Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

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  1. UK Holiday help :

    Looking for some travel recommendations. My husband and I are doing a 10-day trip in October to the UK, and will be traveling with both sets of parents. We are going to be spending 3 days in Devon/Cornwall, 3 days in Scotland (1 in Edinburgh, 1 in Stirling and surround, 1 in the Highlands), and 2 days in the Cambridge area. We are planning on renting two cars for driving around comfortably (with lots of baggage admittedly). We are staying in an AirBnB in Devon/Cornwall, a chain hotel in Edinburgh, a castle for the other nights in Scotland, and a boutique hotel in the Cambridge area.

    I have planned a fairly detailed itinerary at the behest of all parties, but I’m sure it could be improved. I would greatly appreciate any and all must-see attraction tips, restaurant/dining recs, shopping tips, and suggestions for scenic stops on our longer driving legs, of which there are three (the first from London down to Devon, the second from Devon up to Edinburgh, and the third from Perth or Stirling down to Cambridge). We are also not married to Cambridge; it seemed like an interesting place to spend our last two days while still being a relatively easy drive to Heathrow for a late morning flight. I think we would have preferred to spend time in Kent, but the drive from Stirling or Perth down to Kent seemed pretty untenable after all that prior driving. Any suggestions welcome! My family and I have spent a lot of time in the UK, including living there, but I still admittedly approach driving and holiday with a fairly American attitude (i.e. I have a very limited amount of time off and I think I can drive anywhere).

    • Gosh, that sounds like a lot of driving. I’m admittedly biased but I’m not sure if you could do Edinburgh justice in one day. Stirling is a bit meh (although I prefer the castle to ours)

      • I agree that Edinburgh in one day seems like an injustice, I was trying to appease all requests and it seems impossible.

      • Add: you definitely can’t do the highlands in one day, or Ed. Do two and a half in Ed and perhaps just do Stirling castle (which I do love (in good weather)) on the way down south. If you do the highlands for one night you I will spend a many hours each day in the car. Once you get past Perth journeys take soooo much longer than you expect, and I’m assuming you are looking to head up towards the Cairngorms etc. To me Perth is just the marker that you are on your way to the highlands.

        Don’t want to be a downer but are you aware that Devon to Edinburgh and Stirling to Cambridge are two verrrrrry long days in the car (people up here tend to drive overnight as it can cut the journey time by a couple of hours, down to nearer the time google will tell you the trip will take). Motorways in the UK are crowded and stressful, very different from America. Have you thought about the train? It would be less tiring and it’s quite a pretty journey.

    • Where in Devon are you staying? Devon/Cornwall is a fairly big area so that might colour the recommendations. Also could make some of those drives very long depending on where you’re starting/ending. St Ives is stunning and should be nice and quiet outside of the peak summer season. Dartmoor National Park is also spectacular and full of wild ponies (between Plymouth and Exeter)

      • Have you driven in the UK before? I ask because a lot of the roads you’ll travel on may be smaller/slower/ more twisting than what you’re used to in the US. We found driving in the UK much more tiring than stateside, and trips generally took longer than the equivalent distance here. For example, the trip from the edge of Devon to the tip of Cornwall took us about a day. Similarly, the trip from Edinburgh up into the Highlands was twisting and difficult, especially in heavy rain (which could happen at any time). The trips you are describing to me read like “all day in a car and not much else.”

        If you’re an experienced UK traveler and took all that into account, please just ignore.

        • I definitely agree about the roads and find them more motion-sickness inducing, though fortunately I appear to be the only one in the party who reacts that way. The last time I drove from Edinburgh (well, Leith) up to Inverness it took me a bit over 3 hours. I guess it depends how far into the Highlands you’re going and I wasn’t very specific.

      • We’re staying about 20 minutes west of Exeter. The main sights we have planned would be one day in Exeter and maybe Sidmouth or one of those coastal towns, the northern coast another day (Tintagel and St. Ives), and then the Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan for the last day. Admittedly not terribly Cornwall heavy when I look at it.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I think this is too many places in too short of a time. Too much driving. I know you said you have lived in the UK but Scotland and Cornwall roads are very narrow, one track roads and windy without good lighting…it takes a long time to cover things. I say pick scotland or pick cornwall but don’t try to do both.

      I did a cornwall trip with my parents where we took the train from London to Penzance on a Thursday morning. Our train was like 10 am – 3 pm or something like that. Rented a car. Then drove around Cornwall Friday, Saturday, reaching Truro on Sunday and returning the car to take the train back reaching London at midnight. This was too short. We could have stayed 2 weeks! You won’t have anytime to get out of the car if you are just doing that short time.

      I also have done a trip from London to the Isle of Skye where we took the train from London to Edinburgh on a Friday. Drove Saturday AM to the Isle of Skye. Spent Sunday exploring the Isle of Skye. Drove back Monday past Loch Lomond. This was also too short. We needed another day in the Isle of Skye. It was gorgeous but we wanted more time to explore and it was a lot of driving.

      You do not need 2 days in Cambridge.

      I highly recommend this book to plan scenic driving paths: The Most Amazing Scenic Journeys in Britain: Great Drives of Discovery Through England, Scotland and Wales (Readers Digest)- Its out of print but you can buy it used. Its so helpful because it picks interesting routes and you get to see the best views – something google map can’t plan for. Its driving estimate times are really good too. Make sure you add in time for weekends when everyone is trying to return home and the one track roads get totally jammed up.

      • Do you think if we don’t venture too far into Cornwall that that would make a difference? i.e. if the farthest “in” we go is Eden Project/Lost Gardens of Heligan area.

        Likewise do you think it matters if the highest we go in the Highlands is Inverness?

        I agree about the roads being much different than American roads (I had a particularly bad experience with a B road outside Bathgate in Scotland, I became overly acquainted with some cows, ditches, and shrubbery) but I looked at driving times on Google maps and they seemed do-able. Do you find the google maps estimated driving times to be completely off base when it comes to the UK?

        The reason we aren’t opting for trains is that the train times on Google seemed slower than driving in many cases, which was surprising.

        I lived in Edinburgh and then halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh for some time, and my family is from Norfolk, but admittedly in both of those areas the motorways and other roads are quite developed compared to what we might find in other rural areas.

        Thank you for the book rec, I will look it up! Very useful info all around!

        • Puddlejumper :

          I think it just depends on what you want with your trip. All the areas have such gorgeous hikes. I would want to be able to stay in one place for 2 nights so I could have a full day to hike and to stop in a small town and find an amazing afternoon tea during my hike.

          Why are you driving all over for such short times? Do you just want to check if off the list that you have seen it? What is your goal for this trip? You aren’t really having any time to really enjoy it and take it in. Everything moves slower in the UK too. Like good dinners will take you a few hours.

          Its going to take about 12 hours right? To drive from Devon to Edinburgh. Thats a whole day lost driving. Why are you criss crossing the country? I just would spend 10 days in Scotland and really take in the sights. Rick Steves and a bunch of other guides have a driving plans for 10 days in Scotland. The Isle of Skye was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. Last reminder – remember that it gets dark fast in October so you will not have lots of daylight to see things in.

          But it sounds like you have lived there before, and so you know you best. But this sounds like a forced march of a vacation to me. I would always be looking at the clock and not finding any time to wander and soak it up.

    • Anonymous :

      I mean this nicely but this sounds miserable. It’s way too much time in a car, especially with both sets of in-laws. I’d have a hard time enjoying any of the destinations or relaxing at all. Even if you’ve been to Edinburgh before, one day there is almost useless (and if you’ve gone there enough that you only want to spend one day there, then why go at all?). Same with the Highlands – all day in the car will result in a lot of a roadside scenery and not much else.
      I think your group needs to decide on a geographic priority. I love the Highlands and, personally, would head up from London to Edinburgh, stay in Edinburgh for 3 nights, then to the Highlands in a rental car for 3 or 4 days, followed by a train or car trip back down to Cambridge for the remainder. Going all the way from Devon to Edinburgh to the Highlands….is a long way.

      • I am not that sensitive that you have to say it nicely, though it did make me laugh. There is a very good reason for the two cars and that is in case anyone gets grumpy at anyone else, not that I am anticipating it. I agree that it’s a very long way in a not-straight-road sort of country. Now I’m wondering if instead of Devon/Cornwall, we insert a Northern English destination like York. Would require less driving all around and make the distances much shorter.

        • Puddlejumper :

          The lake district might be good closer option! Its so gorgeous!

          • FuturemrsA :

            I second this. I’m from the North West of the UK and visit the lakes regularly…Bowness-On-Windermere is gorgeous (I just got engaged there!). IMO, (if I’m understanding your plans properly) a whole day in Exeter is far too long (I personally would skip it altogether as I don’t think there’s much to see there).

    • Have you considered domestic flights from perhaps Bournemouth or Southampton to Edinburgh/Glasgow? This will still give you some driving experience and scenery to enjoy, but save a lot of driving time.

    • Edinburgh one day itinerary: Book you Edinburgh Castle tickets in advance so you don’t have to wait in line. Lines are very long. Then after knocking that out in the early morning, walk on the Royal Mile and souvenier shop, eat lunch nearby and consider going to the main art museum (I think it’s called the National Gallery), then walk along Prince Street park (their central park) before dinner near Grassmarket at Howies. Highly recommend Howies for either lunch or dinner, we loved that place.

      • It’s hard to make specific recommendations without knowing exactly where you’ll be or the kinds of things you like to do. I don’t know Scotland as well as Devon/ Cornwall, but both have lovely scenery etc. Devon/ Cornwall are also noticeably warmer! If travelling from London to Devon, there are various places you could stop en route along the A303. As well as Stonehenge (which you can see from the road in any case), there are several National Trust properties and gardens located very near the A303 so you could enjoy one of those for a brief stop and perhaps a cafe or picnic stop eg, Stourhead. I don’t know Exeter so can’t comment on that, but Devon and Cornwall both have lots of lovely walking country, both moors and coast (the South West Coast Path). There’s little steam train from Buckfastleigh (on the A38) to Totnes. From Totnes you can do a narrated boat trip to Dartmouth (which has lots of cafes and a castle). Riverford Field Kitchen is a wonderful place to eat near Totnes. As already mentioned, St Ives in Cornwall is also lovely. I can recommend the Gurnard’s Head for food a little way along the coast to the west. I don’t know exactly the route you’d take from Devon to Scotland or back via Cambridge, but again there are places you could stop en route such as Cheddar Gorge, Chatsworth or the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I also agree that the Lake District could be a good option if you don’t want to travel as far as Scotland. Good luck!

  2. Thistledown :

    My internal interview went really this well this week, so I’m trying to prepare to negotiate a potential job offer. I know what salary I want, but I’m trying to think of other things I could negotiate if the salary is inflexible. So far I’ve come-up with vacation leave and training budget. What else should I consider? (This is basically an entry level analyst/admin position.)

    • If you’re entry level you might not get anything, but here are some things to consider:

      telecommuting / work from home options
      parking or transit
      tuition reimbursement
      performance bonuses

    • Anonymous :

      I’d be a little cautious about negotiating extra vacation leave. I did that once and although I was successful, when I tried to use the leave (with plenty of advance notice and not at an especially bad time) people acted like I was being lazy or not a good employee. I think I kind of developed a reputation as “that girl that takes all the vacation.” Of course, the alternative would have been letting paid vacation that I had negotiated for go to waste, so neither was really a good option.
      This is a know-your-office/industry thing, some offices are much more flexible about people taking vacation.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I agree. I hear extra vacation as a suggested thing to negotiate for but I don’t see it playing out particularly well in reality.

      • My mother was a doctor who, with her seniority in private practice, received 8 weeks (!!!) of vacation per year. My father was a minister, but by that point, my parents really didn’t need his salary. He negotiated up to 4 weeks of vacation and missing 6 Sundays. It went OK for a year or two, but he was eventually perceived as always being on vacation/never there. He was eventually told it wasn’t working out. (And he’s been retired since then.)

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Same. I negotiated more than the rest of my office and my boss made it clear it is there if I really needed it (family emergency or something) but he doesn’t want me using it all every year.

    • Thistledown :

      Update: they cancelled the interview on Monday and offered me the job! They do not in fact negotiate leave, but said they would be flexible and work with me. (I wanted extra leave as sick leave – I have like 8 diseases.) I’m getting a 12% bump in salary which the president had to approve this morning, so I accepted!

      I will be spending this weekend going clothes shopping and taking things in for alterations!

      • Thistledown :

        Correction: 14% bump in salary! I’m so excited. And thanks to everyone who gave me advice about what to wear. I ended up going with the black wool dress with a cropped black cardigan, pearls, black pumps, and no pantyhose! In the end, it fit the best and it’s what I felt the most confident in.

        But I will be getting something tailored ASAP, so that I can be more formal for client interaction days.

  3. Anonymous :

    For those who have dealt with alcoholism, I would appreciate any thoughts on living with an alcoholic (any coping mechanisms you utilized), and if there came a point when you decided that life with the alcoholic was no longer sustainable. In my case, the alcoholic is my spouse (and there are kids involved), but open to any experiences you all might be willing to share.

    • Anonymous :

      Is your spouse in recovery? Open to it? Are you already going to Al-Anon meetings?

      • He has been in and out of detox, and just spent 45 days in long term rehab, but I also haven’t seen a lot of day to day changes that I would think he should incorporate (e.g., sporadic AA attendance). I haven’t been to Al Anon meetings – I can say that I work full time etc., but honestly I’m angry that I should have to go (another thing on my plate) because of him…

        • Anonymous :

          It sounds like he isn’t committed to recovery or sobriety. That’s hugely selfish and disrespectful of you. I would leave. Better men are out there.

          • Anonymous :

            Anon at 2:05 p.m. here – I agree with this.

          • While I agree with your assessment, there are children involved so she will never be totally free of him. In this circumstance, are unsupervised visits with dad better or worse for the kids?

          • Huge jump to unsupervised visits. Who said that would happen if she leaves?

        • You are asking the internet questions that can be answered at Al Anon. The father of your kids is an alcoholic. This can be an inherited disease. I get your resentment at going to Al Anon but they are literally there to help you decide to stay or go. And how to cope either way.

    • Following.

      I’ve been married 6 years and we have a 3 year old. It was annoying / tolerable before kids but it has made co-parenting difficult. Sober, he’s a great dad and great partner to me. But he ‘s so physically addicted that he shakes and feels nauseous all weekend when he isn’t drinking during the day so he can spend time with us – he’s miserable, and pretty useless since he feels so sick.

      He’s a lawyer is solo practice and (rightly) thinks his practice won’t survive the long stint in rehab that he needs. I’ve told him I’d rather have you alive, sober, and unemployed than drunk or dead but have not yet made an ultimatum. Not sure what it would take – a safety issue with the kid, certainly – but short of that, my endless resentment / anger has not proven an effective motivator.

      I’ve looked into Alanon but I always conclude – why should I be the one who has to find the time to fit this in?

      • treble clef :

        I strongly recommend Alanon. That is where you can learn coping strategies, get ideas for dealing with this, and get the support/courage to draw a line. Waiting for a safety issue with the kid is….. too late.

        Can you guys survive on your income alone for him to enter rehab?

        And first off…. can he simply go see his primary care doctor…. with you…. and start talking this out? It is actually physically dangerous to go through withdrawl every weekend, and one of these days he might give himself a seizure….. with your kid in the car.

      • Have you looked in your state bar’s lawyers helping lawyers program? In my small southern state, it is a great program. The lawyer who runs it has been there himself and is wonderful to work with.

        Sending hugs your way.

        • Agree with the bar recommendation. What would his plan be if he needed surgery or had another medical issue? He needs to follow that plan. If he was disbarred or suspended, the bar would appoint another attorney or attorneys to take over his cases. They could probably assist with that while he is getting care.

          • Attorneys in our state bar enter into contracts with Lawyers helping Lawyers (in conjunction with Supreme Court) to help get treatment and avoid being suspended/disbarred.

      • Anonymous :

        You are the one who has to deal with this because you are responsible for keeping your child safe. Kick him out. Get a divorce. Document his addiction. Fight for full custody.

        • It seems that a first step, I should invest the time / emotional energy into forcing him into rehab rather than filing for a divorce – neither are quick, both are expensive, but at least the first option has the possibility of a result where everyone ends up better off.

          And he isn’t just an alcoholic – he’s an excellent father, my biggest cheerleader, and a genuinely good person, but with a disease that prevents him from being the best version of himself. He’s not violent or abusive – our life together is 90% great. But the bad 10% threatens to overwhelm the good stuff.

          I’m very irritated that he doesn’t just ‘fix it.’ But I’m not an alcoholic, and I don’t know what that’s like but I do know that addiction lies to your brain and convinces you that things aren’t as bad as they really are. Maybe kicking him out will be that final motivator he needs – but even the logistics of that when our lives are so intertwined is making my head spin.

          • Anonymous :

            Gently … if he has to drink all weekend merely to function, and if he needs rehab so badly, and his business is in jeopardy, and you’re dealing endless resentment and anger, and wondering if you should kick him out, then your life together is not 90% great. In fact, things sound pretty bad. They won’t get better merely by giving it time.

          • Anonymous :

            No. You’re in denial. Your actively drunk alcoholic husband is not an excellent father. He isn’t meeting minimum decent father status. Go to Al-Anon. You owe it to your children.

    • Please think about your kids. By the time I was 7 I knew that my dad was an alcoholic and that we were in big deep trouble as a family. My mom thought she was hiding this from me, but I saw and heard everything and was terrified from the moment I woke up til the moment my dad passed out at night. If you are going to stay married, please begin family therapy with your children and have multiple open and frank conversations about your spouse’s alcoholism and don’t deny or minimize the problem. If you act like nothing is wrong (i.e. are codependent) and cover for your spouse, your kids will grow up not able to trust their own emotions. Your children will grow up understanding that the way your husband treats you is the way they should expect to be treated by their romantic partners.

      If I found out my husband was an alcoholic, I would separate from him immediately until he was sober for some period of time… a year, maybe? Please don’t minimize this. Read some books written by adult children of alcoholics to see the lifelong emotional damage this causes children.

      • +1000. You know it’s over and you know what you need to do.

        • Anon for this :

          I kind of disagree with the people saying that you should leave. Before you leave, please go to Al-Anon and talk to someone about setting clear boundaries. I say this very very gently, but until you’ve set very clear boundaries and essentially issued an ultimatum, you are in a position of enabling your partner’s drinking. You aren’t doing this intentionally, and you are definitely a victim here, but some people just respond to hard lines. If you lay it out clearly and say that you WILL leave the first time he misses a weekly AA meeting (and you’re prepared to follow through), you might get better results.

      • Unfortunately she’s right. My 53 year old drunk ex divorced me and took up with a 23 year old who gave him “colossal BJs”. I guess 20 years and 3 kids were not enough for that slob.

      • [deleted by management]

    • Anon for this :

      I have only tangential experience. My wonderful dear sister is 5 years in recovery and lives with her fiance, who still drinks. Based on her experience, I think it really depends on the alcoholic. It took her a few years to be comfortable being with a partner who drank and having alcohol in the house. Now she’s okay with it, but he drinks at home rarely, and then really only one or two drinks at a time. He still goes out with his friends and occasionally has big drinking days, especially during football season.

      If your spouse is not yet in recovery, or is in the early stages, I think Al-Anon–for you–is an absolute must. Al-Anon is the resource that honestly teaches loved ones of alcoholics how to cope, and most importantly, how to set boundaries and stop enabling. It takes time, but it will help you find a light out of the dark tunnel.

      If he is not agreeing to go to recovery, then your next step is to consider an intervention. But, you can’t do an intervention if you haven’t yet determined your boundaries. That’s what the intervention is all about. It’s basically telling your spouse that if he doesn’t agree to go into recovery, then you are moving out/limiting his time with the kids/etc. Your boundaries need to be pretty significant to make the intervention effective.

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this, but know that this is extremely common, and that there’s definitely a lot of hope. My sister has had tremendous success with AA and is so happy and healthy now. Her relationships with her family are stronger than ever, and she has a wonderful relationship with her partner.

    • I don’t have experience with the situation you are facing but my grandfather, uncle, cousin and other family members are all alcoholics so I have seen the toll it takes on families. I’ve also seen what works and what doesn’t work to some degree, but that will also depend on the alcoholic.

      The first thing I’d recommend for living with a functional alcoholic that isn’t willing to quit is a set booze budget. Keep all of your other money separate in a way he can’t access it. Some may call this enabling. Some may call this surviving. It depends on your end goal. In my above examples, this person was my uncle. Like the anon above, he’d be sick if he didn’t drink. Instead he just consumed some alcohol on a pretty consistent basis but no one would know he was drunk. Functionally, he wasn’t drunk even if he was legally. He still worked and parented. I think they set rules like no driving with the kids. The rules should have been no driving period but those weren’t the rules for me to set. My mom’s dad was killed by a drunk driver so this is a hot button issue in my family. He was never angry. He was never violent. He was just always drinking. He’s still alive to this day and an old man now with grown kids.

      One of those grown kids is my cousin who is a completely dysfunctional alcoholic. His parents are major enablers. He is a sad case who has almost died multiple times but has complex issues including severe mental illness and multiple suicide attempts. His pancreas is barely functioning. His most recent hospitalization was after drinking my aunt’s rubbing alcohol. His brother and sister grew up without these issues so it isn’t just from seeing dad drinking all day everyday. This is how bad it can get but there are complex issues at play.

      My grandfather was a violent drunk and my grandmother left him. He drank until he died.

      There are other people that are just problem drinkers. They can go weeks without drinking but once they start they can’t stop until they are passing out and throwing up. I was like that at one point in time and had to really do a lot of self analysis, a few years without drinking and can now drink responsibly and occasionally.

      I don’t really have advice for you, I just wanted to let you know that alcoholism is so very common and almost every family has been touched by it in one way or another.

      • treble clef :

        As you are probably realizing there is also a strong genetic component contributing alcoholism/addiction. It isn’t all environmental at all, or a choice. You are born with a mutation/polymorphism in one or more genes that probably increases your sensitivity to or responses from substances that stimulate the pleasure/reward centers of the brain.

        So there are complex genetic, environmental variables that contribute, and it is very very very common for mental illness to also be involved, with alcohol/recreational drugs/pain meds as a self medication tool for those who aren’t getting successful treatment for mental illness.

        It runs in my family as well. It is very clear that treating mental illness early, and avoiding addictive substances are critical for some family members. It is clear that stressful life experiences/times are periods of high vulnerability for people at risk for addiction or prone to relapse …. so increasing self-care/support networks/therapy/medications are critical during these times to avoid relapses or mental illness deterioration. Often you need life long treatment.

        Usually people discover early in life (teen years) if they are at risk.

        We know that some people become addicted to substances very easily…. almost from a first exposure. And there are other people who can quit cold turkey as if it was no big deal. Very very different things are going on in the brains/synapses of those individuals.

        • Yes. You are very right. I’m very grateful that my father was open and honest with me about our family history growing up so that I could be very careful with alcohol. I think that’s why I recognized my problematic behaviors early on before they got out of control. I also try really hard to never drink when I’m sad or had a bad day or as any type of coping mechanism. I’ll drink instead because I’d like to taste a certain wine, or to socialize with friends at a BBQ or to celebrate something. The days when I “need a drink” are the days I do not have a drink.

          • treble clef :

            You have a really great Dad.

            And you are doing a fantastic job at taking care of yourself.

            We should be very open in our families about addiction and mental illness. They are medical problems, just like diabetes or heart disease. We all should know if we are at risk, and how to alter our behaviors as a result.

    • I was the child in this scenario. My heart goes out to you. My mom went to al-anon for years to cope with my dad. My dad’s an interesting case in that he’s been able to have a pretty successful career despite the drinking. His other problem (I think it is unrelated to alcohol) is that he’s stubborn and thinks he’s the center of the universe. He did not treat my mom with the respect she deserved, although I wouldn’t say he was abusive. How are you treated? How are your children treated?

      One thing I will say, though others might disagree – do not stay together for the children. I never really saw my parents happy with each other. I truly, truly think my sibling and I (and my mom) would have been been better off had my parents divorced. Instead they waited until my sibling and I were self sufficient.

      I think also that the person has to want to change, so I’d be weary of staging an intervention.

      • I’m the anon from above and completely agree with the not staying together for the sake of the kids. I would have jumped with joy if my parents had gotten a divorce.

    • You may want to ask a doctor about Naltrexone. It has been shown to be effective in stabilizing mood and alleviating cravings in some people, which has allowed them to gradually break away from alcohol.

    • Another anon :

      My mom was married to one for most of my childhood. There was an abundance of awfulness–I’ll share one story: after I learned in elementary school not to get into a car with a drunk driver, we were out one evening and I had to go find a cop to help me negotiate not getting into a car with a drunk a driver. It breaks my heart that I was put in that position as a little kid. Please leave.

    • Grateful Al-Anon Member :

      I know it seems like going to Al-Anon is something you are doing for the alcoholic. It is not. It is something you do for yourself. Go to a meeting and talk about what’s going on, and you will be amazed at how virtually everyone else felt the same way as you are feeling now. Al-Anon teaches you how to live your life without putting all the focus on the alcoholic. It gave me my life back. Please give it a try.

      • YES–what Grateful Al-Anon Member said (and all the others who have recommended Al-Anon).

        I went and ended up realizing the right thing for me was to leave an alcoholic (though sober–he was what I’ve heard referred to as a “dry drunk”) boyfriend. That was years ago.

        I stopped going to Al-Anon after that. If I decide again that I need it, it’s good to know it’s there.

    • It can be difficult. When I was dateing Sheketovits, I had to deal with his drinkeing all the time. He would drink, then vomit, then want to have s-x with me and his breathe smelled like vomit! FOOEY! Why would I want THAT huffeing and puffeing on top of me with that smell? I did NOT like that! DOUBEL FOOEY!

      Kat, I found this link to a FEMINISTA you tube video from this Corporette post, and this woman was telling us how she had s-x with her ex all while brea-st feeding her baby. Talk about strange for the baby! What would the baby think with him in bed doeing that with the baby trying to feed? FOOEY!


      She is kind of smart, but she is way to se-xeueal for my taste. What does the HIVE think? She is also a fan of Angelina Jolie. She said we should enjoy our fantasies, like she did, with her ex husband while br**east feeding her baby. That is difficult! TRIPEL FOOEY!

    • Thanks all for your comments, especially the encouragement to attend al anon. Also, I agree re the kids and have identified a family therapist with experience in addiction and will make an appointment. Unfortunately I’ve talked with his doctor and it seems like we’re at the end of the line in terms of medications (he’s tried multiple variants of naltrexone, anti depressants, anti anxiety meds, etc.). It’s hard because I think he’s fighting, but in my opinion, not fighting hard enough. Sounds like to al anon I go.

      • Anonymous :

        In addition to Alanon and the therapist, I would also reach out to a lawyer to better understand your options. My father was a highly functioning alcoholic, never abusive or angry just drank until he passed out nearly every night. My mom considered divorce but was told that given the circumstances it was highly unlikely she would get full custody and she didn’t trust him enough to have regular unsupervised custody (she was concerned that he would do something to us but worried about drunk driving or accidentally setting the house on fire and not being sober enough to get us out).

    • Spoiler Alert: we got divorced :

      I was married to an alcoholic. He was a mean drunk. No kids, partly because I thought no kid should ever have to witness him in a drunken state. My temporary coping mechanism was to leave and go for long walks until he chilled out. That did not always end well because I frequently underestimated how long it would take for him to chill. We also got into several precarious situations involving him driving drunk, and his family enabling his alcoholism. After several years I decided it was not sustainable (there had been some progress in his ability to manage it, but it was not consistent), so I divorced him. I have never looked back; I am happier now than ever before. I am now dating someone who sometimes chooses not to finish his beer because he just doesn’t want it anymore. I find that s e x y AF. But even if I were alone, for me that would be better than living with an alcoholic. You only get one life, and you probably don’t even see the full weight of the load you are carrying. Divorce is hard, but also easy if it is the right thing. You know in your heart what you have to do. You are worth it, and you have the strength to move mountains (just look at how much resilience you have built up already).

    • Just wanted to share my experience.

      Before I met my now-husband, I was engaged to a guy who was an alcoholic. We broke off the engagement before the wedding because I finally realized he was never going to quit drinking. He ended up developing chronic alcoholic pancreatitis, and died at age 45 a couple of years ago (we hadn’t been in contact for over a decade).

      What I learned from that experience, and also from knowing other alcoholics in my life since then, is that you cannot have hope that the alcoholic will spontaneously get better. They either sincerely decide to get help, or they die. They can be desperately sick and lose everything and still not stop drinking. So if anyone is waiting for the “magic moment” to happen, like in the movies, where the alcoholic realizes that they need to stop and they just stop – be aware that that usually doesn’t happen. And sometimes people die before they get to that moment. Until my ex died, I really did not know that people absolutely can drink themselves to death, and they can do it while still being a relatively functional person with a job, a home, etc. It’s not just bums in the street who die of alcoholism.

      Another thing to realize: alcoholism is really hard on the body and by the time many alcoholics hit their 40s, they are already having serious health problems. If your husband has been drinking heavily for 20 years or so, he has already done serious damage to his liver, his pancreas, and possibly also his stomach/esophagus. Alcoholics can die of hemorrhaging esophageal varices (bleeding blood vessels) without ever looking or acting that sick. Alcoholics can end up with serious brain disorders that don’t resolve even after they quit drinking. Alcoholism also generally makes people ineligible to get liver or kidney transplants if they need them. So you need to prepare yourself that if your husband doesn’t quit drinking, you will be dealing his significant health problems, probably sooner rather than later. Those health problems will probably put an end to his working life and near-normal life functioning.

      My heart goes out to people dealing with this…it is incredibly hard to watch someone you love destroy themselves. I was not strong enough and could not do it. I did go to Al-Anon at one point and found it helpful. Ultimately, I decided that as much as I loved my ex, I could not save him from himself. I could save myself from the scary future staying with him would create. For people who have kids, I think that is an important consideration.

      • Like some others, I also have experience relating to a close (but not immediate) family member. The first thing to remember is that it is an addiction. Therefore it is hard for those of us who don’t have it to fully understand how hard it might be to break. But first and foremost you need to protect yourself and your kids, both mentally/ emotionally and financially. In my experience the alcoholism resulted in an inability to maintain either a relationship or a job and in the end the person became penniless and committed suicide. Their life had become intolerable. It was excessively sad. No one wants to see someone suffer like this, but ultimately only that person can choose the path they take with their life. It is not possible to force help upon someone. We can only do our best to try to provide support, and that requires clear boundaries. Big hugs.

    • Adult child of an alcoholic :

      Forgive yourself. Know you are not alone. Know that it never gets easier, you just get better at living with your alcoholic. Know it is okay to have enough with your alcoholic and end the relationship.

      Still living with your alcoholic? If money is not an issue or less of an issue, pay for things that the alcoholic cannot do, will forget to do, or neglect to do. So cleaning, meals, dog walker, whatever helps.

      Identify sources of stress, triggers, anticipate and plan for relapses. My father always relapses under stress. Always. Holidays are difficult. Also large sporting events, expenses associated with children (private school tuition, college tuition, etc.), job issues, dealing with my mother’s family are all potential triggers.

      Find your own stress relief. Deep breathing, sports, gardening, yoga, Bar Method, whatever works for you.

      Having an alcoholic parent will mess up your kids. But so did the parents of my friends who controlled their lives, encouraged them into eating disorders, verbally and emotionally abused them, etc. Lucky for you, we have books and meetings and other resources for the children of alcoholics. Read. Do your best.

    • I was with an alcoholic for 10+ years and Al-Anon was a godsend! I was expending so much effort trying to manage him, his family and friends, and my family and friends so that no one would know, and ultimately I was the only one taking all that work on. Al-Anon and private therapy helped me to understand what is and is not within my power to do, and helped me to be able to draw boundaries and let him suffer consequences without feeling (too) guilty. Best of luck – it is a very difficult situation.

  4. Conflicted :

    What do people think about essential oils and some of the major MLM companies that sell them (Young Living, doTerra)? Nearly all of the women I work with have diffusers on their desk, put some drops into their coffee, etc. I think their claims about curing ailments, killing bacteria, fighting infections, etc are rather bogus, and I am a little surprised that all of the women in my office have bought into the hype. But I have to admit they do smell nice, and the idea of having a pleasant-smelling home is appealing. I haven’t found much online about this. Really interested in what all of you think.

    • Anonymous :

      If you like the smell, great, but that is all they are good for. A gigantic NOPE for me (and I will eye roll behind your back if you try to tell me they do anything other than smell nice).

      • +1. A few facebook acquaintances got into selling and I had to unfollow them to get away from the endless stream of “oh I rubbed this on my kid’s foot and his cold got better so quickly!!!!!” crap.

        Even as scent alone, I’d avoid… but to me, the most pleasant smelling home is fresh air/open windows/perfectly neutral, not Calming Lavender or whatever.

    • Marillenbaum :

      I like essential oils for non-woo woo purposes: like making my house/bedsheets/bath smell nice. Because I have such a strong aversion to MLMs, I buy mine at Whole Foods.

    • cat socks :

      I went to a Doterra party once. I got a couple of samples and bought one oil – lavender, I think? I haven’t incorporated them into my lifestyle. However, I’m open to trying alternative forms of therapy along with medicines provided by a doctor. For example, I’m considering trying some natural treatments for my cat’s hyperthyroidism, but I’m not taking him off the medicine prescribed by the doctor.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I find the smell of lavender really calming, so I bought a diffuser and oils for my room when it got too hot to use Hooty the Owl and I find that smelling peppermint and eucalyptus helps open up my sinuses, but that s*it ain’t going into my body in any way. Drinking it, on my tongue, etc? F no. Some people with my same chronic illness NEBULIZE peppermint, which scares me. So, yay, smells, but oh h*ll no to anything else.

      I bought mine on Amazon.

    • They are not medicinal. They are overpriced (not to mention unethical!) when purchased from MLMs. They can be nice. Be careful with them; I used to sell them from a health food store in the 90s, and we were very cautious (about allergies, about safe dilutions, about sun exposure). I don’t know if today’s formulas are weaker, but I’m not seeing the same safe usage guidelines in a lot of the marketing.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I received a package of lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus as a present. I don’t have a diffuser and don’t really want to buy one. How would you recommend I use those? They are undiluted. I’ve been putting a drop on a cold light bulb at night before turning on to make the room smell nice.

        • Anon in NYC :

          I made a salt scrub with rosemary oil (and I could see that being nice with the lavender or eucalyptus). Tea tree oil is supposed to be good for acne, but it also reminds me of cleaning supplies!

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Put it in the bath? Or mix it with water and spritz it on your pillow?

        • Just think of them as ingredients rather than as products. I don’t see any reason to use a diffuser vs. the light bulb!

          You can mix them with a carrier oil (e.g., almond oil) if you want to use them topically (like for massage). You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to toner for blemishes. You can add a few drops of lavender oil to water in a spritzer and mist linens with it. The key is to dilute.

          WebMD sums up some of the cautions (as well as the symptom relief claims) for particular oils.

        • Anonymous :

          So this is kinda gross, but we’ve talked about stinky shoes on here before – I put 1 part warm water, 1 part rubbing alcohol, and ~4 drops of eucalyptus oil in a small spray bottle and use it on my smelly shoes and the armpits of my blazers. It helps.

      • Anonymous :

        I love the way the oils smell. All the rest of the hooey about health benefits, NOPE. Amazon and your local health food store have oils and oil blends that smell just as good as the MLM oils for a fraction of the price. I don’t support MLMs on any level, but the essential oil ones are particularly pernicious because of the touting of fake health benefits.

    • Anonymous :

      I hate MLMs in general at work. I get so many emails about various “parties” for products. I think it’s hugely inappropriate to solicit coworkers. I find it infuriating.

    • Anonymous :

      I feel embarrassed for the women at your workplace who have diffusers on their desk. The office is not the place for stuff like that, and aside from that, I feel like people who buy into that stuff are kind of naive or not that worldly.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – there was someone at work who had one in a cubicle farm (but I think was asked to get rid of it). The smell carried – and every time I walked by it, I though it smelled like the scented My Little Ponies of my youth (aka the late 80s).

        So, not bad, just really noticeable.

    • Anonymous :

      I think they are perfume for the gullible.

    • $aves $$ to clean :

      I use essential oils to make cleaning products for my house. It’s cheap and smells awesome. I use the cheapest vodka I can find, dilute it with 1:1 water, mix in a couple of drops of dish soap, and then 15-20 drops essential oil. It works great for surface cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom. I like the smell of lemongrass. If I switch back to Lysol or Mr Clean, it’s so noticeable how chemical-ly and overwhelming the smell is.

      I used (too much?) essential oil in the bath once and my skin turned very red and stayed that way for several hours. Not sure what happened there. I would never ingest it, but I think it’s fine for household use.

    • In House Lobbyist :

      I have the oils but I never try to sell them to anyone. I think they smell good and help with symptoms but not the actual illnesses. I like peppermint to help with a headaches, eucalyptus and peppermint when my nose is stuffy and lavender to help with big bites. But I really like how they smell.

  5. Costco Travel :

    I’m thinking of booking a trip via Costco Travel- anyone have any tips or reasons not to book? Apparently this spend goes towards my dividend thing at the end of the year!

    • lucy stone :

      We have booked three cruises through them and would gladly do so again! Prices were great and we got extra on board credit from them every time.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes we booked an all-inclusive trip to Cancun and had a great time!

    • I booked a trip to Hawaii through them 2 years ago and it was so easy! The phone hotline was very helpful as well.

      One thing we did have an issue with was that something went funny in the booking of the 2nd hotel we stayed in. The reservation hadn’t gone through at the correct date, but they were able to get us into a room no problem. I’m not sure what would have happened if they had been all booked up though.

  6. I’m looking for a high-end bank recommendation.

    Wells Fargo has mananged to completely screw up record keeping on my accounts.

    We have in a wife/husband Revokable Trust
    A family checking account
    A family savings account
    A family brokerage account
    Two teen debit card accounts
    Two teen savings accounts

    In only my name:
    My personal IRA containing a 401k rollover (not a joint account with my husband, though he is the beneficiary)

    An irrevocable trust with my (living) mother’s assets, with my husband and only my husband as trustee (not a huge balance but it’s all my mom has)

    We have these all at Wells for our convenience.

    When I went to print out statements for my mother, I realized that they have opened our family brokerage, my IRA and two of our kids’ accounts under the irrevocable trust account of my mother. There is not joint ownership here.

    I don’t know if this is part of the opening-additional-accounts scam but I am so frustrated. As trustee my husband needs to be transparent to my mother right now, and to my sisters after my mother passes, and now things look completely muddled.

    Wells Fargo branch has been no help. I went in personally and they will not move my personal IRA out from the joint account umbrella because my husband wasn’t with me. They put me on the phone with a completely useless help desk person who just said it couldn’t be done.

    I need a better bank.

    We have around $650k of assets. I need a hug touch bank with personnel who can handle stuff like this.

    • *high touch. Hug touch would be nice, but probably not from my bank.

    • We like Schwab. I don’t know that you’ll find a bank that really meets your requirements, and Schwab discontinued their checking accounts- I think they may partner? But customer service has always been very good. We have about $500k in assets there.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I can’t help you select a new bank, but have you considered talking to a trusts and estates lawyer? Perhaps they can help you sort this out and figure out what forms you need to make this all happen.

      • Thanks. We used a trusts lawyer to set these up. Wells just opened and combined the accounts incorrectly. Basically they are not sophisticated enough at the branch / useless help desk level to set them up correctly.

    • anonymous :

      JPMorgan 100% because they are full-service on everything from trusts to mortgages to investments. I have had them for years now and been very satisfied with how easy it is to get an answer on something or get help with something. Even if my contact person isn’t the correct person, they will find the correct person for me and ask that person the question while CCing me or connecting the call for me. On some tasks, I have asked if I could do something and they follow up until the task is completed to see if I heard from X person and if I received the package in the mail or had any questions. Night and day from most places where you feel like your money is nothing to them and you are hounding them for an answer. My husband was with Northern Trust when we met and his contact changed and when he contacted someone else to ask ‘hey who is my new point person now?’ she literally gave him an 800 number. I was shocked!

      • +1 on JPM.

        • Thank you. I will check out JPmorgan. One of my good friends used to work in the home office there (he’s at chase now) so maybe he can give me the scoop about branches etc.

          Do they credit you back ATM fees? I know of no local branch. I’m in the Bay Area.

          • Yes, they credit ATM fees, and I’m sure they have an office in the Bay Area.

          • Since you’re in the Bay Area, I highly recommend First Republic. They know the difference between revocable and irrevocable trust and IRA accounts.

    • KateMiddletown :

      You need a bank for your family’s checking account needs, but you need a financial advisor for the other accounts. They will provide better service, and on the offchance that human error occurs, you will have a human to get frustrated with rather than a major institution.

      You + your mother are well within the size that many advisors would be happy to work with. Ask any friends/colleagues what advisor they work with and go from there.

    • I didn’t even think one could have a joint IRA legally. What a mess!

    • KateMiddletown :

      In m*deration with longer comment, but your IRA can’t be in a joint account. It might have the Trust as a beneficiary, but IRAs are single name only, and they should not need your husband’s permission to do anything related to your IRA (aside from removing him as a beneficiary depending on the state you live in.)

      • I agree. Legally I am the sole owner of my IRA. It is not in either trust. Wells Fargo has somehow put it under the umbrella of my mom’s trust in a bookkeeping /account management view. It’s wrong.

    • Just to double check, are you sure you aren’t under one “relationship”? So you get relationship pricing, etc.? The accounts are still held separate.

      • That is probably the issue but I can’t get a stand-alone accounting statement of my mom’s trust. It just appears shady and I’m not comfortable with it.

        • And if they wanted to relationship link the accounts they should have done so with our main checking and savings accounts. They just screwed up and are being jerks about fixing it.

    • Where are you located? If in California, highly recommend City National Bank.

    • Anonymous :

      I love First Republic Bank. I would be surprised if this is something they couldn’t handle. Plus, they have free cookies everytime I visit the office and pretty calendars every year!

  7. Anonymous :

    Has anyone had any experience with spiro no longer controlling breakouts? Its happening to me and I’m a bit fearful of accutane. Can anyone tell me that accutane really isn’t that bad?

    • givemyregards :

      I would love to say “accutane really isn’t that bad!” but honestly I think it’s one of those meds where everyone has a totally different experience. I’ve done two rounds of it and had no major side effects besides some hair loss during my first round. I’ve had friends who have zero side effects, including if they’ve done multiple rounds. But I’ve seen comments online from individuals who report having a miserable time on it. That hasn’t been the case for me or anyone I know, but you just never know. The good thing about accutane, though, is you’re required to go to your doctor so frequently while you’re on it, that you have plenty of opportunities to discuss any side effects with them and change course if needed.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Totally agreed with givemyregards that everyone has very different experiences. I did two rounds about 7-8 years ago and I honestly had no side effects other than dry skin, which I consider pretty minor, but also know people who experienced more serious side effects like depression and serious hair loss.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I did 2 rounds of it in high school. Too high of a dose and I literally could not stay awake. It was like medically induced narcolepsy. Aside from that, I just had extremely dry skin (my lips and the inside of my nose would bleed if not constantly slathered in aquaphor – chapstick did nothing). But I had to get monthly blood tests to monitor my liver function and make sure that I wasn’t pregnant.

    • Oh man do I have experience with this – I’ve been on Spiro several times and it’s done nothing for me. Accutane is a huge pain (monthly pregnancy tests, monthly dermatologist visits), but I had no major side effects except dryness. Unfortunately, Accutane didn’t really work for me the first time – in retrospect, I was probably on too low of a dose (30 mg/day at most) and didn’t have a good plan for a skincare routine afterwards. I also suffered from compulsive picking, so that didn’t help either. I went on it a second time a few years later and my skin has done much better, thanks to Paula’s Choice products and therapy to minimize the picking. YMMV but hope that was helpful!

    • anon for this :

      It worked miracles for my daughter but she found the extremely dry skin it caused uncomfortable. However, the acne was very physically uncomfortable for her too. And her oily hair got drier, which she liked, and seems to have stayed drier.

      The physical side effects weren’t as difficult as the treatment protocols, the pregnancy tests and limited time to get prescriptions. But she would say it was totally worth it.

      • +1 on the hair thing – my hair was out of control oily and it got much better post-Accutane (and stayed that way even if my skin relapsed some).

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been on Accuntane but when I was young. The only side effects was skin dryness. I’ve been on it a few times, 2 or 3, and people now are surprised to hear I had an acne (it was bad but I was put on Accuntane early, resulting in minimal scarring).

      If you try it and have terrible side effects, you can always stop. For me, it was literally life-changing in that I no longer had to feel self-conscious about my face. I would take it again in an instant.

    • Anonymous :

      I requested Accutane but my derm told me before going that far, to try Acticlate. Using that plus starting a Korean beauty routine focused on repairing my moisture barrier totally cleared me up. That combination, plus getting enough sleep, really surprised me in its efficacy, though it still took time and diligence.

    • KateMiddletown :

      My derm said it was ok to go on and off Spiro, so you may want to talk to yours about cycling off for something else and then taking it during stressful periods/times when you’re likely to break out?

    • Anonymous :

      Accutane didn’t work nearly as well for me as birth control pills did. No idea why my derm didn’t recommend that first as a teen! Plain old tri-cyclen/Estrella/whatever they call it these days. Went from tons of cysts to perfectly clear skin.

    • Anonymous :

      Accutane is great! It’s a total pain, my lips were super dry, and 15 years later my skin is still perfect.

    • +1 on Accutane being a case by case basis.

      I was on it in highschool and my acne got worse before it got better. I rarely get zits now. My acne wasn’t bad just stubborn. The routine blood work was irritating.

    • I massively regret taking accutane. I now think it’s prescribed far too readily. If someone has serious serious acne, especially if it will leave scarring, then I would say do it, otherwise not. As other have said, the side effects vary significantly from person to person. I was very happy with my skin whilst on accutane: dry as some people said but beautifully spot free. I did find my muscles ached in a way they didn’t usually and I had less physical stamina. (I’m a physically active person.) But accutane caused me to lose the vast majority of my hair, and 3 years on it has not recovered. Spots would eventually have gone away with age, but I doubt the hair loss will ever recover. I started accutane with the approach that I would ditch it if any of the side effects were too bad. What I didn’t realise was that there is a delay regarding hair loss. Accutane can stop hair growing (go into the telogen phase) but it is another 3 or 4 months before the hair actually falls out of the follicle. As the effects of accutane take time to build up, I did not notice any hair loss until two to three months after I had finished my six month course, by which time I was losing a vast and very noticeable amount of hair. By then it was too late as the damage was done. I’ve been diagnosed with chronic telogen effluvium and no one knows if this condition ever resolves itself. I also personally believe that if one has a genetic link (via male or female family members) to hair loss, then accutane can trigger that genetic loss. I cannot say how desperately difficult dealing with hair loss has been; far far worse than dealing with acne ever was…

      • My brother got vitiligo after his accutane treatment. I think he would have rather dealt with the acne. He was able to get laser treatments on the vitiligo spots on his face but he was SO self conscious about it.

  8. Bag for the weekend :

    I need a purse/bag for the weekend. I have young kids but don’t do diaper bags. requirements:
    – kid/life friendly in both material and budget (i.e. if it gets stained or broken I can toss it)
    – holds my wallet, sunglasses, a diaper and small pack of wipes, a couple of packs of snacks and/or juice boxes, and miscellaneous toys.
    – looks good with jeans and casual shoes (supergas, sperrys, maybe boots as fall approaches).

    I don’t need a giant tote, or even a giant bag. I used to have a hobo style bag that worked great but it’s now retired. A crossbody won’t work because it gets too full and I feel like a Sherpa.

    • This is my exact weekend bag. I used to carry my work tote around and it drove me crazy. This is so much lighter. I transfer over my wallet, keys, cell phone, sunglasses and a lipstick on Friday night and don’t look back until Monday morning.


      • Bag for the weekend :

        I actually like this a lot. Is the tassel removable? If not it might be a non-starter.

      • I don’t have a tassel on mine so I think it actually fell off at some point. I do remember it being there when I bought it. So it’s attached, but not securely.

    • Anonymous :

      The Merona Large Hobo Handbag at Target is on clearance in six colors. Reminds me a bit of the hobo satchel J.Crew had about three years ago. There is also the Mossimo Snap Close Totes with Front Pockets in large and small sizes.

      • Bag for the weekend :

        I’m pretty sure this is the bag I have that I just retired. I know it’s from target c.2013!

        I didn’t realize it was still available!

    • I love the bags from Moop


  9. Anyone been? Looking for recommendations! We’re going and staying on Tokoriki for two weeks. I definitely want to go to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant (so many orchids!!!) and have heard you can do day trips on catamarans to other islands. Any advice would be appreciated! Also, it’s going to be my first night away from my one year old son and I kinda can’t wait!!!

    • BabyAssociate :

      I haven’t but I’m so jealous!

    • Buy some Fijian pearls. They are unique to Fiji and aren’t sold really anywhere else in the world except Germany. There’s a shop at the pearl farm and one at the airport. (I haven’t been. I’m just obsessed with pearls and envious of your trip!)

    • Anonattorney :

      Yes! We went to the natural waterslide in Taveuni, which was amazing. Also did lots of diving and snorkling. If you aren’t PADI certified, you might look into getting it when you’re there. Scuba diving is one of the most amazing activities ever, in my opinion. You can do some of the preliminary stuff at home so you save time for certification on your vacation.

      • +1

        I went to Fiji (years and years ago) primarily to dive. Diving in Fiji has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

      • Anonymous :

        That water slide is so much fun! The international date line goes through the municipal soccer field nearby. I was on a small island near Taveuni to dive the rainbow reef. Incredible! I highly recommend Dolphin Bay Divers resort if you do SCUBA. I wrote a lengthy review on trip advisor detailing a typical day at the resort: it has some quirks and is not for everyone. I am going back in November and can’t wait!

  10. frustrated academic :


    • frustrated academic :

      Very interesting–in our state courts, particularly in criminal law, there are lots of women making the arguments at all levels. Are the fed courts that much different?

    • I’m a federal court clerk. Fewer AUSAs are women, equalish at the federal public defender level. Very few women that are retained by criminal defendants; fewer women in private practice. My judge is considering a similar rule – I send him articles like this since I can’t be politically active.

    • I’m also a federal court clerk and yeah, it’s an issue. My judge doesn’t have a rule like this but he usually gives little speeches before trials about how he likes to get the younger lawyers up and on their feet. The last few trials/ big motions, this has happened, and it’s resulted in more women speaking. Unfortunately, IME the proportion of minorities on their feet is even smaller.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I love it! I wonder if it works?

  11. Sloan Sabbith :

    Update from earlier: I found out a client committed s*icide (mod…). Thought my anxiety was bad before. It wasn’t.

    • Marillenbaum :

      I’m so sorry. That’s a really hard thing to deal with, especially with preexisting anxiety. Hopefully, you can lean a bit on your support system. Take care.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        <3 Thanks. I talked to my mentor in the office and felt better, walked around the block about a dozen times, and am doing OK.

    • Liquid Crystal :

      I am so sorry.

      When I have been been in a similar situation, it has helped me to remind myself that there are some things I just won’t and don’t need to understand.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Yeah. I know there’s nothing I could have done- it just makes me sick to think the system failed them, because it did.

    • Sloan I am so sorry. You are doing really important, challenging legal work, and at the same time taking care of yourself. That is really hard. I’m cheering for you.

    • lucy stone :

      My husband has been there too many times. Please remind yourself that this isn’t your fault and you couldn’t fix all your client’s issues.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        <3 I know. It wasn't my fault. It was the system's fault, and that hurts, but it wasn't my fault.

    • treble clef :

      Call your therapist. Now.

    • Anonymous :

      What do you do for a living? I know it’s law but don’t read regularly enough to know if it’s private practice with corporate clients or something with an under served population?

    • Oh, Sloan, I’m so sorry to hear this. I hope that you know that this has nothing to do with you and that you couldn’t have prevented it, but it is incredibly distressing and painful.

      Sending you virtual hugs.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Thank you. I know I couldn’t have done anything- for this client. If it was a few other clients, I’d be examining everything I’ve ever said, but I only talked to this client a few times. It was a system failure.

    • Marshmallow :

      I’m so, so sorry.

    • Anony Mouse :

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Please take care of yourself.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Holy sh*t Sloan. Do you have IRL people you can talk to? What a day.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        If you want to text or email or whatever, I’m rainbowhair e t t e at gmail and I’m happy to hit you up with a phone number too. Sounds like an awful day.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Yeah, I talked to my mentor at work, my parents, and my boss and emailed my therapist. But yes, it’s been a no good, very bad, awful day. I’ll email. <3

        • National_Anthem :

          Sloan, feel free to email me as well at nationalanthemspo at the gmail. I’m an attorney in your state (I think) and also have anxiety and experience medicating it, so I can relate. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

    • Anonymous :

      I am so sorry. Please take time to take care of yourself. Hugs.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Oh, I’m so sorry! I’m glad you’re taking care of your sweet self!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Update for anyone that might check: I have a call with my therapist on Monday on top of the psychiatry appointment and my normal therapy spot next week. I am still a sad anxious mess, but less so than this
      AM. My colleagues were great (even the two who saw me first when I was crying in shock and horror). I appreciate you all- although my IRL support system is great, I love this community.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I am just checking in now, so am glad to hear you have a plan in place. So sorry Sloan – you handle so much and do such big work for people…take care of you, friend.

      • Late to read this week, but thinking of you.

      • Just seeing this now, but I am so, so sorry to hear. You’re doing important work, and I’m thinking of you. Glad to hear that you have awesome support system IRL, but we’re here as well if you need.

  12. Winter Whites :

    I’m updating my winter wardrobe and I love the monochromatic look that I’ve seen some people pull off. I was flipping through the Gorsuch catalog (want to see some insane prices? Look there) and so many of the models were in beautiful winter white or cream outfits. How do I do this in real life? Links to follow

    • Winter Whites :


      • treble clef :

        It is a great look. I love it.

        I have a white parka, but instead of all white I have more success with all black inside (skinny jeans/pants, black turtle necksweater, black boots or booties. It is a striking look.

        But I have a much less expensive white coat that I can machine wash… carefully. And I wash it at least twice a season.

        I would never spend a fortune on a white shearling unless I was filthy rich.

      • Senior Attorney :

        OMG I’m gonna need that $8,000 metallic shearling biker vest…

    • Anonymous :

      The way I’ve heard to pull off a monochromatic style is to mix textures.

  13. Winter Whites :


    • Baconpancakes :

      Really, that’s more of a “shades of light brown” look. Much easier to manage. I’m assuming you’d be going for this look not for work? Thin-wale tan corduroys with an ivory or tan sweater and suede booties under a trench coat would give you the same monochrome look.

      I think the key is to just do it with neutrals, whatever the color is. You could probably do a good monochrome look with blue jeans, black leggings, or white jeans as well.

  14. Are leather keds suitable commuting shoes?

  15. How to find a therapist :

    Where did you start, what did you look for, and how long did it take you to find the right one? Insurance or no?

    Background: After kids, marriage, moving and taking a major licensing exam, I’ve lost myself. I’ve been snapping at my husband, getting extremely agitated and emotional during PMS, and I have been having lots of anxiety around work/general life perfectionism.

    • I hope I’m not too late! Good for you for asking.

      I started by calling my EAP (employee hotline), visiting two extremely unhelpful people, and then nearly breaking down on the phone to my mother, who Googled “anxiety treatment Seattle” and pointed me to the first result. It was good, good, good to have help and accountability because I was disheartened and too anxious to think clearly about the search. They did take my insurance, but it only covered about 30% of the cost. I had suffered for years without treatment until I found a job that paid enough for me to make this happen.

      What worked:
      Seeing my primary care physician for an anxiety and depression screening (included without charge in a physical now, thank you Mr. Obama). She prescribed Citalopram to tide me over through the search for a therapist, which was good because it took a while.
      Finding a center that advertised being evidence-based, using CBT, and had multiple practitioners.
      Calling to get on the wait list and finding that the receptionist was super soothing.
      Asking for and accepting support through all of this because it was hard.

      Hugs to you. It’s so hard to ask for help, but life doesn’t have to be so hard, and you are taking a first big step to get better.

    • Echoing Curious – this is a great first step, and major kudos for asking the question! I had no idea where to start and was too depressed/anxious to figure it out. I had to see my normal physician for an unrelated issue, and at the appointment said I was struggling and thought I would benefit from talking to someone, and could she make a recommendation/referral? Since GP’s encounter depression/anxiety a lot, I figured she would have 1-2 therapists she works with a lot. It turned out the one she recommended to me was a great fit, but don’t be afraid to try out several different therapists until you find someone you click with.

      In the interim, I’d really recommend the Stop, Breathe, and Think guided meditation app. A lot of the meditations are really short (2 minutes), but I feel noticeably better about everything afterwards.

  16. mini makeup question :

    Kat mentioned Stowaway — I tried it and really wanted to like it, but it was kind of meh and didn’t seem to last very long, esp. the lipstick. the mascara was nothing great and the eye pencil was terrible. I did love the tiny cream blushes though. anyone have any other good makeup finds? I’m such a sucker for these “next new thing” makeup innovations/faux innovations… really into Milk Makeup right now.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you tried Glossier? https://www.glossier.com

      • mini makeup question :

        yeah, not loving glossier either — but if there’s a specific product you’d recommend from the line, would love to hear it!

        • Senior Attorney :

          I swear by Glossier Boy Brow. My brows are sparse and it makes them look better without looking too made up or drawn on.

          • Any tips on applying it? I have been using it for two weeks and I always feel like I am not doing it right.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s skincare, but I just got Stratia’s liquid gold and so far I really like it. Definitely a small brand, but I think it’s up and coming.

    • Anonymous :

      I just go to Ulta and look for travel sizes of things I want to try – I rarely finish a full-size lipstick, anyway. Pretty sure I have some left over from my wedding festivities…six years ago. Best thing I’ve found recently – Urban Decay eyeshadow primer, which makes even cheap eyeshadow stay on much longer.

  17. Anonymous :

    I found out I’m getting promoted! It’s not a huge bump, I’m basically just moving up to the next title above my current one, but yay me. No written offer yet but it’s coming, HR is apparently behind on their paperwork.

  18. Any thoughts on how to keep someone from stealing a small lawn statue? Its not big enough to keep from stealing but big enough that it would be awkward to take without someone noticing. It’s not expensive but it has sentimental value – our neighborhood has had some car theft issues so any ideas on how to deter anyone from trying to take it would be super helpful!

    • Anonymous :

      Anchor it to the ground, maybe?

    • Put it in your backyard?

    • Someone stole a pumpkin from my front stoop one year (probably teenagers, but still). I got a new one and wrote on the back something like “stealing is wrong” or “If you see me carrying this, I’m a thief” – along those lines. It made me feel better, I guess. I agree, put it in the backyard, mounted to some concrete underground, under a rose bush or surrounded by tacks, lol.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      A sign on the lawn nearby regarding camera surveillance? Motion lights on your house that turn on when you walk near it? You can get some that include a loud dog barking noise but your neighbors might not like that if other wildlife tend to set it off.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      How big is the base? Could you like, bend two pieces of rebar/whatever metal bar around it so it’s basically stapled into the ground? It wouldn’t make it impossible to steal, but it would be more annoying to steal that way.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m dying to know why you think it will be stolen. What is it?

      In answer to your question though, the options are to anchor it in or make it too heavy to move (concrete base), or possibly to put a spot light on it so it would be harder to get unnoticed. Otherwise, move it out of the yard for now?

    • Can you find a place for it inside?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Ha! When I moved in with Lovely Husband there were a whole bunch of angel statues strewn about the front and back yards, courtesy of my predecessor. They ended up getting donated, but for a while I was just praying for a thief to stop by…

    • If you really don’t want it stolen, don’t keep it outside. People will steal anything these days. I had two cheap potted plants stolen from Home Depot and I may never know the reason why – other than the fact that I live in an area that enables crime.

      • Someone actually dug up a couple of just-planted flowers from my front yard and stole them at the beginning of summer. It was so weird

  19. Last minute Vegas trip :

    Just booked a trip to a conference in LV next week and staying two additional days. Any must-see shows/sights I should look at booking?? Not a big gambler and done the Cirque thing to death so looking for something new and/or interesting while we’re there.

    • Anonymous :

      You could check out Red Rocks, outside of town.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I really liked the Neon Museum when I was there.

      • Loved the Neon museum! We went at dusk so we saw some of the signs in daylight and some after dark…also it’s all outside, so this time of year go as late as you can

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I just did this. Have a day for strolling and people watching. I went up to the top of the Eiffel tower at Paris, had macaroons at the Venetian, really good sushi at a nearby hotel but I can’t remember which one. Got a great bag at a Kate Spade sale. I took a yoga class at the Mirage that was in a room surrounded by aquariums and dolphins that mimicked our poses. That was really cool but I later learned the Mirage has a lot of controversy around their animal treatment. It included a day pass to the spa that was really nice. I had breakfast at the restaurant right near the spa and that was delicious. You can spend a whole day just walking the strip and going in and out of all the other hotels. Wear comfortable shoes!

      Oh years ago I did the Bodies Exhibit. It was awesome. If it is there again, I highly recommend it.

    • CrowTRobot :

      I have an intense love for Vegas that is understood by no one in my life.

      If you are ok with blue humor, I highly recommend Absinthe. After seeing it, my husband and I decided we were done with shows because nothing could top it. I’ve heard good things about Miss Behave, also from Spiegelworld. I would recommend researching it first to make sure it’s your thing… It’s highly interactive.

      La Reve was good, but it is pretty much a CDS show not performed by CDS.

      Concerts are also great in Vegas, but it looks like pickings are slim for next week.

      • I second Absinthe. I thought it was hilarious.

      • I saw La Reve at Las Vegas thinking it was a Cirque Du Soleil show. Why do you say it is not performed by CDS? Hoping i didn’t spend that kind of $$ on a knockoff. It was am amazing show.

        • CrowTRobot :

          La Reve was created by Franco Dragone and is similar to the shows produced by Cirque du Soleil, but it is not from CDS. The production value is high, and it’s a beautiful show, so I’d say you didn’t miss out on anything by not seeing something by CDS.

  20. A woman in my choir is having surgery next week, and I want to send her something nice — flowers, or cookies, or something else? Any suggestions?

    • Anonymous :


      • Anonymous :

        Would be nice, I mean. Sometimes my capslock toggles inexplicably when I switch between virtual machines. I’m not the angry, yelling poster from the other day. :)

        • Haha thank you! That made me burst out laughing, so something good came out of it :)

        • Hahahaha, I thought it was hilarious somebody felt that strongly about flowers or edible arrangements.

      • Anonymous :

        I laughed so hard when I read this. My keyboard does the same thing, FYI. Thanks for the laugh.

      • Cookies or something would be nice. I wouldn’t do an edible arrangement. I had surgery recently and someone sent me one; while I appreciate the thought, having to stand there and pull all that fruit off the stupid sticks was NOT what I wanted to do 2 days after surgery.

  21. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have any experience with doing business development for a side hustle when you don’t want your efforts to be overly successful?

    I have a day job that I don’t plan on quitting (need the awesome health insurance, as does my family). I also have a side gig doing strategy consulting/coaching with some former clients from a previous job (totally conflict-free, legally and my current job knows and has signed off on my side gig). One of my clients has a regular engagement schedule with me; we meet once a month. I’d love to have one, maybe two more clients that I see regularly, but that’s all the bandwidth I probably have. I’m unsure how to go about promoting myself to get a couple more repeater clients while working full-time and not wanting to have to turn people down. Anecdata welcome!

    • Why don’t you want to have to turn people down? It does amazing things for your reputation to be seen as the consultant who isn’t taking on new clients (i.e., is so highly desirable as to turn into something exclusive). If you’re lucky enough to be in that position, there’s nothing at all offensive or rude about letting someone know that you’ve reached your capacity.

      • Anonymous :

        Good point. I hate saying no to people and try to avoid it, generally, but what you’re saying makes sense.

        I’m also generally terrible at promoting myself – and not sure how to go about trying to get new clients; in my last job we had separate business development/marketing team that was responsible for getting leads for us. How do I get leads for the side hustle, especially without confusing people that I’m not doing the side-hustle as my main gig.

        • All of my side-hustle clients came from referrals from my original client. Maybe mention to your current clients that if they happen to know anyone else with the same problems, that you’d be happy to get in touch with them?

  22. Aw, mini lipstick always reminds me of those tiny Avon samples. Anyone else remember those?

  23. MyBagIsRuiningMyClothes :

    Help me solve my bag/pilling clothing problem! I use a timbuk2 messenger bag, which works perfectly for my metro commute, frequent flights, and lots of walking. But, my new job requires I wear nicer clothes than my old jeans and tee job, and I’ve noticed I’m getting lots of pilling on my beautiful ponte dresses. Help! Do I need to switch to a leather bag? Can I be crafty and glue on some silk on the side that rubs against me? If I need a new bag, want to tell me what to get? I love how my timbuk2 bag holds my laptop and quite a lot of other stuff, is comfortable to walk in for a long while, and shoves under an airline seat easily. Thanks for any insight. I don’t want to ruin my clothes!

  24. Along the same lines of mini-makeup and the questions above, does anyone know where you can purchase those little packets of shampoo and conditioner? Not the 3 oz containers, but the little one or two use packets. I sometimes get a sample or two when I order from sephora and I like using them for travel but I can’t seem to find anywhere you can actually buy them. Any thoughts?

    • I just saw a little video on fb with different crafty travel hacks … in one clip, they take a plastic straw, clip one end shut with a paperclip, use a lighter to seal it shut, fill it with shampoo, clip the other end shut and seal it.

    • Get a birchbox subscription for a year and you will have enough high end samples to last a lifetime. Seriously had to give away most of then because i had way too many little samples.

    • If you go to Sephora at a not-so busy time and purchase makeup, I’ve found that making friends with a sales associate generally earns me several travel samples.

  25. Rainbow Hair :

    This little dude is the best xmas present I got last year: https://www.amazon.com/Remington-FuzzAway-Battery-Operated-Sweater/dp/B0034BV6KA/

  26. Sister Sister :

    VENT. Despite being very close in age, my sister and I have never been particularly close. As we have gotten older, we go through periods of daily texts and months without a text. There is one thing she does that really sets me off. Sometimes when we are bickering, she will text someone else to complain about it while it is happening, For example, once we were having a tiff in the backseat when I get a text from her complaining about what a b* I am. The text was obviously meant for her best friend, who shares a very similar name with me (think Marie/Marnie). It was super awkward bc I was sitting right next to my sister and called her out, which of course made the fight worse.

    Today, I was texting her about something silly I do and said “Poor SO, he puts up with my million questions.” My SO and I were both working from home and sitting next to each other. His phone goes off and it is a text from my sister, out of the blue (they do not communicate much), tellinf him not to let me stress him out. Meanwhile, she keeps texting me like this never happened. Am I wrong to be super annoyed by her pattern of texting “behind my back”? We are in our 30s but I swear I regress to being a 6th grader whenever she pushes my buttons…

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Yeah, she sounds like she’s looking for drama. That was a thing I did until I realize involving other people is not a way to make any friends. I was in about tenth grade.

      When you aren’t fighting, can you bring it up? “Hey, sister- when we’re bickering, it should be between us. I’d appreciate if you don’t bring people I know into our private arguments.” You can’t do much about her BFF (although I agree it’s annoying, she has the right to vent), but involving herself in you and your SO’s life that way is crossing a line.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks, Sloan! You hit it on the head…it did feel a little line-crossy to me. Regarding your terrible day upthread, please hang in there. You are doing amazing, much MUCH needed work, and the world needs more people like you.

        Thank you to everyone below, as well! I definitely need to step up and stop perpetuating this cycle myself. My mom and her sisters are still engaging in this type of behavior (they are in their 60s), so I have a crystal-clear view of what my future will look like if I don’t start letting things go…yikes!

        • ^ That was me, the OP.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, please, I beg you … stop the cycle. Can you imagine you and your sister carrying on like this for another 30plus years? Doesn’t that just make you tired thinking about it? Next time your sister bickers at you, just say something kind in response and let it go. Repeat.

    • Anonymous :

      It doesn’t really matter whether you’re right or wrong to be super annoyed at her pattern of texting. Question is … are you going to nurture that annoyance or mature into a different kind of person?

      Ranting about her on an internet forum is very similar to her ranting about you via a text. Maybe you could decide that you’ll simply STOP all this bickering from your side. If she wants to carry on, fine … but you’re not going to.

      • It’s not really at all the same, though. We don’t have relationships with either OP or her sister, so hearing about their fighting isn’t going to change our perceptions of either one of them.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Agree that whether you’re right or wrong to be annoyed is not a useful question.

      I feel like it’s vanishingly unlikely that she’s going to change this behavior. In fact, the more you let it see it’s bugging you, the more likely she is to do it, given the level of maturity at work here. Just re-frame it as “something my ridiculous immature sister does that I am mature enough to rise above” and get on with your life.

      • Senior Attorney :

        And I also agree that if you’re in your 30s, you’re too old to be bickering with your sister. It takes two to bicker, so just stop.

  27. Sleepy intern :

    I had a training for a new group of interns earlier this week. They start officially next week. I admit the training was dense, but most people seemed decently engaged. One of the interns was clearly falling asleep (nodding and catching himself) in the middle of the training. I know that I need to speak to him about it when he comes in for his first day next week (there wasn’t a good opportunity to discuss at the time). How would you frame this conversation?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I think that being direct is your best option. “I noticed you were having trouble staying awake in the training. I know it was dense, but it’s all very important information. I want to make sure you’re getting the most out of this internship, so please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you focus in future meetings.” I mean, maybe he’s got horrible insomnia, or a condition of some sort that manifests like this? I wouldn’t want to go in guns ablazin’ (I mean, I *would* want to but I think you shouldn’t) under the assumption that he just didn’t care, but I would want to make sure he knew that you noticed.

    • I actually don’t know that I would speak to him after just this. I’d only bring it up if it became a pattern or seemed symptomatic of other issues.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, it’s happened to all of us. Wait and see if it was an isolated incident.

      • I think it’s fine and even helpful to mention it gently. Something along the lines of “Hey, I noticed you were nodding off during the training session the other day. I know these sessions can be a little rough – in the future, if you feel this happening, feel free to go get a drink of water or stand up in the back of the room until it passes.” (Or whatever solutions would be acceptable in your context). This provides the nudge that the behavior isn’t acceptable (which he may not know – you’d be amazed), but does so gently without making it into a big deal, and provides guidance on what he can do to solve the problem.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I agree with 6:13 PM. Approach it in a way that lets him know that if it’s a thing that is a health condition, he can tell you (I fell asleep in a meeting one time and my supervisor asked about it- I’d been up until 4 AM the night before with a medical emergency and shouldn’t have come in, and the way he asked it made it OK to tell him that), but also just let him know you noticed and what to do if it’s a problem.

        • Sleepy intern :

          Thanks all. I’m going back and forth between letting it go and mentioning how to handle it in the future.

          • I know I’m very late to the party but I had an intern this spring clearly nodding off in a committee meeting with member company representatives (I work at a trade organization), while he was sitting right behind the committee chair. I said something to him after along the lines of, “Hey, I noticed you were having trouble staying awake in the meeting. If you have this happen again in the future, please leave the room for a walk, grab more coffee, etc.” He responded that he thought it would be rude to leave the room, so I explained that no, in fact, it’s far more rude to FALL ASLEEP in front of a room of people (I was much nicer then than I’m being now). I reminded him that people leave meetings all the time to use the bathroom, etc. so he should not at all feel weird doing so himself. I think he took it to heart and I hope it serves him well in future positions – that is, in my mind, the point of internships.

    • Not sure I would address it unless it becomes a regular occurance. If I did I would make sure I did it in a way that let them tell you if there was something more serious behind it. My team had an intern that several trusted staff had expressed concern was falling asleep at her desk/meetings then taking the next day off. Turns out it was a precursor to an episode of a more serious health episode. Unfortunately I learned this by witnessing her more serious health episode and then her explaining it to me but to this day I’m really glad I didn’t rush in.

  28. What just happened? :

    Can someone please be my best friend for a few minutes and help soothe my bruised ego? For the past six months, an acquaintance of mine has been giving me signals of romantic interest (we’re both women and both openly gay). She’d call me pet names like pickle and nuggie, gave me lots of gifts, sent me unsolicited topless photos, gratuitously used heart emojis, etc. I started to develop feelings for her and flat-out told her I liked her. She basically just blinked at me and told me she was surprised. Um, how’re you surprised?! I was humiliated and can’t believe I read the signs wrong. Any similar stories?

    • Anonattorney :

      Er, why did she send you topless photos unless she was interested in you? Sounds to me like a tease. You should not feel foolish at all. I think you took a chance on a very reasonable assumption that she was also interested. Good for you!! I think that’s awesome and brave.

    • You didn’t read the signs wrong. She changed her mind, or you caught her off guard and she didn’t know what to say, or she’s toying with you, or … something. Definitely nothing to feel humiliated or beat yourself up over.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Gahhhhhh. I’m sorry. I don’t think you misread signs. Ouch. How rough.

    • You didn’t read the signs wrong, she was just a total jerk. I’m sorry that happened to you. You definitely didn’t do anything wrong.

    • Topless photos? Yep, she was flat-out coming on to you and either something dramatic has changed on her end or she’s playing some kind of elaborate game with you that you (IMO) should back away from quickly.

      I mean, would she have done any of the above if you were straight? Or a man? Would you have done the same to any woman you *weren’t* interested in? I’m thinking no. This is clearly a romantic-style dynamic she has set up. For her to act surprised that you are responding/interested is ridiculous. What did she intend to happen?

      • Thank you all. I think what troubles me the most about this is the feeling that what I considered my “reality” for the past six whole months was just some weird joke or game. I know this woman through professional circles, which is why I waited until I was “sure” (hah) about her interest before saying “Hey, you know, I’m actually into you and I’d love to go out.” The topless photos only came in the last weeks! If anything, I can be proud that I was brave enough to look her in the eye over a glass of wine and be honest about my own feelings and can learn that I shouldn’t put emotional stock in something until the other person has been more clear about their intentions.

        • Also, though I live in a medium-sized city, the eligible gay woman population is SMALL. So meeting this acquaintance and feeling like we were a good match in terms of values and lifestyle and interests and enjoyment of each other’s company was a huge deal. I’m in a constant state of “there are no more people near you”on all the online dating apps. I feel discouraged.

  29. Decision to have kids? :

    I’m looking for honest thoughts on a conversation that’s been troubling me. Let’s say a friend says to you “I really need a spouse/partner. My life feels unfulfilling and lacking purpose. I’m bored.” Your reply would probably be “yes, a partner would be great. But you need to be a whole/fulfilled person on your own first. Maybe see a therapist or try a new hobby? You can’t rely on someone else to fulfill you.” Right?
    So why when a coworker said (paraphrasing here) “my life is lacking purpose. I just work and go home. So I all of sudden desperately want a baby”, the other coworker replied “yes! That’s what happened to me! So I had a baby!”. And then they told me that I, too, would eventually feel the same (I am the same age and older than them).
    I don’t like the idea of people creating humans in order to make their life more fulfilling. It seems so unhealthy, putting your mental health and happiness on someone else. What are your thoughts? Am I missing something? I don’t have any childless by choice friends IRL to discuss this with.

    • Anonymous :

      When people say things like “my life is lacking purpose, so I should have a baby” I look at them like they have two heads. And I have a kid, and would like another because I find the positives to outweigh the negatives!

      Also, that is a somewhat narcissistic thing to say – even if they did put their purpose and energy into kid-rearing, it’s still all about THEM. No thank you…

    • Nope you’re right. It’s problematic to have kids to fill voids. It’s unhealthy and usually these are people who raise co-dependent kids. Ask me how I know.

    • Yeah you’re missing that sometimes people just say stuff casually in conversation and don’t actually mean every darn word like a lawyer reviewing a contract.

      Also for most people a baby is something that gives life meaning. It’s not the only thing though.

      • Yes. I mean, most people who intentionally have children do it because they think it will add something to their life. So isn’t that creating a person because you feel like your life will be more fulfilling? You can’t claim that the nonexistent kid wanted to be born. I would say most parents find that their children add meaning and purpose to their lives, and most couples seeking to have a child anticipate that. These coworkers just expressed it poorly.

        • Anonymous :

          yeah, exactly. this is why people have babies–because it adds another, deeper dimension to their lives and provides purpose beyond just themselves. It is fulfilling. Without that, people with kids would just be signing up for a huge expense for the next 18 years. No one would do it if it wasn’t fulfilling. also, people get married because having a partner to go through life with adds another dimension to life as well.

        • +1. I don’t think its weird, I think its normally, although perhaps poorly phrased.

    • I’m a parent but I agree with you that this is a terrible reason to have kids. I think saying after the fact “my kids have given my life so much meaning” (while smug) is less problematic than saying “I want a child to give my life purpose.” Purpose should be a side effect of a kid, not a goal you know?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Someone once described to me wanting a kid as being homesick for the family they didn’t have yet. That is what I hear in your coworkers’ (perhaps poorly-chosen) words: this feeling (and for me it did strike like a bolt of lightning) that life was missing something, and the something it was missing was a baby.

      For the record, I was always really annoyed when people told me, “ah, one day you’ll want a kid.” I don’t think everyone will one day want a kid! And I was annoyed, too, when I ‘proved them right’ by changing my mind.

  30. Today showed me that my parents will NEVER stop making excuses for my drug-using, manipulative siblings. One called me to ask for money and when I said “no”, proceeded to hang up on me and then send me a barrage of belligerent messages. Parents proceeded to make excuse after excuse never once considering how this is negatively impacting me. Only that “I shouldn’t write troubled sibling off”, “maybe he lost connection in a tunnel” etc. this has been one of many, many outburst of verbal and emotional abuse over the years and weeks. I’ve done well for myself without any help and I hold onto that dearly. But man, it sucks sometimes to feel lone and have parents who only care about troubled kids who use a divorce from decades ago as a reason for their bad behavior. I’m not going to give in either or codone their behavior ever again. Anyone go through anything similar?

    • I’m sorry, that sounds hard. I can relate. My sibling does not use drugs, but makes a bunch of other unhealthy choices I don’t understand and that do not help their life. My mom always takes their side, and then they gang up on me, which is insane. I try not to interact with my sibling or the pair when my sibling and mom are together.

    • brothers' keeper :

      Argh. So sorry you’re dealing with this. I can relate. Both of my older brothers struggle with severe substance abuse. My parents have been classic enablers. I felt a tremendous amount of overt and subtle pressure to help everyone. Al Anon has allowed me to recognize negative family patterns and to set healthy boundaries. It’s still extremely stressful to ride the roller coaster of addiction with them all, but I have given up on changing my siblings, AND my parents’ codependent behavior. There is freedom, but it takes work. Hugs to you. Be gentle with yourself. Oh and a favorite poem that helps me feel better about saving myself from Mary Oliver:

      One day you finally knew
      what you had to do, and began,
      though the voices around you
      kept shouting
      their bad advice —
      though the whole house
      began to tremble
      and you felt the old tug
      at your ankles.
      “Mend my life!”
      each voice cried.
      But you didn’t stop.
      You knew what you had to do,
      though the wind pried
      with its stiff fingers
      at the very foundations,
      though their melancholy
      was terrible.
      It was already late
      enough, and a wild night,
      and the road full of fallen
      branches and stones.
      But little by little,
      as you left their voice behind,
      the stars began to burn
      through the sheets of clouds,
      and there was a new voice
      which you slowly
      recognized as your own,
      that kept you company
      as you strode deeper and deeper
      into the world,
      determined to do
      the only thing you could do —
      determined to save
      the only life that you could save.

  31. To those who have them, how do you deal with narcissist parents?

    • I mostly don’t deal with them. If they start going down that path, I hang up the phone, walk out, leave… It took one parent a while to start behaving differently/keeping these comments to herself. The other parent isn’t part of my life anymore. It is so, so much better this way.

    • I’m lucky it’s just one. But the other (now passed) enabled. I basically spent as much time at friends’ houses growing up and looking for other motherly figures elsewhere. Even as an adult, I ‘m somehow drawn to older kindly ladies at work. I recognize I won’t have normal so I try the best to accept and remind myself of what is normal in the moment so I don’t get sucked in. I’m human though. When we’re together, I often start thinking sarcastic comments while nodding as if I’m listening. “Oh, yes, you’re so amazing” “Oh, yes, the funniest things always happen to you, you’re so crazy.” Sometimes I envision she’s got a balloon blowing up the room that I’ll pop when I leave. Or I’ll watch her arms gesticulating while she talks and start counting how often she lifts them. I’m reading Emmy in the Night at the moment and though fiction, it’s amazing how well she has some of the thought processes down.

    • been there, done that :

      I cut mine out of my life completely many years ago. I started by trying to distance and by communicating for shorter periods of time less often, and it became clear that there was nothing I could do but continue to tolerate the insanity or remove it from my life like the poison it was. It wasn’t easy, the person went ape about it, and siblings cut contact with me rather than risk upsetting the parent by choosing me, but my life has been so low drama, low pain in the years since, I’ve never regretted the decision!

      Am happy to be a supportive friend if you want to post an email to write to!

  32. Help Dress Me! :

    Ugh guys i need casual/non work outfit ideas. I’ve gained a little weight over the past year, so the majority of my clothes either don’t fit or don’t fit the way I want them to. I kind of just hate my body and haven’t liked the way clothes look on me, so I’ve been wearing a lot of yoga pants and workout tanks. i don’t even know what I’m looking for, just cute outfits that hide a tummy? everythung in the stores is just so ruffly or detailed and I just want simple, easy, chic but comfy outfits. For context, I’m 28, live in SEUS, am okay walking a line between trendy and classic, would like to spend as little as possible, but would be willing to spend more for the *right* pieces. I usually do brunch, dinners out to nice-casual places but occasionally low key fancy, shopping with gal pals, happy hours, museum openings, etc.

    Links to specific items are welcomed! Or specific “looks”.

    • Anonymous :

      If you are carrying a bit of weight in your tummy, maybe you could try a dress in a silhouette that shows off your legs, like a short-ish shift dress? In a knit fabric, with booties and tights, this look will carry you through fall and winter.

      Just a shot in the dark, so if doesn’t appeal to your taste, no worries :)

  33. Anonymous :

    This is a dumb question but do you suit up for depositions? I’ve never been to one with another female attorney so I have trouble gauging what’s appropriate.

    • Yes definitely. In Big Law the partners were horrified if you didn’t wear a suit for any client-facing thing, so I got in the habit as a first year (when I was just observing) and never got out of the habit. I have not been in many depos with other women but male attorneys generally wear suits.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oh the first anon’s response is interesting to me! I was instructed not to wear a suit, and I still don’t. The thinking, as it was explained to me, is that you’re going to be sitting for a long time in an uncomfortable conference room, so you might as well be physically comfortable — and that choosing to be physically comfortable conveys power/confidence. This was in Chicago. I defend deps infrequently now in So Cal, and I also don’t wear a suit. I wear a dark dress with sleeves.

      • I’m in Chicago and this is exactly what I was thinking. I want to be comfortable and convey power/ confidence. I feel so stiff in suits…

    • I always suit up for depositions.

    • General rule is always where a suit if you are taping it and might be on camera. If you are defending or just doing a transcript it is more of a know your practice/case call. Sometimes you wear a suit if you want to intimidate the deponent and other times you purposefully trying to look more friendly and don’t wear a suit. This would not be an unreasonable question to ask the partner in charge of the case.

  34. Midwestern Constituent :

    What do you wear to go to the unemployment office? I was laid off on this past Friday, walked out of the building at 2:30 PM, due to a lack of business and a need for the company to make additional cuts. I’ve been on a 10% pay cut since May.

    So, on Monday, I’ll be going to the regional unemployment office. I’m new to this, so if anyone has any advice, I’d really appreciated it. Cursory Googling indicated I should dress for work, but a suit seems like overkill. Nice separates? I prefer pants to dresses, and most of my skirts are too big at this point.

    I do have a part-time job at the mall, and the manager there has been really sweet, helping me pick up extra shifts for next week. My parents have promised to help, but they’ve already helped my brother and his wife this year, and they’re 60 and 61 now, so I really don’t feel like I can accept much if anything from them.

    But mostly, I just don’t want to end up living in my car.

    Sorry this is a mess, I’m still trying to process. So, any advice on what to wear to apply for unemployment would be appreciated. Previous job was on the casual side of business casual, but I do have 2 black suits (one is a skirt, pants, and a jacket, the other is just a jacket and pants), as well as 5-6 blazers, and several button-front shirts. I also have some plain solid tees, and three scarves. I tend to avoid heels most of the time, but I do have a pair of Cobb Hill Angelinas in black.

    Thanks in advance.

    • treble clef :

      Clean, and comfortable, are fine. Wear pants that you might wear to work, a simple top that goes with them, and carry a practical bag. No heels needed.

      This isn’t a job interview, but it is nice to look appropriate and can’t hurt slightly professional / employable. But honestly it doesn’t matter.

      I’m sorry to hear about this. It will get better. Promise.

      • Midwestern Constituent :

        Thank you. It doesn’t seem quite real yet, though I expect reality will sharply intrude tomorrow morning when it’s time to leave for work and I don’t go.

        Y’all may be seeing more of me as I try and keep busy/productive in the down time.

        • Anonymous :

          Truly, this will get better. Don’t let panic take over; don’t catastrophise. You’ll be sad / angry / scared this week, but then you’ll find another job, and you’ll move on.

          You’ll be OK.

    • You can do it over the phone too. Maybe do it that way to start -there will be lots of job fairs and classes once you’re in the system.

      • Oh and I’m sorry this happened to you. I went through the system almost two years ago, hence my recommendation to just call in to get the ball rolling.

        • Midwestern Constituent :

          Thanks. I do plan to check in regularly either by phone or online. But HR at my old job did recommend going to this particular office in person, so I plan to at least start that way.

  35. Love this idea from MAC; Especially since most of my lipsticks barely gets used. I have my typical go-to lipsticks from them, but even those, I don’t wear often (unless it’s for a special occasion). This makes me want to try some new lippies out though!

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