Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this cardigan before, but if the national events (and international events) of the past couple of weeks make you want to cook some recipes from McSweeney’s Blue Apron parody while you hunker down to order emergency preparedness supplies recommended by The Sweethome, I must say that this is what you’ll want to do it in. It’s buttery soft and super nice, and it’s a great Netflix-binge-watch, order-emergency-water-tablets-on-Amazon type of cardigan. It’s also machine washable and tumble dry. The cardigan is $116 and comes in eight colors (including basic black, which was just added) in sizes XS-XL as well as plus sizesCozyChic Lite® Circle Cardigan

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. Legal Writing Group :

    Hey all, I mentioned starting a legal writing group this morning. Here is a link to it, if you would like to join: https://www.reddit.com/r/LegalWritingWorkgroup/

    • how does this work? I am an AWFUL legal writer…and an attorney :( Law school classes just didn’t do it for me. I’m very curious.

      • Legal Writing Group :

        The group would work through some exercises in some select legal writing texts. We also would share tips and tricks. If you click on the link I shared above, you will see a few posts that get things started.

      • The manageing partner think’s this is a great idea for me to take this legal writing course, but ONLEY if it focusses on legal breif’s. He knows I have good command of the law, being duly admitted and all, but he think’s I can benefit from a more persueasive writing style. Right now, I have 3 templates that I use, that I just copy and paste from, depending on whether I am makeing a motion to dismiss, a motion for summary judgement or a motion in LIMINE to the Judge. The 3 forms are written both ways, both in favor of or in opposition to the motion, if the other side makes the motion.

        But with a more pursuasive writing style, the manageing partner thinks I can expand into other motions, which he has to write. If anyone in the HIVE who has taken this course can VOOCH for it, I can take it! Hopfully someone in the HIVE can step up and tell me. YAY!

      • Kat, the poster is back, whom you mentioned last week that you were finding ways to block. Weekends seem to be the time he lurks on the board.

    • Anonymous :

      I registered, but it says I don’t have access. I don’t use reddit. Help!

      • Legal Writing Group :

        Once you register with reddit, go to the LegalWritingWorkGroup page. It will say you don’t have access, but there will also be a blue button that says “message the moderator.” Click that and send a quick not asking to join.

        Here is a shortcut to messaging:

      • Legal Writing Group :

        Once you register with reddit, go to the LegalWritingWorkGroup page. It will say you don’t have access, but there will also be a blue button that says “message the moderator.” Click that and send a quick not asking to join.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      I would be!

      • Legal Writing Group :

        Set up a reddit account, click the link I shared above, and request to join. We’d be happy to have you.

  2. Anonymous :

    Bannon was fired. Wow. Please tell me this means Breitbart is going to totally turn on Trump?

  3. Talk to me about living in Miami. I was just offered a transfer within my company to Miami with a fairly substantial pay raise and cost of living adjustment. I’ve never visited and have only been spent time in the Tampa Bay and Orlando areas before. I’m early 30s, liberal, outdoorsy, amateur foodie, and open to new adventures but admittedly don’t have the greatest perception of Florida. Thank you!

    • Former Miamian :

      There are lots of liberal areas there if you choose carefully (and lots of online sources to help with that), it’s super humid though, so you’ll need to change your hair care routine and plan to have lots of shell tops with blazers or sweaters, since it’s often 90+ degrees outside and super air conditioned inside. Traffic can be a nightmare so you’ll likely want to live as close as possible to your work to avoid rush hours. Also, statewide decisions like healthcare and many political situations are often not great for liberals, so you may not be thrilled with that or you may find yourself running for even a community office. Lastly, there’s lots of church crowds and tons of Spanish speakers there in different dialects, plus lots of Haitian (as Cher says, Haiti-an) French, so expect to hear those. Lastly, car insurance rates are super high because there are so many accidents there. You’ll have to have your car ready for huge rains, so plan that into your move process. As for the raise, look into housing costs there and the higher car insurance rates to find out whether this is enough of a raise to be worth it for you, since those can be super expensive.

      Hope this helps!

    • Anonymous :

      I haven’t lived in Miami but I’ve spent a lot of time there and I think it is more conservative than other large cities (even other cities in red states like Phoenix, AZ or Atlanta, GA). The Cuban-American community is very conservative and there are a lot of educated Cubans in white collar jobs in Miami, so I think you’ll find more Trump-supporting lawyers and doctors and finance people there than you would in most other cities.

    • I live and work in Miami but I am originally from another state. Miami is not really Florida, it’s a whole different world culturally than Orlando and Tampa. I am a lawyer down here and I do enjoy the liberal dress code for professional attire- prints, color, open toed shoes, bright manicures are all acceptable. On the other end, I definitely feel the pressure to look good all the time. I think I am the only woman in my office that doesn’t get regular mani-pedis. There’s a very active, healthy lifestyle that goes with that in terms of staying thin.

      Do you speak Spanish or Haitian? i don’t and wish I did just because it’s a marketable skill and socially advantageous.

      True about humidity, I just wear my hair curly most of the time. I love that it’s 80 degrees in February. It rains often here as well- not whole days but 15 minutes every other day.

      That said, I’d never want to permanently settle down here. Coconut grove and parts of west broward are family friendly, but I don’t see Miami as a long term place for myself. I definitely think it’s a great place to live for a couple of years.

  4. Paging Sloan: I wrote a novel of my own on the AM thread with perhaps too many book suggestions…happy reading!

    • Unrelated to the specific genre you were recommending this morning, but, here’s another book rec. To anyone who enjoys fantasy, or just amazing stories with richly drawn characters:

      The Broken Earth by N.K. Jemisin.

      I tore my way through the first two books in about a week, and have just started the third (which just came out). She’s amazing, it’s amazing, read it.

      • Thank you! I’m going to the beach at the end of the month and have a long tradition of fantasy reading while there.

      • Thanks! That looks right up my alley, just put it on hold at the library.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I forgot it came out last week! Now all I want to do is go home and read all weekend instead of being social or going to the gym. I’ve been recommending the series to every single person I know.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      YES. Thank you! I need some easy reading this weekend, hard week. :(

  5. Anonymous :

    This is something I should know, but nonetheless: I went to Sephora the other day for some new BB cream, and the lady told me I have dry skin, so she used these exfoliating pads and a thick lotion under the BB cream. I’ve never thought of myself as having dry skin, but now I’m curious. How do you know if you have dry skin? Was she just trying to sell me something extra? (I didn’t buy it, but I’ve been thinking about it since then.)

    • Did she use the Ole Henricksen exfoliating pads? I feel like they do that to me every time I go in to Sephora.

    • My dry skin was obvious (when your skin is flaking off your face you know). BUT, when I finally found an adequate treatment I noticed I was breaking out a lot less. So if you’re breaking out, it might be because you have dry skin. If you’re still thinking about it, why not get a second opinion. Kiehl’s (which works wonders for me) has a little diagnostic test they can do for you to determine your skin type. Obviously, they’re trying to move product but if they come to the same conclusion it may mean something.

      • Yeah, K-beauty calls this dehydrated skin. You can definitely have oily and acne-prone skin and also have dehydrated skin, too. If you are like me and always thought you had “combination skin” because of an oily t-zone but dry in other areas, those ‘dry’ areas are probably more dehydrated. If your skin feels tight after washing or even later in the day (essentially anytime that isn’t right when you put on moisturizer), that could be dry/dehydrated. Dry skin as viewed in Asian beauty circles needs a very thick cream but dehydrated skin responds differently to just thick cream. It just kind of sits on top. That is why for dehydated skin, the recommendation is gentle exfoliation and *then* applying moisturizer. This remove the flaky skin on top to create supple skin that can actually absorb what it being applied to it.

    • Marshmallow :

      I was thinking about this today too! r/skincareaddiction might be a good place to start.

      I think my skin is dry because it often feels pulled tight across my face, especially if I’ve just washed my face and haven’t yet moisturized. My hands also feel tight and itchy after washing. I’ve heard the basic test is to splash your face with water, let it dry, and see how you feel. Tight and uncomfortable = dry.

      However, I’ve been getting kind of oily-looking by midday lately… I’m mostly blaming it on the summer heat and the fact that I’m probably sweating a fair bit (sorry). My compromise is that I load up on moisturizer in the morning but by the afternoon I’m touching up with powder. Annoying but such is life, I guess.

      • You and I have the same skin. My noise is currently oily, the rest of my face is still dry-ish. If I didn’t moisturize, it would be a flaky mess.

        • Marshmallow :

          Yeah I get flakes too, although I also have moderate to severe eczema so it’s hard to tell whether any of it is just straight-up dry flakes vs eczema. It’s super fun, would highly recommend an autoimmune skin disease. Ugh.

          • I’m sorry you have to deal with that, Marshmallow. My flakes have been a little better now that my thyroid is under control, and that I’m better about exfoliating regularly.

          • Marshmallow :

            Isn’t it crazy how skin is so much more than just your body’s “wrapping”? So many things are reflected in our skin, it’s kind of nuts. I’ve gone through a few treatments that help to varying degrees so I’m actually doing pretty well now, but it tends to flare up and then die down again. So I’m never sure what skin I’m waking up to.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you moisturize every day?

    • I used consider myself an oily skin person, but it changed all of the sudden. For the past couple of months, I’ve been horrified at my skin, thinking it looked drab, gray, flaky, no glow, random acne, enormous pores, just all the nonsense. It didn’t occur to me that it was dry because I wasn’t used to it being dry. (But, like Marshmallow said above, it would feel tight after washing my face). I busted out some night moisturizer (clearly I know a lot about skin care) about a week ago and diligently applied another moisturizer I’d been slacking on and using only sporadically.

      Lo! No flakes. No zits. Glow. Skin looks smooth. Pores no longer completely obvious. Skin looks bright. My makeup even stays on better. It’s wildly different. It’s been like this for about 5 days now! I even got a “wow, your skin looks great!” That is how I know my skin was dry. TL;DR-skin changes randomly and without warning, so try consistently using more moisturizer and see what happens.

    • Try cleansing with cold cream. It’s a tip I got here. Ponds cold cream, take it off with a warm wash cloth. My skin has never looked better. It takes off every last stitch of makeup including eye makeup, and my face feels clean but not dry after I’m done. I don’t do anything else to it at night. In the morning if I take a shower I out on a light moisturizer before my BB cream. That’s it.

    • FWIW, the person was probably trying to sell you something. A friend who manages an Ulta store told me that a lot of employees are also “brand reps” for specific lines. Now, I’m very wary of Ulta and Sephora staff suggestions.

  6. Need a moment to vent….today has been absolutely horrible. People quitting, others crying at their desks, and I’m just trying to keep it together for three hours until the weekend. I have a final interview for another job next week, and I am SO anxious and excited. Even if I don’t get this job, I truly feel like I might put in my two weeks next weekend.

  7. Working from home :

    Folks who work from home, what do you wear all day? I am starting a work-from-home position in a few weeks and would like to try to avoid wearing pajamas all day, every day, which is what I currently do when I work from home. Specific recommendations for non-denim bottoms and cotton tops that are a bit more special than a v-neck t-shirt would be especially appreciated.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I like the GAP Girlfriend Twill Striped Chinos. They’re comfortable and affordable and come in a bunch of colors.

      • Senior Attorney :

        And they’re not striped. Just have a self-stripe down the leg.

      • I have a pair of these from Fall 2016, they seem short on me, I’m 5’5” and they hit at the ankle. Also, they give me a short of bubble butt that I don’t have otherwise. They are comfortable, but I’ve never worn mine since they are unflattering on my shape.

    • I lived in a steady supply of the Gap Boyfriend Chinos and J Crew Factory studio Ts and long sleeve striped artist Ts (the quality on the striped ones was astonishingly high!), various iterations of Toms or Bucketfeet shoes, and some long simple pendants.

      • Wait! It *was* the girlfriend ones that Senior Atty mentioned! Seriously the best pants.

      • When I work from home I always wear my yoga pants. The manageing partner’s brother likes to come by so I did NOT wear my PJs because he always likes to stare at me and I do not want to give him any ideas b/c I can hear him haveing s-x with other women most nights in his apartement! FOOEY!

    • anonforthis :

      Not that this is helpful, but PJs it is for me. More like loungewear that doesn’t look terribly like pajamas in case I need to run to the mailboxes to get a FedEx package for work.

    • I wear whatever I want! Often they’re caftans which feel nicer than pj pants/old tshirts but are still super comfy. If you know you won’t see anyone, wear what’s comfortable, whether it’s yoga pants or modal pants from t-get or whatnot!

    • Ok so when I worked from home I was hopping on concalls at 5:30 or 6 my time (east coast company, west coast worker) so I didn’t do a lot. My go to was leggings and a long tunic or stretchy jeans with a tank and a cardigan. I felt ok going out and about in these if I needed to run errands. My house runs cold so I always had a cozy wool wrap on my chair and wore shearling slippers all day long.

    • oil in houston :

      whenever I work from home, I essentially wear what I wear in the weekend, skirts and tops or cotton sundresses

    • Anonymous :

      Athleisure. Athleta, Lululemon, Alo, Zella, I wear it all. Athleta has great pant options, if you want more than just yoga pants.

    • Anonymous :

      Why wouldn’t you just wear yoga pants or leggings? And t-shirts? I don’t put on real pants if I can help it and change the minute I get home anyway.

    • Leggings and a loose sweater or tank/t-shirt. I only work from home 1-2 days/week, though, so I get to satisfy my urge to wear “real” clothes when I go to the office. One of my favorite things about working from home is the ability to roll out of bed, throw on what’s essentially a clean pair of PJs, toss my dirty hair up in a bun, and get to work.

  8. Coworker Woes :

    I’ve trolled through AskAManager but could use wise advice. I have a coworker who is… not great, and I’m not sure how best to navigate and to protect myself. Coworker is senior to me and I’m relatively new (10 months). Coworker does run-of-the-mill stuff, like takes forever to respond and has to be chased, or emails senior boss emails she has sent to others (basically, not ccing anyone and I’ll only find out by accident) to make herself look like she is doing more than she is, or to highlight someone else’s fault. This stuff, I can mostly deal with. What I’m having trouble with is gossip/comments – coworker told me I looked ‘nice for someone from X’, told me she really preferred another candidate for my job (twice), and told me that our other coworker’s serious illness was really her fault because she was ‘doing too much’ (other coworker was getting an MBA and working), plus she’s blamed slowdowns in the office on this coworker being out on disability leave for (again, problem coworker is senior). Frankly I think this woman is kind of a nightmare, and I wouldn’t want her as an employee, but I don’t think I’m in a position to say anything to boss. I interact with her about 40% of the time. What can I do?

    • Senior Attorney :

      This sounds like pretty normal office stuff. If you’re dealing with the work-related stuff, you’re going to have to shrug off the gossipy stuff. If you want to call her on it, you can give her a blank look and say “Why are you telling me this?” or “Hmm, I disagree,” or “Wow! That’s an odd thing to say!” and hope it will set her back on her heels. But really this is pretty par for the course, even though it is annoying.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      She sounds like a piece of work. I like SA’s response suggestions. I think having a few up your sleeve is a good strategy so when she next says something crappy you have a response ready. I think, “Can you explain what you mean by that?” or “What makes you say that?” would be appropriate responses to the comments you describe. Basically I think she’s coasting along by not making explicit the implications of what she’s saying (“it’s colleague’s fault she’s sick” (ugh!) or “people from X are not good looking”) and being asked to make those (unacceptable) implications explicit might shut her up? Maybe? IDK now I’m not sure this is a good idea after all.

      • “Why do you say that?” (said innocently) is SUCH a good response. As is silence. With eye contact.

    • Anonymous :

      Do y’all report to the same person? But I think you may want to look around for another job or get a transfer internally. These people don’t change, you can rat them out but it won’t change anything, she’s always going to have her own little fiefdom. Sorry to be negative – I have been through this and even getting a transfer, I still had to deal with these people. Plural.
      Or, could you address it and play dumb – “I heard you forwarded my email to X and I wonder why” or “That is mean to say about Y, she’s very ill” so you call her out. However it sounds like she victimizes others, so maybe others have better ideas. I am nonconfrontational hence my first paragraph.

    • Few years back, I have decided to tell what I really think when I find myself in such a situation. You would be surprised how easily these spine-less individuals back off AND this will also guve others courage to speak up. I have zero tolerance such behavior around me.

  9. Dissapointed :

    I just had a weekend with my best friend cancelled because the airline cancelled her flight with no alternative. I am so disappointed that it got cancelled. Nothing positive to add, just looking for commiseration and things that will make me feel better about missing out on some quality time with by best girlfriend.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Man, that sucks. I’m sorry.

    • anon a mouse :

      ARG that sucks! Rescheduled for sometime soon, I hope?

      Spa appointment for you.
      Can you at least have a virtual happy hour with her?

    • This happened to me last year and it’s so disappointing. I’m sorry!

    • Anonymous :

      That sucks! Hopefully they gave her lots of airline credit and she can reschedule her visit.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Ugh that STINKS. I’m so sorry. That’s one of the worst kinds of disappointment.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Oh, can you schedule a Treat Yoself something or other for this weekend? Like a pedicure or massage (or both)? Take your grandma/other person you don’t see enough out for coffee?

    • Senior Attorney :


    • Disappointed :

      Thanks for all the well wishes and suggestions! We had a nice phone call with wine instead of meeting in person. It was a poor substitute, but we rescheduled our fun weekend for October so I can move our planned activities to then for the most part.

  10. unmade bed :

    I feel like I look disheveled at the end of every day: creased clothes, frizzy hair, etc. I live in the Southeast and am outside for a few minutes at a time several times a day, which doesn’t help matters at all.

    Tidy people, kindly tell me your secrets.

    • I have no secrets, just solidarity. I am also in the SEUS.

      For me, I can minimize the look of “just woke up from a floor nap” by 1) not fighting my hair’s wavy texture in the summer; 2) choosing fabrics that do not crease easily (no linen. Never linen. Not even a teeny bit in a blend).

      I still don’t look perfect when I leave at the end of the day, but it’s better than it has been.

      • +1 about not fighting the hair in the summer. I go naturally curly (see below) from about May to early August (now in SEUS, was in the DC swamp before, and a coastal NE city before that–salt air and humidity of another stripe!)

    • I can only help with the hair part (I feel like a rumpled bull in a china shop compared to these perfectly pressed belles I see in my SEUS city!). I get my loosely curly, naturally a little frizzy hair chemically smoothed about three times a year. Smoothed, relaxed, NOT straightened. The curls/waves are still there, though it’s pretty straight for the first few weeks until the volume comes back. Low poo hair care otherwise.

      I’ve had luck with the Aveda smooth relaxing system, soft chocolate keratin treatments, and most recently the GK Hair Taming System (level 1). My sensitive skin could not handle brazilian blowouts, which I found did more straightening than taming.

    • Re frizz: my hair is naturally curly, and over many years of trial and error I have found that the best thing to control frizz for me is to wash it less (every 3 or 4 days) and when I do wash it to alternate an SLS free shampoo and conditioner (this need not be super expensive; I buy mine from Costco) with an apple cider vinegar rinse. I also use gel after every wash, but that doesn’t really cut down on frizz; it just keeps the curls together between washing. I live in Houston, so it’s humid all year and this is what works for me. My hair doesn’t really get that frizzy anymore, which, trust me, is an enormous change from how it used to look!

      My clothes are never neat though. Can’t help you there.

    • Baconpancakes :

      My strategy is to wear fabulous shoes. I figure no one notices that I spill coffee down the front of my blazer literally every single morning because they’re too busy looking at my feet. Also I wear a lot of black so that helps.

    • Jersey knits, a low ponytail and makeup primer – I like Laura Mercier. It really does make a difference.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      My refreshing during the day tips:
      Blotting papers (I buy Japanese ones from Amazon, they’re way cheaper than any others)
      Baby wipes to swipe on underarms and anywhere else that gets sweaty
      Mid-day deodorant application in the summer, and tooth brushing every day after lunch
      Lint brush, hair brush, Downy anti-wrinkle spray, Tide stick, extra bobby pins, dry shampoo, and hair ties in my desk for use as needed

      I still feel like a mess most days :-)

    • I’m in the same boat- there are people that look great at the end of the day…why aren’t they telling us their secrets?!!!

  11. advanced maternal age :

    Not sure if I’m looking for advice, or others who have been through this….after getting married at 38 and going through infertility, multiple rounds of IVF and pregnancy loss, I am pregnant via donor egg and into my second trimester. I will be 43 when the baby is due. I have a senior role in an organization that, although other senior employees are around my age, definitely is staffed with a lot of younger, junior employees who I oversee. I haven’t announced yet, and feel…..embarrassed, I guess. We have had so many failures that I had pretty much given up hope — we were going to stop after this round. I didn’t expect to feel like this — sort of ridiculous and embarrassed at the prospect of announcing and feeling like I have to explain why I am having my first child at this age — especially when others in my office are having babies in their twenties. Friends/relatives offered to throw me baby showers and I feel the same way — like I’m too old, and I feel silly having a baby shower at my age. Why can’t I just be excited and happy?

    • Anonymous :

      Well a lot of people presumably know you married only five years ago, right? I think most people would understand a 43 year old having a baby when she got married at 38. Infertility is common at your age, so I really think most people probably have some sense of what’s going on even if they don’t know specifics.

      If you feel silly having a shower, don’t have one. I’m 31 and I’m not having a shower because celebrating a baby before it’s born feels like jinxing it to me. But if you want to have a shower, you’re certainly not “too old.” I sideeye showers for second and third-time moms a tiny bit, because you can reuse so much gear, but any first-time mom needs a lot of baby stuff, regardless of her age.

    • Congratulations! I’m happy for you! That’s what everyone else is going to think too. You feel this way because our messed up societal expectations have their claws in you. I advise saying yes to everything and telling everyone proudly, even if you feel weird inside. I bet once you see peoples’ reactions, you’ll start to feel a lot better.

      • +1 to all of this.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – I would just be really happy for you. Also, you never know what your coworkers have had to go through to get pregnant.

        And some of this may be location/social circle dependent – I’m an artist by training, work at a nonprofit, live in NYC, and basically none of my friends started having kids before age 35. You’re in good company.

        You have such great reason to celebrate – frankly you deserve a party for going through all that infertility treatment alone – let people do it and be happy for you!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yep! People are going to be thrilled for you! I am thrilled for you! Congratulations!

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Yes, this! I have a pregnant coworker who’s around your age, and I never thought twice about it when she announced.

    • First off, congratulations. I’m so glad you’re in this place after so many disappointments and losses.

      Sometimes when something finally happens that I’ve wanted for so long, it’s hard for me to trust happiness. You can get to a point where sadness and disappointment feel safe, and happiness feels really, really dangerous. Maybe something like that is what’s going on – maybe you’re pulling back from your happiness a little bit, you know? I suspect that no one around you is thinking you’re too old to celebrate this – in fact, they’re probably thinking you have more cause to celebrate, because there’s likely an unspoken assumption that it took a lot to get you to this place.

    • rightbehindyou :

      Congratulations! And… don’t feel embarrassed about your pregnancy. You’re having a baby. That’s wonderful! Babies are worthy of celebration regardless of the age of the parents. You don’t have to have a baby shower but really, people who love you are excited to celebrate with you. If anyone dares to give you crap about it tell them, from me, to go f* themselves. (FYI, I also married at 38, and am now 39 and about to start IVF.)

    • Congratulations. I just went to a baby shower for a friend who is probably about your age and who I suspect also had long road to where she is now. The shower was just like any other baby shower I’ve been to- full of mom to be’s friends and family, squee-ing over adorable baby clothes, offering advice and funny stories about parenting, and general love and happiness about the pending bundle of joy. I don’t think anyone spent any time worrying about how the parents are.
      Also, pregnancy can bring out all sorts of weird feelings. It’s perfectly normal to feel conflicted about everything that’s going on so don’t be hard on yourself for not meeting some happiness or excitement criteria.

    • Anyone who knows you well likely knows how long ago you wed and how hard you’ve been working toward this goal, so they won’t judge and are likely thrilled for you. Anyone who doesn’t know that about you has an opinion that’s not really any of your business because they don’t know you well enough to have an informed opinion.

      So JSFAMO, this is EPIC news, this kid is going to always know how wanted they were, so whatever to everyone else, this is cause for celebration! CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Congrats!! It’s not silly to have a baby at that age. I know one person who did the same thing as you at 46! and another (plus surrogate) at 50.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      Congratulatiosn! This is a happy occasion and one you can celebrate without feelings of embarassmemt or shame. Enjoy the moment. :-)

    • Honey, no. Don’t do that to yourself. Congratulations! I don’t know you and I’m so happy for you, especially after all you’ve been through!! I’m honestly a little ready-eyed.

      People will be happy for you. Be happy. Nothing to be embarrassed about AT ALL.

    • Anonymous :

      Congrats!! Do people in your office really know exactly how old you are? Plenty of people have babies in their late 30’s/early 40’s. Don’t feel embarrassed.

      • Anonymous :

        That was my first thought too. I can probably tell you most of my colleagues ages within a decade or so, but when you announce the pregnancy a lot of people will probably just assume you’re in your late 30s.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Congratulations! Anyone who is close enough to you to have any emotional reaction to your pregnancy should, and will, feel nothing but joy!

      Re: showers, I was very resistant to having one, but am glad I did. I didn’t want everyone focusing on me/my pregnancy, but my friends and relatives were really happy to have an occasion to kvell and advise, and I’m glad I let them. Also my mom sang a song and I cried, and my high school bestie *wrote and read a poem* and I also cried, and the whole thing was silly and sweet and there were great salads. Recommended.

    • advanced maternal age (OP) :

      Thank you so much for all your kind, thoughtful responses — they made me feel so much better. I appreciate all the good wishes and support!

      • Anonattorney :

        Also, just to add – I LOVE LOVE LOVE celebrating other people’s pregnancies. And I think a lot of other people feel the same way. I loved becoming a mom so much (surprisingly) and am so happy for friends when they get pregnant. I bet people will be so excited to celebrate you.

        One more thing – totally revel in your pregnancy. I’m currently pregnant with #2, and this time I know that everything is fleeting, and that I’m (very likely) not going to ever do this again. I’m trying to be really earth mother and get in touch with my inner fertility goddess to really embrace this process and commit it to memory. Even when I feel like crap.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m a little late weighing in, but I also went through a lot of IVF for our first baby and am in the throws of it for what I hope will be our second (possibly through donor egg, it’s looking like). I found that it was really hard to accept the happiness that came with finally being pregnant. And then I felt self-conscious about being older, too. But honestly, no one cares and no one is paying any attention. You’ve worked WAY too hard to care anyway. Please please please enjoy these moments. They are amazing and you’ve earned them.

    • AMA alumna :

      Re AMA, I had children at 38 and 39. I was late a year ago and was convinced it was another baby. So, yeah, AMA is for realz. I was older than you when I had the scare (and have been late again recently, but keep buying pg tests b/c I prefer to keep drinking while I wait to see if it menopause or a baby (oh, the humanity!).

      Re showers: they are awfully fun. I was a BigLaw partner, so I didn’t need anything that I couldn’t have bought. People really wanted to have showers for me. And it’s the last time you really get to see your friends before your life becomes a blur. Alternatives are just girls spa weekends, etc. Or, if they insist on a shower, have it be for very very cute baby items that will be donated. You can have a great time doing good.

      Congrats and enjoy!!!

    • Congratulations! As a younger childfree woman by choice i would love nothing more than to celebrate with you. And i completely respect the difficult journey you’ve been on! So don’t underestimate us – if you were in my office I’d be planning some kind of celebration myself.

  12. Explaining to my legal assistant that when the printer runs out of paper, it doesn’t mean a document is done printing but instead means that the printer needs to have more paper added is totally a good use of my JD, right?

    • Anonymous :

      At least it’s a legal assistant and not a first year?

      I spend a ton of my time explaining people’s jobs to them. :(

    • I’m a first year. :P

      My intern, on the other hand, can do literally anything I ask her to do no matter how complicated. She’s a rising 2L. My legal assistant has worked at the firm for 12+ years and can’t f-ing print something. Whyyyyy can’t we fire her.

      • I sympathize. The other day, my assistant (who has been doing this 30 years) brought me in a fax that was missing the last 4 pages. When I asked if she had contacted the sender to resend those missing pages, she stared at me blankly and said no, she didn’t think to do that. I spend so much time dealing with stuff like that, it drives me crazy.

  13. ex-consultant :

    Feeling bummed today, as I’ve had to turn down a job that my heart would like, but that would likely be a pain in the ass on a practical level. It’s closer to my area of expertise and training, and at an organization that I think I’d really enjoy working at. It would be a small promotion and pay raise. But, the commute sucks. Really sucks. I’d have to bus 40 minutes downtown, like I currently do, and then hop on a bus from a different transit system to cross a state line and travel at least another 25 minutes. I won’t drive to work – I just refuse to add to car congestion with a single occupant vehicle. I started thinking about what Dr’s appointments would be like, what would happen if my kids got sick, how I’d manage summer daycamps… just ugh. My partner works a demanding, senior level job at a growing company, and therefore has to work long hours often. She told me I was empowered to do what I wanted, that we’d figure it out if I truly wanted it, but I just don’t think we need added stress. Maybe when my kids don’t need care (only a couple of years left now!).

    Plus, my current team is so lovely. My boss is supportive and kind, and my colleagues are great. To top it off, a friend of mine is joining the team soon. We won’t be directly working together, but our offices will be close.

    Hard decisions are hard. Sometimes you can love the idea of something, but your gut just doesn’t feel right about it in practice. I’m having trouble sending the decline email nonetheless.

    • Anonymous :

      I hear you. I am actively looking, and it sometimes doesn’t make sense to people when you tell them “commute.” They, and even I, think I could/should drive for the right job, but the drive/ride can make or break it. Glad you have a good gig though or that would make it harder to turn down.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Commutes are legitimate reasons to take or not take a job. My commute is 1 mile, so some days I walk, and it is a serious boost to my quality of life. I predict that as more and more people start actually prioritizing walkability in their daily lives, offices will increasingly change their locations to get the employees they want. Tech companies already do this; I think the rest of the world will catch up in the next 10 years or so.

    • Could you drive to this job and then off-set your carbon emissions in another way?

      Maybe pay to have five extra trees planted a year or take one less plane flight.

      If growing your carbon footprint is your only concern, I think you can address that through ways other than turning down this job.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh no. No, no, no. Don’t double your commute voluntarily. I have commuted back and forth to my job an hour and fifteen minutes one way for the last 20 years. You don’t need that kind of stress in your life. What if the bus to work breaks down, or there is bad weather, or your child suddenly gets sick at school…it’s miserable to be so far away from home, especially if you have kids that still might need help at home. My daughter has exercise-induced asthma and once called from the school nurse’s office in a panic needing someone to run her inhaler over to school immediately because she discovered that it was “lost” and she was having trouble breathing. No fun to try to cope with that remotely from an hour and fifteen minutes away. The only way to survive is to have a strong network of friends that you can call upon when emergencies come up – and they will. Doesn’t sound like your partner would be able to provide much help if she is stretched thin herself.

  14. Painfully slow Friday afternoon has me engaging in a new form of retirement planning: looking at the dog rescue organizations in the city DH and I want to move (and retire) to…in like 20 years.

    Some people have advanced medical directives, I’m over here day dreaming retirement dogs….

    • Anonymous :

      Get a dog now!!! They’re so great and there are dogs that fit every lifestyle (small, house-trained adult dogs are great for busy professionals).

      • maybe, maybe not :

        Small dogs are great for smaller spaces, house training is great in general, but any animal needs affection, attention, and time on a daily basis. If a person can’t be there personally or afford to pay someone else to provide such as often as the animal needs, it’s not a good time to get a pet. It sounds like this person is aware and is dreaming of the future lovie they will have, which I think is an awesome use of time on a Friday because yay pets!

        • Anonymous :

          I didn’t say small dogs don’t need any attention or affection, but they need way less exercise than big dogs. Even when we’re home and want to walk her, we have to drag our chihuahua out of the house. She just wants to be curled up on our laps. OP shouldn’t get a dog if she’s out of the house 16 hours a day every day or traveling every other week, but plenty of busy professionals who work 10+ hours a day have happy, well-adjusted dogs.
          I’m so tired of the “it’s cruel to the dog if all the adults in the household work full-time” argument. You know what the alternative is for shelter dogs? DEATH. I guarantee the dog would rather be well-fed and cozy in a happy home with a person who is gone ~10 hours a day and then comes home and plays with the dog and gives it a walk.

      • Oh, I’ve got two!

        • Dogs. I have two dogs already. I am aware of the care and keeping of dogs.

          I just highly doubt they’ll make it to my retirement, ya know?

    • At least one night a week, I poke around the internet searching for quaint houses from the 1700s in one of the 3 areas we might retire to…in 20 years.

    • I want to move to Nashville and volunteer at Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, plus have some of their permanent fosters. DH understands that I have a need for us to retire within their geographic radius for permanent fostering.

  15. I’ve been asked as part of a group of six staff level invitees to be part of my firm’s SWOT analysis. My firm has 5 partners and about 35-40 staff/administrative professionals. I’ve been through this before at another firm, and at that firm, they basically did nothing with our input. What kinds of input do you think partners would actually find useful? I’ve started a list and for every strength, I’ve been trying to find a weakness and vice versa. I want my input to be valued and utilized. Anyone ever participated in this exercise for a firm?

    • Anonymous :

      Was this organized by the firm specifically (i.e., by the partners) or by someone in the administration? Just know that if it was the administration, it’s unlikely to get any buy-in from the partners and you’re probably just wasting your time.

  16. My best friend just texted me that she will not be able to attend my wedding because her husband “accidentally” booked them flights to another city for his best friend’s fortieth birthday party despite having my save the date on their refrigerator for the past 6 months . She says that they are not able to get refunds for the tickets and her husband doesn’t want her to come to my wedding alone. I know that money isn’t an issue for them as he is a very affluent orthodontist. I am also not that close to her husband, and I have only met him a handful of times. Part of this is because we live over six hours away from each other now. But, I have attended both of her weddings. The first as her maid of honor, she then got divorced, and I attended the wedding with this husband. Talk me down from the ledge of disowning her. Full disclosure: my wedding is in the small town where I grew up in a rural area of the country that is about 3 hours from where she is currently living and would not be nearly the “good time” that a fortieth birthday party in a city would be.

    • She sucks. Also is her husband controlling? Bc mine would happily let me go anywhere (weddings included) alone.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s insane. It’s reasonable for her husband to skip your wedding. It’s not reasonable for her to. Her husband is not letting her come to your wedding alone? What the he11!? Is he abusive?

      • Anonymous :

        Your last three words were my very first thought.

        • Anonymous :

          Those last 3 words, in a different order, were my first thought too. HE IS ABUSIVE. Your friend doesn’t know how to reach out for help, and feels that you will abandon her for this. Get her out to your city, without her husband, and ask her wtf is going on.

          • Pretty Primadonna :

            This right here.

          • Anonymous :

            Possibly. But possibly she’s just using this as an excuse. I totally know people who would use “my husband bought non-refundable plane tickets and won’t let us cancel them” as a “polite” excuse to get out of something they didn’t really want to go to in the first place. If what she is saying about her husband’s behavior is true, that’s a big red flag for abuse. But that’s a big IF.

      • Anonymous :

        Absolutely sounds like my emotionally and financially abusive ex. If that’s the case she’s probably embarrassed, powerless and not even willing to admit she’s being abused (I knew something was “wrong” in my relationship but it took a family intervention and therapy for me to use the word abuse). If there is financial abuse, it may in fact be a money issue even if he makes good money. I had a good job and made plenty of money that was all spent to service my ex’s debts while he spent his salary on “fun.” No way I could afford a plane ticket unless he gave me some of “his” fun money.
        I think its ok to explore a conversation with her about why she’s not coming, but if she’s being abused she’s likely to respond with lots more flimsy excuses rather than tell you what’s really going on. I lost a lot of friends, and a lot of friends distanced themselves from me during my marriage, but I am so grateful for the ones who stuck with me or came back to my life after I left him, even though I had been an unreliable friend for years.
        All this to say, OP do what you need to do, but if you think it may be an abusive relationship and she’s really your best friend, a little compassion will go a long way.

    • Wow. I can see why that would really, really hurt. sincere advice: you asked to be talked down the ledge from disowning her. Think about why her friendship is so important to you that you want to be talked down.

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly I’d pick up the phone and say something like “wow I’m really really hurt about this. I’ve considered you my best friend for decades. I was there for both your weddings. I can’t believe you’re skipping my wedding. I thought you were an adult who made your own decisions. Let me be clear- if you don’t come to my wedding we aren’t friends. I’m not letting you off the hook for treating me this way.”

      OP I’m so very sorry she’s such a terrible person.

      • joan wilder :

        I’m sorry about this–I would be quite hurt too in your shoes. Somehow the texting of the RSVP makes the rude gesture even worse, since it shows obliviousness for how it might be received, or some cowardice to her “owning” choosing the less polite path. But…since you asked to be talked down, this sounds like extremely controlling behavior from her husband and she may need your friendship and support in the future. You are the best placed to decide whether your concern for her and longtime friendship can allow you to move on from this in any way to keep a friendship. But if you make the phone call as suggested by Anon 3:39, you can’t take that back. I enroll in the school that good people can do hurtful things but it doesn’t make them terrible people. How do you feel about her, in balance?

      • I think I’d do the same thing.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I would find that inexcusable.

    • Anonymous :

      No, disown her. That’s cray cray. Fwiw, I distanced myself from some friends who didn’t attend my wedding when I knew they could easily afford it and didn’t have a major conflict like a sibling’s wedding or graduation. To me, whether or not you choose to attend someone’s wedding – even if it’s in a boring location – says a lot about how invested you are in the friendship. I realized I cared more about these people than they cared about me, so I cooled things off.

      • what what? :

        Respectfully disagree. Unless you see their account statements, you don’t know people can afford it. I would hope people consider friendship as the sum of the parts, and not whether I can spend money I may not have on travel to their wedding. Life is a long road, and it seems lonely if you choose to distance yourself from people who mean something over snap assumptions and judgments. As I’ve learned on this site and found immensely valuable…assume good intentions.

        • Anonymous :

          Oh come on, you don’t have to see someone’s bank account to know they are generally well off. I know they took (self-funded) fancy vacations around the time of my wedding. Perhaps they couldn’t afford both trips and chose the fancy vacation. That’s their prerogative, but it’s also my prerogative to view that as a statement about how much they care about me, because it is. Showing up is my love language and I want people in my life who will be there for my milestone events unless they really, really can’t. I’m not a sad lonely person, I just have a slightly smaller circle of really good friends.

        • But they could afford the tickets to the fun fortieth birthday party– just not to her wedding. In theory I agree with your point, but not in this situation.

        • Sure, but you can generally tell people’s spending priorities from the outside. For most people the wedding of a very close friend is a HIGH priority.

        • Anonymous :

          If you can’t afford to eat the flight, you can’t afford to run off to friends’ birthday parties.

    • If it were me, I think I’d email her something like,” Dear hername and hisname, I am so sorry to hear you won’t be able to attend my wedding. Being present for your special day is a memory I cherish and I hate knowing I will feel your absence on my big day. I understand that your friend has a birthday party the same weekend and would never ordinarily ask you to choose. I sent my ‘save the date’ magnet to you so far in advance to avoid this very sort of situation. I know that you have time to reconsider this and I hope you will do so. Please know that it truly breaks my heart to know that my best friend may not be present on my wedding day, a day I’ve never imagined without picturing her there.”

      And then, quite honestly, I’d reevaluate the friendship. I know you call her your best friend, but she’s unwilling to stand up to her husband about the situation and she’s not even willing to stand up to him about each going to their own friend’s event. If you’re not a priority enough for her to do this on this one very special time, she may just not see your friendship the same way you do. *hugs*

      • I got married last month and had something similar-ish happen with a good friend.

        What made it worse is that she casually delivered this news while at a milestone event for her that I had flown to attend.

        I sent her an email basically being like “WTF?”

        We basically no longer speak and it’s very sad.

        I felt totally blindsided by the whole thing and still find it totally bizarre.

    • Anonymous :

      Her husband bought nonrefundable plane tickets for them to go elsewhere and “doesn’t want” her to go alone. That’s nice. Bless his heart.

      I would talk to your friend – on the phone, no texting, and ask how this happened. Maybe it was an innocent mistake, but my sense is that her input should matter, too. Maybe she’s hiding behind him, or maybe he put her in a bad position. If it’s the latter, she really needs you as a friend.

    • It stinks but I think your friend is telling you that she doesn’t value the relationship as much as you do. It stinks. Take some deep breaths, mourn the loss of the friendship that you thought, and move on with happy things and wedding planning. I don’t think this means you have to disown her or cuss her out, but just acknowledging that she doesn’t view the relationship the same way as you do and in going forward, just reacting in a way that feels most comfortable to you. If it’s most comfortable to you to just keep the friendship at polite levels (i.e. sending holiday cards), then do that. But I’m guessing that trying to compare the two events won’t help (which is more fun, which would be easier, which would cost less, what she owes you, etc). It doesn’t matter; she is showing you how she values the friendship. You have better things to look forward to, even though this downright stinks. I’m sorry. :(

      Honestly, her husband sounds like a *peach,* so be glad you are marrying someone more supportive and focus on all the wonderful new things in this next chapter and take care of yourself.

      • +1

        Do you value her friendship? Then I wouldn’t disown her or call and yell at her. Tell her you’re disappointed she won’t be there, if you want, but do it calmly and without making any accusations, and leave it at that. Take this as a piece of information about what kind of friendship y’all have and adjust your expectations of her going forward, i.e. lower them.

        I would also just say that you don’t _know_ that money isn’t an issue for them. You _think_ it isn’t based on the available evidence, but you don’t _know_. I try not to assume about these things.

    • If she is being prevented by possessive and controlling husband, then she needs you as a friend. If she is just using him as a lame excuse to skip out, then you don’t need her as a friend. Figure out which scenario it is.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        This! This!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yep. I think I’d call and say “I cannot imagine you thinking this would be an okay reason to miss my wedding unless something else were going on. So what is going on? Is there anything I can do to help?” And then if the story of abuse comes tumbling out, you can help. And if she sticks to her guns and it turns out this really is a lame excuse, I would cut her loose.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Yup. This.

        Call her at a time when she can talk openly- either when you know her husband is at work, or when she’s at work during lunch, or whenever. And figure out what’s going on. If this is out of character for her, acknowledge that. You have the right to be upset, but determine who you have the right to be upset WITH- her or her husband who’s controlling her.

      • +1

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I would be seriously concerned that my friend was in an abusive marriage. I would call her and ask her point blank. If she swears she isn’t, I’d say then there is no other acceptable excuse for her not coming to the wedding. Her choices are basically to still come to the wedding and keep you as a friend, admit that her husband is putting undo pressure on her (make sure to have this conversation when he is not within earshot), or lose you as a friend.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        In reality though, I’d probably never do this because I wouldn’t want to force someone to be at my event that doesn’t really want to be there. I’d probably silently stew instead.

      • anon a mouse :

        I think it’s one of a few questions to ask point blank:
        Do you want to go to the party?
        Do you support husband’s decision to book tickets to the party?
        Why do you feel like your opinion doesn’t matter?
        Is there some other reason that you don’t want to come to my wedding?

        Listen to her answers. If she swears to you that she wants to be there, then you’re well within reason to just say, look, I sent the save the date precisely so you’d save the weekend. You either want to be there or you don’t. Our friendship is that important to you or it isn’t.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t want to take you off the ledge. I have cancelled many “non-refundable” tickets. You are out a few hundred dollars at most, and just have to use the money to go somewhere else within that airline. Not a big deal. If she was really that close of a friend, she would go to your wedding instead of her husband’s friend’s birthday party.

    • I wouldn’t send the note suggested above. It seems passive aggressive. Your friend has, for reasons known only to her, chosen to attend her husband’s friend’s birthday instead of your wedding. That sucks. It will affect your friendship.

    • Sigh. I mean, yeah your friends sounds flighty and inconsiderate. But I wouldn’t write off a years-long best friendship over it. Shot happens.

      It sucks for sure that you were excited about sharing your day with her, particularly because you shared hers, but the key word there is DAY. It’s a single day of your life. I know it’s a big day but just as the marriage is more important than the wedding, the friendship, long-term, is more important than one day of your life.

      I’m not saying you shouldn’t be disappointed but I just do not get how everyone on here gets so worked up about weddings. People, they’re a party. It’s a day of your life. I know they’re a lot of work to plan for but all this drama really reduces women to nasty stereotypes. You’re not a princess, this is not a coronation, your subjects are not required to attend or else be beheaded. (OP this is not directed at you, just the hype about weddings. I can’t stand it)

      • Anonymous :

        It’s not a coronation but a wedding is way more than just a “party.” A wedding shower or baby shower or anniversary party is a party, albeit an important one to celebrate a special event. But most people view weddings as a milestone life event where a couple commits to each other for life in front of all their loved ones (and God if they are religious). Acting like it’s “just a party” is really demeaning.

        And since OP attended TWO weddings for her best friend, something tells me her friend does not share your views that weddings are no big deal. At best, her friend is super hypocritical.

        • Ok princess.

          By the way, I am not some angry spinster. It was really really important to me that one key person show up to my wedding – my husband. And he did. There were friends that couldn’t make it for a variety of reasons, and they’re still my friends. It was an important and meaningful day to me, and to my husband, but to everyone else, it was a party. There will be other parties. There will not be other lifelong friends.

      • what what? :

        Yes, this is what I was trying to say less articulately above. The commitment part is often 10-15 minutes, and then the remaining 3 hours are basically a party.

      • I totally agree. It’s just a party.

        I spent years of my life using vacation time to go to friend’s weddings and bachelorette parties and endless dumb showers. I spent thousands and thousands of dollars on travel and hotel rooms and getting makeup done and presents and bridesmaids dresses. Enough with all of it.

        I’m happy for you, I wish you a happy marriage. And that goes for whether you get married at a courthouse, at a beach in Hawaii, or whether or not I’m present to witness your marriage.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m so sorry. People just totally suck sometimes, don’t they? I had something similar happen with a woman that I thought was my best friend from high school. For about a decade, I sent Christmas and birthday gifts to her family, remembered and attended every milestone event, came for the birth of her children, etc. 10 years in, when I filed for divorce from my evil ex-husband, I called her to let her know. We had one short conversation that lasted about 10 minutes and that was it. She never called again to ask how I was, whether everything was OK (it wasn’t), or to see if she could offer any help or support. It was a huge wakeup call to me about how little she cared about me or valued our friendship. In the end, even though it hurt, it was helpful to know the truth so that I could adjust accordingly! Don’t waste your precious time and energy on people who are “takers” only.

    • I am so angry about this for you.

    • Sorry this is happening to you, Anon. Hope you are able to find some comfort in this article that I come back to anytime I’m evaluating friendships: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wendy-atterberry/showing-up-the-single-most-important-thing-a-friend-can-do_b_5697930.html

  17. style help :

    I’m wearing this Ted Baker dress in navy (Verita Cutout Yoke Sheath Dress – link below) to my brother’s wedding this fall in Alexandria. They aren’t having a formal ceremony or bridesmaids, etc. I’m having trouble styling with shoes and jewelry. I was thinking of wearing a patent tortoiseshell pump. Too dark/boring for a wedding?

    For jewelry, I don’t think the dress is conducive to a necklace, so I was thinking big earrings. But I wear glasses, and I always think bold glasses (which mine are) and big earrings look like there’s too much going on. Wearing just a stud feels a bit too “office” for me. I could wear contacts, which is what I did for my own wedding, but I do typically wear glasses so is it weird to not look like my normal self in photos? His fiancee also asked if I wanted to get makeup/hair done, which also makes me wonder if I should wear contacts.

    I have a short pixie cut, so I can’t really do a more formal hairstyle to jazz things up. Thoughts on jewelry and shoes?

    • style help :


      In navy, though it’s only listed in hot pink and black right now.

    • Anonymous :

      Daytime or evening?

      • style help :

        evening – dinner and brief ceremony (at a restaurant)

        • Anonymous :

          Then no tortiseshell. Go for a metallic shoe or navy with some sparkle or a bright pink or purple. An evening shoe.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes to this! You need silver strappy sandals, and a silver clutch. Get a navy wrap.

    • Agree with you on the necklace issue. How about a big bracelet? Really, the dress is so awesomely detailed that you don’t need jewelry to add interest.

      • style help :

        I was thinking about that. I have a lot of big bracelets so I think I could do something nice here.

        Good call on the metallic shoes, everyone – I might pick up those that LHW suggested in anthracite.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I’d wear dangly earrings and metallic shoes, with or without glasses.

    • I would do a metallic silver shoe. Tortoise comes off as too “officey” to me.


    • Flats Only :

      If it’s in Alexandria Virginia (vs. Louisiana) note that the cute section of Old Town where you may find yourself going bar to bar after the wedding has brick sidewalks of varying age and levels of decrepitude. You will want to have a back up pair of flats or wedges so that you won’t ruin expensive pumps by getting a skinny heal stuck between bricks. Plus if you fall down when that happens people will think you are drunk. You will also skin your knee. Ask me how I know.

      • anon a mouse :

        +1 to this! Metallic wedges would be great. You could also find a sparkly barrette for your short hair.

      • style help :

        Good call. I hate a cobblestone street ruining a good shoe – I’m in Pittsburgh and we’ve got a few of them, too.

    • I think tortoise pumps read too work-y. What about a fun color for the shoes — orange or pink would look great with navy and add a little more visual interest — and a smaller sparkly earring? This shoe/earring combo would be fun with that dress:


      https://www.kendrascott.com/jewelry/collections/fall-2017/asher.html?cgid=fall-2017&dwvar_asher_stoneColor=714#prefn1=classCode&prefv1=Earrings&start=29 – in the gold sparkle color

      • style help :

        ahhhh those shoes are CUTE. I like the idea of a colored shoe, for sure. Was considering hot pink but not sure if that would fit with the semi-conservativeness of the dress.

        • style help :

          Are these too crazy and/or summery? http://www.zappos.com/p/sam-edelman-yaro-orange/product/8828722/color/535

    • Flats Only :

      In terms of actual styling, based on what you say here, I would go with contacts (assuming they are comfortable for you) and oversized stud earrings, which your pixie cut will show off. That dress is pretty but is so detailed I would keep the jewelry and shoes more subdued by still festive.

    • Seriously great dress. Are you worried about being too formal or too casual, because the dress seems pretty formal? Tortoiseshell pumps sound great…you could do big faux-pearl earrings, which may be neutral enough to not clash with your glasses? Dying of curiosity re: your “bold glasses.”

      • style help :

        They are Anne et Valentin Fellini. I looooooove them! I can only wear glasses with the nose things, and my lenses are thick so I prefer titanium. It’s surprisingly hard to find great glasses with those caveats.

        • style help :

          Link here: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/5b/3b/43/5b3b43a98fd76dc5f0d9baa338fb2f98–eyewear-anne.jpg

        • Chicago Attorney :

          As a fellow pixie-cutted, large-bespectacled lady, let me say: big earrings FTW. Seriously. It’s not too much on the face, with a simple dress. On the contrary, I feel like it makes my face look more…feminine, when the pixie doesn’t always skew that way. Also, you definitely do not need to wear contacts in order to have your make-up done. A good MUA should be able to figure out how to work them in. Maybe a subtle eye and strong red lip? Orangey red if you go with those awesome Edelman shoes.

          Also Anne + Valetin rule. Sounds like you do not need style help.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I love that dress. That Ted Baker guy knows what he’s doing.

      I love a pixie cut + big earrings!

      • style help :

        It is basically my favorite brand right now! I ordered the dress in hot pink, too (I like bold, bright things), but had to come to terms with that fact that hot pink doesn’t do much for my complexion.

      • Anonymous :


        silver clutch


        navy wrap

    • You should wear a fascinator.

      • Oh my God, this is genius. It would look amazing.

        • style help :

          Oh I love this!! This dress is a little conservative for me, and I feel like that would give some fun pop. Not too distracting for a wedding? (my future sister in law is great, no weird issues)

          • I’d stay away from white but I think something in the peacock color family would be amazing with your dress.
            For example,

          • Senior Attorney :

            No! Weddings are about the only time it’s totally appropriate to wear a fascinator! Somebody wore one to my wedding and I was thrilled!

          • https://www.etsy.com/listing/81503826/julie-peacock-feather-fascinator-clip?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=feather%20fascinator&ref=sr_gallery_28

          • Rainbow Hair :

            I knew not enough people would wear fascinators to my wedding (you best believe I wore one) and so I made a whole bunch and set them out on the tables about 1/2way through the reception to ensure everyone looked as silly and festive as they felt.

          • Rainbow, I want to hear about how you made the fascinators. I’m crafty and this is fascinating (sorry) to me.

          • Anonymous :

            Not Rainbow Hair, but check out hatacademy.com.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            I have no formal training in haberdashery (tragically!!!) but I make stuff to put on my head all. the. time. (Ask me about my crystal crown! Ask me if it’s going to light up!) So I just made lots of things for people to put on their heads. Lots of tiny hats for the men, mostly top hats or cowboy hats, with ribbons/bows around the base or weird stuff like doll eyeballs as accents, some on clips and some on those long thin rubber bands. I made some by hand out of cardboard covered in cloth (found instructions online), and others were doll hats that I spiffed up. The rest were a mix of everything… hmm, I think I used a lot of felt backings attached to alligator clips and some headbands, and lots of fancy feathers, a decent amount of silk flowers, some veil type materials (in black and sparkly purple I think) and lots of rhinestones/faux gems…

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Godzilla is never wrong, but she is especially right here.

  18. Good friend :

    In a recent meeting, my boss let me know that he is firing a co-worker, who is also one of my closest friends (of 10+ years). He didn’t tell me any specific issues about my friend/co-worker. She’s a peer to me, but in a different division.

    I see my friend exceeding her goals and regularly receiving praise from our boss and others. I was so caught off guard by the conversation that I froze and basically said nothing in response to what my boss told me.

    Now I’m so torn on what to do. I want to tell my friend…but I have no idea what she could or would do with the information. I think she’s going to be blindsided and outraged. I’m outraged on her behalf, and I’m miserable over knowing what our boss is about to do.

    Our boss is planning to replace her with someone with much less experience, and I’m sure for much less pay. Part of me wants to confront our boss, but I doubt he’ll respond well. He is fully aware that we’re friends (we were in each other’s weddings) so my paranoid side thinks he’s testing me. If my friend finds out I knew before she did, I worry it could end our friendship. I want to be a good friend, a good co-worker and keep my own job (for now…I’m actively searching for a new job). Do I say anything to my friend?

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t really have any advice, although I guess it comes down to would you rather lose your job or your good friend. But this is an *awful* position to be in, and I’m so sorry. I hope you if you don’t tell your friend that she understands why. I’m not generally a big believer in lying, but perhaps you could tell her boss told you you’d be fired if you told her – that’s likely the truth even if he didn’t say it in so many words.
      And I don’t think you’re paranoid for thinking your boss is testing you – seems likely to me, if he’s aware how close you are.

    • No, you don’t say anything. There’s too much that you don’t know, and way more risk of harm than there is upside. The decision was presented to you as final, and you don’t have a say in it, so you have no role here. If your boss was “testing” you, that’s insane, and you’re already applying for other jobs to get away from that kind of behavior.

      If your friend ever finds out that you knew, say honestly that you had no idea of the context, timeline, or even whether it was true. Any reasonable person will understand that you had to protect yourself.

      • Agree. There is a cautionary tale in the AskaManager archives: after an acquisition a boss warned her entire department (~4 people) that they were about to be canned. They all rushed to find new jobs and left. Most took a step back, professionally, in their hurry to leave. Then it turned out that no one would have been fired.

      • Anonymous :


  19. Thistledown :

    Help! I’m trying to figure out what to wear for an internal interview. I’m basically starting my career over from scratch at 30, so I’m a data processor applying for an administrative assistant position. I have an internal interview next week. Our (midwestern) office is very business casual – jeans are allowed based on what you’re doing. The data processing pool is very relaxed and I haven’t always been as polished as I should at work. The job I’m applying for will require client interaction, so I really want to show them that I can be pulled-together when I need to be. But . . . I’ve gained weight and don’t fit into any of my suits. I have a black wool dress that I could wear with a very nice, cream structured sweater/soft blazer. Will this be okay, or do I need to try to get a suit bought and tailored before Thursday? (I’ve lost 7 pounds in the past month, and really don’t think I’d be able to wear it again.)

    Also, all 4 women I will be interviewing with regularly have bare legs in the summer. Pantyhose is *very* uncomfortable for me due to some abdominal health problems. Do I skip it, or is it a must for an interview? The HR rep said I should definitely dress-up, but I didn’t want to press her too much on specific details.

    If it matters, I’m not 100% convinced I want the job. My intel says I’m the only candidate they’re interviewing, so there’s a good chance I’ll get the offer.

    • Do you think the four women interviewing you will be wearing suits? What level of dressed up will they be? What level of dressed up would somebody in the role you’re interviewing for be expected to wear on their most dressed up day?

      Depending on the answers to those questions, a suit may be too much and what you have in mind may be fine. But it really depends.

    • Baconpancakes :

      If HR said you should dress up, get a Target suit. Pantyhose not necessary. (It’s summer, no one in the office wears hose, you’re fine.)

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Skip the pantyhose. Being very uncomfortable is far worse than not meeting a fashion rule.

      Your outfit suggestion sounds fine to me. What do the women you’re interviewing with tend to wear?

    • oil in houston :

      fwiw, dressing up might not mean a formal suit in that particular setting, you might get away with teh outfit ou describe or a nice black trousers, a professional top and a jacket

    • Anonymous :

      For stuff like this when I’m not sure, I usually wear a MM LaFleur jardigan with a (different color) sheath dress. Your outfit sounds fine to me, assuming it looks like you’re wearing a mismatched suit. Having a tailored topper makes things look more formal.

    • Just a thought – have you looked into thigh-high pantyhose? The ones with the sticky gum inside work reasonably well, especially for short stretches of time.

      • Thistledown :

        Yes – I think I might have some somewhere – but I’m usually scared that it will fall down at some terribly awkward moment. Maybe I should try wearing it around the house to see if it will stay up. It would be nice to have a reliable solution for occasions that *do* call for something. Does anyone have tips?

        • Rainbow Hair :

          I haaaate the stay-up ones (my delicate flower skin just can’t handle the sticky stuff) but am OK with a garter belt. Of course, a garter belt fits tightly around the waist, so maybe that’s no good. The difference is that it’s a single band, and you can often wear them lower, like on your hips, depending on how they fit and how your clothing falls….

        • Anonymous :

          Buy regular hose several sizes bigger than your size, cut a slit or two in the waistband, or try maternity maybe.

    • Don’t wear hose and don’t worry about wearing a full suit. Wear what you would wear to face clients. Wear the wool dress, the tailored cardigan, dressy shoes and pearls and you will look PLENTY businesslike without the need for hose or a full suit.

    • I suggest dress pants and a blazer. There is no need to wear a suit and if you are going to buy a suit, don’t buy a Target one. There is nothing worse than a cheap wrinkled suit. A blazer should be just fine. Stick to neutral colors – perhaps grey dress pants and a black blazer with a black shirt underneath.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you need a suit. Your proposed outfit is essentially a dress and a cardigan, and that’s just not formal enough. Can you get an actual blazer to match the dress?

  20. Thistledown :

    One of the four (the oldest) will wear suits to work, but the other three would only do that 3-4 times year for VIP visits. Normally, business casual will be fine for the role on most days (basically just a more polished version of what I wear now). I’d expect the interviewers to be wearing their normal business casual clothes. I would buy a Target suit, but my combination of short, fat, and busty would mean that I would need to get significant tailoring work done. Maybe it would be worth it to have on hand for VIP visits?

    • If you have time to buy a Target suit and get it tailored, it might be worth it if you think you’d ever need to wear it again. I really like their suits and hear they’re discontinuing the line.

      • Thistledown :

        I might skip the suit for the interview, but get something from Target in my current size and have it altered. The last time this came-up I did that (in a smaller size) and I did like the suit for the price. It would be nice to have something in the closet and ready-to-go for the future. Even if I keep losing weight, who knows if I’ll gain it back. Ugh, I hate not having the right clothes and gaining/loosing weight makes it so hard to build a wardrobe.

  21. Business School Graduate :

    I just came to say: I AM OFFICIALLY DONE WITH BUSINESS SCHOOL. I received a master’s degree, which is my second master’s (more specialized) and I couldn’t be happier. It meant so much to me because I like many of you grew up without privilege, emotional or educational support and had my fair share of abandonment and abuse. But through it all, I am here and I am standing and I have achieved/completed the educational goals I set for myself. I can’t talk to people in my life about it because I am very private/don’t communicate with dysfunctional parents/siblings beyond surface level. I kept it under wraps as not to invite their negativity, as they have done in the past – targeting the one successful sib. SO I came here to share the news with my ‘rette pals who have been there for me on some of those challenging days. Thank you :)

    • Anonymous :

      Congrats! This is awesome.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hooray! Heartiest congratulations!!! I hope you are doing something fabulous this weekend to celebrate!

      • Business School Graduate :

        Thanks SA! you definitely encouraged me on those rough times. Thank you :) would you believe I have just been so relieved that I haven’t planned anything?! Any ideas??? I’m open to suggestions in California!

        • Senior Attorney :

          Are you in LA? Call me and I’ll take you out!

          • Business School Graduate :

            I wish! I am in NorCal! but still means so much to me that you even offered <3

          • Senior Attorney :

            Darn! I will never forget a fellow C o r p o r e t t e meeting me for drinks the night I settled my divorce! This is a special group!

    • Thistledown :

      Congratulations! That’s a huge achievement – I’m also hoping you’re doing something to celebrate.

      • Business School Graduate :

        Thank you! I think I am still somewhat in shock?! and have literally planned nothing. But don’t want let the weekend pass and have spent it doing nothing netflix and cheap takeout :|

        which I LOVE lol… but not this weekend I feel like.

        • Anonymous :

          No, this is not the weekend for netflix and cheap takeout!! Go out to a movie; get the takeout you LOVE. Better yet, go buy yourself a graduation gift — a luxury you wouldn’t ordinarily buy — to mark the milestone. Your favorite set of books, a new watch, a new bag?

          And then make sure to come back here and tell us what you did so we can celebrate it with you!


            SO I went out for Mexican food! It was AMAZING! And then bought a whole cheesecake LOL. And I am going to feel zero shame about eating it in its entirety.

    • Congratulations!!! That is so wonderful. (personally, I think celebrating with netflix and takeout sounds kind of awesome… and maybe time spent planning a celebration for later after you’ve had a chance to recuperate)

    • YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. PSA kate spade surprise sale.

    Browsing it I’m seeing a lot of large wallet/small purse things that people are always looking for on here -something you can put in your work tote for carrying to lunch etc.

  23. My child is 6 years old, a voracious reader, and smart. I hesitate to use the “gifted” word. He can calculate squares and square roots of two digit numbers in his head, likes puzzles, and plays chess – he has defeated many adult family members though none of us is a professional. He has a great memory and reads intensely on subjects that interest him and can recall the facts when relevant (e.g. speed of the fastest land and water animals).
    He just finished kindergarten in our local public school in our affluent and educated suburb.

    Some friends who know the child have recommended getting his IQ tested. But then what? I am lost.

    On the one hand I would like my child to enjoy a happy, playful childhood without putting any pressure to excel academically (I am not a tiger mom and sent him to a play-based preschool before this kindergarten). But he puts enough pressure on himself (for example, he Hates losing a game of chess).
    Should I look around for specific schools or kinds of instruction? Should I focus on a specific talent of his (math or chess or should I get him to learn music since those skills may be correlated)?
    His teacher from Kinder said he fit in well but he did tend to be disruptive to other students because he would finish his work very quickly and then start talking to his neighbors which would distract them.

    Advice from parents and former children all welcome.

    • Let him skip grades and excel and take gifted classes! I was a child with a 142 IQ and my mom did exactly… nothing. I was stuck with my same-age peers who were not my academic peers. Being the smartest in the class got really old really fast and made social situations hard, no one wants to befriend the smarty pants.

      • Senior Attorney :

        On the subject of peers, my very best year was the one year I was in a private school for gifted children. I was finally with my people (socially as well as academically) and it was magical. If he is really way over on the right hand side of the bell curve that may be something to consider.

        • Oh incase you want a happy ending once I got to highschool I could control my own schedule and thus graduated early and went to University and I found my people, weird smart people.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m a former child who fits that description pretty well.

      Teach him to be kind and respectful and persistent. Don’t keep telling him how smart he is. Music is always fabulous so by all means do that. Work with him on being a gracious loser. The world has enough high achievers who are horrible people and/or neurotic. Concentrate on raising a good, decent, and well-adjusted person. And follow his lead when it comes to his interests… give him the opportunities he is interested in.

      • Anonymous :

        So true. My mom is a gifted education specialist and her favorite thing to tell her students is, “it’s more important to be NICE than it is to be SMART. If no one wants to talk to you, it doesn’t matter that you have interesting things to say.”

        -former gifted kid, who turned out mostly not horrible and not neurotic, thanks to great parenting.

    • My son is very bright like yours (my daughter has been perfectly average so far so I’m not trying to be a super braggy mom.) I have managed to keep him engaged and happy in regular school by just allowing him to pursue his passions for reading and getting deeply into Star Wars, etc, and letting him have lots of online time at appropriate sites. He is also a talented artist in a cartooning style and his teachers and I agreed that cartooning was a good way to keep him occupied while the rest of the class caught up. (I.e., cartooning is not goofing off)

      He’s a teenager now, chose the IB program and AP classes of his own volition, and I was the farthest thing from a tiger mom. He had a pretty normal childhood with normal friends and I’m glad he did. The last thing I wanted either of my kids experiencing was a separate/special/segregated educational experience. I want them to go to school with a wide cross section of kids so that they will ultimately feel at home in the diverse world we inhabit.

    • Anonymous :

      He sounds very gifted. Don’t most 6 year olds not even know what a square root IS?

      Definitely look into enrichment programs, including summer and after school programs for gifted students. I did an in-school enrichment program in elementary (we were pulled out of our normal class for an hour or two per week) and I loved it. It encouraged creative and analytical thinking without really being related to a specific subject and I think that’s way more appropriate for a 6 year old than trying to get him into 8 year old math classes.

      I’m not a big believer in skipping grades. Most schools have options for enrichment on a class-by-class basis (e.g., algebra is usually offered to gifted students beginning in seventh or eighth grades even though “normal” students take it in ninth). I know some people who started college at 15 or 16 and they were mostly weird and unhappy. A lot of people I know -myself included – were accelerated on an class-by-class basis and took several university classes in high school but still graduated HS at 18 with our class. We were generally much happier. This kind of acceleration doesn’t need to happen until middle or high school, so he’ll have an idea of his own interests and abilities by then and I would let him guide you on what he wants to do.

      I’m also hesitant about IQ tests – I’m not sure it’s good to label kids as “geniuses” especially so early. Fwiw I have a 149 IQ (but didn’t take the test until after high school) and although I was labeled “gifted” and “smart” as a kid, I’m glad I wasn’t giving the genius label and the numerical IQ score until much later. I think that would have kind of messed with my head. I also think in elementary school learning to socialize and interact with peers is as or more important than learning anything academic. HS is a different story of course, but social considerations shouldn’t be ignored even there.

      • I skipped two grades, as did my sister, and we were both much happier for it. I am friends with a bunch of other people who started college at 15 or 16, or even 14 (it was pretty common at my top-ranked technical university) and they were all likewise really happy with having done so. Many of us were considered “weird and unhappy” before we skipped any grades, but definitely not after.

        I actually only know one or two people who skipped grades, out of several dozen, who regret it now.

    • Anonymous :

      In the US, typically the school will test him for the gifted program (IQ test) and then they will develop an IEP for him — maybe he can do the regular gifted classes, or he could have a more involved plan. IEPs are for anyone who is not average, whether it be because they have a disability or a gift. You don’t have to tell the kid what his IQ is and you don’t have to take him out of class full time or anything. You could opt to do nothing, but have that on his record for future use when he’s in middle or high school.

      The gifted classes I was in were really all critical thinking lessons and fun “brainy” games, so I enjoyed it but I don’t know if it really scratched an academic itch. He could probably participate in whatever their program is or switch it out for something else. Skipping a few classes a week though was not a big deal and to be honest I don’t think most kids realized were were ever gone from the main classroom.

      Honestly if I had a kid like that I’d get him really into computers, understanding them from a very low level, assembly language, os internals, and all that, and get him into programming, robot building, etc. There is basically an endless supply of things to do and he is young enough to really build an amazing foundation for his adult life.

      • This was not the way things worked in my kids’ (affluent, suburban) public school. Basically there was no gifted program, no IEP, the kids were never tested/identified, and nothing special was done for my super smart daughter until 7th grade, when advanced math started. We enrolled her in weekend enrichment classes for gifted kids (you had to test in), which also gave us some material to show to the school district about gifted opportunities. This program (Northwestern Center for Talent Development) offered above-level testing and information, which I found helpful. Eventually enough parents complained and the school started enrichment programs, but really my daughter wasn’t working at her level until high school AP classes. I still wonder if I should have done more. Math is her passion and she’s applying to colleges now, and I see she is competing against kids who have been going to various national math contests and such for years, and I didn’t even know those things existed until now. Her teachers just tell me she’s doing fine, and have never offered any particular advice, even when I tell them she wants to go into math as a career. So, I urge you to be an advocate and learn as much as you can about outside resources.

        • Anonymous :

          My husband is a tenured math professor at a top 20 university.
          Success in math competitions has very little to do with success in math research, I.e., math as a career. If she has taken AP Calculus in high school she won’t be “behind” for a math career. If she goes to a top college, she will surely meet kids who have taken some college math beyond calculus and done math competitions, but it’s unclear those kids will do better in college math classes, which is what will determine who is admitted to a top graduate school. My husband knows a lot of math prodigies and many of them burned out early and have not obtained tenure-track positions at research institutions. She should definitely seek out opportunities for math research with faculty by her freshman or sophomore year of college, but really all you have to do in high school is take calculus.
          The general consensus of most college faculty I know (in math and other fields) is that very smart kids should definitely take AP and college classes in junior/senior year of high school but acceleration before then is more often harmful than helpful. Fwiw, my husband took AP Calculus his senior year of high school and was admitted to all but one of the top grad schools for math in the US.

          • Thank you so much for posting this! This is great to hear; much appreciated.

    • I was one of those… since I loved to read, I had it set up with my teacher that, when my work was done, I could quietly pull out my chapter book and read to myself during classwork time, which kept me happy and busy, which kept me quiet and not disruptive. If you think your child might do well gaining empathy and supportive skills, maybe you can talk with his teacher about pairing him with a student during different subject lessons who needs some extra assistance? (Not talking special needs situations, as they have requirements to meet and such) but a kid who just sometimes struggles. This might teach him to learn in a way that he can also teach, while seeing how others learn and where they struggle, which could be good to keep him grounded and self-aware.

      Otherwise, find out if your school system has gifted programming and how they test for such or whether they have an accelerated option in some or all of the classes. Your kid can’t be the first in this situation, so maybe there’s something that’s been created previously that worked well.

      You may also do well to reward behavior in school with access to more learning (since he enjoys learning). Zoobook subscriptions, trips to the local library, etc. might all be great fun for him while he learns to earn this by behaving in school. However, he should not be expected to sit silently for numerous hours per day simply because he is advanced (that’s just unfair to any kid), so make sure to discuss with the teacher and other educators/principals/etc. to make sure his needs are being met too!

      PS As he ages, make sure he learns how to study! I never had to until college and it put me at a huge disadvantage to have to learn how! (This may mean you quiz him on things at home to see if he can pay attention to details, maybe you can tell him to take notes on an educational tv show so he can learn to discern what is important from what isn’t, and many educational shows/networks offer tests and quizzes on their websites to make this easier.)

    • Former gift-er :

      If you post again on Monday, you may get more replies. I was tested and transferred to a (public) magnet gifted program in the 3rd grade, and it really changed my life. Not because the work was hard, but because suddenly I was around other people like me. We were all weirdos but on similar wavelengths. Learning became fun. I also attended summer camps – I think the acronym was SIG – where you take advanced classes in a college setting in middle school/high school and really, really, loved it. I would encourage you to think about this not because your kid will get ahead academically but because it will encouraging their love of learning and help them find people like themselves. We moved when I was in high school and I went to a normal private school – I really suffered in the transition because being a nerdy science girl became SUPER UNCOOL, I got along more with the teachers than the students and I was ostracized for two years and wound up eating lunch in the library by myself all the time. Things improved again when I got to college and there was a wider swath/more self-selection.

    • Anonymous :

      I was a child tested with a 150 IQ (but my parents didn’t tell me that until years and years later). I skipped a grade, played multiple instruments (school band and orchestra, private lessons for piano), loved books, trivia, chess, and all other nerdy pursuits, and was in the gifted class in my public school. I also played softball, took swimming lessons, went to non-specialized YMCA summer camps and did all manner of normal kid stuff. I knew I was smart, and my parents absolutely encouraged my reading and interest in whatever my obsession of the moment was, but they treated me like a kid. I acted like a kid. It probably helped that my siblings are also very bright, so I wasn’t “special” in my family. Definitely make sure your child has a chance to be around intellectual peers, the same way you’d make sure he has a chance to be around kids who share other interests. Advocate for him at school so he’s in classes that challenge him or at least has special projects to keep him engaged. Boredom and behavior problems are very typical for understimulated gifted kids. Gifted teachers are trained and teach differently for a reason: gifted kids learn differently than “average” kids and have different social needs. It’s worth making sure your son has access to someone who can address his needs and kids who are like him. I loooved my gifted classes more than the rest of school combined, and they we’re only one full day a week. It was enough. You don’t necessarily need a special school, just an outlet. And then let your kid take the lead on the rest. If he wants to do calculus and robotics, ok fine. But if he wants to just ride his bike with his friends, also fine.

      • Anonymous :

        Add on since your son is 6. I skipped first grade. I could already read well, and was doing multiplication out of a separate curriculum while my classmates did shapes math, so there was no way I was going to be entertained by addition, subtraction and phonics for a year. It was early enough that I was just absorbed by my new class and my age was not a thing until I was the last one to get a driver’s license. I think my parents pushed pretty hard to get me accelerated, but there was precedent in the district. I remember taking a reading test and a math test with my school guidance counselor, and having a privately administered IQ test that I think my parents probably arranged and paid for. It was the right choice for me, but depending on your son’s capacity for sitting still and the difference in instruction vs play time between 1st and 2nd grade in your district, your choice could be different. Gifted classes didn’t start until 3rd grade in my school. If they start earlier for your son, skipping might not be necessary/advisable.

    • I was tested and placed in the Gifted program in my school system. My husband was as well.

      We are united in this opinion: “Gifted” is a label, and like any label, there are positives and negatives. I don’t feel that being labeled as gifted helped me at all. The Gifted program in my school district consisted of being pulled out of class to be given individual tutoring on subjects where I was accelerated (reading and science). Being removed from my class and taken away from my classmates to get special treatment definitely caused me some social problems in school.

      My husband got basically nothing out of being labeled as gifted in elementary school, other than getting picked on by a teacher (!) and then his classmates. In high school, he got to go to a special class that he liked a lot, with other gifted kids he became friends with (he’s still friends with some of them).

      Some of the kids who were in my gifted program let the label weigh them down. They felt tremendous pressure to be the best and brightest (from their parents, from teachers and from fellow students) because of the label. Some ended up with some serious problems. Some ended up achieving far less than their potential probably indicated they could achieve. Again, this is a label and it will have the weight you, and other people put on it. It’s hard to know how the label will affect your individual child.

      Before you get your son tested, clarify what will happen with him if he is found to be gifted – will he be given special opportunities that will NOT set him apart or make him different for other kids? Is there a way to give him those opportunities without having him tested and slapped with a “gifted” label? Be very clear with yourself about what you want and expect to happen once he is tested.

      FWIW – our son probably qualifies as gifted. We have him in an excellent school and do tons of enrichment activities with him. We have declined to test him, and he’s doing really well in school and in the rest of his life without any label – gifted, not gifted, etc. – slapped on him.

    • Former highly gifted child and parent of same here. Do not bother with IQ testing for any purpose other than getting your child admitted to an appropriate program. If you have him tested, never ever tell him exactly how he did. I don’t know my IQ, just the minimum it had to be to get into the magnet school I attended, and my daughter will never know hers. My nephew’s parents, on the other hand, told him his IQ and he used to go around repeating it to people.

      If magnet schools or a private school program for gifted students is available, get him in there ASAP. Gifted children, especially highly gifted children, need to be grouped together. They don’t just learn faster than their age-level peers, they learn differently and relate to people differently. “Cluster” or pull-out programs that place gifted children in regular classes most of the time are worthless.

      If you have no other options, grade advancement is not necessarily a bad thing. Our school district has no magnet programs and no honors program until high school, it does not offer IEPs to gifted services, and its gifted programming is a joke. We were able to advance our daughter a grade and it’s been very successful for her. She’s still bored, but is doing well socially and we’re looking at ways to advance her further in math.

      Be very careful when evaluating programs for gifted children offered through universities. Some, such as JHU’s CTY program and the UMPTYMP math program at the Univeristy of Minnesota, provide high-quality programming of real value. Others are primarily revenue-generators for the affiliated universities with little instructional value.

  24. Torn loyalty :

    I need some advice. Years ago my husband and I become friendly with another couple: A (husband) and B (wife). We were not BFF close, but we were all roughly the same age, lived in the same suburb, and my husband and A are in the same profession. We would have dinner together every few months and periodically go somewhere together.

    About a year ago, they got divorced. She and I have stayed friendly. She told me she left him because of an emotional affair he was having with a younger woman (C). When she confronted him, he got very angry and defensive, invited her to read their emails and text messages (apparently not incriminatory), and told her in no uncertain terms that she did not get to pick his friends when she demanded he cut off contact. She is still very bitter about the divorce, partly because she did not come out of it well off financially and he is much wealthier due to family money which she could not touch. Her standard of living took a big hit. I try to steer the conversation in other directions, but he comes up at least once in every conversation.

    I just found out that A and C are getting married this fall and are expecting a baby early next year. A is apparently over the moon about the baby. He and B did not have children and I am not sure why.

    We have been invited to the wedding and husband wants to go. Although B and I are not really good friends, I am not particularly eager to see her ex marry the woman he was carrying on with (even if not physically) while he was married. So here is my question: (1) Do I go given that my husband wants to? Or make up some excuse about why I cannot attend and send husband on his own? (2) Do I tell B about the new wife/baby? We are all in our late 30’s and I cannot imagine how she will feel finding out her recent ex-husband is marrying a 20-something and expecting a baby. I do not want to be the bearer of bad news, but if she finds out from someone else she is going to know that I knew and did not say anything.

    • This is tough, and I am sure there are lots of ways you can handle it with grace.

      I think I would make out of town plans the weekend of the wedding, send my regrets and a card or present, and see how the friendship with the husband fares over the next year with all the big changes happening. I would probably start investing my friendship efforts elsewhere because it is hard to imagine how or where this friendship with the husband is going with a young bride, his history of infidelity, and them becoming newlyweds and new parents all at once.

    • No one wants someone at their wedding who has any ill will toward them for any reason, so it’s likely totally ok not to go. However, it may be a professional thing for husband to want to go. Maybe he’d be okay with you guys going away for that weekend and then sending regrets because you’ll be away (polite but gets you out of going)? Talk with him about why he wants to go and about how you feel.

      As for talking with the wife, that’s not your place. You’re not close enough that she’d be upset to know you knew, she’d have no reasonable expectation you’d tell her (like she would if you were bff’s). The only reason to tell her would be if you were going to the wedding and wanted to be open with her about going and how you do still want to be friends with her (though going likely shows a choice of sides, since this is obviously a bad breakup).

      I think you make the decision after talking with your husband and you treat the ex-wife the same as you always have. If you go, decide whether you feel a need to discuss it with her and why before doing so.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think you definitely don’t go to the wedding. It’s perfectly okay to send regrets. If your husband wants to go, he can go alone.

      I get that it’s weird to not tell B. I feel like if A’s name comes up and it starts to feel like lying by omission not to tell her, you say “I hate to be the one to lay this on you, but A and C are getting married and we are invited to the wedding and it feels weird not to tell you and weird to tell you so… I’m telling you. I’m not going, of course.” I don’t think it’s necessary to tell her about the baby at this point.

    • I would go. Life goes on and he may have wanted a child that his ex couldnt give him. He’s happy with the new bride and she’s fertile! What’s not to love?

  25. I’m looking at a blush faux-leather jacket on sale. Yay or nay? Will blush-pink clothes look incredibly dated in, like, a matter of months?

    • This is a genuine question, not a snarky one: How much does it matter to you if your clothes aren’t on the cutting edge of the latest trends? it doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve never been on the leading edge of trends, nobody around me is, and I don’t run with a crowd that thinks in terms of “incredibly dated” or “latest trend.” My industry doesn’t judge me on keeping up with trends. Therefore, it wouldn’t matter to me if the color blush ended up on the “out” list compiled by an associate editor at a fashion magazine based in New York. But, some people DO like to be in the edge of trends. For them, I’d say that blush may not be on the latest cutting edge, but it’s certainly going to be around for a while.

      • This is a great point. I really love that color (and I look awesome in it) and will probably wear it long after it’s no longer “current.” Thanks for the perspective.

        • I bought a blush faux leather moto jacket and I love it. I wear it as much as possible and I DGAF if it stops being on trend. If you love it, get it!

  26. After a great summer of over-indulging I’ve realized my clothes are fitting a bit uncomfortably tight. I could stand to lose 5-10lbs (15 if I’m really ambitious but ~8 is just fine). I’ll do the obvious, meal plan instead of my too-often fast food lunches, cut out daily dessert, stop eating ridiculous brunches every weekend (a place near me has doughnut french toast and I would eat it every day if I could). Any other tips or tricks to drop a few pounds with low effort??

    • You must be like me. I love to eat, but it shows up in my tummy and tuchus. You probably have a tuchus like mine if you are 10 pounds overweight. FOOEy! But there is a solution!!!!! The key is to drink alot of water, even if you wind up going to the toilet alot more then you are used to. Water fills you up, but there are no calorie’s! Of course, water does not solve your appetite; when I am sitting on the toilet, often all i think about is food! But you can do it, as I do. Also, in addition to water, you must WALK, at least 10,000 steps a day. I have a FITBIT that i use to track my steps, as well as my Iphone. If you walk 10,000 steps a day and drink alot of water, you will Loose weight, and you will be able to find a man to marry you! Once you do, and have a kid, you should be in the clear to eat all the French Toast you want; but ONLEY use real maple syrup. The fake stuff is dreck!!!!! YAY!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      No drinking calories unless it’s a nutritious meal replacement like a breakfast smoothie. No alcohol, no juice, no sugar sweetened beverages. Drink water, drink unsweetened tea, drink black coffee. And stay hydrated.

    • Alcohol is a diet killer. Your liver will occupy itself with metabolizing alcohol ahead of everything, so it won’t be burning any fat until it’s done with the alcohol. It takes about an hour to metabolize an ounce of alcohol.

    • You really need to exercise strenuously every day in addition to cutting out the alcohol and sweets. Dont expect miracles. You didn’t get fat overnight and it will take many weeks to get the fat off. Don’t be discouraged. There are a lot of other fatties like us out there.

  27. London Travel :

    Hi, want to help me with some travel planning fun? I’m going to London in mid-November for a week. If you were me, what would you wear, what type of coat would you bring and what type of bag/purse would you bring?

    • I went to London in late October. I brought sweaters and wore a black trench. That worked nicely because (shock) it rained quite a bit but was not freezing cold. I wore jeans and also wool skirts with boots. Basically didn’t want to be walking around in a heavy coat, so I layered underneath. I also brought a cross body bag that was pretty roomy. Have fun, I LOVE London.

      • London Travel :

        Thanks! I’m looking forward to it. I love London too, it’s just been a -really- long time since I’ve been there, esp. during autumn/winter.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Late to this but hopefully you will see this.

      I was in London for New Year’s last year and every. single. woman. was wearing a slim puffer coat with some kind of fur trim.

  28. losing hair :

    I am 6 months postpartum and dealing with a TON of hair loss and thinning. I came across Kat’s helpful post on the mom’s site about styling tips postpartum, but wondering if others have any tips? Any suggestions for shampoo or treatments? Or any recs for extensions? I have fine, thin, straight hair and opt for ponytails or hats a lot. TIA!

    • Y to the East :

      I have thin hair, and using no damage spiral hair ties has been a great improvement for my ponytails.
      There is an extra small size that i use, and bobby pins to keep hair tidy. No hairs have gotten broken in the tie since i started using them.
      Love – will never go back to other hair bands.

  29. Self confidence kryptonite :

    What’s your self confidence kryptonite and how do you deal with it? Mine is acne. I had cystic acne as a teenager and was teased for it. Spent years getting it under control. I have great skin now but still get the occasional seething deep-rooted painful pimple. And when I do I practically go into mental meltdown mode. I have a really hard time showing this particular imperfection to the world and hope maybe you have tips from your own experiences.

    • crushing kryptonite :

      love that term and what an intriguing question to consider! For me, it’s having a flat chest and hyperpigmentation on my upper lip. I have found strategies to camouflage both, but the nagging feeling of insecurity lingers. I have pondered more permanent medical interventions and even thinking about these solutions helps a little. The best strategy I have found is to try my best to accept these flaws and asking myself, “how important is it?” I also think about what my reaction would be to noticing these issues on a friend or stranger. I realize I would not care or judge that person. I have to remind myself that many of my insecurities stem from the “spotlight effect”- overestimating how much attention people pay to me. Freakonomics had a great podcast highlighting social psychology experiments that test this phenomenon, involving a Barry Manilow t-shirt, which was fascinating. Now when I ask my husband about something about which I am insecure, he reminds me, “Barry Manilow T-Shirt.” TLDR: accepting, reframing, and not taking myself so seriously helps.

  30. Anonymous :

    Could I suggest as a first step that you stop using the phrase “self-confidence kryptonite”? The wording is fun, catchy, and descriptive — Nice!!

    BUT … built into the picture is the idea that “this is the way it is, it’s a lifelong debilitating weakness built into my DNA.” Your problem with acne is no such thing. It’s a place where you got really hurt as a teenager, and as a result, that part of you got stuck in how a teenager thinks and responds. That’s perfectly understandable. But just as you grew up to be an adult in other areas of your life, that left-behind teenage part of you can find some new ways of responding. That piece of your heart and thinking can grow out of those old intense reactions. So, it’s not kryptonite. It’s just an area where you have some growing to do, and you can do that.

  31. I just lost some weight and have pulled a lot of clothes I used to wear out of storage. I have a lot of wool pants that are well made of good fabric, with wide legs. I’m 55 and prefer a classic look; I don’t need to be trendy. But I like to look current, not like time passed me by. What about wide leg wool pants — can they look current?

    • I’m seeing a lot of wide leg pants featured for this fall. The problem, of course, is that they’ll look a bit different than the last time wide legs were in style. (I’m not sure how designers manage that!) I’d browse some web sites like Saks, Nordstrom, etc. to see if your pants look similar enough to the current fall/winter fashions.

      You can also get a tailor to narrow the legs of those pants to make them into a more “classic” width. I did this recently with several pairs of wool pants and have gotten a lot of additional use out of them.


    Me again. I posted about graduating from Business School. Not sure if my period is coming soon or what but I am extra sentimental today. I went from shock, to excitement to now being sentimental. Maybe because I look at my mom and I feel like among other things she sacrified a lot to raise me as a single mother. It’s only now that I see her as a woman – because as a woman myself I can see the dichotomy of womanhood. How, especially back in her day, it was career or marriage. Certainly after her divorce so long ago, it was custody or alimony. She never got her masters and she didn’t get to travel the world like she wanted. She didn’t get to do ALOT of things. She didn’t remarry – because she devoted every second not working to us. She was that mother that would be at the school if we got a paper cut (she was there whenever we needed her, in any way.). Excuse my ramblings. But I guess in my heart, I know I couldn’t have become the woman I am today if my mother hadn’t sacrificed so much and done her best to guide me the best way she knew how. I used to resent her as a teen and young woman because she wasn’t some doctor or nurse like other people’s mom. I resented the fact she couldn’t pay my tuition. I resented the fact she didn’t fight my dad harder for money so we could’ve maintained the same standard of living we once had. It’s only now, at this time that I realize most of her motives for her choices and can appreciate them. I’ve told her this in the past – how much I appreciate her and her sacrifice. But I guess today it’s even more meaningful because I’m standing here at a milestone I statistically shouldn’t have been able to reach.

    • Good for you. Make sure you tell her this before it’s too late.

    • I would write her a letter to thank you. She knows you are grateful, because you have told her, but having it in a letter, at such a proud moment, will feel extra special to her. Plus she will always be able pull it out and reread it and then she will get the feeling of being thanked again.

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