, and offered all her help and support, so yeah, they’d be fine.

    • shamlet96 :

      I’m South Asian and was seriously contemplating this a few months ago (before I got back together with my SO). I’m almost 39 and my mom had hesitation about it at first, but totally came around and was even willing to help. She’s much happier, of course, that I got back together with SO (and we will hopefully start TTC in the next month or so), but it was great to have her support. I think she understood that the clock was ticking and she didn’t want me to miss out on the opportunity to have a child.

      • Yes, I am South Asian – with pretty conservative parents. My sister had artificial insemination, and my parents were just so thrilled about a new grand baby that there was no negativity. And since we all love the baby, and each other, we don’t really care about what other family members think (and frankly, they’ve been nothing but nice about it).

        • Anonymous :

          Wow. OP here – I’m south Asian too. And this really isn’t something I’m planning to do (I don’t think?) but I am SOOO impressed that there are 2 examples of positive south Asian families on this thread; so much of our culture is still about – what will people say; that’s what parents are often thinking even after living in America for 30+ yrs and even if they don’t say it all the time anymore. It’s good to know that some families are moving past that and just want their adult kids to be happy.

          • Legally Brunette :

            I’m South Asian and I know two other desis who did this as well, both in their late 30s — my cousin and another friend. Cousin’s parents (my uncle and aunt) were thrilled to be grandparents and everyone in our family has been very happy for them. I have heard one mumble about how it will be for the child to grow up without a dad, but it was only mentioned once and that’s that. And my friend’s family is very supportive too.

            I feel like having a baby is such a blessing and reason for rejoicing that people can’t help but feel happy for you, even those who are more conservative.

          • Or maybe you’re just realizing that our culture isn’t as homogeneous as you think? I don’t mean that as an attack, but I’m not only South Asian but spent many of my formative years in South Asia, and I rarely recognize myself, my immediate family or my extended family back home in many of the characterizations of South Asian culture on this board.

          • +1 to ezt. I’m also South Asian, although my family probably isn’t as conservative as many other South Asian families I know. I can’t imagine that my parents would care at all. I’d imagine that some of my more distant relatives might be like “oh that’s kind of weird.” but I think my parents would shut it down and I doubt anyone would ever say anything to me about it. My family is very “it’s your own life and you need to make decisions that suit you” about things.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I actually have been realizing that South Asian culture is actually not nearly as conservative as I thought when I was a kid. I always thought that it would be so taboo to marry a non-South Asian, or to get divorced, and it really hasn’t been. But of course, everyone causes drama about very minor things still….just unexpected ones.

    • I’m not in this situation, but honestly, getting pregnant is just the beginning of being judged constantly by everyone you know and lots of people you don’t know. I think you have to think about whether you want to have children without family support/active help, probably more so if you’re planning to do it alone, but your family planning should not take into account the opinions, whispers, or rude comments of others. Deciding to become a parent, whatever your circumstances, will be the first of many big and small decisions that are judged, gossiped and whispered about, and the subject of rude comments.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes and no. Agree with you that the #1 decision is – do you want a child and can you/do you want to do it alone; and I agree that that decision is too important to be made based on gossip alone. I realize that people judge parents constantly – if you kid acts out; do you formula feed; do you really let your child walk to school alone etc. But come on – those are small judgments. Nothing compared to the judgment you’d get in some communities of [gasp] being a single parent. There are communities where it is still father + mother = baby. That is IT. That is the ONLY acceptable combo. Not father + father or mother + mother etc. — those are the same communities that’ll have a lot of opinion on this; and I wouldn’t be shocked if they didn’t include you/act as part of your community when it comes to celebrations, birthdays etc. bc they don’t see your family as real as theirs — making things even lonelier if you are parenting alone.

        • I understand that making a decision that causes complete isolation from your community is a difficult one, and that for many people, choosing to parent alone can be one of these decisions. That would understandably make it a much more difficult decision.

          However, I think the judgment goes on with big things too. I’ve received comments from various members of my or DH’s immediate family on my employment and letting Kiddo be taken care of by a stranger (a wonderful nanny who held everything together for a year) and later to go to daycare, my (temporary) unemployment and inability to support my family, my decisions regarding religious instruction and community, the type of school I may send my kid to, the size of my house, the location of my house, the person I am married to, and whether my child needs a sibling. Granted, we haven’t been isolated from our families for any of these decisions, and I understand that’s a more difficult situation.

          • Anonymous :

            Oh I get it. People will have an opinion on everything you do as if they know better than you whether your child thrives in daycare or public vs. private school or whatever else. But it is different than not being invited to a kid birthday party where you could mingle with other parents and your kid could play – bc they don’t approve of how you brought your kid into the world.

          • I agree, it is different. It wasn’t clear from OP’s post whether that would be the case – she mentioned yelling, crying, attempting to change her mind, whispering behind her back, and saying rude things to her face. I’m part of a supportive family, and those things are pretty much par for the course for any decision I make regarding my kid (although usually just one or two family members at a time, not a united front, which would also be different).

    • Anonymous :

      My family actively wants me to do this because they love me and it would make me happy.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I know two different sets of would-be grandparents who have told me (and we aren’t even very close!) multiple times that they don’t care if their approaching-or-post 40 children are married – they just want grandbabies already. Both are white, upper middle class, highly educated, and moderate-to-liberal politically/socially. One divorced/remarried, the other married for 30+ years. In both cases, they have no other grandchildren and none in the foreseeable horizon. I do believe them that if their children showed up with an unexpected baby, they’d be gleeful and brush over the details. One in particular I could have seen being judgmental if the same thing had happened with their child was 25 or even 30.

      That said, as someone with three kids and a supportive husband and parents, when a friend of mine was considering single parenthood, I was blown away just because it’s so much dang work by yourself. I didn’t discourage her (she’d be a great mother!) but I did feel like I needed to tell her that I’d be personally nervous about going solo now that I know what’s involved. More so that she’d enter it with eyes wide open rather than reconsider. (She ironically met the man of her dreams within a year).

    • a millenial :

      i’m asian american (2nd gen, parents came here 35 years ago) and my parents would be totally on board. my mom especially because she loves kids and the happiness at getting a grandchild would probably outweigh any other factors. my parents tend to be more ‘americanized’ for lack of a better word and at times seem to really enjoy shocking any more culturally conservative family members so i actually think they’d get a partial kick out of it too. im currently 32 and seeing someone but have discussed it with my mom before at 30 and 31 when i was single and my mom was very supportive.

    • Half of my family is very politically and religiously conservative and I got zero negativity from any of them when I became a mother through donor insemination. The only person who was unsure was worried about “how much work” children are (she had 4 in 6 years).

      Whatever they may have been thinking, none of them ever said anything to my face and if they talked behind my back, I did not hear about it. Once my baby arrived, she was generally viewed as the best thing that had ever happened to anyone ever (first grandchild/niece) and has been universally adored. People can surprise you and babies are pretty hard to resist.

      • Legally Brunette :

        Once my baby arrived, she was generally viewed as the best thing that had ever happened to anyone ever (first grandchild/niece) and has been universally adored.

        I love this. :)

    • Seventh Sister :

      My parents would have stated their objections and then became the world’s best grandparents who live far away.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m white and my fairly conservative mother told me out of the blue that she would help me raise a baby if I wanted to have alone. I think people do want babies, but are also much more socially liberally in certain ways even if they don’t politically label themselves that way.

  13. Frivolous question: what color should I get in these? http://www.colehaan.com/womens-zerogrand-wingtip-oxford-gold-metallic/W06494.html?dwvar_W06494_color=Gold%20Metallic

  14. Things going too well? :

    What do you do when things are going really well? I mean, do you ever have the urge to upend things just to see what could be different? I have a wonderfully fulfilling job (could stand more $$, but it’s comfortable), a great close friend circle, a fine-for-now casual relationship, a great place to live, good health, family close by, and adore my city. I have very fulfilling, challenging hobbies as well. I’ve been contemplating a transatlantic move if the right job presented itself, but I’m a bit hesitant because things are very comfortable right now. It’s a bit of a first-world problem, but have you ladies been at any similar points in your life?

    • Anonymous :

      Ha. Yes. Then, my husband left me and my sister tried to kill herself. So maybe take up a hobby (knitting? volunteering for meals on wheels? day-trading small amounts of money in the stock market?) and book a vacation, and be grateful for your life.

    • I don’t think there is a right answer to what you are considering. But just because things are ideal today doesn’t mean they will be tomorrow. You just have to decide if you want to take a risk and try something new.

      One of my favorite sayings is “your comfort zone is a wonderful place to be but not a great place to stay”, and I would love the opportunity to live somewhere new and build something from scratch.

      • Things going too well? :

        Thanks! I do feel the same way. I guess it’s no use worrying about what you can’t see ahead of you.

    • “It’s a bit of a first-world problem, but have you ladies been at any similar points in your life?”

      It’s 100% a first world problem, even under the sarcastic designation of first world problems.

      Sorry, couldn’t resist. (Obviously, I’ve never been in a place in my life like this. /bitter.)

    • Anonymous :

      Same. Basically all of this. No relationship but some flirty things going on and I’m otherwise really content/happy, but I have a couple applications out for jobs abroad which is the only thing I said I’d ever leave for. But it also feels like, why rock the boat?

      So no advice, but know you’re not the only one! It’s not bad. Just…. weird.

      • Things going too well? :

        It *is* weird. That does help! I’m sure things will change at some point, whether we like it or not.

    • Not to be unhelpful, but —yes, then as soon as I think that, sh*t hits the fan, so I try not to think about it at all.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      Honestly, if I was in your position I would just be grateful and enjoy it. I don’t mean that in a snarky way at all! I would love to have a few months or a year with no drama or challenging, life altering events. I would love to be in your shoes right now. That being said, it sounds like your whole life is in your current city. Why uproot it all now?

    • Be grateful and enjoy it. Life changes often (even if it doesn’t always seem like it!) and not always in the way you’d anticipate or expect.

      My life was blissfully boring and fulfilling for the last 4-5 years. Within the last 12 months, DH got laid off and found a new job. For his new job, we moved out of our dream home and ideal city and into a new home and a new city that we don’t like nearly as much. My own employment situation has changed dramatically (there’s both positives and negatives to this!) and I’m 8 weeks pregnant with our first child.

      My life hasn’t been “normal” for the last 11 months, and while I’m grateful that a long of things have worked out well for us (DH’s new job and this pregnancy), it’s been a roller coaster and I do miss our old boring life quite a bit.

    • New Tampanian :

      There are a couple of things here.

      1) Is it possible that you don’t feel worthy of the way life is going for you right now? I know I have often gotten into self destructive behavior for this very reason. Or are you maybe afraid that “the other shoe will drop” because something always goes wrong? –> If yes, therapy time for you.

      2) There are some people who just crave challenge in their lives. It’s not unhealthy. Maybe you’re just ready for the next challenge. I would just caution you to be thoughtful about your actions and any decisions you make.

  15. Anonymous :

    Favorite professional shoes for those who don’t wear heels? I am constantly on the hunt for chic, comfortable shoes- happy feet give me so much more energy!

    • I wear heels at least a few days a week, but I also get a lot of wear out of these flats – http://www.6pm.com/p/michael-michael-kors-sabrina-ballet-black-white-tweed-patent/product/8769169/color/648274

      They’re a little heavy because of the chain detail on the heel. There’s a cheaper version of the shoe w/o the chain, and I’d probably choose that option if I walked a fair amount (to/from subway, 10+ minutes at lunch, etc.) in my work shoes.

    • Old golden loafers :

      Hispanitas, because they are available and not so expensive where I live.

    • Anonymous :

      Dansko Louise – it’s an oxford with a small heel, is super comfy, and you can wear it with socks. I think it’s one of the few cute Dansko styles and looks cuter on your foot than it does in pictures.

      • Just bought these in black and LOVE them with a little ankle showing and invisible socks! Seriously comfortable, and I think pretty cute.

    • Everlane Modern Point loafer.

    • Cole Haan Tali Bow Ballet. Tons of colors on 6pm. Thanks for the Michael Kors recommendation! Those are great.

  16. Favorite healing ointment/creams for lips/scarring/discoloration?

    I had two cold sores on my lip recently and while I was religiously putting coconut oil on them, they still scarred my skin a little bit and I have two dark patches. I’m hoping it’ll go away over time but is there anything else I should be putting on my lips? Thanks hive!

  17. hoola hoopa :

    Question about dresses like this, not this one specifically.

    Is there a body type for which this style is *flattering*? I see them everywhere on style blogs and stores, but not in real life. It definitely seems comfortable and even stylish – but the shapeless box can’t be flattering for anyone, can it?

    • I think it looks better on straighter figures.

    • Marshmallow :

      Not a straight figure here and I like dresses like this for the weekend. As long as it fits loosely throughout (not clinging on hips or bust) it’s cute and draws attention to your legs.

      • This.

        When I was young, I used to wear cotton/crepe shapeless, but quite short dresses. I am very slender, tall with no chest. I would wear them with heels, or sometimes a very cute flat. And the whole point is your legs, and being incredibly comfortable.

        But this dress is hideous, and the cut is nothing like what I would wear. The top looks so heavy and just drags you down. These short shapeless dresses look best when they look light and floating.

    • Tiny people with straight figures. Nobody else looks good wearing shapeless sacks.

      • I am a tiny person with a straight figure, and dresses like this look like I am wearing a potato sack. I have no idea who could look good wearing this.

    • I’m wearing a dress in the same shape right now. Is it the most flattering thing I own? Definitely not, but it makes me feel modern and on-trend and pleasantly like IDGAF about being pleasing to the male gaze. and it’s also comfy AF.

  18. I am an honorary bridesmaid in my best friends wedding in July. She round like me to wear a navy dress with gold or nudish shoes. Seems easy except that I require tall dresses. Pleeeaasse help! Any ideas? I generally at 4/6 tall.

    I feel like I’ve looked everywhere

    • Floor-length or knee-length dress?

      • Asos has a dress called “Kate lace” that comes in navy and tall in both floor-length and below-the-knee versions.

        • Great find but they’re all put of stock :(. A uk4 is a US2 which I definitely can’t do. She wants knee length.

        • If I can’t find anything else maybe I’ll get the tall navy maxi and have it altered. Just not sure if I can fit in a uk6 asked that’s the largest available. I really like this. Thanks for finding. I wonder if the lace cap sleeve will make my arms look fatter? I would normally never buy a cap sleeve. I guess I could have those removed while I’m at it…

    • Marshmallow :

      I’m going to assume floor-length. Try Dessy brands– I recall they had a lot of “tall” options and some of their dresses are kept perpetually in stock so you can order with a normal shipping time, unlike most other true bridesmaid dresses that are made to order.

    • Ann Taylor has some pretty dresses in navy and tall right now, like this one:


    • Calling all vicarious interior decorators! :

      J Crew has bridesmaid appropriate navy dresses in tall. Looks like they are veering quite ruffly this season though…

    • Could you wear a regular size in a midi length?

    • How formal? Have you checked J Crew?

  19. A coworker I like and respect is getting a bad performance review for reasons that, while having some basis in reality, are totally bogus.

    This is damaging coworker’s long term career plans and has hurt them to the point where they are considering burning all bridges just to get out. This coworker is also just… totally burned out. They were the rockstar who somebody just pushed too far for too long and now they’re just done.

    Is there anything I can do? I’ve offered to be a reference, reach out to my network on behalf of the person, and edit anything they need.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been your coworker. Honestly I don’t think there’s anything any of my coworkers or mentors could have done – short of changing management’s mind and thus my performance reviews and long term trajectory at the firm – and that was all out of their hands. Let him/her be the guide. Offer to reach out to your network, link them up with recruiters and explicitly tell them – that you are available for them to bounce ideas off of and then just leave it there; they will take you up on it or not. Or they’ll be like me – miserable depressed for 18 months, then find themselves a job just to re enter the market and find they really don’t like that job and want one like the old one and THEN make use of your offers of help. (And sometimes people don’t do that on purpose – for me I was so so incredibly burnt out and felt like the walls were closing in that I couldn’t handle anything else, no matter how much others wanted me to go to another great job right away.)

      • Thanks.

        I’m also encouraging coworker to take a week or two off (acceptable in my workplace as we’re between big projects) and disconnect a bit. This is something I encouraged before this as I saw that the burnout was getting to them.

        May this be a lesson to everyone out there who is putting in all the extras, never taking a day off, and working until 3 AM for weeks on end: if you don’t get a break, at some point you may break.

      • Also, I’m so sorry you went through all that. I hope you’re in a better place (mentally and physically) now.

        • Anonymous :

          Thank you. It’s been a few years now and it still feels like a work in progress. Your coworker sounds JUST like how I was – never took days off; maybe took 1-1.5 weeks of vacation per yr even though we got 4 (bc it was one of those client service environments where it was hard to get away while still trying to impress); and 1 am nights in the office were standard. So to then get “bad” reviews – bc they didn’t want to promote me bc they were having money issues but didn’t want to say that so it was easier to push people out – hurt.

          I know I think fondly of (and am very much in touch with) the 1-2 people that cared about me they way you do about him/her. Not happy in my current gig but it’s “easier” as in -40-50 hrs/wk – so I actually have the brain space to think about what I really want and consider ways to pursue it – and those people who cared back then are still instrumental to that process now. So thank YOU for doing for him/her what you’re doing.

  20. Oh shit. It is going down right now.

    My DH is on a year long deployment. We have lived with my BIL for the last 5 years (I truly don’t mind, we each have our own space and we’ve all saved money living together). In a nutshell, my BIL is a lazy POS who has been getting on my nerves recently. I can’t hide it anymore and I’ve been short with him for at least the past 2-3 months. BIL just confronted me and asked why I was “so aggressive towards him”. I’m thinking of keeping it short and simple by saying, “You get on my nerves sometimes, as I’m sure I get on your nerves sometimes.”

    What I really want to say is, “Your laziness astounds me, your constant comments on my mood (Oh you’re in a good mood today! You’re crabby. Something good must have happened today.) is annoying, and your archaic thoughts on society (women, POC, current world events) are beyond disturbing at times. You really irritate me sometimes.”

    My DH has 4 months left. What would you do/say?

    • Anonymous :

      So instead of responding – you’re first going to take a survey of what to say and then sit down and have a meeting of the minds on this? When you could have just talked back to him with a 2 sentence response and been done? Sounds like you’re not so easy to live with either.

    • I’d go with Option A for the next few months but start looking at options for you and your husband to live independently when he returns. Maybe if you have a planned exit, it’ll be easier to keep up appearances. If your husband is on board, you can say something like, “We need some time alone together to reconnect after this deployment” and never have to get into it with BIL.

      • That’s the plan and we’re all on the same page that it’s time to move :) BIL and I actually get along really well and are on different schedules so we don’t really see each other, but over the course of the last few months things have gone down hill. BIL has expressed that he’s hasn’t been in the best state of mind and I know the last few years haven’t been the best for him, so I don’t ask him for much. What little I’ve asked him to do he doesn’t do. So, yeah, I’ve gotten a little annoyed.

    • You both sound really immature honestly. If you care to not make rifts in your DHs family I would put up with it for 4 more months and then more put with husband when he returns. Having roommates can be annoying…that’s why most adults don’t want roommates. You save money but go insane doing it

      • I don’t really know how I sound immature with what limited information I’ve provided while I’m reaching out for advice to try to find the best way to civilly move forward with this…but okay.

    • Coach Laura :

      Top Chef – I’d vote for distracting yourself and avoiding him since you say that you have separate spaces. By way of distraction, plan a trip for you and DH after deployment, start looking at new houses/apartments. Or plan a weekend out of town for you, or a spa trip or even going out for dinner and staying at a hotel for a night. Then avoid him and practice a zen mantra like “I only have to do this for x number of months, then we’re out of here.” Hang in there.

    • What would I do? Apologize for being short, make some generic excuse, and try to keep it bottled in for the next four months. A drama filled confrontation sounds like one of the worst possible endings for your living situation

    • I’ve had success with “you’re pushing my buttons when you keep bringing up [your views on the role of women, the president, my moods, whatever the real issue is], and I think you know it. I think you do it intentionally. You shouldn’t be surprised at my reaction. If you don’t want me to growl at you, don’t poke me.”

      • Thank you. This is very helpful.

      • This will probably start an argument. If the situation you’re in is as tense as you’re describing, then I don’t think this will be a good idea to say. It seems like a good idea because it gives you the temporary satisfaction of calling him out. Keyword there being “temporary”. It takes two to tango, there’s fault in both sides. Do your best to ride it out. Give yourself little rewards (a new nail polish, ice cream, etc). for not taking the bait or reacting.

        • It actually worked for me. My Annoyer proudly called himself a button-pusher for a while and thought himself hilarious, but he really did gradually stop pushing my buttons and we have a much better relationship now. In fact, I believe he considers me his favorite relative now.

  21. Hiring a Nanny :

    I need advice on interviewing nannies. I realized I’ve only ever interviewed for jobs, I’ve never been the interviewer for a role I’m actually looking to fill. I’ve only ever done informational interviews for kids of clients etc where it’s more of a chat and I don’t actually have a vested interest in determining who to hire because there isn’t actually an open position. Now I have to interview for what seems like SUCH an important job and I’m feeling so overwhelmed. Any good questions to ask or things to evaluate or stories (good or bad) about when you hired household help? Thank you so much! I’m more nervous for this weekend of interviewing than I have been for my own job interviews.

    • You probably already know this – you’re required to pay a nanny as an employee.

    • When I interviewed nannies, we spent part of the time making sure that our expectations were aligned in terms of what she’d be doing. For example, I asked if they would feel okay making dinner a couple nights a week for the kids. The one we eventually hired said she would be fine with that if we left instructions for what to give them and it was mostly “heating up” rather than cooking – she didn’t want to be on the hook for having to look in the fridge and figuring out what to make. So we talked through a lot of specifics like that.

      I also asked them to describe what they would do in some hypothetical situations with the kids, and evaluated the answers based on “would I be OK with this?” rather than “is this exactly what I would do?” For example, one scenario was, “How would you handle it if the 3-year-old asked you for a snack and then hit you when you said no?”

      By the end of the conversations, I also had a good sense of who I’d generally get along with well. We’ve had the same nanny for the past 5 years.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      Park Slope Parents has an excellent guide to hiring nannies, as does care.com. I highly recommend using these resources instead of trying to brainstorm questions on your own. To me, the most important elements of nanny hiring are: 1) being absolutely clear about the terms of the job – hours, money, benefits, holidays, etc.; 2) feeling like you can communicate clearly with the nanny; and 3) references, references, references.

      Good luck! It is not easy to find the right person and I wish you the best.

  22. Farm Coop :

    I have a brother who went from being a meat-eating, college football star frat boy to a yoga loving vegetarian who is interested in sustainable farming, healing crystals, and acupuncture in a span of 3 years. It’s been a pretty dramatic transformation. He had some mental health issues at the end of college (a psychotic break that resulted in a two week involuntary hospitalization) and has been on medication and seeing a team of doctors since then. My family wants to encourage and be supportive of his new interests and identity while still being cautious about his health and encouraging him to take things slow and not make huge dramatic changes to his life all at once.

    This week he decided he’s interested in buying 200 acres of forest in upstate New York, where he would like to live in a yurt and “observe the ecosystem” and farm the land. He’s in investment banking right now. What do we do/say?

    And as a side note, is anyone familiar with any type of farming coop type of thing that will allow you to visit and work for a few weeks at a time? I’m wondering if that could be a more gradual introduction to something that could fill what he’s looking for?

    Feeling isolated was a big thing that led to the initial mental health issues, so my family is understandably concerned about the idea of him living alone in a yurt.

    • Ask him to try it before he buys it. Maybe take a couple months off (leave of absence?) and go live in a commune and try farming for a bit.
      Also, NPR (KQED radio) had a “perspectives” session on this by a couple who went to do sustainable farming and realized it wasn’t as much fun (and a lot more hard work beginning at 4am!) than they thought.

    • Ask yourself honestly if you think he’ll really listen to you. I understand your totally valid instinct to try to protect him from himself, but if you think he’s going to go ahead and do it anyway, don’t keep trying over and over to stop him. It will only make things more stressful for yourself.

    • Here’s a website of a small intentional farming community that I know of in upstate NY: http://birdsfootfarm.weebly.com/ I think they hire some folks seasonally who want to apprentice in organic farming, but maybe they’d accommodate someone for a few weeks?? I’m sure there are others like this farm that may take on “interns” or “apprentices” for short periods of time, so a bit of googling might reveal some options.

      I agree that gently encouraging your brother to try it out first (both to see if he truly enjoys the lifestyle and to also learn a bit of the business side of farming from folks who live it) sounds like a good plan.

    • Anonymous :

      Would he be open to suggestions like looking for a job at a bank in a smaller city or large town and having a hobby farm on the side?

      I can understand that he wants to leave investment banking but help him see that there is a middle ground that will help ease the transition to a different life. Sometimes when you are stuck in a life you don’t want it can be really hard to see a path out.

    • WWOOF, or look at internships/apprenticeships through the Northeast Organic Farming Association. Both of those will require real labor and some will require a serious time commitment. Tt’s kind of late to be organizing a season-long apprenticeship for this year, but some farms do shorter stints, and WWOOF is geared towards people coming for a week or two.

      • Yeah, I was going to suggest WWOOFing. My understanding is that they’ll really put you to work.

    • Are you sure he isn’t cycling towards manic, and is compliant with his medications?

      If so…

      Good for him! Banking is probably not a great place for him anyway considering his history and how his interests have changed. Lots of good advice above.

  23. Personal reference for govt job :

    I’ve been contacted to give a personal reference for a close friend who’s applying for a job that would have govt. security clearance. The questions are pretty basic–is x honest and trustworthy, is x fiscally responsible, etc.–but some questions come with a parenthetical instruction to be specific, as in what is the basis of our relationship​, or how often are we in contact. Just wondering how much detail is needed. I don’t want to open a can of worms for my friend by saying too little (looks like I don’t really know her) or too much (opens new lines of inquiry or conflicts in some way with her answers).

    • Verbal or written?

      I’ve been contacted for security clearance interviews for friends, classmates, coworkers and neighbors. During the interviews, I give a couple sentence answers and go into more detail if prompted. Depending on the type of reference you are, they will understand if you don’t know a lot. Like I didn’t know my one neighbor super well but I could say that he didn’t throw wild parties or appear to have drug or booze problems.

    • Just give honest and succinct answers but make it clear you know her well. So it says like “How do you know her?” say “We were college roommates and have remained close friends since then” but don’t volunteer additional details that the question doesn’t ask for. But honestly I think you’re overthinking it and unless you write something on the form about how she has a drug problem, it’s not going to cause any problems for her. I’ve done this for a bunch of people.

  24. What’s wrong or disturbing or concerning about being yoga-loving or vegetarian? What’s wrong with leaving investment banking?

    • I’m not OP but I sense that it feels wrong mainly because it’s so impulsive and a 180 from where he is now. Combined with his history of mental illness, it’s a red flag.

      Nothing wrong with yoga and veganism in and of themselves. That wasn’t the point.

    • Vegan Anon :

      Because it’s weird and conflicts with their lifestyle and family (non) values. I’ve been a weird (corporate degree having) hippy for 10 years and since meeting my hubs he has seen the light of sustainability too. Our meat and potatoes families are constantly concerned about our mental health because we hike (for fun!!!) and eat vegetables. How horrifying…

      • Farm Coop OP :

        What’s concerning is that he’s shed one identity for such a different one in a very short timeframe, especially in light of previous mental health issues.

        My husband and I are vegetarian and have been for almost 10 years. He actually used to give us a hard time about it, so while I love that he’s on board with it now, the rapid change in his interests and beliefs gives me pause. We’re a middle ground in that I believe in a lot of what he’s doing / interested in (unlike some family) but hope he can make some incremental changes that don’t cause a ton of instability in his life.

        Mainly I would hate for him to make permanent changes to his life that are hard to undo because of mental health issues. While I totally understand wanting to leave banking, I wouldn’t want to see him to do anything so dramatic that it causes regret later. You have to agree there’s a lot of ground between NYC banker and living off the land in a yurt?

        • Anonymous :

          Yep. And the sudden 180 can be a symptom of mental illness. I had a family member with bipolar and every once in a while he would decide on a new project/passion and go off the deep end pursuing it. This sounds very similar. Nothing wrong with veganism or yoga as an addition to an existing lifestyle, but the intensity is concerning, particularly combined with a history of mental illness.

          • Vegan Anon :

            I went vegan overnight because I realized I was a hypocritical POS. Lots of my friends did the same. It’s an incredibly uncomfortable feeling when you realize your ethics and lifestyle don’t align and it’s natural to try and fix it quickly. A sudden change in that regard isn’t usually mental illness.

  25. Lorelai Gilmore :

    I suspect no one is reading on a Saturday, but I just have to say: I cannot figure out how to dress myself right now. I have been online shopping like a maniac this morning in search of basically three things: a summer weekend outfit; a date night outfit; and a work outfit. And I just can’t seem to find anything that I like or that works for me. Everything is embroidered, off the shoulder, or just hideous. I cannot figure out pants right now. Are they cropped and flared? Is that seriously a real thing? And don’t get me started on workwear. It almost makes me long for my business formal office where I just wore a suit every day and didn’t have to figure out cute separate combinations.

    Is this me getting old and being cranky about Styles These Days or are stores just objectively in a weird place right now? I’m plus sized which of course makes it all worse, but even so: I have no idea what to wear. HELP.

    • Wildkitten :

      I like the off the shoulder trend, and would go with that for weekends and for date night, but I know that within 12-18 months you’ll have to retire the tops because the trend is so strong that they’ll look so dated so quickly.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Dude I don’t know but this resonates!

      I’ve been wearing…

      Weekend daytime: some high waisted jeans from Old Navy (mom jeans? probably!) and then going like “shirts? i don’t know how to wear shirts any more!” and defaulting to one of three grey tees (one sleeveless, two with sleeves, none particularly cute or flattering). No clue how to wear shoes.

      Weekend date/out with friends: an Old Navy floral sun dress + ancient cardigan. It’s only moderately glamorous.

      Work: finally an area I’m doing ok! Dresses in solid colors or floral patterns with elbow length sleeves + a colorful scarf if the dress is too boring.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Oh ALSO! Macys sent me a survey and I got to write my responses to a cold shoulder sweater embellished with fake gems at the neck (for which they suggested $79 as a price)! It was nice to write “this sweater makes no sense!” even if it will probably only be read by a robot.

  26. I went to Nordstrom last weekend with the firm intention of buying two pairs of shoes and looking for the pieces for two summer outfits and left with nothing. The shoes managed to all seem hideous (giant puffballs, weird beading), way too blocky for my big feet, or painful and the clothes would look great on a 17 year old. I left with nothing.

    Thus doesn’t seem to be a good year for adult women who need to wear a bra.

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