Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

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  1. Are any Canadians here today? I’d love to hear more about your thanksgiving! What are your traditions, your foods? How does your family celebrate?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I’m here! I *love* Thanksgiving – it is probably my favourite holiday. I just love the weather, the leaves turning, the nip to the air…this year it is freakishly warm so not so much but still.

      We usually start off the weekend with friends over tonight for dinner and wine. Saturday, I do whatever shopping needs to be done. Sunday, we cook and eat pretty much all day with immediate family. Prosecco on the go all day as we are cooking. Then Monday we often get together with friends to eat leftovers.

      The menu is turkey, ham, gravy, roast garlic mashed potatoes, roasted parsnip and carrot glazed with maple syrup, spaghetti squash gratin, a green salad or broccoli/green beans/asparagus and then an apple dessert (pie or crumble). Thanksgiving is all about the food.

    • Oh so anon :

      Hey, I’m here too! We celebrate on Sunday so that we can spend Monday lounging and eating leftovers. This year I am making roasted root veggies, mashed yams, sage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce, a superfoods salad, and sautéed Brussels sprouts. I will purchase a pie, because after all that cooking, who wants to make desert?!

    • Anonymous :

      Dinner midday on Sunday. Usually at my parents cottage if the weather is nice. Potatoes, carrots, broccoli, zucchini from the cottage garden plus roast turkey. Stuffing made with breadcrumbs, onions and savoury. Blueberry pie for dessert. Long walk after meal followed by naps.

    • My Ist Canadian thanksgiving, don’t have family here so having dinner with a Prof from the university I work at on Sunday (we are both from the same country.)

    • Here here! My grandma makes turkey (don’t partake) then everything else is vegan. Mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted maple butternut squash, coleslaw, grilled corn, rolls, apple pie, pumpkin pie, balsamic brussel sprouts, citrus glazed carrots. Mmmmm, hungry just thinking about it

      • Dude! Do you have a vegan pumpkin pie recipe?

        My husband is allergic to eggs and poultry, so thanksgiving is a stuffed squash and mushroom gravy, apple pie from our trees, and roast veg.

  2. I love these. But I have a dog.

  3. Vicarious shopping :

    Looking for a dress to wear to a late afternoon beach-adjacent wedding in Puerto Rico in January. I want something interesting looking, am happy to wear bright colors/patterns, and am maybe willing to take a little bit of a risk (though I want whatever it is to not look like a big old sack on my hourglassy pear shape). Thinking this may be a job for Lilly P, but very happy to hear other suggestions too.

    • Um, you sure it’s still happening there? Seems awfully optimistic….

      • Vicarious shopping :

        Good question, but the answer is yes, pretty sure. We’ll get an absolutely final word next month, but apparently the resort where it’s occurring had pretty minor damage and no flooding, and it anticipates being open for business before the end of the year.

    • Anonymous :

      Depends how much you want to spend, but there are likely tons of options in the resort collections that are coming out.

      I also find Tina Turk to be a much less stuffy version of Lily P.

    • Anony Mouse :

      They might be a little too casual, but you might take a look at Mata Traders. Most of their Spring/Summer dresses are on sale right now, the styles are a little more unique, and (my favorite) all their clothes are Fair Trade.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Do you mind telling me the name of the hotel? I’m dealing with a PR hotel reservation and some perceived unreasonableness w/r/t an event in January, and I’m so curious about what similar hotels are doing!

      • Vicarious shopping :

        It’s Villa Montana in Isbela. I don’t have much insight into what they’re doing other than what I’ve said above, as I don’t yet have a reservation and everything is coming through the bride and groom, but I hope whatever issues you’re having get resolved!

    • Mara Hoffman!

  4. Casual bigotry of the day:

    I’m trying to get an insurance company to reduce a subrogation claim, which it so far has refused to do. I tried one last attempt to sweet talk the adjuster to go to bat for us with her boss today, explaining the reasons and appealing to her sympathy. She said she would try one last time but said at the very end of the call that the company gets tired of claimants and plaintiffs’ lawyers “trying to jew us down.” For a second, I wasn’t sure I even heard it right – but then I was sure. But I am trying to save a client/family member what for them is real money and was not in a position to call her out on it even politely, I think. But OMFG, in 2017.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re in the Midwest right? I hear this expression at least once a year from people who genuinely have no idea it’s offensive. I’m Jewish and it’s very jarring, but most of the people who say it are not bad/hateful people, just ignorant. Personally, I had no idea the term “Irish twins” was offensive until a discussion here.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s the worst! I’ve used feigned ignorance when I don’t feel like I can call someone out. “Pardon? I missed the last part of your sentence.” Repeats ignorant statement “Sorry, I’m not familiar with that expression. What do you mean?”

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Really, you are not going to do anything about that?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I think you are more likely to get what you want my addressing this, just not with her. Call back the main line and ask to speak with her supervisor. Those calls are most likely recorded. Explain what happened. Explain that you don’t think you are being treated fairly. Ask for the reduction you want and ask for the employee to be appropriately dealt with for the anti-semitic statement.

    • That is ridiculous! So ridiculous that I wonder if there was any chance it could have been “chew us out/down”?

      • Anon in NYC :

        It’s most likely not. I had a law school classmate who grew up in an area without a large (or any) Jewish population who told me that he and his friends used to make such jokes when they were in college. He’s a millenial too, so it’s not like he was some old bigot.

    • As appalling as it is, I’m going to have to agree that when you are advocating for a client you don’t really have the option to rock the boat and say something. You could consider waiting until the deal is all done going back to her and say something along the lines of “By the way, I wanted to make sure you were aware that the term ‘jew us down’ is very offensive.” Being very generous and giving her the benefit of the doubt, I guess it’s possible that she doesn’t know what that phrase means/where it comes from. I actually knew someone once who thought the phrase was “chew you down.”

      • Anonymous :

        +1 for giving benefit of the doubt. True story: I grew up in the Midwest. When I was in my 20s, I used that phrase casually in conversation. While the person didn’t call me out, I could tell that something I’d said had caused a reaction, though I hadn’t a clue what. Finally, I narrowed it down to that phrase, but still couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. Then I wondered, “How would I spell that word if I had to write it down?” When I realized it would be spelled j-e-w, I was HORRIFIED at what I’d said. I seriously had no idea. I’d never heard the phrase discussed, and I had zero idea it had any connection to a people group, and you can believe I never, ever, used it again.

    • Yes, I’m in the Midwest, but the insurance adjuster in question is in the South (Macon, Ga.) I doubt it was “chew,” since “chew us down” doesn’t make sense, but it would be nice to give the benefit of the doubt. I didn’t say anything because a) I was stunned; b) it was in the last 10 seconds of a longish phone call, she was basically ending the call on that note; and c) I was advocating for someone else – and basically begging this woman to help out – so it didn’t seem appropriate. I may take Blonde Lawyer’s suggested route, although I did not take it as directed to me or my client but simply as a general comment about the company not liking attempts to get it to reduce what it sees as valid subrogation claims. Or more likely agree with anon at 3:56, to address it later.

      • As a former Southerner, I used to hear this all the time and legit thought it was “chew us down” for YEARS. I really honestly thought that was the way it was pronounced well into my college years. It never occurred to me that it was “jew” and when I figured it out, my first though was “well that doesn’t make any sense” since it did not register that it was a reference to Jewish people.

        But then a friend from California who visited once asked me why my family kept saying “Law” all the time and what the law had to do with anything. I was very confused until I realized she was referring to a particularly Southern pronunciation of “Lord.”

        Not an excuse for knowingly using an offensive phrase, but you might consider the possibility that you are coming from a particular place of privilege in terms of education and that many people who grew up and were educated in the rural South do not have that advantage.

        • Anonymous :

          “Not an excuse for knowingly using an offensive phrase, but you might consider the possibility that you are coming from a particular place of privilege in terms of education and that many people who grew up and were educated in the rural South do not have that advantage.”

          … but the point at issue in saying this is that you are LITERALLY excusing them from bigotry because they don’t know any Jewish people?

          • I don’t think she was saying she excuses them from bigotry because they don’t know any Jewish people. I think she was saying not everyone knows exactly what the phrase is (ex: she thought it was “chew us down”), and someone who doesn’t know Jewish stereotypes may not understand this is an anti-semitic reference to Jewish people being “cheap” (ex: her first thought was “well that doesn’t make any sense”). I think her point was that not everyone is familiar with the stereotype in the first place.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t think she’s suggesting the comment is ok. It’s not really “bigotry” if you don’t know the comment is offensive. Bigotry by definition means disliking a particular group on account of race/religion/ethnicity etc. If you just use the expression “Jew me down” without realizing it’s a reference to the bigoted stereotype that Jews are cheap, I’m not sure it’s really fair to call you a bigot. Uneducated and ignorant, yes, but those are much easier issues to fix than actual bigotry.

          • Anon at 4:28 :

            Oh I am not excusing it because they do not actually know any Jewish people. I know plenty of people who are horribly prejudiced against Muslims and against “them Mexicans” who have never actually met someone who is Muslim or Hispanic. I am just pointing out that they might be saying it without any idea that it is referring to Jewish people or perpetuating an anti-Jewish stereotype. Certainly I did not (to the point where I literally thought it was “chew” and not “jew” and thought the first made perfect sense while the second was nonsensical).

            I have noticed a tendency among the generally well educated women on this site to discount the extent to which their level of sensitivity is informed by the fact of their background and education. Sometimes the answer is ignorance and not malice or bigotry. It is an opportunity for education and not anger.

          • “I have noticed a tendency among the generally well educated women on this site to discount the extent to which their level of sensitivity is informed by the fact of their background and education. Sometimes the answer is ignorance and not malice or bigotry. It is an opportunity for education and not anger.”

            Maybe rural America could also educate its young about the real world. There’s an idea.

          • Instead of saying that it’s “privileged” to have grown up in areas with Jews (so that you know about/can avoid the stereotypes, and know that “Jew me down” is offensive), I think it’s more that one is disadvantaged severely by growing up in areas where everyone is the same religion and there’s a stunning lack of awareness of diversity. I mean, look at all the people who seem to be stunned every December by the amazing revelation that there are people in America who don’t celebrate Christmas.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah. I am mortified by this, and I’m probably going to get blasted, but I grew up (in the 80s) in a somewhat small town and was taught this phrase (and related phrases) by my Jewish neighbor as a teenager, and used it multiple times in high school. I understood it was a reference to Jewish people, but somehow not how harmful it was, because in the absence of a large Jewish population, the concept of everyday anti-Semitism just . . . wasn’t part of my conscience. Of course I understood it in the context of the Holocaust, but the everyday part . . . it just never came up. Racism, sexism, I got; I got homophobia but I was one of the very few, child or adult. I somehow had developed no sensitivity to the fact that there were negative stereotypes about Jews and that this was a reference to that. The last time I used the phrase was the time the woman on the receiving end of it said, “Oh, you say that? I do, too, but I’m Jewish.” It still took going to college with a large Jewish population to really understand the context.
          This woman needs to be called out, but it may be a matter of education/exposure (I’m well familiar with Macon, GA) more than a matter of her being a purposeful anti-Semite.

          • I’m the same. From central CA. I didn’t use the phrase a lot, I guess because I didn’t have occasion to argue with people about the price of things, but I definitely thought it was “chew down” when I heard it. And I guess that doesn’t make sense either.

            I did get called out as an adult for saying “gypped” – no idea that came from gypsy and no idea that gypsy was a race and not just a lifestyle.

          • Anonymous :

            Crap, I think I still say that every once and a while. I didn’t even realize that phrase was referring to Gypsys. I guess I always pictured it being spelled with a “J” :-(

          • Anonymous :

            Agree. I didn’t grow up in an area with a Jewish population, and had no idea that there were stereotypes or that anti-semitism was a thing (though, of course, I knew about Holocaust). I learned about it as I read early 1900s novels and came across not-favorable allusions to Jews.

          • Similarly I got called out once for saying we could “jerry-rig” something.
            I was told that phrase refers to German people and shouldn’t be used.
            It was total news to me.

        • I’m not going to blast anybody for this, but I will just point out that after Charlottesville, and hundreds of nasty boys publicly chanting, “Jews will not replace us!” while marching with torches (hello, Triumph of the Will), I don’t think it’s defensible to chalk up anti-Semitism to lack of education or exposure. That is some serious rationalization of pretty basic ignorance. Judaism is hardly a minor religion, and anti-Semitism is clearly not a historical artifact or ancient history.

          • Anonymous :

            This is neither here nor there, but Judaism is an extremely minor religion. I think there are very few Jews worldwide. Certainly my parents did not know any Jews before moving to the US.

          • Am acquaintance from Mississippi used it and when called on it, said it was a compliment bc Jews were known to be shrewd in business. He additionally thought it was nbd to wish Merry Christmas to a known Jew bc “they all celebrate it anyway.” He’d met a handful of Jewish people in his life and had absolutely no idea of sub-cultures of Jews, such as the Orthodox. He would have plotzed (see what I did there?) if he’d ever landed in Lakewood or Williamsburg.

          • Anon at 5:06 :

            I do agree that the context has changed since my own blunders, but let me put my own experience another way: I understood Nazism, anti-Semitism, and all forms of religious discrimination, to be wrong. I would have been horrified and outraged about Charlottesville as a high schooler. But I understood it in the sense that someone should not be discriminated against because of their difference. And all I understood about anti-Semitism was that Jews were discriminated against because they had a different religion — that they were not Christian. I was sensitive to the fact that there was a group of people in town (most of whom I knew very well) who celebrated different holidays and, perhaps more importantly, did not celebrate Christian holidays, and were sometimes made to feel excluded as a result. That was abhorrent to me. I would have gotten in a fight on their behalf if someone used the word “Jew” as an epithet or that other word that is truly an epithet (which I had only ever heard on an after-school special or something similar). But I was not exposed to some generalized notion that Jews are bad because Jews are “cheap.” It did not come up in my first 17 years. So when this phrase was introduced to me, I just did not understand the nuances or the history, nor did I pick it apart to try and understand it. Indeed, it was my Jewish neighbor who said it all the time.

          • To Anon at 6:46: Sure, Judaism is a minor religion in terms of numbers (3% of US is Jewish, I believe), but its influence vastly exceeds other similarly small religions. (Christianity, after all, is a splinter religion from Judaism.) This isn’t someone making a snotty comment about Jainists. But the bigger point I’m probably not well making is that many of you are excusing this person based on your experience growing up (i.e. through high school, which I think is understandable. But the OP is talking to a professional person, presumably a college graduate, who had college-level courses in history, literature, maybe philosophy or religious studies. Even if you’re in a rural area, to excuse this kind of continued ignorance, and in particular, to excuse someone’s inability to see the connection between small bigotries and large bigotries, I think is letting her off too easily. Particularly after Charlottesville, I think we actually need to have these conversations in a direct and civil way.

          • Anonymous :

            It’s the second largest religion by population in the US. Worldwide it is in the top 10 (and “atheism” and a catch-all “ethnic religions” are above it on the list so really it’s higher than 10). It’s definitely not minor, even ignoring the historical significance and the relationship to Christianity.

        • I believe you that you didn’t understand the expression, but I don’t think it was prevalent in your community because no one understood it.

          Dahlia, “jerry rig” doesn’t have anything to do with Germans (and it would be spelled with a “g” if it did). Though I guess if a lot of people start believing this, it will still become unacceptable to say.

          • Anonymous :

            It wasn’t prevalent in my community. It was known to the Jewish people in my community, one of whom then taught it to some other kids. I only ever heard it from him and then from my own friend group who also learned it from him. Obviously, the Jewish community was aware of the stereotype and banter about it was a part of their lives. I can’t say I “didn’t understand the expression,” I just didn’t understand the origin or depth of the expression. That I did not give it more thought is a result of age and era, as well as a general lack of exposure.

            If I had grown up one county away from my own, I would have been immersed in thoughtful and nuanced discussions of “diversity” for years before going to college. As it turned out, I had to go to college to have my first one. I battled adult authority figures and my own peers often on blatant racism, homophobia, and sexism, though, because those things came up all the time.

            The reason I posted in the first place is that, looking at this from a bigger perspective, I think it is really important to understand how this kind of dialogue travels in our country in order to determine how best to communicate with and educate people. Assuming intentional, considered bigotry can be a very counterproductive strategy.

            And to be clear, I am not excusing this grown woman’s use of the phrase (or my own). It is unacceptable and she needs to be called out on it (at a time that does not prejudice the OP’s client) and never do it again. My only point is that the OP might find that explaining the problem once is all it takes. Macon, Georgia is a place that has a lot of catching up to do, and if this woman has not been far from it, maybe that is the source of the problem. Maybe she’s a real anti-Semite and should lose her job.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Even among my ‘woke’ group of friends in law school in a super liberal city, it was considered pretty socially acceptable to hold the antisemetic views that lead to those sayings.

      It’s 2017, but people are still trash.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, I personally think anti-Semitism and racial bigotry against Asians are the most socially acceptable forms of bigotry in 2017. Not saying racism against other groups isn’t a bigger social issue because of the violence associated with it, but I do think it is more PC – at least in a lot of liberal, educated circles – to be bigoted against Jews or Asians than against African-Americans, Latinos or LGBT people.

        • Brunette Elle Woods :

          “Most socially acceptable forms of bigotry in 2017″…..Did you really just say that? I didn’t know there were any acceptable forms of bigotry!

          • Anonymous :


          • Anon at 6:44 :

            I just mean that in my circles (mostly white, Christian or atheist, liberal, privileged and educated) people are very PC (for lack of a better term…) with respect to many minority groups, especially African-Americans, Latinos and the LGBT community, but when it comes to Jews and Asians, many of those same people casually toss around demeaning stereotypes and sometimes even slurs. In my circles, if you said “Black people are lazy” you (rightfully) would be yelled at and shunned, but I have heard a lot of those same people say things like Jews are cheap or Chinese restaurants are dirty. I’m NOT saying that bigotry is ok. I’m saying that’s what I have experienced.

            And Anon at 7:49, anti-Southern (or anti-privileged coastal elite) is totally different. Your geographic location is not an immutable characteristic like race, religion, and sexual orientation.

          • Brunette Elle Woods :

            Some nice friends/acquaintances you have there! If my friends made racist comments about any group they would no longer be my friends. I certainly wouldn’t consider it to be acceptable bigotry. People thinking that way is part of the problem.

          • Anonymous :

            Really? This board has anti-Republican commenters that are cheered on by others every day. By definition, bigotry is intolerance, and sometimes the generalized comments made here about my party make my eyes pop. Many intellectual elite, instead of trying to grasp the undercurrent of what lead people who voted for the current administration to do so, are quick to cry racist, mysoginist, or bigot. There are bad people on both sides, and yours aren’t better than mine. I shouldn’t have to qualify that I voted for Hillz and am moderate-left on social issues. Many millennial Republicans are working hard to promote economic policies we believe will help all Americans, change the perceptions of our party and move progressively towards inclusion and peace. It’s OK if we disagree on how to get there, but why is it OK to make broad statements here condemning half of our country’s populous?

          • Where did I say hating on Republicans is ok? I just said stereotype or disliking someone because of their politics (whether Democrat or Republican) or where they live is not remotely the same as stereotyping or disliking someone based on their skin color or religion. I didn’t say it was nice or good for society to treat those you don’t agree with poorly.
            And believe me, I’ve lived in the South, “bigotry” against the liberal educated elite is just as prevelant there as “anti-Southern bigotry” is in liberal circles. We are all guilty of intolerance when it comes to those we disagree with, it’s not a uniquely liberal issue.
            And fwiw in the last two years and out of hundreds of political discussions here, the overwhelming tone of the comments has been that reasonable people can disagree about how to solve issues and many Republicans are intelligent, thoughtful people. The vitriol has been reserved for Trump’s numerous racist, mysogynstic, and xenophobic statements and to a lesser degree to his supporters who at least implicitly endorse those views. That’s hardly hateful to moderate Rs who voted for Hillary.

          • No no no no no. Being a republican is a choice. Do not even compare political disagreement to racism. That’s ridiculous. And sort of racist-apologist.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m Asian and I agree about the “people think it’s okay to be racist against Asians” point. I’m not saying that it’s okay– I think the poster and I are both observing that other ppl seem to think its ok. Just today, I asked a group of highly educated white girlfriends if anybody wanted to go see Margaret chop on tour and one of the girls thought I was referring to Mimi change a dumpling restaurant and the others thought I was talking about the abc tv show.

          That and one of the partners I work for thinks it’s ok to never get my name right in email responses to me or in pronunciation. Ugh.

          As for anti-semitism, I live in NYC so that’s much less acceptable or rampant here.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s insane to me how many people on here are willing to forgive a comment like this.

    • Insane and awful. As a side note, you just won your subro claim. Insurance companies often record these calls. Write them a letter quoting what that adjuster said, throw in a mention of a bad faith claim or your state’s equivalent, and watch the subro claim get reduced to zero. Don’t let the insurance companies get away with this type of stuff.

  5. My husband and I just started TTC this month and while my rational brain says that there is only a slight chance I’m pregnant, these last few days before my period is supposed to start have been agony. It’s all I can think about. I don’t know how women do it. No specific question, just venting and giving Internet hugs to everyone going through this for any length of time!

    • *hugs* waiting is hard.

    • Edna Mazur :

      Take a test. Read the box, but I’ve tested positive with an at home kit before a missed period (for my first like four or five days before). You’ll feel better.

      • I’m trying not to take the test since I’ve heard way too many stories from family and friends about false negatives. And I know even if I get a negative I’ll still be holding out hope it’s false. Blah. But at least it’s the weekend so I can stress out in peace without my needy boss and clients interrupting.

        • Good luck :) Also, just have to be a little envious that your boss and clients respect your weekends!

  6. Reply All :

    Going to a new Aldi that recently opened and I have my quarter and my reusable shopping bags! Any other Aldi tips I should know about?

    • Shiny gal :

      I just started a new job and I’m having an issue with shine control during the workday. I’ve never had this problem before and I’m not sure what’s causing it (walking too fast during my morning commute? humid office? tbd). Until I figure out the cause, does anyone have recommendations for how to de-shine midday at work? It feels like every time I go to the bathroom I blot with a paper towel. Either that’s not effective or I’m super oily because it’s not doing the job!

    • I avoid the produce as too many times got it home and it was bad. Great deals to be found on wine and baking supplies. If you care about additives, read the labels carefully.

    • givemyregards :

      Shopping at Aldi is very similar to shopping at Trader Joe’s, in the sense that they don’t always have the exact thing I’m looking for. I find it’s better to sort of peruse there with a general sense of some dishes I might cook, but let my final choices be dictated by what they have in stock. If I have my heart set on something specific, or know I need a set of ingredients without substitution, I shop at my regular grocery store.

    • They will throw your groceries into your cart with angry vehemence, so load your heavy stuff onto the belt first. Don’t expect them to be gentle with anything but eggs and bread. You also better load that belt up in warp speed because the cashier is timed on how many items she scans (hence the angry throwing) and if you’re dilly-dalling around putting items on the belt you’re slowing her down, and the entire line of people behind you will hate you.

      I take my cart directly out to the car and pack my reusable bags out in the parking lot. My husband insists on packing the bags on the counter, then gets angry when his packed bags won’t fit back into the cart correctly, and wastes 15 minutes. We fight about this outside vs. inside bag packing every time we go together.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Yes, and to elaborate on this, they don’t bag your groceries and you shouldn’t try to bag them as the cashier puts them in your cart. They always have a shelf along the wall after the register, so once you’ve paid, bring your cart over and bag there.

        They have decent organic items. I buy things like oatmeal, dried beans, canned tomatoes, basic spices like cinnamon, baking soda, vinegar, and pasta there. I tend to avoid the produce since it’s not great at my location. They do have great genuine pumpernickel bread at mine, and I also like their mediterranean quinoa mix in the freezer section for a quick dinner side. I go to Aldi every couple of months to stock up on basics.

        • Aquae Sulis :

          In the UK we have Aldi and Lidl, which both use the German packing model. A lot of my fellow Brits don’t seem to understand it, and try to bag at the speed the cashier puts it through!

        • Anonymous :

          +1 to angry throwing. I put cans/jars/heavy stuff first, then dairy and frozen, and produce bread eggs last. My produce then “lands” on other items in my cart and is less likely to get bruised that way.

          They also have a generous return policy if you don’t like something.

          Lots of organic and healthier options. Organic canned beans, organic snacks, coconut oil/butter, almond butter, organic milk, soy and almond milk, organic cheese, and occasional vegan meat choices. They also have grass fed beef.

          If you have kids – they have lots of kid/baby options.

          If you have teenagers – they have unhealthy, but quick snacks. My teenager loves the muffins and calzones.

          Aldi has seasonal items like Trader Joe’s.

          I find that the best produce choices are available in the early mornings.

    • Calibrachoa :

      The cheese is amazing :D

    • I’m a bit clueless. What is Aldi, and how is it different from a regular grocery store?

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Aldi is a grocery store owned by the same parent company that owns Trader Joes. It’s known for rock-bottom prices and carrying only store-brand items. You have to bring your own reusable bags and “rent” a cart for a quarter, and you bag the items yourself. I haven’t been personally but I have coworkers who really like it.

        • Actually, I think TJ’s and Aldi’s are separate companies, each owned by one of two brothers who apparently had a falling-out.

          I have had excellent chocolate from Aldi’s, bought by a friend, and I read that they are eliminating additives and artificial ingredients, but I there is none close to me so I haven’t shopped there.

        • Interesting! I had no idea – thanks.

        • Calibrachoa :

          This split happened in 1960 over if they should sell cigarettes or not :)

  7. That thigh gap has gotta be photoshopped in, right???

    • Anonymous :

      Her feet aren’t together so I’m thinking not necessarily? We need the French regulations where they have to disclose photoshop.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I think so. It’s just too perfect.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Yeah, it’s always a tip off when the gap is really U-shaped at the crotch. I know people who have gaps this wide, but they aren’t that… rounded!

    • nasty woman :

      That and/or the tilting back of her hips to create thigh gap

    • Glad I’m not the only one who looked at that and thought…. what the heck….

  8. Shiny gal :

    I just started a new job and I’m having an issue with shine control during the workday. I’ve never had this problem before and I’m not sure what’s causing it (walking too fast during my morning commute? humid office? tbd). Until I figure out the cause, does anyone have recommendations for how to de-shine midday at work? It feels like every time I go to the bathroom I blot with a paper towel. Either that’s not effective or I’m super oily because it’s not doing the job!

    • cat socks :

      I use Clean and Clear blotting paper mid-day and sometimes reapply powder. I’ve tried mattifyng primer, but haven’t found anything to keep the shine away all day.

    • Yes, I love the Clean & Clear oil absorbing papers. I have oily skin and these work really well for me – better than the alternatives. I usually use one mid-day and then I’m good to go.

    • Blotting papers followed by translucent powder. I have SUPER oily skin and this is the only thing that really helps.

    • Shine is in, friend. It’s a sign of youth– embrace it while it lasts… I’m over here using highlighter trying to regain what I’ve lost!

    • Linda from HR :

      This may sound a little gross, but if you don’t have blotting papers, those toilet seat covers in public bathrooms will do the trick as well.

    • I tend towards shine in the summer and in humidity – I use a mattifying primer (usually Benefit Pore-fessional Matte Rescue) and keep blotting papers and powder in my desk.

    • I use Bare Minerals powder foundation and it keeps the shine at bay at least through lunchtime.

    • Anonymous :

      I keep a roll of adding machine tape in my drawer, and rip off a piece ot use as blotting paper (several times a day). Perfect size, and more effective than a paper towel or some other type of paper. Followed by more powder. It’s worse on humid days like we’ve been having. Bring on winter.

  9. Paris recs :

    I’m looking for any and all recommendations for Paris! We’re not interested in doing the big things (Eiffel Tower, Louvre, etc) but would love recommendations for lunches, dinners (including one romantic one), much smaller museums, shops, parks, neighborhoods to wander in, or any other random activities. We’re going in a week, eee! We’re staying in the 6th but willing to travel anywhere in Paris proper via metro. I already booked a Paris by Mouth tour last night after seeing that recommendation and I’m so excited for it.

    (Would also welcome and appreciate Lyon and Marseille recs)

    Thanks in advance :)

    • Walk around Montmartre or the Rue de Rivoli. You could also take the metro up to Saint Denis and see the cathedral there. The Luxembourg Gardens will be touristy but I think still worth it. As for food, everything is amazing and I recommend you eat all the bread and pastries.

    • Post an email address and I’ll send you my whole list of Paris recs!

    • Smaller museums: Musee d’Orsay and Rodin are two favorites. Have you been to the Jardin du Luxembourg? Certainly not small but underappreciated and has a lovely dirt road lined with trees like Central Park leading to the Palace, manicured gardens, and fountains. Could do a picnic lunch here. Other picnic spots: Square du Vert-Galant, Place de Vosges, La Madeleine church steps. Have you seen Sainte-Chappelle? My favorite lunch in Paris is a leisurely one people watching from a cafe, so no real recommendations. We did do dinner at Seb’on one night in Montmartre the last time we went and it was delicious and romantic for us, but not a fancy dinner, so depends on what is romantic to you. (This is a 10-table type place where the “menu” is what they have that day and that’s it.) Some other restaurants we enjoyed: Bistrot d’Henri, Fish La Boissonnerie, Bo Zinc. Some other places to visit beyond Paris if you are up for a day trip and depending on weather: Giverny, Versailles, and for extended: Provence, Loire Valley, Strasbourg.

      • Another smaller museum – the Dali museum in Montmartre. I am not really a museum person, but I loved this. It’s small enough that it is easy to tack onto a day already touring the area.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s been 20 years since I was there but I loved the catacombs and the natural history museum and La Sainte Chapelle. I had also studied Parc De La Vilette in art history so enjoyed visiting that.

    • Steak frites from Relais de Venice! The wait is worth it!

    • Senior Attorney :

      There’s a great wine bar near the Pompidoux Center called Wine touch at 61 Rue Quincampoix. You can buy the wines by the sip, half glass, or full glass and it’s all self service by pushing buttons. Very fun, you get to try a lot of great wine, the proprietor speaks great English, and it’s a nice relaxing place to sit and spend some time.

      Also if you’re into fashion, the Musee de Arts Decoratifs has a Christian Dior exhibit. Right next to the Louvre. I didn’t make it there but the window posters looked amazing.

      • If you’re still reading, the Dior exhibit was incredible. Use the museum pass to skip the line, though you still have to pay 11 or so Euros for the ticket.

    • Greensleeves :

      I got a wonderful list of recommendations from LondonLeisureYear here before my trip this spring. If she’s the Anon offering her list above, definitely take her up on it! My favorite items from that list and/or our trip:

      We stayed near Rue Cler, which was a great area a few minutes’ walk from the Eiffel Tower. There were plenty of hotels, restaurants, and shops in the area. Restaurants we enjoyed in that area included Le Petite Cler, Le Bosquet, Cafe du Marche, Le Crepescule, Le Den.

      Treat Street -there are several sweet shops along one street, so we wandered along and picked up one or two items from each place, then walked to Luxembourg Gardens and gorged! www.vogue.com/slideshow/13358161/paris-patisserie-walking-tour-rue-du-sucre

      Lunch at L’As du Fallafel – this was amazing! Fantastic falafel and well worth wandering around to find it! Then we walked on up to Sacre Couer, which is lovely and provides a gorgeous view.

      Our favorite museums were the Musee d’Orsay and the Rodin museum.

      My favorite touristy stop was the Arc d’Triomphe. We were there just at sunset and it was beautiful!

      Have fun!

    • Sainte-Chapelle was one of my favorite sights (so beautiful and easy to see in a short period of time). Also, one of my favorite things to do in Paris is just wander around, find a cute little cafe, and sit down for a drink or a coffee, then keep exploring. Don’t forget to leave an afternoon free to do some random wandering and appreciate their cafe culture.

      Also, if you want to splurge on a fancy gourmet dinner, check out La Scene at the Prince des Galles hotel and do the tasting menu. It was one of the most memorable meals we’ve ever had. Then retire to their amazing bar for an after-dinner drink.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Oh, and shopping in the Marais district. So many fab shops for both men and women!

  10. Boyfriend jeans for muscular legs :

    My legs are so muscular that basically all jeans look like skinnies on me. Has anyone with this issue found a boyfriend jean that actually fits correctly? Or is it just not meant to be?

    • annnooonnn :

      I haven’t tried them, but check out Barbell Jeans… they’re all the rage among bodybuilders on Instagram.

      I’ve also found that the Old Navy boyfriend jeans fit pretty well on my built-by-squats lower half. They tend to run big on me, so I think it’s a combination of the looser cut and running a big large. I normally wear a 2/4 at ON. The size 2 boyfriend jeans fit relaxed through the hips/thighs and sit lower on my hips because the waist is a bit loose. Pretty perfect for longer t-shirts and tennis shoes.

      • BeenThatGuy :

        +1 to Barbell Jeans. There’s also Relentless Jeans and Fran Denim. These brands are specifically designed for the bodybuilder/crossfit athlete’s body type.

        • Boyfriend jeans for muscular legs :

          From what I see, none of these brands make boyfriend fits! I’m afraid that may be a message to us. But I am going to look into the other suggestions I got!

    • Check out the American Eagle “Tomgirl” Jeans

    • Well, my legs aren’t muscular but they are large! Haha… yea, I have never been able to wear boyfriend jeans becasue they’re always tight in the thighs and look weird.

    • Anonymous :

      I lost 25 pounds and my old skinny jeans (which probably fit properly around 15 pounds higher than my current weight) now fit like boyfriend jeans. So maybe try going up 2 sizes with a belt. They still aren’t super flattering though.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve had good luck with AG jeans

    • Anonymous :

      I have the Gap “girlfriend” jeans, which (despite the name) have a boyfriend-like shape that is flattering on my larger thighs.

      • Anonymous :

        Specifically these ones (love them so much): http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1048557&pcid=5664&vid=1&pid=718415002

    • Anonymous :

      I like the Joe’s Jeans cigarette jeans. I can’t make boyfriend styles work with my legs. However, I find a distressed, straight leg style that is rolled up achieves the same effect. Un-fancy posted about this a while ago and that’s where I got the idea.

  11. communication tips? :

    Since there’s a lot of posts asking for advice on communicating with an SO, can we talk about general tips that work?

    I’ll start with a few tips that have worked for us. Going on a decade of marriage, but learned most of these in our first year :) (seriously, when ppl asked, “How was the first year of marriage?!?!” all happy and glowing, my response was always, “We learned how to fight!” Best thing to learn quickly, IMHO).

    1) It’s ok to be grumpy, it is not ok to make everyone else grumpy by treating them poorly

    2) It’s ok to ask if partner is grumpy, and it’s ok for partner to answer truthfully… it’s not ok to shame partner for grumpiness that they are keeping to themselves (we all have bad days once in a while!), and it’s not ok for partner to be grumpier at being asking if they are grumpy (I’m just trying to figure out what’s up with your sour mood today!)

    3) Being grumpy means it’s not on the other person to “fix”… you’re tired/hungry/need to go to the bathroom? That’s on you, take steps to get sleep/eat/restroom so you can get happy again!

    4) Ask for what you want tactfully. You want alone time? Fine, but state that kindly, don’t snap/just leave the room without saying anything/sulk that you haven’t had enough alone time. You want attention? Fine, but ask for it with the understanding that sometimes it’s inconvenient RIGHT THIS MINUTE and you might have to wait until chore/phone call/appointment is completed.

    5) If there’s an actual issue in the relationship that needs to be addressed, TALK ABOUT IT OPENLY. And assume good intentions. And take the time to pinpoint actual steps that you/partner can take to fix it, don’t just vaguely talk about being mad/ignored/whatever. (ie: It annoys me when you just leave dishes in the sink instead of putting them in the dishwasher. Can you please put your dishes directly into the dishwasher? I don’t like the person you become when you have too much to drink. Can you agree to some ground rules when we go out tonight? [no hard liquor, alternate water after each drink, match my pace of consumption, etc.])

    6) Figure out some “safe words”. I used to not want to bring up half-baked ideas to partner bc his engineering brain made him dissect everything, and I felt like he was attacking my idea instead of trying to be interested in the conversation. A quick, “Hey I’m super early in the thought process, so please just listen for a few minutes/ask softball questions” helped tremendously.

    7) Clarify what conversation you’re having… is it a “listen to me rant” or “I want advice to fix this situation”? So much easier on us both when partner asks, “Ok, am I just listening or do you want my advice?” and I tell him, “No, I’m just ranting and want you to agree with me” vs. “Give me actual tips”.

    8) Basically, just take each other at face value and realize that you’re both trying to figure out how to have a happy life together. We’ve made communication much more productive by making it safe to ask “obvious” questions about the other person’s current mental/physical/emotional/spiritual state. Even deeper “I’m feeling kinda lonely/depressed/frustrated/bored” conversations are so much easier when we’re able to identify what we need from each other and whether it’s an individual issue or a relationship issue.

    Other tips that worked for you? I always love hearing practical ways others address this stuff so that I can incorporate it into our tactics!

    • givemyregards :

      +1 to all of these, but particularly number 6. My SO tends to view things as either happening or not happening and so if I bring up theoretical ideas like (and I’m just making this up) “do you think we should buy a house someday?” he reads that as “she wants to buy a house right now, today, immediately” and reacts accordingly (i.e. panics). But if I really explain “I am just daydreaming and wondering what your current thoughts are on _____” he can relax. It’s weird, but it’s almost like creating a safe space for them to think things out loud without being beholden to what they say later.

      It’s also important to know your SO’s timelines for making decisions. I spend a lot of time aimlessly navel gazing, so when I need to make decisions I do so pretty quickly, having amassed how I feel about literally everything in advance. My SO is a sloowwww decision maker. So if I know I want him to, say, book plane tickets for a vacation, or make a serious decision related to our lives, I need to: bring it up far in advance (as much as possible), clearly outline the time by which a decision needs to be reached, and then just let it go until then. He has to go through his whole process of thinking about it, forgetting about it, letting it rest in his subconscious while he drinks coffee, etc. It took me a while to get used to this – and it still frustrates me sometimes – but it fits into the rest of his personality so perfectly that I wouldn’t change it if I could.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        The point about pace of decision making is so good! After realizing this, I try to very explicitly do what you’re talking about: “I realize this is a new thought, so let’s revisit in a few days, ok?”

    • Boston Biotech :

      Oh I love #7 so much!

    • I like all of these, and going on 11+ years together, I will definitely START using some of these (always room to learn and grow, right?).

      Something that works for us has always been to say “please” and “thank you,” even if it’s a regular task that they do.

      Another thing is that we fight using the “therapy script” as we call it. When we’re at the point where we don’t understand each other, I will actually say, “when you said X, it made me feel Y because Z.” It sounds silly, but it forces you to communicate what is hurtful and why that is.

    • This is “know you partner” but mine is generally a pretty obtuse person. I have to say things like “My birthday is coming up and I want a party [cake/card from each of the kids/day off/whatever.” Otherwise, he’ll do his best which won’t be what I want. It’s not just me, he’s like this at work and I constantly have to have him re-hash a conversation and tell him where he was being an obtuse doofus.

  12. So should we be asking our bosses if they’re going to stop including birth control in our health insurance or do we just wait to see? Do you think big companies will actually remove coverage for it?

    I’m ok right now because I got a Mirena before inauguration day, but if I remove it to have a child, I’d like to know that I’ll be able to get a new one (or at least some kind of birth control) after.


    • Anonymous :

      What benefit is there in asking? The law might change again anyway before this is a pressing issue for you.

      • Anonymous :

        This is not to imply that I agree with the change in the law or think it isn’t a big deal, it just doesn’t sound like information you really need to know right now – what would you do differently if you knew the answer?

        • I was mainly just expressing my annoyance that companies are going to have the option to stop covering this and was [somewhat sarcastically, but in a poorly-worded way] wondering if we are going to have to start campaigning for our companies to keep it in the insurance.

          I don’t think I’d actually ask my boss, but I do hope that there are at least some high-level woman at my male-dominated company who will help stand up for keeping the coverage.

        • Anonymous :

          Hoard my BC while I am celibate.

          • Anonymous :

            Or get an IUD now, to last me through menopause, even though I really, really, really do not want one.

      • It is pressing! It’s an interim final rule, which means no comment period, no waiting at all. It’s effective pretty much immediately, I believe.

    • Well, I wouldn’t run and ask my boss this, but I’d maybe ask HR/Benefits. I know that our open enrollment is in November here, and we get a presentation on what is new and different in our health care coverage this year vs. last, so if this is going to change, they will certainly let us know.

      I Montaigne that most workplaces have a similar thing in that when you go to sign up for new coverage, you’d get the new information.

      But, I also think that most companies want to be competitive, and unless there are strong reasons for not including both control, this would be a major drawback in having women come work for you.

    • annnooonnn :

      I don’t think big companies will remove coverage. I mean, from a purely financial point of view, BC is much cheaper than maternity care… then again, with the way things are/continue to go, it’s not like they’ll have to cover maternity care, either.

      Honestly, I would just keep the Mirena until this house/pres is over. Hopefully 2018 will start to tip it away from people who don’t understand that cheap/free and easy access to BC is good for society.

  13. Suitcase recs :

    Looking for carry-on suitcase recommendations. My job responsibilities newly include travel of 1-3 days. Any favorite suitcases for packing suits? What works best for you–hard tops? front pockets to slip things in? interior pockets?

    Any other travel tips for packing suits? I’m considering buying a travel steamer to avoid crappy irons at hotels, but I’m not sure if that takes up valuable space.

    • Financial Industry Anon :

      I have a “Travelpro Crew 10 21 Inch Expandable Spinner Suiter” that I am obsessed with. I’ve taken it everywhere from international to regional domestic flights. It is indestructible, the wheels are so smooth, and it fits in every overhead bin.

      For packing blazers, I fold the blazer in half with the opening at the outside, and then turn one of the shoulders inside out so that it fits over the other shoulder. There have got to be youtube videos demonstrating this… It prevents blazer wrinkles and I find my dresses don’t wrinkle much anyway. I generally roll dresses and then immediately hang them when I get to the hotel room. I’ve never needed to iron.

      • + 1 to the Travel Pro. And recently I purchased this garment organizer bag. This plus the garment bag (for items like blazers and dresses) that came with my Travel Pro make packing a breeze.


      • Green Hat :

        I have the non-spinner version of this and love it too. Very durable.

      • Traveller :

        +1 — I have I think the same one and its been great, but I mostly use it for business travel of 3-6 nights. Depending where you fly & if your trips are truly short, something even smaller could be better. When I do 1-2 night trips, I have another TravelPro piece that I take (I think its “Crew 11 rolling tote”). It truly is small, but I can easily pack 2 pairs of shoes (runners, heels), 2 work outfits & workout gear into it.

        It’s small enough that I can fit it in the overhead bin even on the small planes where they make you gate check your bag, or that I can truly put it under the seat when overhead bins are full and they start checking the roll aboards.

        Also side benefit that I also can be low maintenance when travelling with a group of men, I will strive to never have the largest suitcase!

    • I got the Delsey Luggage Helium Shadow 3.0 19 Inch International Carry-On Expandable Spinner on recommendation from this board and love it. It is the international size but they make a domestic US version too.

    • I dont travel with suit jackets much so no advice there, but I will say that I have a version of this bag and LOVE it. It is slightly smaller than your average “carry on” roller suitcase, but it was perfect for when I was making weekly Monday-Friday trips (although I travel pretty light) and it ALWAYS fits in the overhead bin. No problems having to squeeze or anything. Just slides right in perfectly. I have both this and the standard 21″ overhead and I pretty much always reach for this unless I’m going longer than 4 nights. (link to follow)

      • http://shop.samsonite.com/luggage/samsonite-lift2-wheeled-boarding-bag/58751XXXX.html?dwvar_58751XXXX_color=Black&cgidmaster=lift2#start=5

    • In mod but Samsonite Lift wheeled boarding bag. Love it.

    • Anonymous :

      I am TUMI all day for backpacks and totes, but I really prefer Briggs & Riley for suitcases. I find the layout much more practical for the Briggs & Riley suitcases.

      I have the horizontal rolling carry on garment bag and the vertical rolling carry-on garment bag. The horizontal one has the perfect for me. However, I generally take the vertical one, because horzontal over gets tripped over by people people and can’t be wheeled down the aisle of the aircraft.

      They have a lifetime warranty on their suitcases and are very good about honoring it.

      A few other things to think about:
      – Many people I know prefer the hard case suitcases with latches because bed bugs cannot get into them like they can with the cloth bags or hard cases with zippers.
      – If you will be traveling on smaller planes (e.g., CRJ 100/200), it might be worth getting a smaller carry on that fits in the overhead. That way you do not have to wait for your bag to be brought up from the plane to the gate.
      – Some people swear by spinners; for me, I prefer having the extra volume in the suitcase.

      • Just on the crj type jets, I’ve always taken my full roller to the plane and put it on a rolling rack next to the plane. They throw the bags in the trink, more or less, and by the time I get off the plane, the rolling rack is back with my bag on it and I carry it back into the airport myself. Is that not how it works for you? I’m a United 1K but don’t do a lot of crj legs.

        • Traveller :

          Some airports you board regional jets via jetway, rather than walking out onto the tarmac. In those, they have to bring the bags up to the jetway.

          • Anonymous :

            Yep, this is generally my experience. Some airports have a lift that brings it up by the gate.

            Either way it can take a while depending on how the ground crew is feeling that day. And when you’re making a connection, it’s an extra bit of variability that I would rather avoid.

      • +1 for Briggs and Riley. I love mine. It has a mesh net that zips out over the front to hold your jacket in the airport, which is a godsend if you are in a cold climate and have to travel with a giant jacket. It’s my fave feature, besides the extremely comprehensive lifetime warranty.

    • Traveller :

      Regarding wrinkles, aside from the blazer tip above (which works), also be selective about what clothes you take with you.

      Knit fabrics (like sweaters, jersey, ponte) etc are less likely to wrinkle than woven.
      Synthetics or wool is less likely to wrinkle than cotton or linen. Even polyester in the blended fabric will help.

      If something is not straightened out enough after hanging overnight, putting it in the bathroom, and cranking the shower to fully hot for 20 mins & closing the bathroom door is usually enough.

      • Yeah this is me. I am down to a 10-25% travel schedule but I used to be at 50-75% and I just have a regular Tumi roller. For me, durability and light weight were more important than suit features on the inside. I tended to wear a lot of knits during this time and managed to find some great ponte and boiled wool jackets, as well as some structured cardigans that were fine stand-ins for a suit jacket. I roll everything to pack and hang it up as soon as I get to my hotel room. It’s usually fine to wear the next day.

        In the summer when I wear unlined linen shirt/jackets when traveling to places like LA and Atlanta, some ironing is going to be necessary whether I have a suiter suitcase or not.

        In terms of Tumi, I like the Tegra Lite line. I have my husband my first roller after four years of constant use and bought a new one for myself (I have all kinds of excuses for why I needed a new one but the truth is that I wanted a new color). Both bags are still going strong.

  14. Sports Psychologist :

    Long shot but does anyone have a recommendation for a Sports Psychologist who deals with teens in the Orange County, CA area (or even Los Angeles, I’m out of options and you ladies know the best random things ;0 )?

    • Green Hat :

      I have no recs, but you piqued my interest – why would one need a sports psychologist?

    • In Los Angeles: Dr. David Kauss in Westwood

      I started seeing him for anxiety/mild depression but wound up continuing to see him for executive/career coaching. I have no sports experience with him but know that he the go-to psychologist that UCLA calls in for their athletes. My understanding is that many of his clients are corporate execs or athletes, including some pro athletes. (Not sure if that is the right fit for your teen; he’s good with intense people in high pressure roles so I would imagine that extends to a certain type of teenager.)

      The downside is that he is fairly pricey and doesn’t accept insurance. He does do phone sessions so it might work even if you are in OC.

  15. Ugh, this is scaring me but I’m liking a lot of the jackets on the Chico’s website, of all places. Do I need to be talked down from this ledge?

    • I mean, I’m like, oh I could use a ponte blazer like this, but then right next to it is something that would be right at home on one of the real housewives of New Jersey.

      • Anonymous :

        Let me run over there so I can properly advise you …

        • Anonymous :

          I’m back. Oh, my. I’m 50 and I think it’s probably like Talbots in that you can find some gems, but where Talbots can go whimsical, Chicos does go Real Housewives.
          The area I saw the most promise was dresses/skirts. This is funny. Going back in though.

          • Thanks for the assist! I think. Because now I have to go back and look at skirts/dresses.

          • Minnie Beebe :

            This is one way I know I’m getting old… I look at Talbots and Chicos and think, “You, know, I could totally rock that look…”

            I’m 44, BTW. Approaching that demographic, in all honesty.

  16. Torn loyalty :

    I have posted here before about a casual friend who divorced her husband over what she viewed as an emotional (at the very least) affair . Former husband, who is still my neighbor, has now married the other woman and they are expecting a baby.

    Friend and I have lunch/brunch periodically. She has found out about the marriage and baby (not from me) and is livid. I can understand that, but she is focused on it to an extent that is both disturbing and (in my view) not healthy. Every time I see her all she can talk about is how unfair it is that she is living in a tiny apartment while he has the big house and the younger wife (he inherited assets that she could not touch in the divorce). She is particularly focused on the baby (apparently having children was a disputed issue in her marriage; she did not want any and he did). I keep telling her that I do not really keep track of what he and the new wife are up to (which is largely true; my husband is friendly with her ex but my husband is not prone to gossip).

    Suggestions for (kindly) cutting her off and getting her to focus on something else? For some reason I am drawing a blank so I need a script. I almost told her last time that she is the one who wanted a divorce; of course a successful man of his age was going to get married again; it was always his money and she is not entitled to it; if she did not want children why does she care about the new baby; and she needs to let it go and move on with her life. His happiness is no longer her concern and he is not hurting her. However, I suspect that level of bluntness would not be helpful.

    Suggestions? I want to be supportive, but feel like she is (not so subtly) pumping me for information and her refusal to move on is not healthy.

    • Um no. He cheated on her, married the cheat-ee, and is living large while she lives in a tiny apartment. Why do you need to cut her off? Why do you blame her for asking for a divorce when her husband was cheating on her?

      Jeez, with friends like you who needs enemies? You are lying when you say you want to be supportive.

    • Anonymous :

      Ouch. I think you need to be a little more sympathetic…I understand you’re frustrated by how much she’s talking about the divorce, but you say:
      “I almost told her last time that she is the one who wanted a divorce; of course a successful man of his age was going to get married again; it was always his money and she is not entitled to it; if she did not want children why does she care about the new baby; and she needs to let it go and move on with her life. His happiness is no longer her concern and he is not hurting her. ”

      She wanted the divorce because he cheated on her, at least emotionally, with this woman. That’s not the same as divorcing your spouse because *you* want out of the marriage and then being annoyed when ex-spouse moves on. Of course she is going to be upset that he married the other woman! His actions are absolutely hurtful to her, and just because they aren’t married anymore doesn’t mean she isn’t allowed to have feelings about what he’s done since the divorce. I get what you’re saying that it would be healthier her for her not to fixate on this too much and that she needs to move on for her own sake, but IMO you’re kind of overreacting in the opposite direction by acting like she’s not allowed to have any feelings about it at all.

    • Senior Attorney :

      It sounds like you don’t much like her these days, so maybe you need to take a break from the friendship.

      Failing that, when I was in the throes of divorce and wanted to talk about it way more than my friends wanted to (by which I mean, talk about it at all), it was helpful to set a timer. We’d laughingly say “Okay, I can talk about ex-related matters for 10 minutes (maybe add “per hour”) and then we have to move on.” That got me through a week-long visit from some great friends with the friendships and everybody’s sanity intact.

      Beyond that, all of the “bluntness” you suggest is hurtful and please do not say those things to her.

    • I agree with anon above. Your neighbour is in the wrong, not his ex. My DH’s best friend is currently in the process of marrying the mistress and I think the whole thing is so gross. He also got to keep the house, and he stole her dog. Ugh.

    • I think you should be blunt, but maybe not say as much as you said in your post. I think I would say, “Friend, I know this is hard for you, but I don’t think it is healthy for you to put so much attention on his life. You will be happier if you focus on your life instead. So let’s talk about you. How’s your job/sister/hobby/whatever?”

      I’m sure that won’t be a magic comment that will change her mentality, but it may change her conversations with you. And that could be a good place for her to start.

      • Torn Loyalty :

        Thank you to both Senior Attorney and Annnny. That is what I needed. The timer idea is brilliant.

        I recognize that I am being unsympathetic so thank you all for reminding me that she is the victim and reinforcing that I need to be kinder. It is is just that it has been over a year since the divorce and her level of anger is only increasing. It seems to be all she thinks about and everything in her life seems to circle back to her divorce, her ex, his wife and their baby (she was really fixated on the baby last time, but that may be because she had just found out). Her social media stalking of them is troubling to me. Several of her friends have already distanced themselves and I am reluctant to do the same so I appreciate the figurative slap up the side of the head.

        • Omg, if I divorced someone because of an emotional affair and he was remarried with a baby within
          A year, I would be pissed. I was totally on your side until the timing came out. It would just reinforce all of the reason for the divorce and make me wonder if even more was going on. I mean, how soon after the divorce did he get remarried?

    • Anonymous :

      She divorced him and now he is happy? Not his fault. I’d say cut her off. She is just using you too vent anyway.

      • Oh please. She divorced him for having an affair WITH THIS WOMAN. It’s totally his fault.

        I agree it doesn’t sound like you like her much, and maybe that’s ok (you don’t always have to choose sides in a divorce but in a situation like this…you pretty much do.) If your husband and he are friends and he and the mistress turned wifey are your neighbors…maybe better to let her find other friends.

    • I get your frustration. What about reframing it for her: “Why let this guy have any more influence over your life, by letting him occupy your head?”

  17. Is it just me, or is anyone else surprised at the lack of media attention on the Jeff Sessions memo changing the DOJ position on transgender protections under Title VII?

    Sadly unsurprising, but a big deal.

    • I think it’s being covered but the sh*t show that is our administration is harming or threatening to harm so many people in so many ways that it may be getting lost. It is tragic and should be covered but so many other stories are out there too.

      • This. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it’s coming out around the same time that they’re announcing the change in birth control policies as well.

    • so sad about this :

      My heart breaks and I’ve been doing all I can to volunteer and/or donate for this specific community for many years so I’m seeing the faces of the people impacted (unlike the politicians agreeing to this who probably don’t even know if they’ve ever met a trans person). I wish this was bigger news and I hate that his process of creating a complete sh!t storm prevents so many from being able to keep up with all of his insanity.

  18. Excel Geek :

    A close friend of mine is opening a store next week. I will sadly be out of town for the grand opening and would like to give her a gift before I go. My initial thought was champagne but I have a gut feeling they will be receiving a lot of champagne. Any other ideas? If not, I’ll go with champagne.

    • A cute frame to hold a copy of the receipt from their first sale?

    • I mean, too much champagne is not a problem.

    • Do you have old emails between you or any old texts where the friend talked about the idea of opening a store? You could print and frame that. Otherwise, maybe send a card with a wonderful note about being proud of getting to witness the growth from dream to reality. Or you could give her money in advance and ask to have the money used to be the very first sale, then you could not only be that but also frame the receipt and give it soon after the opening.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Be the first there to buy something and write “Store’s Name’s First $5” on the cash, with a frame. My dad used to own a restaurant and the first $1 bill they got had that written on it by neighbors of my grandparents. It hung above the door to the restaurant until it closed.

    • Excel Geek :

      Thanks for the suggestions. She isn’t able to sell anything until Thursday when the store officially opens and I’ll already be on a plane.
      I ended up going with champagne and made a card out of a picture of her signing the lease for the store. It was well received.
      I also went by the store and helped her with hanging clothes for a while which was so fun. Everything is so cute and I can’t wait to shop. If you’re in the Chicago north burbs, let me know and I’ll send you her way!

  19. graduation cap ideas? :

    I’m graduating with my 2nd Master’s degree later this month. I just received an email from the school that it’s okay to decorate caps but to not make them “political or potentially offensive” or we may be asked to remove them. I want to find a way to decorate my cap that acknowledges being pro-LGBT, pro-BLM, pro-choice, pro-feminism, anti this administration, etc. Part of me wonders if it’s smarter to try to find a way to do it without people knowing so I’m less likely to be asked to remove it, but most of me wants to just make my stance known, even if I get told to take it off. (This will also be the 1st time I’ll have been anywhere where the anthem is sung and I plan to take a knee, so I may attract some attention anyway.) Any ideas? I want it to look intentional, not like a horrible craft project or a last-second thought.

    • Decorating caps is a very undergrad thing to do. Do you want to do this just because they have the rule about it being not political? If they hadn’t said that would you still be interested? If you are set on making your graduation ceremony about protest, then I would just stick with kneeling.

      • Apparently everyone permitted to do it and many people at every level do. Had been thinking about it anyway, though the focus on it not being political pushed my buttons a bit (though I understood the idea of not making it offensive, as I’m sure I’d have had feelings if someone had a [email protected] symbol on theirs or something).

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I think you have two options, generally speaking:
      – go with one big thing that communicates all of it. IDK exactly what it would be. my “they tried to bury us. they didn’t know we were seeds.” protest sign has gotten multiple uses?
      – go with small repeated things that are the same shape but different content like… I’m a bit cutesy, so for me it would be hearts, pointy sides in the center, so making a circle/flower shape? a rainbow one for lgbtq+ stuff, a teeny tiny BLM flag, the Women’s March logo if that’s your jam, that feminism fist symbol, etc. etc. I would outline the hearts with the same width of white/contrasting border. I think if everything is contained in the same shape/size, it won’t look like a collage slapped together.

    • Anonymous :

      Grow up. No decorations.

    • Anonymous :

      either violate the policy flagrantly or not at all

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      What about just “nasty.” Says it all to me. The latest with the mayor of San Juan has reminded me that I need a nasty t-shirt.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      If you want to do it and are an immigrant or the family of an immigrant, “Immigrants-we get the job done” from Hamilton would be a nod to the anti-immigrant rhetoric. There are probably some other Hamilton lyrics too that would be subtle resistance.

  20. Debating creating one for my freelance work. However, I move from state to state quite often (10 moves in the past 8 yrs) and it’s not likely to change any time soon. Would creating this require me to redo things every time I move to another state or is there a way to do it where it covers me everywhere? Right at the edge of the financial place where it’s a toss up whether it’s financially beneficial but thinking it will be in the next year or two (fingers crossed)

    • Anonymous :

      Nope, you can have one and keep it. Many entities have Delaware LLCs because they allow for a lot of flexibility and are really easy to do.

    • The LLC will be domiciled wherever you incorporate it, and can remain there. However, if you move to a different state, you will need to check the state’s “rules for doing business” to see whether you also need to foreign qualify the LLC in the new jurisdiction. That can become pricy (registration and potentially subjecting yourself to tax in both places), but it is the most technically correct way to handle things. Typically things like making repeated sales, having a storefront or an active sales representative constitute “doing business” but you need to check the jx at issue. Speak with a small business attorney or get a good NOLO guide.

  21. DCC and wages :

    Several of you mentioned “DCC: Making the Team” as a guilty pleasure, and I started watching the latest season while Scandal and Grey’s were on break. On one hand, it is a guilty pleasure. On the other hand, all the feminist rage.

    Like, how is it not against minimum wage laws to not pay them for training camp? And they make $150/game!! But they have to be there HOURS before to get into hair and makeup, and if you factor in training camp, that can’t be an acceptable hourly wage. I mean, I guess they make minimum wage if you do that math? But still.

    AND ALSO, the players make millions, even the bench-warming rookies earn enough to make it their full-time job. All the cheerleaders have to have a day job, you can’t live on $150/week + whatever trifling amount they probably receive for appearances.

    AND ALSO, the whole “smile” and full hair and makeup at rehearsals, and the questionnaires all about the organization and sports and current events… again, the players don’t have to smile when they’re exhausted, they frequently stick their foot in their mouth when discussing current events, and they have various illegal behavior that just gets swept under the rug. Ok, cool, these girls (used intentionally) are being “paid” to smile and look good, but seriously… ONE-HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS PER GAME is not enough compensation for the ridiculous requirements they have to meet.

    IDK, I just don’t get why these athletes aren’t being paid for all the scrutiny, knowledge, standards, and talent that they have. When football players are making six or seven figures, but the “accessories” aren’t making anything, it’s really grating. This latest episode (spoiler) when they’re getting onto one of the group leaders for not reporting her fellow teammate for hanging out with the players… these are adult women, and adult men. Yes, a no fraternization policy is great, but are the players getting in trouble and getting kicked off the team for hanging out with a DCC? Highly, highly doubt it. Do they not have to sign a contract on that, too? Or is it just the pretty, underpaid, smiling girls that have to keep those naughty men in check?

    • The Oakland Raiders cheerleaders won a significant settlement from the Raiders for failure to pay minimum wage, etc.

    • Okay, this is a weird rabbit hole to go down, but I was so intrigued by the Holly/Jenna thing that I dove deep into the internet message boards to figure out what went down. Unsurprisingly, there was major drama/discussion on this topic. Basically, the real story seems to be is that Holly and Jenna were BOTH fraternizing with players and went out to a club where the players were at, but Holly is under 21 so she was actually breaking the law in addition to violating her contract. Per the message boards, Jenna also did this last season, which was why she got the “are you ready to be a leader” talk at the beginning of training camp.

      To your last paragraph: of course the players don’t have to sign a contract saying they won’t date cheerleaders. There is no risk of players deciding to play for the Cowboys in the hopes that they’ll wind up dating a cheerleader. My understanding of the reasoning for that clause is that they are worried that if cheerleaders are allowed to date players, the squad will become a magnet for young women hoping to date NFL players.

      Agree on them being woefully underpaid. They don’t generate nearly as much revenue as the players, so I don’t think it’s necessarily an apt comparison to compare them to players, but I’ve read that a costumed mascot can make $20K or so during a season – it seems like they should make a similar amount!

  22. I’m looking for a thin, office-appropriate black sweater that doesn’t make me yawn with boredom. My current go-to top when I wear skirts is a silk v-neck cardigan with a subtle black ribbon threaded in an “x” pattern along the sleeves as decoration (no skin showing). It’s hard to describe but versatile and professional. Not too long but not cropped, not too baggy, not skin-tight. Can be worn alone or with a blazer on top. The problem is I’ve worn it a lot & it is starting to show its age.

    It seems like everything these days is too baggy or too long to look nice with skirts. (I prefer sweaters I wear with trousers to be longer.) I could just buy a plain black sweater, but I like there to be something interesting about what I purchase. The cut, the detailing, something. Any ideas on where to look? I’m based in the UK at the moment but travel often to Europe and have family in the US. Preferably not over-the-top expensive.

    • The struggle is real, and I am looking forward to seeing what others suggest! Two ideas: 1) a slight dolman or dropped shoulder; 2) a sweater whose interest is in the fabric, for instance a slight cable texture
      or speckled/donegal yarn

  23. I was just staffed on a case in Poland (management consulting). Will be working there until december and it’s already freezing. What boots do you guys recommend to brave the cold but not look too casual?
    Changing shoes is no option. We go straight to our “team room” or meeting rooms.
    We don’t have a dedicated space to store office shoes and I honestly don’t feel like schlepping an extra pair of shoes.
    This is why I’m looking for winter boots or booties that would look OK in an office setting (business casual client and we dress a bit more formally).

    • I am a consultant in NYC and carry an extra pair of shoes every day. Wear the warm and comfy boots on your commute then change, this will be important when the snow starts. Almost every office has a coat closet somewhere that you can stash the boots during the day. I also will “hid” my commuting boots in a bag under the table in the team room. No shame to be practical.

    • Anonymous :

      I spent a winter at a client in the cold wearing lined knee high La Canadienne boots with a low heel.

      This also meant I was perpetually in a skirt/dress with tights.

      The only drawback was on days that I was flying in on a transcontinental red-eye. Boots aren’t great to sleep in, and don’t always fit if your calves swell on the plane. I think I found a low-heeled Trotters bootie that I made do with for flights.

  24. Advice is appreciated :

    HELP! I am looking for advice – not judgement or unkindness.

    Here are the facts:
    I have $100k+ in student loan debt for 3 degrees. a Bachelors & 2 masters.
    I just recently moved here and took the first offer I got because I needed a job.
    I have been interviewing and I am on track to make at least $85-$100k in the next job which will reflect my experience and education till now.
    I moved here from a LCOL and recently completed the second masters.
    I work in tech.
    Currently, I make $65k in San Francisco. After tax it is more like $3k a month.
    I am not in a position where I need to pay rent – (partners income)
    I do not have kids.
    My car is paid off (and very old but runs fine).
    I do not copiously shop and cook all my meals.

    I want to get rid of the loans as soon as possible. Especially since I do not have kids/mortgage/car note etc right now.
    What is the best strategy?
    Should I just throw my whole paycheck at it starting with the smallest loan?
    The loans are private loans which are broken into 3: about $70k, $16k & $7k.
    They are not from sallie mae – so I do not qualify for any sort of cancellation of the loans nor forgiveness.

    I do not regret the loans. I finally got to a place where I do not feel shame and disgusted at myself for it.I went into college at 16 yrs old and was not informed when I started out at the private university about the true cost or implications. Single parent was not and is not financially literate to this day. Please do not disparge me and make me feel bad about all this. I did the best I could with what I knew and through the rough life that I had.

    Any advice would be so appreciate and thankful. You are all so so smart, I would love to hear from you.

    • If you can afford to do so, yes, start with the smallest loan first and pay the minimum on the others until it is paid off, then repeat with the other two. This assumes interest rates are approximately equal. If you have a really high interest rate loan compared to the other two (like double or 1.5 times the rate) you might consider doubling down on that first.

      Make sure you leave yourself enough income to enjoy life. If you put yourself on an unecessarily harsh plan you won’t stick to it.

      I also think you should try to save into an emergency fund. I’m sure your relationship with your partner is great but I think every woman should be prepared to support herself. Save enough in your own account that you could move out if you needed to.

      No judgment. I went to a private college on “full financial aid” because it was the best offer I got, and I graduated with a pretty heavy loan burden. I’m grateful there was any way at all for me to get an education and have that experience, because my parents couldn’t contribute a dime.

      • Advice is appreciated :

        Thank you so much for your advice. I think I have been beating myself up alot about it and now I want it gone. I think that is wonderful advice thank you again for your kindness and advice. My mother lived close to the poverty line and still does so she had no means to contribute and my father walked out a long time ago. My education means so much to me. As well as the career I have now, which does not accept people without education credentials. I just wish I had known how to make smarter decisions and try to go to a lesser known school or community college in order to get a free or cheap education.

    • Anonymous :

      Look into SoFi to see if you can have your interest rates lowered. It will generate a significant amount of savings and allow you to pay back your loans faster.

  25. Anonymous :

    You are not alone. You could look at alternative loan refinancing companies like SoFi. I haven’t used it myself, but that may be an option to consider.

    Also, kindly, the best way to pay it off quicker is to increase your income if you can. If you are very focused maybe you could take a second job just for a season and see how it goes? I get that it is not always an option, this is just simply another idea.

    I second putting your cash towards the lowest amount loan first. Do you pay your loans separately? If you throw all your extra money at the smallest loan and pay it off, then roll up the amount of that loan (say $100 per month) into the next largest loan.

    I also did the best I could with the cards I was dealt, very similar to you. You can do it. Hang in there!!!

    • Advice is appreciated :

      Thank you for your kindness and advice. I am aggressively looking to get a much higher paying job. I have learned from my personality that balancing two jobs with my other responsibilities is too much for me right now… so I am trying to get a higher paying salaried job. And thank you for the encouragement <3

  26. White Dress :

    Anyone looking for a white dress for a civil ceremony or rehearsal dinner? This is only $50 from The Rack: https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/2118731/betsey-johnson-v-neck-lace-midi-dress?color=CREAM
    I want a work dress with that high v-neck!

  27. Confession :

    I can’t say this to anyone. So I will confess here.

    Sometimes I feel that the hell I have gone through has taken such a toll on me that although I want and love kids, I worry I whether I will ever feel healed or ready for motherhood. Yes I am in therapy and have been for a while. But had to get that off my chest.

    • Just wanted to send hugs. Of course I don’t know what your specific experience has been, but I went through a lot of horrible stuff as well and had similar feelings to the ones you’re expressing; after 10+ years of therapy I finally do feel ready for and even excited about becoming a mom. Just wanted to put that out there in case it makes you feel any better. I hope you are able to heal and create the life you want for yourself.

    • New Tampanian :

      Just seeing this now but wanted to make sure to tell you that you are not alone. This happens to a lot of people. And, honestly, I’m not sure anyone ever feels ready as we’ve all discussed on here before. Granted, financially ready vs. emotionally ready are two different things. It’s OK to feel the way you feel. Keep going to therapy and doing the hard work. xo

  28. Anonymous :

    My husband suffers from depression. I need to understand it better. He won’t seek treatment. Yet anyway. Can anyone recommend books I can read to understand depression better? I feel like we’re both illiterate on this topic.

    • Anonymous :

      For practical basics, I liked Depression, the Mood Disease by Francis Mark Mondimore MD. It is a bit old though and the info on medications in particular may be a little dated, although it was written after Prozac and the other SSRIs came on the scene. If you want something long and discursive, Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon is fascinating. The Mindful Way Through Depression is also interesting – it is research-based and focuses on research about using mindfulness meditation as a treatment tool and is based on John Kabat-Zinn’s work. It is probably not appropriate for someone in the throes of depression though, better for preventing relapse once you are feeling better.

    • New Tampanian :

      There are also some great TED talks. I know that Tim Ferris just did one about depression/suicide. The most important thing to remember, however, is that this is most likely the result of a chemical imbalance in his brain. We need to make sure it is talked about in a clinical, medical manner so that the stigma is dissolved. If you want to chat some more, you can email at NewTampanian at the google mail. I have lived with anxiety and depression since I was a child.

  29. Minnie Beebe :

    Hey, all. A friend shared this article with me, and (more than) enough resonated with me that I thought it was worth sharing with you all. Many of you are younger, but I thought much of what is brought up seemed in line with many discussions here over the years.


  30. Ho hum, anyone else at work today? Let’s commiserate!

    • Does anyone besides the government and schools have today off? If so I’m super jealous!

    • Ugh, is this why there is no thread today? I’m at work and don’t have kids so it didn’t even occur to me that people have off

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