Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I think we featured a dress like this last year, but I was just at an alumni event and saw someone wearing it — in the daytime. I gotta say, it was really lovely and wasn’t too cocktail evening-y at all. (She got it in the alumni colors, of course, so it was that much better.) I think it’s a great dress for cocktails or parties, or for a desk-to-dinner dress. Nordstrom has it in navy and in this lovely emerald, and it comes in regular and plus sizes for $138–$158. Vince Camuto Velvet Burnout Sheath Dress

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  1. I Want a Baby :

    Anyone have any advice for coping when you desperately want a baby and aren’t in a position to have one? Hearing my friends stress about things like nannies and pumping at work is difficult, but it makes me feel like a jerk for discounting their real problems. Just not sure what to do with the sadness that comes with this.

    • I was Googling “childless by circumstance” this morning. Maybe you will find something that speaks to you?

    • Bananas McFriday :

      Volunteering in a way that scratches the itch is how I got through. I volunteered as a guardian ad litem which gave me kids to care about while the rest of my life was evolving. My sister became a Big Sister for a kiddo for several years. You have to pass a background check and get fingerprinted for most volunteer positions with kids, in addition to specific training, but the hassle has rewards, and there are children in your life.

    • Anonymous :

      If you want a child that badly, why don’t you look into having one alone? Unlike finding a partner or finding your dream job, this is something you largely have control over, especially if you are well-off financially.

      • I Want a Baby :

        So I hesitate to say this here because I know people get judgmental but this is my plan. But I’ve been focused on trying to get into the financial position to do it and I think I’d need to move back to my hometown to have family support. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about this more actively.

        • Clothing staples :

          I have 3 friends who have done this, and are all very happy. Amazingly, none live near family, but they live near close friends who are great sources of support.

          Good luck!

        • I know a couple of people who are single mothers by choice, and both are thrilled with their choice. Even the woman who – no lie – unexpectedly had identical triplets. It was crazy for a long time but she made it work (mainly by moving her mother in with her and getting a nanny to back up her mom), but she still describes it as “the best decision I ever made.” I planned to be a single mom by choice if I had to; my life worked out differently but it’s a valid choice and one you shouldn’t discount. Also, don’t feel like you have to wait until you’re past a certain age. If you’re under 40, you’ll probably have an easier time getting pregnant and less risk of complications (sad but true).

      • I have a friend whose mom had her on her own. I think via sperm doner in the 80’s. She’s awesome and had a great childhood. Only caveat is her mom had a great job and money was no issue so she hired a full time nanny.

    • I had this issue when I was having trouble getting pregnant. On the one hand, I didn’t want my friends to tip tope around me, but on the other hand, it was HARD. I tried really hard to focus on all of the things that not having a kid allow me to do – go on trips, be spontaneous, sleep late, etc. I realize my situation was a little bit different, but I can say that trying to focus on that stuff did help

    • Shamlet96 :

      I’ve struggled with this too over the last five or so years. I’ve spent a lot of time on the single mothers by choice board, which has been illuminating, but ultimately concluded SMC is not for me. So now I’m thinking about ways I can live my best life without kids – for me that means getting more involved in animal rescue and fostering pups, and getting out of my toxic job ASAP. It sounds like you have a plan and are starting to execute it, so seems like you are on the right track! I would caution you, especially if you are mid-30s or older, to get started sooner rather than later – reading some of those women’s stories about TTC has been really eye opening for me (I’m almost 40). Good luck!!

    • I am in this p’osition, also. I desperetely want a baby, but I do not even have a boyfreind, let alone a man who will support us. So I just figure that I will be a partner at my firm, earn alot of money, then go to China or the Far east and adopt a baby in a few years. You should also do this, though you HAVE to be carful where you get your baby. Good luck to you too! YAY!!!!!

  2. Looking for a holiday party dress :

    This is a nice dress, but it’s a little too sheath-y for me (a shape I wear all the time to work, so I don’t also want that shape in party attire; I want it to feel different).

    I love this dress: https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/alfred-sung-dupioni-a-line-gown/4305228?origin=coordinating-4305228-0-2-FTR-recbot-recently_viewed_snowplow_mvp&recs_placement=FTR&recs_strategy=recently_viewed_snowplow_mvp&recs_source=recbot&recs_page_type=search

    It appeals to my love of all retro things. But is it too recycled-bridesmaid-dress to wear to a work party?

    • Cute, but I think the length puts it into bridesmaid territory. Maybe you could find a short version?

    • I wouldn’t wear a long dress to a work event unless it was black tie only. Check out Bowden and anthropologist, lots of retro feeling party dresses.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s an actual bridesmaid dress. (No shade, but I’ve worn that exact dress as a bridesmaid!)

    • I don’t support formal weddings, but those Alfred Sung dresses kinda make me want to have one.

    • I love that dress and do not think it looks like a bridesmaid dress! Of course, it is formal, so only wear if the attire is formal/black tie.

  3. Bananas McFriday :

    I have noticed lately that once I get everyone else at home launched for the morning, I feel really “flat” and am having a tough time motivating myself if I don’t have that first-thing-in-the-morning meeting.

    I’m fishing for ideas on how to motivate myself to get out the door when the holy cow! I don’t want to be late! mojo isn’t there, and yes, I recognize that even that is weak on gaining durable inspiration.

    What puts some jaunt in your step to get to work?

    • A crappy parking situation. If I’m late, I have to park on the back side of the building and walk, adding even more annoyance and another delay to a bad morning.

      • Bananas McFriday :

        I forgot about the demotivation of parking in the lot’s hinterland, and the joy of finding a close parking space. I’ll add that to the basket.

    • I am not a morning person, so every morning is a struggle.

      Two days a week, I have a standing breakfast meeting with my work bestie. I also try to schedule breakfast meetings with mentors and mentees. Those are a good way to kick off my day and start productively. On days I don’t have a breakfast, I allow myself a “treat” like a stop at the coffee shop or 30 min to browse blogs, if I get in by X time.

      For a while, the timing worked out that if I got going early enough, I could listen to a funny segment on the radio station. They started their “help me tell if my Partner is cheating” segment at exactly the right time every Wed morning, which was mindless but funny and perfect timing for my commute. Sadly my schedule has changed, and I haven’t been able to find a good enough replacement, but you might try a podcast or similar segment on your local station?

      • Bananas McFriday :

        Oooh, I like that breakfast meeting! I am looking to shake this “blah” feeling. I’m coming through a long period of change, too, that is becoming stable, so a chunk of health excitement is great.

        I have become a little bored with my (good) podcasts, though some of them are not exactly morning-motivation-material. I love On Being, Life of the Law, Stuff You Missed In History Class, The Moth later in the day…maybe Death Secs & Money, and some of The Moth Suggestions are welcome!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Star chart star chart! You get to put a check in the box every time you’re out the door by X:XX — or every time you’re in your seat by X:XX! Then you’ll get a streak going and you won’t want to break it!

  4. I am almost 40. I have had mostly decent, light-olive complected skin my whole life, but am prone to intermittent, patchy acne that has remained fairly similar over the decades. I am mostly clear except during high stress times and/or during certain times of the month when i’ll sometimes get a couple ugly pimples or a patch of blackheads. And if i so much as look at a bottle of sunscreen, I get 3 new zits immediately. I wear no make-up, apply no lotion (neither morning nor night), etc. and mostly do just fine (during a beach day or vacation i will sometimes gingerly apply some sunblock, with mixed results). However, as winter sets in and my age ticks along, I’ve been wanting to start applying a moisturizer to relieve some of the dryness. I don’t think of myself as having “sensitive” skin per se, just the aforementioned issue with zits. Recommendations for facial moisturizers? Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      If sunscreen is problematic for you, look at “night-time” moisturizers. You can wear at night, or during the day, but won’t have sunscreen added.

      I use Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel

      • Anonymous :

        Also consider using a humidifier at home, or at least in your bedroom. It won’t cure all dryness, but i know it helps with my hands, which is where I get most of the winter/dryness affects, and sinuses to alleviate nosebleeds.

    • Cerave PM = my holy grail moisturizer. Recommended by my dermatologist.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you using drug store sunscreens? I switched to special Japanese facial sunscreens ordered off Amazon and it’s a world of difference. I’ve tried many, and Biore UV Bright Milk is my favorite. It even acts as a makeup primer.

    • I have acne-prone skin as well and I love Skinceuticals B5 gel. It doesnt feel like a typical moisturizer, much more like rubbing water on your face, but it definitely gives me some added moisture (it has hyluraunic acid). It’s not going to give you a ton of moisturizing like a cream would but I find it doesnt set off my acne and thats all I need!

    • Anonymous :

      100 percent mineral sunscreens work for me. They can look a bit ashy, so I mix in a drop of BB cream. Kiehls Evening Primrose Oil is scary to buy — oil! — but I think it helps a breakout heal up.

    • I’d look at Algenist Vitamin C serum (I have sensitive skin with break outs and this is my miracle product) and Asian beauty brands for a moisturizer–Dr. Jart was a lot of good products without weird additives.

  5. Anon for obvious reasons :

    I posted last week about some drama with a man I’d been dating for 8 months who still hadn’t invited me to his house (or told me where it was) or told me where he worked, etc. All I can say is that is sneaks up on you, and pretty soon you realize you’re in this weird situation and it doesn’t feel right.

    Given the tenor of the responses Friday, it was easy to realize that it was as weird and alarming a situation as it felt like to me. So I told him one last time what I wanted, and that the current situation was a total dealbreaker. He came back with a song and dance number about how he didn’t want to move that quickly (by telling me where he lived!) and he needed time to think. There was some residual texting, but it was clear after a day or so that he was just hoping I’d change my mind.

    (There was also this hilarious exchange:
    Me: It’s been 8 months. I need to know where you live and that I’m welcome there.
    Him: I told you. I live in [name of town].
    Me. That’s not good enough. It’s ridiculous that you won’t share things like where you live and work.
    Him: You know I work downtown.)

    Meanwhile, I realized I didn’t even really miss him (just a bit of the idea of him) because he hadn’t really been around for a while. The usual “breakup” bad feelings were over by the middle of the week (perks for getting the seperation out of the way before the breakup, I suppose) and I’m already thinking about accepting a few low key dates for next week.

    In answer to some of the comments…

    Ahem. Not a troll. Like I said, it sneaks up on you. Then one day you realize it’s hard to even ask for advice because it sounds really stupid in retrospect. And I do want an actual relationship – as much as a enjoy my alone time, constant alone time isn’t what I want. So, much as I dislike the actual work of meeting people, first dates, and the like (particularly where I live), I think it’s a better deal than what I had – I just needed to make that decision. Thanks for the feedback – it was the kick in the pants I needed.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Sorry it worked out that way for you, OP.

      I completely understand that sometimes you cannot see the forest for the trees until it is pointed out.

    • I did not see your earlier post, but congrats on cutting loose from that Bu11$sh!t! He’s clearly married and gaslighting you. I know these situations are awful to be in, but I do appreciate the transcripts of confrontations that we see here sometimes. I remember one poster saying that she asked a man for his last name and photo ID, and he pretended he didn’t have one or something. Down with men.

      • OP, did you ever ask him outright if he’s still married? Based on your transcript, I don’t think he would have given you an honest answer (more likely he would have pretended to be so offended that you would even ask), but I wonder if a direct question would have startled him.

        • Anon for obvious reasons :

          I asked him once before if he was seeing someone else, and told him he was acting like I was his mistress or something. No straight answer, but he did act legitimately startled that I’d think that. Plus, I do know he is legitimately divorced (2 years ago) from his kids’ mom and hasn’t remarried as far as she knows – we have some shared friends. He might be seeing someone else, or multiple someones, or there may be some other weirdness going on. Don’t know, and I’ve decided I don’t particularly care anymore.

          • Anonymous :

            This is really the crux of it – it doesn’t matter why he was doing it (really private or double-timing) – it didn’t match what you wanted and he didn’t care enough to see it. Congrats on opening yourself up to what comes next.

          • Anonymous :

            Right. I’ve had friends who dated married guys (I try not to judge) who were treated better, had more communication, and knew more about their partner than the OP did about this guy. He could be an undercover CIA agent, he could be kingpin-level drug dealer, he could be a polygamist with 5 wives. The reason doesn’t really matter. I am so proud of you, OP, for kicking this little p-o-s to the curb and moving on with your life. No one should put up with that kind of foolishness from a man for any reason. No one.

    • I didn’t read that thread closely, but I’m glad you broke it off.

      If you know his real name and town, you may be able to find out something via property records…

      • Anon for obvious reasons :

        I did try that once, but I didn’t get anywhere.

        About the only time I saw him terribly upset and venting to me was once when his mom was in town – he was upset she had found out where he lived and invited herself over. And he would mention his sister petsitting for him on the rare occasions when we would be together more than a couple hours, but from the way he said it, he would take the dogs over to her house rather than let her come over to watch them. So at first, I didn’t think anything of not being invited over – I just thought he was really private. If that had been the only issue, I might have gone along with it longer, but with everything else…. I was not ok.

        • Married or not, this guy sounds like he’s got something weird going on with his home situation. Is he Walter White?

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah, something illegal was my first thought too, even on the original post where everyone said he must be secretly married.

        • Anonymous :

          I was a shiksa dating a Jewish guy aaaaand it was clear that he couldn’t make the jump to bring me into the everyday…just being out & about with dating. He was so uncomfortable when I asked after his family – he was also divorced with a kid. He had discomfort about such basic things that I couldn’t see us taking it up a level, so I ended it. I also thought he had unfinished business based on the pattern with his mom and the mother of his child and it would be a long time before the scar tissue fully healed.

          Sooo – good on you for cutting him loose. Even if there was nothing else going on – he had bigtime control issues. And given how he was with someone who could have been your Mother in Law – you dodged a huge bullet with the grace of Wonder Woman!

        • Anonymous :

          Is he a drug dealer and lives in a grow house? That sounds incredibly sketchy to me. Glad you’re rid of him.

          • That’s my read as well, with the whole mother secrecy prong. Otherwise, I assume he has some creepy sex dungeon going on. Either way, OP is well served to be rid of him.

            OP, thanks for reporting back, and yeah — the whole insanity of one’s situation can creep up on you until you sit down and spell it all out. Good luck with the next stage.

    • Metallica :

      Bravo to you OP! I didn’t think you were a troll—you sound like someone who deals with reality (and doesn’t put up with garbage) and I have mad respect for those people.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Thank you so much for reporting back! Heartiest congratulations for taking action!!

      And OMG the text exchange has me in stitches!!

    • With the obvious exception of being sorry that you had to go through all this to get to the point where you could write this post – this post MADE MY DAY!

      I have been thinking often of you and am so happy for the new life for which you are now making room!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I’m so happy you got yourself out of this mess! Good for you :)

  6. mothers of multiple children, middle school edition :

    I’ve survived motherhood and biglaw — yay! My kids can read! But as we get to the point of elementary school where you have to consider middle school placement, I am in a panic. Our city schools have an area middle school that is 3 miles from work (horrible traffic if I leave at rush hour from my center city office) that is also 3 miles from our house (still in traffic). There is an IB magnet that is a little closer (many of our neighbors use both). Our elementary school is in our ‘hood, so only one school for now and no additional traffic issues.

    I feel like this is when we get someone for afternoon driving / pickup / homework starting. Yes? Not mandatory, but to simplify things on my end (one middle school has start/stop times over an hour later than the elementary school and who knows if the kids will just come home right after middle school or do activities some days or find carpooling friends of what).

    Of course I work mainly with guys who have no idea about any of this. And I can leave the office and work from home, but that would require working from home and not driving around my city in traffic for ~an hour every day.

    • Yes, you definitely need help with this! I think mostly any working parent would, and much more if you work in biglaw. Frankly I’m surprised you’ve made it this long without after school help. Props to you, but really don’t try to do multiple pick ups every day and keep up with biglaw workload. You have a biglaw salary– hire some help!

    • Absolute yes to hiring someone to handle pick-up/afterschool. That’s what the biglaw money is for, right? Do not leave your office every day to drive around in traffic.

      Also, ymmv, but my colleague’s middle school daughter gets herself to and from school on public transit or on her bike. Seems to be great for them.

      • mothers of multiple children, middle school edition :

        We are in something like Arlington VA where there is some transit, but it is aimed at getting workers to work in a center city and not people around the close-in suburbs. I wouldn’t bike on the streets most of the time — too many distracted drivers; walking isn’t that much less of a danger, esp. at night.

        I mean, people have to have helpers / lots of mom friends who can carpool / just let the kids sit at different schools waiting for pickups. Neighborhood schools are a thing here only for grade school — middle and high schools serve a broader geographic area. At some point, I will have kids at two different schools for 4 of the next 8 years :( + work + home + any errands.

        • Anonymous :

          Check out the city busses during a school day commute – you may see that your tween has a lot of students as company and it’s not what you see on Law & Order or other media. Having that as primary or backup transportation brings peace of mind.

          Go after the IB school if it’s right for either or both kids. You can look at private schools (with car pools), too.

          Our tween (12) comes home on the school bus and gets his homework done, as he has up to two hours by himself. He sees himself as more mature, so this works for our kid. We only had one (of 4) that we felt the need for light supervision

          • Thistledown :

            I took the city bus to a branch library and studied until my mom picked me up after work. It was the best! (Okay, sometimes I read magazines instead of studying.)

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        I have two middle schoolers (13 and 11) and they generally bike to school (about 2 miles), and if it is raining take the city bus to and from school, including after after school activities/sports. On biking, I live in a large city with a LOT of traffic, but they can ride mostly on side streets and the one main road they go on has a huge bike lane. On PT, I did this with them a handful of times until they got how to use the scanner for their bus pass, etc. and I felt comfortable they could do it on their own. Not only does this save my time and money, it also fosters independence.

    • Yes, do hire an afternoon driver/sitter. It makes life so much easier, especially when the kids have activities. I found that the cost was minimal compared to how much hassle it saved me. Our city technically has a transit system but it is infrequent and built around rush-hour commuters.

      • This. I legit didn’t understand OP’s question at first. Like of course kids of working parents don’t get picked up by their parents at dismissal – they are working. I didn’t expect my mom or dad to pick me up. That’s why there are after school programs or babysitters.

    • One more example of why charter schools are a terrible idea. We need well-funded brick and mortar schools in the neighborhood so kids can walk home, make a PB and J, do chores and homework, then play until dinner time.

      • I’m not sure if this was a t r o l l comment – my gut says yes – but charter schools are not a “terrible idea” for this, or any other reason. My son’s charter has a rideshare network where families can set up carpools in their neighborhood, and a robust before- and after-care program where kids can arrive as early as 7 and stay till 6:30 (they charge for it, but the charge is far less than local daycares charge for the same thing). They also don’t have nearly as many early dismissal days, in-service days, and days off as our local public schools. I don’t have half the struggles with dropoff, pickup and day-off childcare with my son’s school as my friends have with their kids’ schools. Our local schools have a 1 p.m. dismissal every Wednesday and many schools don’t have aftercare, so we would have had to figure that out – every week. From my limited experience, the charters in our city are way more working-parent-friendly than the public schools.

    • In your situation, I would get a driver. From what I understand from talking to friends/coworkers who do this, it’s relatively easy and cheap to find a college student who wants to make easy money driving kids around rather than working at Chick-Fil-A, or something.

      I have a sixth grader, and we solved this for our family by time-shifting our schedules at work. My husband works (yikes) 6:30a to 3:30p (but he’s a morning person and actually loves this) and can get to the school to pick up our son by 4; if he doesn’t make it in time, then kid goes to aftercare. I work 9a-6p and drop him off in the mornings. We’re in a worst-of-all-possible-worlds situation in regards to where our house is relative to the school, and where the school is in relation to our workplaces, but we live in a medium-size city where traffic isn’t too terrible and so it takes a maximum of 45 minutes for me to do house to school to work (and my husband’s run is about the same).

      Way back in the dark ages when I was in middle school, we lived in a small town and our districted middle school was 7 miles from my house – not walkable distance. My mom made arrangements to have me ride home with our neighbors, whose kids went to the same school. That worked for a little while – then something happened (I think the mom got a job? – can’t remember now) and I started having to take the city bus home because the city bus had stops right outside the school and two houses down from my house, whereas the school bus stop for my neighborhood was three blocks down by an extremely sketchy apartment complex my mom didn’t think was very safe (small towns, man). My mom got me a bus pass; I rode with lots of other kids doing the same thing and it worked fine.

  7. Tory Burch Flash Sale - Monday :

    Hi Friends,

    One of my friends from b-school is high up in strategy at Nordstrom, and they are having a Tory Burch flash sale on Nordstrom Rack/HauteLook on Monday. They are collecting emails to send out the info for the sale, and if you put your email in, you will get an extra 15% off. They _never_ do Tory Burch flash sales, and I know that the tote featured earlier this week was drool-worthy. I swear this is legit–direct from my friend who works there. So enjoy your extra 15% off.


    • Anonymous :

      Rue La La freqnetly also has Tory Burch on sale!

      Maybe you can ask your friend for us- why doesnt Nordstrom carry tall sizes? And what happened to Classiques Entier?

      • I’m tall. She said there’s not enough of a market for Talls to make it profitable. Every time I see her I ask, and tell her that Nordy’s has a built-in tall clientele because we all buy our shoes there!

        I will ask her what happened to CE! She’s on the Rack team right now, but I am sure she’d know.

  8. Sensitive skincare :

    Recs for high-end skincare brands that are good for sensitive skin? I have tried VMV Hypoallergenics, but don’t love a lot of their stuff. I’m mainly looking for things that are fragrance-free and bee-product free.

    • Marshmallow :

      Hey there, we must have similar sensitivities. I’ve had very good luck Drunk Elephant and Dr. Jart for higher-end things like serums. I use plain Eucerin at night when I just want some moisture and that seems fine for me.

      And I don’t personally use Clinique, but I know they don’t use fragrance in their products.

    • Not sure if this qualifies as high end, but I really like Aveene sensitive stuff.

    • Anonymous :

      Try dermstore dot c-0-m.. I’m a big fan of SkinCeuticals.
      But all the products have been vetted by legit MD dermatologists.

    • My skin reacts to SLS, phenoxyethanol and other ingredients which I have not manage to identify yet. On top, I still get acne despite hitting 34 this year. I have good experience with: Shiseido Ibuki/Bio-Performance/Benefiance; Bioderma Sebium and Sensibio lines; Isis Sensylia cream. Inlik to use pure lavender and argan oil as a night-time care few days per week.
      Clinique irritated my skin (especially their cleansers), so I would ask for a sample before buying the whole pack.

    • Dr. Jart. Other K-beauty brands. Some of them have weird fragrances but my skin is also easily irritated and I’ve found that K-beauty rarely irritates my skin.

  9. I’ve got a job interview in Chicago and I’m excited but also nervous because I’ve never lived in a city that big before. So, Chicago peeps, tell me everything you think I should consider while weighing pros and cons.

    • Where are you coming from?

      • What I mean is, your experience will be very different if you’re moving from NYC than if you’re moving from Burlington, VT. (If you are moving from VT, let me tell you about our warm, mild winters :)

      • I’m coming from Nashville, which is the biggest city I’ve lived in.

    • So much to consider in this question!
      Where are you coming from? Kids? City living or suburban living? Love or Hate public transit? Job is in the city or burbs? I love Chicago having moved here from the coast 10 yrs ago. There is so much going on, it is so accessible. Great people. And, cost of living is not an issue here the way it is in NYC/SF/DC. I would ask your future co-workers where they live, how they commute, and (if relevant) where there kids go to school. I live in the city (Lakeview) with kids (in public schools now), but many of my coworkers live is various suburbs.

      • Coming from Nashville, no kids. I would loooooove public transit (Nashville’s isn’t very good) and the job is in the city. I currently live in a Nashville suburb and the commute is getting longer and more fraught but I’m not sure I want to live downtown either. Good point about asking future coworkers about their living/commuting situation.

        • I think you’ll find that many of your young/single/hip future-coworkers live in “near North” neighborhoods like Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, or maybe the South Loop, and many of the folks with families (or just those that want quiet/yard/etc) are in burbs, many of them 1+ hours away by train. But you should feel this out and see what they say.
          Chicago really does have something for everyone – from Logan Square if you’re a hipster to Wrigleyville if your crazy about sports, etc, etc, so be cautious about people who generalize about what life in the “big city” is like. (For example, some people might complain about terrible traffic, but I rarely experience that since I live centrally and rarely drive – even with kids, etc.). ToS’s comment below is spot on.

          • Clothing staples :

            i agree that Chicago is a city of smaller neighborhoods, with an impressive downtown area of sky scrapers, museums, parks, shopping, and lakefront. So you can live in a smaller neighborhood with all ththe advantages, and easily get to big city downtown when you want it, with lots of other neighborhoods to visit.

            Agree with talking to do-workers about where they live and what their commute is like (especially in winter). Then think about what you can afford to pay for rent. Then think about the style of neighborhood you would like.

            I would not call Gold Coast, lincoln Park, Lakeview etc… Hip. Those are popular, very white, pricey and convenient neighborhoods that border downtown and are full of conveniences (restaurants, bars, shopping, cafes) and a lot of young people. I would call the more hip neighborhoods wicker park, Logan square, Ukranian village and Pilsen (although all are rapidly gentrifying). If you like to have a slightly more urban and downtown feel, check South Loop (big high rises) or River north or West loop/side for new construction and the trendiest new eateries.

            What is your budget? Where will you work? How far a commute would you like Via public transport? And what sort of place to you like to live in? What do you like to do?

    • Cities have neighborhoods – even the largest ones – so it’s about negotiating the neighborhoods.

      Cities have infrastructure – so there may be shifts, such as considering if you want to keep a car there with mass transit and app-based options, and you may be walking more because the shop may be a few blocks v. a few miles away…

      This is also about you – when you are NOT at work, how do you refresh yourself? Yoga? Hiking? Netflix? Taking in Art? Connecting with a Faith Community? Take this part of you and sketch it over the parts of the city you will frequent and see what that looks like. You want to look at the total package.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      As others have said, Chicago is very very neighborhood-y. Talk to people to hear what they say or what they think you’d like. Like I’m a huge fan of Andersonville (easy commute to the Loop, easy and free street parking though you don’t really need a car, good groceries, easy walking to the Argyle neighborhood for awesome Asian food, slightly older crowd (like young-marrieds-with-dogs), cute restaurants, good bars, a beach you can walk to…) and I have friends who love other neighborhoods. TL;DR, there’s a ton of variety and I suspect you’d be able to find a place you’d like!

      • But when you talk to people, listen with a grain of salt. Chicagoans, particularly white ones, can be myopic about the neighborhoods that are “okay” to live in (as Clothing Staples pointed out). There are a lot of great places to live here and I would recommend trying to cast a wide net in who you talk to and the kind of information that you evaluate!

    • I moved to Chicago from a similar city about four years ago.

      -walkable, which I love (live in LP, which still feels city but also residential)
      -the downtown is full of young people and there are so many things to do
      -I love running along/going to the lake in the summer

      Cons: I was miserable my first year because:
      -it’s harder to live in a city in a lot of ways. There’s more traffic and more lines and everything is more of a hassle than a smaller city.
      -it’s more expensive, considerably
      -the winters totally suck (and you notice it more because you’re driving less and outside more).

      It’s really grown on me and my plan is to stay if/until I had kids and then move back to a smaller, easier, cheaper city.

  10. Ladies who are in your late 30s:

    I am jobsearching (law) and I didn’t go back to law school until later. The thing is, I job-hopped a bit during my 20s, which was a long time ago. And now, every interview I am in, I am getting, “WHY DID YOU JOB HOP SO MUCH” and I want to scream “I’m 39 and have a JD/MBA and many of the jobs I did (i-banking analyst, for instance, before b-school) were intended to be 2 year programs. How do I politely point out that my last job was nearly 4 years, I did a 1L internship, and have been at the same law firm for several years.

    Would this be a case where taking some jobs OFF my resume would be a good thing? But then I’d have gaps….

    • Anonymous :

      At 39 and post law school, you can and should take jobs off the resume. Once I was done law school, my only jobs on my resume were my 1L and 2L summer associate jobs, my biglaw associate job, and my current job. Granted I went straight thru so I didn’t have much work history pre law school but in no way did I want to keep college summer internships on there; in the same way – why can’t you take off the jobs that are post college but pre law school? Or maybe just leave on the last one pre law school? If your grad yrs are on your resume, anyone who is interested can notice the gap between college and law grad yrs and ask what you did in between — in which case you don’t have to list out every single job, just 1-2 of the main ones and can talk about how/why those experiences led to law.

      • Disagree. If you went straight through college to law school, your situation is totally different. Leaving off a college internship from a resume is very different form leaving off a full-time investment banking job. Her past work history tells a story about her credentials and experience.

      • Agree with taking pre-law jobs off at this point. I think they make a difference and make you stand out as a law student when you get a lot of value out of showing you worked before/didn’t go straight through, etc. but once you’re established as a lawyer there really isn’t a lot of utility in leaving them on there. I had a real job/also returned to law school and I don’t list it anymore anywhere (resume/LinkedIn, etc.) – my career now is being a lawyer and that’s what I want people to focus on. Also, age discrimination is real and you don’t need to emphasize a longer history or dated experience than is necessary. My advice would only differ if you’re trying to get out of law and back into the business side, then you might want to highlight your prior experience.

    • After the job title on such positions, can you write “Two year program” or whatever? Ask A Manager advises this for jobs that were short-term by design.

    • givemyregards :

      I have also dealt with this question a lot and in my experience having a pat answer – basically what you said here, but with less caps – that you deliver with a smile tends to nip the questions in the bud. I cheerfully respond with something like “I actually really loved all of these jobs, but a lot of them were project based and after their completion I was fortunate to be given and opportunities in other department/at Company X to focus on their XYZ program, blah blah blah” In my experience, people are just trying to suss out whether you’re a PITA or were really unhappy somewhere (particularly if the job you’re applying to will involve similar work/personalities) but after delivering an upbeat answer, I’ve never had someone continue to drill me on the point. I haven’t left anything out so far on my resume because some of my shortest jobs provide the best fodder for interview conversation.

    • Assuming your legal practice is related to investment banking, I wouldn’t leave off your pre-graduate-school jobs altogether. In addition to noting that something was a 2-year program, I believe Ask A Manager sometimes recommends grouping a series of jobs into one resume item. So you could say something like, “Analyst at Company X and Company Y. Completed two year programs at each company, etc. etc.”

      However you organize it, you want to emphasize your post-degree work, so make that the largest block of text with the most detail about what you did in the position. The pre-law-school stuff should be relatively brief and just enough to show them that you have a background in the industry–that should be a strength, not a distraction.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you tried rearranging your resume? It might help to have legal experience clearly labelled (which should be obvious since it is most recent) and then put “Other Business Experience” as a heading before the other jobs. That might make it more clearly differentiated that you have two distinct job histories.

      • I was 37 when I graduated LS. I left several older jobs off my resume entirely. This was a little simpler for me because I got my bachelor’s later as well. I look younger than I am, and I have to say after I was hired and word got around about my age (obviously HR knew, but our hiring panels are lawyers, not HR), people were SHOCKED. I often wonder if I would have gotten the job if they had understood how old I was.

  11. Catch-22 - Corporate burnout/nervous breakdown :

    A new role that I was asked to accept one year ago is not working out. I went from a star performer to a mess. I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown and think I need to be hospitalized.

    I think my health insurance will cover a short term hospitalization, but if I take any time off I will lose my job. I am single and terrified of never being able to work again. I am 33 years old, and I had taken one week of vacation in the last 5 years.

    How do I ask for time off to use my medical benefits without losing my job?

    • deepbreathing :

      Do you know how to get in touch with your HR department/coordinator to request FMLA forms? Your doctor can sign for them so your job is protected while you go out on medical leave. You cannot be fired or demoted for using this benefit. I’m so sorry that you’re having to go through this.

      • Flats Only :

        This, plus you can take care of the paperwork after you’ve seen your doctor to seek treatment. So worry about taking care of your mental health today, not the paperwork.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, this. The OP doesn’t have to fill out forms or even tell her job she is using FMLA leave to have her leave be protected; generally if it is for a health matter and the doctor signs off on the leave within the timeframe set by her company for “you need a doctor’s note if you are out this many days” (in most companies, that’s three to five days) she should have no trouble (meaning, the company should not GIVE her any trouble). It’s actually on the company to treat the leave as protected if it is for a health issue. She also may be entitled to ADA-related leave over and above the FMLA leave. OP, your health is what’s important here so do what you need to do. You can have a healthcare professional or family member call your job to report your absence and let your company know you need the forms for FMLA.

    • Look through your benefits to see if you have an Employee Assistance Plan that you can directly access (some require a referral from HR) That can be a no-cost way to speak with a professional about how to manage your situation.

      FMLA protects most employees – your HR department should have a form that you can access – most of them require that your licensed health care professional certify your leave – often not a big deal at all, mostly so your employer knows what to expect for your time off. It can be days or weeks of time, or intermittent depending on what gets your health back on line.

      This can also be a case of too much work in one job description. Or insufficient training or support for ramping up. Just putting that out there, if that is contributing to a low use of leave. If you have a hard time stepping away from work, and onto self-care, or saying no to assignments when you are overbooked – get picky about mental health professionals, because you do want to sort that out for the long haul. You don’t have to schedule a second appointment if the first was not helpful.

      I have SO been there. And I’m back. Took a while, but I am fortunate to work with people who care. You can make the connections and get through this.

      One non-health-related thing that helped me was taking a moment to appreciate that I could apply for another job. So once you catch your breath, update your resume and revisit your star qualities.

    • Hang in there and take care of yourself this weekend! If you can’t work this out quickly enough, but feel like you really need some time – can you call in sick? can you plan a few days of vacation, maybe take off the whole week of Thanksgiving? You will get through this!

    • Been there :

      Husband did the same thing at 37. I promise you will work again. At a job that deserves you. You are amazing and you will get through this and come out stronger and better and more focused. You are ok and you will get better. Don’t be afraid to take the break before it breaks you, and to get the help you need. I wish you peace.

    • Mineallmine :

      Hey I unexpectedly took 3 months off from my intense boutique law job for health reasons that were not obvious after a couple of months of being a wreck at work. The partner I worked with the most, who was generally the most intense of them all, reassured me that careers are long and not derailed by a ‘bad’ year caused by personal or health reasons – he pointed out that most the partners had had such bad years due to ugly divorces, etc. It was fine. I came back, not really 100% but eased back into it and have tried not to go entirely back to the way it was (please take vacations!). 10 years later, I’m where I want to be with no damage done.

      Good luck. The first step is the hardest. It gets better.

    • I was you two years ago. I received a doctors note from my GP indicating I was to be on ‘sick leave’ for a few days, which allowed me the time to get my Short-term leave of absence organized with my HR department. I was able to take the two months away that I needed to seek medical and mental health treatment, and when I did go back to work, I went back slowly (15hr/week, then gradually increased to fulltime).
      I went back acknowledging that my health comes first, and in a much better mental and physical positon to deal with the stress. It is worth it, 100 times over.

  12. Boots for brown coat? :

    I have a gorgeous vintage (late 70s-early 80s) dress coat–deep brown wool, faux fur shawl collar in lighter brown, brown and gold buttons, slightly below knee length but not quite mid calf. It’s a very feminine fit and flare style, and I feel like the duchess of Cambridge when I put it on. The problem: I don’t know what to do for boots and gloves. Can black work, or do I really need brown? I really want to be wearing it this winter, now that I’ve finally lost enough baby weight (5 years later, sigh) to button it comfortably! Suggestions welcome, under $150 preferred. Will try to post a pic if I can find a similar coat online.

    • Diana Barry :

      Black boots would work. I would do cream gloves. :)

      • Anonymous :

        If anyone has a link for cream leather gloves under $30, please post it! I have been looking for some for awhile.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I have a brown coat and it looks great with cream, or camel, or wine coloured accessories. I think black boots are totally fine. It you are worried about tie-in, a Burberry (or similar scarf) will have elements of black in it.

    • The coat sounds beautiful! :

      No shopping recs, but I think black could look really good, especially if both the boots and gloves are black.

    • Boots for brown coat? :

      OP here. Couldn’t find a pic that closely resembles the style, but if you want to see the approximate color, look for pics of a coat by Catherine Walker that the Duchess of Cambridge (ha!) wore in March 2015. She styled with brown, but I now wonder if it wouldn’t be pretty hard to find a good shade. I think I can probably stick with my black boots, but I like the idea of a contrasting glove. Thanks, and I’ll still gladly take ideas!

  13. Chi to NYC :

    I’m in New York for the afternoon by myself- what would you do with some free time? I’m considering walking over to the High Line, going to the MM LaFleur store, and taking a peloton class. I live in Chicago- what else can I do in New York that I can’t do there?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      The stunning relocated Whitney is right at the end of the High Line.

    • We have MMLF in Chicago now too! So might be a time to take advantage of the opportunity to go to a different store (unless you particularly want/need to go to MM this weekend specifically)

    • Anonymous :

      LOL these are all things you can do in Chicago. Our MM store opens in December, Studio Three has peloton classes, and the 606 is basically the High Line.

  14. In-House in Houston :

    Has anyone tried the Sephora perfume sampler? They send you 15 samples of perfume and a voucher to buy full size one that you like. Sounds like a fun gift, but you have to redeem the voucher in-store (not online). Can you use the voucher for a full-size perfume that wasn’t in your sample box? TIA

    • I’ve bought this for my mom several times, and she loves being able to try new scents. The voucher is only good for a scent in the box though, so I generally only purchase it for her in years that I already know she likes at least one of the included fragrances.

    • I gave this as a gift once, it was a huge hit! The problem was, it cannot be redeemed online and it also cannot be redeemed at a Sephora that is not a stand alone (i.e. could not be redeemed at the boutiques within JCPenny).

  15. Salary Adjustment :

    My company recently reevaluated it’s salary levels and made adjustments accordingly. My salary grade went up ~$10k. I now make just $3k above the minimum and nearly $30k away from the midpoint after having been at this salary grade for three years. I want, and deserve to be paid market. Based on your experiences do you think I will get more than COL raise this year? If not, what would you do?

    • When is your year end review? Ideally, you ask for a raise prior to this because by the time this meeting is scheduled, raises have already been decided upon.

      You’ve got to advocate for yourself and ask for a raise! Do your research, know what market rate is, put together a collection of achievements that show you are at or above market in performance, and then ask for it!

    • Also–just FYI, I have worked a lot of places that really give no $hits if they pay market or not. They are happy to lose good employees and train new ones because they see talent as fungible. So try to find out from older/wiser colleagues what the company’s general position is on that too, just so you know and are armed with facts.

      • I work at a company like this now.

      • Mineallmine :

        +1. I don’t want to dissuade anyone from making the market comparison argument – please go for it! I think it’s good to realize whether or not your company pays market so that if your argument isn’t successful, you can not be devastated or take it personally (it’s not a reflection of your worth). Also, you can look towards either finding a new job or appreciating whatever it is that would keep you in the current one despite the lower pay.

  16. Anonymous :

    Talk to me about Denver. I had an unexpected opportunity come up, but I haven’t spent time there before.

    • Denver’s awesome. It has lots of transplants. It’s nickname is also “MENVER” because there’s a lot of outdoorsy but not ambitious guys there. It’s great in terms of quality of life–downtown is very close to a lot of neighborhoods, so you only have to have a crappy commute if you choose. Everybody skis and has ski shares (if you’re younger). I got a lot of crap there for going to a HYP-type undergrad and Ivy-league MBA, and it wasn’t me walking around bragging about it–it’s such a nice state to live in that people never leave. The whole state is a mix of super-liberal (Boulder) and super-Christian (Colorado Springs megachurches). The Mexican food is amazing. It’s quite white relative to certain parts of the country, and I personally missed diversity when I lived there. Salaries are sometimes low because people will take a pay cut to live there, but if you can get a good salary and live there, you will live well. That’s all I got.

      • anon a mouse :

        I agree with all of this, with some additional context that Denver is now going through what Portland and Austin went through like a decade ago. It’s a hip place to move for 20-somethings. The labor market is oversaturated and housing prices are going up at crazy rates. The city was not really prepared for the crushing traffic that came with all these people who arrived and all want to go to the mountains on Friday afternoon and come back on Sunday evening.

        It’s a city that appreciates work-life balance, which is refreshing. But it is also going through some fairly significant growing pains.

    • Definitely do it! (as you might be able to tell from my handle, I moved from Denver to NY and miss it terribly).

      The weather is amazing. The winters are much more mild than you would think (yes, there is snow, but it’s still sunny almost every day in winter). Summer and fall are fantastic. The beer culture is wonderful. There are really cute neighborhoods. I also agree with everything said above.

      My dream neighborhood is the Highlands.

  17. Anonymous :

    Weird question but as someone with disordered sleep I thought it might be illuminating….
    Are you more tired/sleepy at night when you are waiting to fall asleep, or in the morning when you first wake up?

    • More illuminating is perhaps that I can’t identify at all with “waiting to fall asleep” — I read in bed for a few minutes, a bit drowsily, turn out the lights, curl up with DH, and fall asleep faster than I can remember any waiting time.

      I don’t particularly enjoy the alarm clock, but I definitely don’t wake up “tired.” Taking a few minutes to gather my wits, though? Sure.

    • Anonymous :

      Morning, hands down.

    • Anonymous :


    • Never too many shoes... :

      Night. But I am a good sleeper and generally wake up refreshed.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Morning. It also takes me forever to fall asleep.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Morning, I think.

      There’s a part in “A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters” that I love (and pretend is about me): “I admire her because she’s got this job of sleeping that we all have to do, every night, ceaselessly, until we die, much better worked out than I have. She handles it like a sophisticated traveller unthreatened by a new airport. Whereas I lie there in the night with an expired passport, pushing a baggage trolley with a squeaking wheel across to the wrong carousel.”

      Which is to say, I take comfort in my ability — usually — to fall asleep and stay asleep. Waking up though… oof that takes me a while.

  18. I’m trying to get a sense of whether this is within the range of normal or if I should see my ob/gyn on the sooner side (my regular checkup is in two months) or go straight to an endocrinologist.

    I’m in my mid 30s, generally in decent health, had a baby about three years ago and finished breastfeeding a year ago. Not on hormonal BC (we practice a mix of condoms and abstinence and rhythm). Definitely have not been pregnant. My period is generally regular (28-30 days), but then every few months I have a cycle where it is 35-45 days, and my c. fluid doesn’t seem to follow the cycle it’s supposed to (it gets thick, then thin, then thick again, then thin again, then I bleed — maybe I’m ovulating 2x?). Those same months, I seem to sprout extra and thicker facial hairs and pimples, and my skin and hair get more oily than usual. Then I get my period, and things resolve. And then maybe the next month I am back to normal, or I have another weird cycle.

    Is this just what life is like in your 30s, or is this weird and worth investigating?

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in my mid-30s, never been PG. You track these things wayyyy more closely than I do. I mean, nothing you mention sounds out of the ordinary. Sometimes I spot. Sometimes I break out. Sometimes I can go 1-2 days without washing my hair, other times it has to be every day. It has never occurred to be to track these things against my cycle. Everything in your post could be hormonal or environmental or food- or stress-related, or a combination of everything. If it’s not interfering with your life then is it worth worrying about?

      • Well, I track these things in the sense that I want to know when my period is coming for not-staining-clothes-and-furniture reasons, and also for pregnancy-avoidance reasons. I really hate the unexpected and thick hairs, which make me paranoid and embarrassed. Overall, I am not super happy about this situation; otherwise I wouldn’t be paying so much attention to it.

    • I’ve always had the occasional longer cycle, which usually features a week or so of light bleeding/heavy spotting, like a mini-period, before the real thing comes along 2-3 weeks later. My theory is the opposite of yours – I think those are the cycles that I don’t ovulate.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’m in my mid-30s and that has not happened to me. I think you should probably call your ob, and maybe go to an endocrinologist and get your hormones tested.

    • Anonymous :

      You alternate which ovary you ovulate from (it can be perfectly alternating, like Left, Right, Left, Right or it can be kind of random, like the left ovary four times and then the right once or whatever). Your longer cycles are probably a different ovary than your shorter cycles. It’s pretty normal for them to look quite different. Acne and oily skin and hair are normal before your period, even if it’s not every month. I might mention it at your next appointment, but I don’t think this is unusual enough to rush out to an endocrinologist.
      And you really shouldn’t be relying on charting for birth control unless you want a surprise pregnancy, especially with irregular cycles. Use c*ndoms every time or find another method of birth control.

      • Anonymous :

        Yup. All of this is normal and the reason you should use actual birth control if you don’t want to be pregnant.

      • Anonymous :

        Modern charting methods are over 99% reliable when used consistently and correctly.

        • Anonymous :

          I highly doubt that, since even the pill isn’t 99% effective, but anyway just because something is 99% effective for the general population doesn’t mean it will be 99% effective for any one individual. 28 to 45 days is a very significant variation in cycle length. Most women have cycles that are much more regular, and they ovulate on a more predictable schedule. It doesn’t mean there’s something medically wrong with OP, but it makes charting an especially unreliable birth control method for her.

          • I agree that she might be a poor candidate for it, but the scientific literature is clear: when used consistently and correctly, many “charting” methods (especially those involving basal body temperature) are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

      • It sounds like she’s got her birth control down, and that’s not what she’s asking about.

    • Anonymous :

      Mid thirties, two pregnancies – one being fraternal twins and I now suspect I ovulate twice a cycle as I have similar c fluid rhythm. I get one maybe two pimples right before my period. A little more facial hair than during pregnancy but I think that’s all normal. Post back if you get tested as it never would have occurred to me that I should.

    • I wouldn’t say it is weird necessarily, but it sounds like a PITA, so I would discuss with a doctor if you are unhappy. I’m in my late 30s and have never been pregnant, but I haven’t had any spotting, facial hairs, or real variance in cycle length, and all of that sounds like stuff I would want to resolve ASAP. So if you want to change the trend, feel free to reach out to your doc.

    • I had something similar to this, not exactly the same, and after some investigation was diagnosed with a mild form of PCOS caused by thyroid/adrenal issues. After a few months on medication it cleared up. Might be worth at least raising with your doctor at the next visit since there might be something upstream in the hormone production process that they can look into.

  19. Marshmallow :

    My bridge (front teeth) just fell out in my sandwich at lunch, which I was eating at 2:45 pm because I’ve been too slammed to sleep or eat until now. I’m toothless, exhausted, and it’s a beautiful fall day outside. Can I go home yet?

    • Anonymous :


    • cat socks :

      Oh no! That qualifies as a go home early event. My coping mechanism for today was to throw some Halloween candy in my purse on the way out the door this morning.

    • Anonymous :

      I hope you’re home already. Or at the dentist getting it recemented.
      On an aside: thank you for making this comment. I recently had to get a bridge on front teeth too and I feel like I am the only non senior citizen with this and knowing someone else has one is oddly comforting. Hope your day gets better and weekend is restorative!

      • Add me to the chorus of 30-somethings with bridges. Mine fell out a few years ago at lunch as well, and I had to suffer through an important meeting with a gaping hole, then hightail it to the dentist to get it fixed.

        Hope your weekend is relaxing, Marshmallow!

      • Marshmallow :

        Aw thanks guys! Honestly half the people I’ve mentioned I have a bridge say, “oh yeah, I have [a bridge/ one implant/ this chipped tooth over here.]. Not geriatric! Annoying but far more common than I realized.

        And I left the office around 5:30, which for me counts as “early,” which was not a bad Friday. Hope you have lovely weekends!

  20. MM LaFleur question :

    Does anyone know if MM LaFleur ever does sales/coupon codes? Maybe for black Friday? Bought a Deneuve top and adore it, and hoping to buy more, but wondering if I should wait for Black Friday sales…

    • Marshmallow :

      They sometimes have a “VIP sale” but I just checked my email and the last time I got the invite was right after Christmas 2015/ through New Year 2016. Doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it anymore, but I haven’t received anything from them for a while. So the short answer might be no, unfortunately.

      • MM LaFleur question :

        thank you!

      • a millenial :

        the vip is terrible though (personal opinion for the last 2 years). super random pieces that are from the year before or many seasons before… no idea what the fit will be like, etc. i would suggest ebay and poshmark once you know what size you need in different styles.

  21. Never too many shoes... :

    So, *if* you were going to have laser hair removal on your “area”, would you go (a) full Brazlian (b) full undercarriage but leave a landing strip or (c) just bikini line?

    • Anonymous :

      Somewhere between b and c

    • Anonymous :

      Just bikini line. Trends for this come and go (and preferences also change over time and with different partners) so I wouldn’t want to do anything permanent except make it so I can wear a swimsuit without having to shave or wax.

    • B- gets the main job done but leaves options

    • C for sure. Trends come and go and hair in that area serves a protective purpose against irritation and infection. Better to leave more and remove it manually if needed.

    • anoooooon :

      As a slight counterpoint, I thought laser would make things as smooth as a wax, and it didn’t. So, I went with option A, but it only removed ~60%-70% of the hair. I still end up shaving about 1x week because I prefer very smooth at this moment in time. If you’re not a 100% perfect candidate, you might still end up with enough options for the future, despite going with a more full-coverage option for the treatments. If I was going on a beach vacation, I would probably go through the annoyance of a growth cycle and full brazilian wax, even though I did laser treatments.

    • Mrs. Jones :


    • I did (c) but went farther in than just my bikini line so it’s wider than a landing strip—this is a good width. I wish I had done full undercarriage as well. Because who wants undercarriage hair? (and I really like your use of the term undercarriage). Like others, I wouldn’t do (a) because it is permanent even though right now I’m generally hair free.

    • I did (a). No regrets at all. I like it (mostly to avoid painful shaving bumps or waxing) and if a partner cared I’d think they were weird. I felt that the other options were kinda a waste of time and money. Ecco the comment that you are not completely hair free.

  22. Marigold Tunic :

    Can yall help me find this tunic? I saw a woman presenting today and she was wearing a gorgeous blouse/tunic. The placket and cuffs had a sort of geometric foulard type print and the shirt itself had a geometric botanical print with gold marigolds and irises. The shirt was a combination of navy, gold, blues, and greens and was gorgeous. Anyone seen anything like this lately?

  23. Share Your Secrets! :

    Share your secrets here… remember to mark it as anonymous or some other handle other than your usual if you don’t want it known, remember to +1 or share hugs or whatnot if you feel compelled to respond to those brave enough to share, and remember that odds are strong that anyone who responds with sarcasm or BS is likely a tr0ll.

    Hugs to all!

    • I hate that xmas stuff is everywhere. Not only does it skip Thanksgiving (a holiday I really enjoy) but it also reminds me for that much longer that I have no family and that I’m super single. I wish people who had families realized that, much as you see this as a cheery time of year, some of us emotionally struggle when we see this stuff. I don’t wish I had the stress of buying gifts for tons of relatives like some have to, but it sure spotlights how alone I am in the world.

      • New Tampanian :

        Hugs to you. I am there with ya.

      • Anon xmas lover :

        Christmas is the only season that makes me happy, and I am alone, and I love it and I wait every year for the time when I can actually enjoy the one season when people are nice and warm and you feel welcome even when you don’t have anyone and Facebook and everything else are just a constant Chorus of SHUT UP ABOUT CHRISTMAS and I feel like liking the holiday is a dirty secret.
        Pandora’s Christmas station is live and I am happy.

        • Happy Holidays already! :

          I’m 45, single no kids, and I LOVE Christmas as well. The twinkling lights, parties, food, music – it’s all amazing. I don’t apologize for putting about 1000 ft of lights on my 4 ft tree. I’m not obnoxious about it, but I don’t apologize, either. I live in the UK now, and it’s wonderful – the towns are already putting up big decorations and all the shops are decorating now because there’s no Thanksgiving here as the official beginning of the season. A non-Christian friend will be helping me decorate my tree this year because she loves my enthusiasm for it and also wants homemade cookies and mulled wine :)

    • anonymous :

      I wish I had a big sister or a mother or aunt or grandma to teach me how to do things that women typically learn from female relatives… stuff like makeup or to go shopping with to figure out what fits my body shape or to cry on her lap when I’m heartbroken or other stuff I see women getting to do on tv/movies.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 I have little female influence sadly

      • +1 My hairdresser and my coworker who has amazing hair actually told me they feel sorry for me because I never grew up around other women and learned to do my hair. I’m totally helpless at most girly things.

      • This. I totally relate and understand. :(

    • anonymous for this one :

      I hate that, as the only one in my friend group and in my office who is childfree by choice and single by choice/circumstance, I’m always either left out or expected to do extra work because everyone assumes I have free time and free money.

      I don’t want to be a jerk but it shouldn’t fall on me to work late because someone else’s kid gets sick and they have to leave early. I shouldn’t be expected to contribute more to potlucks because people assume no kids equals more money to put into things.

      • I HATE office potlucks. I work from home mostly and was so happy to avoid. And just got pulled into a client meeting. President noted how great it was that we would all be there on potluck day. I don’t cook, don’t want to (expectations for this always go to the women and I find it hugely gross) and with my food restrictions I 100% absolutely don’t want to eat and will have to navigate that landmine (and as long as we’re being totally honest, I find it rather ick when I question cleanliness of kitchen, etc.)

        Potlucks belong in the Mad Men era, no?

        And yes, assumptions that single means money are so wrong. You have a built-in roommate when you’re married!

      • Mineallmine :

        +1. I help a lot of parents out, but it seems like I rarely get help in return and haven’t gotten any faster promotions or raises. I don’t want to be a jerk, but I’ve had to put boundaries in.

    • dating and politics :

      I consider myself very open minded and my friends always say how non judgmental I am. However, I now find that I can’t even consider going on a first date with someone before finding out who they voted for. I never thought I’d be someone with such a dealbreaker, but I just can’t spend the time getting ready for a date to meet someone whose politics and beliefs include being so -phobic of all kinds of people.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m married but this makes total sense. I was dating in the Clinton era and I used to suss out their beliefs.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m married but would absolutely do the same if I was single. The 2016 election was so polarizing and about so much more than just political differences. I think I’m open-minded too, but I wouldn’t want to date someone who didn’t share my core values.

      • Anonymous :

        I honestly don’t know any single women who don’t screen for politics after everything that went down last year.

      • Hillary was also a terrible candidate and many people had legitimate reasons for not voting for her, and the same is true of Trump. I disliked her but still voted for her. If they’re a confederate-flag waving, Fox News-watching, alt-right crazy: that’s one thing. But then again it’s really easy not ask them probing questions to suss out his political views and to just live in a liberal elite bubble where you’re being just as intolerant to half the country’s population as you’ve decided they’re being to everyone else.

        • yeah, I’m not going to let someone who wouldn’t see “grab them by the pussy” as a dealbreaker into my bed ever and if that makes me intolerant it’s cool, I’m not an equal opportunity employer.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t think that tolerance is at all relevant. I consider myself tolerant towards many viewpoints, but the holders of these viewpoints are not entitled to be my romantic partner, it doesn’t work that way.

      • I agree. I would also never sleep with someone who wasn’t pro-choice.

    • Anonymous :

      I have really terrible toenail fungus on three nails. It’s painful and ugly, and I havn’t been able to get rid of it. People talk about fungus as a gross thing for gross people- I’m super clean, wear clean shoes and socks all the time, and have taken many many extra precautions to make sure that it’s not personal hygene related. It’s embarrassing, and I have kept it hidden under closed toe shoes and routine diy pedicures.

      • I have this problem too!

      • I had this. Go to a podiatrist! They can tell you if you are a candidate for Lamisil or not. (For me, not–I take other meds and it’s really hard on your liver.) Then get all of your shoes…ALL OF THEM…and spray out the insides with rubbing alcohol and leave in the sun for 3 days (or let them air). It turns out I was reinfecting myself from my shoes, and the podiatrist explained to me that’s how it works. Last, get a product called Tineacide from the pharmacist. It’s not Rx, but they usually have to order it for you. It’s topical. Put it on after every shower. It really does work!

        Also, if you can, cut as much of the infected nail off, and never, ever use “infected” clippers to cut any other nail.

        It does go away. I got a bad pedicure at a fancy place in Singapore and have had toenail fungus 2x since then (it stays in there forever). I never ever get pedicures or wear nail polish, and I am religious about using Tineacide. Sometimes it takes 6 mos or so for a nail to clear, but it does work.

        And spray your shoes!!! GL!

        • Laser for nail fungus :

          OP, I may be posting too late for you to see this, but I solved the problem with laser treatments. Each treatment was about $150. I had maybe 4(?) treatments 5 years ago and do maintenance from time to time, like 1-2 times annually. The laser treatment is hot and hurts a few seconds when they zap each toenail, but it’s not too terrible painful and after that initial zap it’s painless.

          I also was given a kit for fumigating my shoes to remove fungus from them.

          I am so glad I did this.

    • Super Anon :

      I’m married and almost 9 months pregnant and we haven’t had p-in-v s*x since we conceived. I know it’s irrational, but we’re both scared of hurting the baby after a miscarriage last year, plus I was sick and exhausted in the first trimester and then I developed a bump that interferes with preferred positions. I love my husband and find him so attractive, but I honestly don’t miss it all that much and I don’t think he does either (even pre-pregnancy it was something I didn’t really feel much desire for, although I made myself do it pretty regularly and always enjoyed it once we got going). I hope we can get back into some kind of routine soon after I heal from birth and that this isn’t the beginning of a s*xless marriage.

    • anonymous :

      I’ve never had an [email protected] and I don’t know if I ever will. Jokes about how much I’m missing out are not helpful. I know I’m missing out.

      • Offering suggestions :

        Have you tried seducing yourself? I’m not trying to be rude, just hopefully helpful

        • Agree. You don’t need someone else for this. Use your imagination.

        • Offering suggestions :

          A lot of the times, it’s about being too much in your head and building up that pressure of having a goal. Play with yourself, get to know yourself just for the sake of having fun and maybe after you’ve done it a few times and feel comfortable with what you are doing, it’ll happen.
          Good luck!

        • Please get the Hitachi magic wand! It truly is magical.

      • Anonymous :

        I haven’t either. And yes, I’ve tried all the usual suggestions.

      • Anonymous :

        I haven’t either. I’ve done a variety of activities with a number of guys and done toys and solo activities too. I really enjoy gardening and want to do it regularly when I’m in a relationship, but I don’t experience that ultimate moment (or maybe I have and I don’t know? But everyone assures me I would know). I think it’s more common than you would think. At least, a few of my girlfriends have admitted to me that they haven’t had one either.

        • Anonymous :

          Not sure about the you-would-know-when-it-happens. Took me a while to figure them out. It’s a long time ago, but I think it was months.

      • It took me a really long time! Still, the only thing that does it is a battery operated object….and even then it takes time and effort.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 – It takes time, practice, and trial and error. What turns you on, what doesn’t (for me and solo time, its the right reading material). What brain space you need to get there. How to not stress about not getting there (because stress is a libido killer). How you feel about [email protected] Books make it sound easy. TV makes it seem easy. People who talk about it make it sound easy (confirmation bias).

          But (I think, at least for me), once you figure it out, it gets easier. I don’t know if it’s muscle memory, or the anticipation of knowing you’re going to get there, can help get you there faster (sometimes), or at least make you less stressed about getting there, so you can enjoy the build.

      • My only advice is that, despite people making it seem like this is the easiest thing in the world, it may take time to figure out what works. I know that seems like not that a great insight, but still — if you are working on this on your own, 15 or 30 or 60 minutes may not be enough. And it doesn’t make you some weird outlier — it just means you need a little more study/practice time, because the same thing doesn’t work for everyone. There is a SATC episode where Samantha talks about setting an afternoon aside for mast**bating, and Miranda teases her, but there is value in it. You might need to invest serious time to get the result you like, and it isn’t terrible to need to do so.

        This isn’t meant to pressure you, and if you have done all that, please ignore. But I think a lot of us are taught that it is quick and easy, and like a lot of things with s3xuality, it isn’t necessarily.

      • Anonymous :

        I may not get through moderation with this, but the magic wand is a classic for a reason. Lots of different options that you can play around with. It isn’t cheap, but it isn’t as expensive as some and you can get it on Amazon. It really helped me.

      • Anonymous :

        Highly recommend Lelo products, great gift to myself

    • Anonymous :

      I am so angry that my mother refused our offer to bring her on a holiday trip with our family just because she doesn’t want to deal with the airport by herself. We planned everything out so it would be as easy as possible and she would have plenty of personal space. She has hardly ever traveled in her life and I cannot believe she would give up this chance to see something new and spend time with the granddaughter she adores but hardly ever sees just because she is apprehensive about navigating the airport. It’s not as if she’s never flown before. All of our parents are turning into helpless children and it’s unbelievably frustrating.

      • Anonymous :

        Old people do essentially become children again at the end of life. It’s very hard to see, but it’s a fact and the sooner you can accept it, the better off all of you will be. Visit her as much as you can while she’s mentally and physically healthy and don’t try to keep score.

      • Call the airport and the airline, they may allow someone to accompany her through the airport and to her gate if there is special permission in an elder needing support, as they do this for underage people taking flights solo. If they won’t, she can get dropped off and it can be set up that she’s wheeled to her gate via wheelchair if she needs such.

    • anonforthis :

      I often feel like a bad parent. I adamantly did not want children, but now have four that were unplanned (surprise late-30s twins and two relatives that we adopted). I was not at all a normal pregnant woman. I was not in love with the baby years. I view myself more as a mentor than a mother. I am also biglaw so don’t have as much time as the other moms.

      I know that none of this makes me a bad parent per se, but I can’t shake the feeling.

      • Wow, 0 to 4 is a huge transition. You sound like a great mom to me. Lots of women don’t enjoy pregnancy or the baby years, and I’m sure your kids will be inspired by your incredible career if they’re not already. Go easy on yourself!

      • I think it’s important to separate out loving your children and loving every aspect of motherhood.

        That’s true of all relationships. But for some reason, we treat mothers like they are defective when changing another d*mn diaper makes them want to run away screaming.

        If feeling like a mom is beyond you, try to feel like a big sister.

      • This means you have a tricky time when your kids are too young to understand complex feelings and mostly just need safety, security, and feeding/changing and that, when your kids are old enough to truly need someone nuanced and supportive, you’re all in and able? H#ll yeah for them! Being good with babies does nothing for a confused preteen or a stressed teen, your kids totally lucked out with you as their mom!

    • I’m in my third trimester with our first baby and am starting to panic about actually having a baby (not the birth part so much as the raising a human being forever part). What if I don’t like being a mom? What if the baby drives a wedge between me and my husband (we’re happily married now, but both come from divorced families, so staying married is a big concern of mine)? What if I get PPD? What if I go back to work and wind up feeling like I’m not a good mom or a good employee, because I’m trying to do too much? Can I just have a “pause” button to hit for another three months while I calm down?

      • Offering suggestions :

        I have the same concerns and I’m not even pregnant or trying at this moment. From what I’ve read, it’s normal to feel all these things. Try all of the usual stress relievers, I find doing as much research on each of the areas of concern for me e.g. articles on how to keep the spark alive once you have a baby etc help me feel prepared which in turn helps me stress out a bit less.
        Obviously do what works for you, i know women who would only go into a deeper spiral of worry from reading all the things that could happen instead of feeling armed with knowledge and ready to tackle on anything that comes their way.
        Good luck!

      • This is part of pregnancy, unfortunately. I remember having horrible (HORRIBLE!) dreams while pregnant. Like, I forgot to feed the baby, for days, and the baby died. Or I set the infant on a chair, and the baby rolled off. And died. I’d wake up crying. It went away after said baby was born, replaced by real concerns, but the pregnancy dreams were scary.

    • My two closest friends (who both have 3 children) have been very hard on my decision to only have one child and it really stings. One of them has called me selfish, the other hasn’t used that word but has strongly implied I’m putting my own desires before my kid’s happiness. I love my son and don’t regret having him at all, but the early parenting years were hard AF for me and I feel like if I had to go back through pregnancy and nursing and diapering again, I’d either quit my job or wind up divorced, and I love both my career and my marriage more than I love a hypothetical second baby. I know this is the right decision for our family, and I don’t understand why my supposed bear friends can’t be supportive even if they wouldn’t (didn’t) make the same choice.

      • Best friends, not bear friends. LOL. Sometimes I feel like bears would make better friends!

      • JuniorMinion :

        Sometimes I find that my friends who do these sorts of pushy things are more insecure in their own choices than I realize. It’s still not cool your friends are saying this, and siblings are no guarantees of anything (more people I know than not aren’t super close to their siblings).

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I feel your pain, Anon – I have an only by choice.

        You do what’s right for you and never mind the haters. Even when they are dressed in the cloak of friends (or bears, even).

      • Your friends are awful. I am an only child and I am perfectly normal. My parents are awesome and so am I, and I think it’s offensive that people think something is wrong with us.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Last night I hung out with this really cool woman who owns a brewery. She was hosting my women’s group (and she ordered us a bunch of pizza!) and she and I got to talking about kids. I told her I was one-and-done and we fistbumped and bonded about our reasons for stopping at one. And her son is awesome and self aware and our kids will be too.

      • Family law rec :

        If it helps…

        I’m an only child and I love it. I have a really close relationship with my parents, had lots of opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise had (more parental resources for hobbies, private undergrad/law school debt-free). I’m a normal, successful, reasonably well-adjusted adult. You’re choosing to limit the size of your family, not engaging in an act of child abuse.

        • Only child :

          +1 to all of this. I’m an only child, very close to my parents, and never wished for a sibling growing up. My parents were of fairly modest means but paid for 100% of my elite private college and some expensive summer camps and sports. We wouldn’t have been able to afford most of that if I’d had a sibling. I do see the potential benefits of a sibling more now that my parents are aging, but 1) it’s just a potential and in no way a guarantee – my husband’s sister is a load and will be no financial or emotional help with his folks – and 2) having a lot of money to pay for your own elder care is also a great gift to your kid(s) and for most people it’s much easier to put millions in the bank if you only have one child. I don’t have kids yet but I only want one, because I think my parents did it right and got the benefits of parenthood, along with a lot of the benefits (more money, travel, many years w/o kids at home to enjoy being a couple) of being childless.

          I agree with Anon above that it’s incredibly offensive to assume that only children are spoiled or miserable. I can’t imagine stereotyping any other group that way, but it’s totally socially acceptable to do it to onlies.

        • Just chiming in, my husband is a super happy only child, and strongly advocates for only kids – they get time, attention, no shared resources, etc. and there’s no guarantee siblings will get along either as kids or adults. And as to the helping with parents later thing, he has that responsibility but he has me to help.

      • Anonymous :

        Your friends are awful. I have 3 kids but I can totally understand how a family can be happy and fulfilled with one. It’s a different life – more travel opportunities is the biggest thing I miss with three.

      • All other things being equal, having siblings is better (for most people) than being an only child.

        But all other things aren’t equal, and your current child needs happy, loving, married parents more than he wants a sibling.

        I’m sorry your friends are being jerks.

        • Only child :

          “All other things being equal, having siblings is better (for most people) than being an only child.”

          I’m not even sure this is true…I honestly never wanted a sibling and several of my only child friends didn’t either. I have one only child friend who desperately wanted a sibling, but in her case her parents couldn’t conceive any more children, and she obviously picked up on their sadness and longing for a second child. If the parents are happy with one and done, the kid is usually fine with it too. I was aware from a pretty young age that a lot of the cool stuff I got to do (expensive hobbies, interesting vacations, etc.) were only affordable for our family because I was an only child. Like a lot of people who post here, I was very happy entertaining myself (imaginative play when I was very little, then reading, etc.) and I went to daycare and obviously school and saw my friends a lot outside of school too so I never felt like I was alone too much.
          And I don’t really know that many people that are super close with their siblings as adults, or feel like their siblings were a big factor in how happy their childhood was. I think there are definitely only children who would have preferred siblings, people with siblings who would have preferred to be onlies and lots of only children and people with siblings who feel like their childhood was just right. I really don’t think you can generalize that one is better than the other, even in the abstract.

      • My dad and my maternal grandmother are only children, and they are some of my favorite people! A friend of mine has one child and wants badly to have another. And while I love all of my children and wouldn’t trade them for the world, of course, I have been jealous at times that she only has one. I feel like she and her child have much more opportunity to really get to know each other and enjoy each other. Every single situation ever has advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantage for you is having to listen to annoying comments by friends!

    • Anonymous :

      My brother is unemployed and in poor health and only ever contacts me when he wants me to ask our parents for money on his behalf. This time I said no and he got all huffy and said “I won’t bother you again.” And instead of being sad and upset I am relieved and hoping and praying he really means it. I’m pretty sure that means I’m a bad person but I’m okay with that.

      • Anonymous :

        I found out my parents have been helping my brother for years. I’ve lost respect for him. Meanwhile we have occasionally carried balances on credit cards, because that’s what you do as an adult. They said they feel bad it hasn’t been equal but yet aren’t sending me a check!

      • you’re not at all a bad person to not want to be emotionally manipulated, you’re not a bad person to not want someone else’s drama in your life. good for you for cutting the cord!

    • My alcoholic husband has been sober and in recovery for about 6 weeks. There’s no booze in the house any more and I really miss having a glass of wine and unwinding with Netflix after getting the kids to bed.

      • Hugs! You’re so strong. Hope you can get out for a glass of wine once in a while with girlfriends or co-workers. And I hope your husband continues doing well.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        That is wonderful for both you and your husband.

        A shot of liquid melatonin in tea or wine will give a similar blurry-at-the-edges feel and is so good for sleep.

    • Anonymous :

      I made a huge decision to let someone move in and it was the absolute wrong choice.

      Unfortunately, I can’t go back now and I’m terrified of the ‘I told you so’ attitudes that I will get if it doesn’t work out.

      • Anony Mouse :

        I’m sorry you’re in this situation. You’ve said you can’t go back now, but is there anything you can do to mitigate the problem(s)?

      • Senior Attorney :

        You absolutely can go back. It might be hard and embarassing and complicated and expensive, but you can and you probably should.

      • hello there :

        Hi. Sending love. Yes, you can go back now. The ‘I told you so’ people don’t know you like you know yourself. Inside, you have strength to move mountains. Please go back. Postponing this hard choice will not make it easier.

      • Anonymous :

        Seconding the motion to go back. or at least get to a point where you are counting down the days to being back to yourself. Healthy people will want you to be happy, not miserable. Talk to a supportive friend, or someone like a godparent or life mentor if your parents won’t make great wingme-, well, wingpeople. I’d be more terrified of being miserable at home.

      • Anonymous :

        I assume you mean a romantic partner.

        As one who usually advocates against moving in together, I would be the last one to throw stones if it didn’t work – and the first to help you fix it. Just putting it out there that the people you fear judgement from might be the very people who are the most supportive.

    • My husband is gaining weight because of a food addiction (think hiding chips and eating half a bag at a time, late at night after I’ve gone to sleep). It’s getting to the point where gardening is sometimes uncomfortable for me–primarily a matter of physics, not attraction. I’ve talked to him about the addiction on several occasions. He feels badly and says he’ll do better, but nothing changes. I can’t bring myself to mention the gardening issue because I know it will hurt his pride.

      • Offering suggestions :

        What about talking to him to see what’s causing the food addiction instead?? Usually those things are triggered by something more deep seated that is trying to be repressed or ignored. Two birds one stone and all

        • Clothing staples :

          It is never just the food. I do the same exact thing. I eat the whole bag of chips though, and amazingly don’t gain much weight.

          It is likely a stress-anxiety-depression outlet. There are much better ways to treat it fortunately. Exercise, therapy, and medication.

      • Concerned :

        Is it possible there is a blood sugar component to this? Some people with poor blood sugar control rely on overeating for serotonin production. That’s in addition to blood sugar swings that can cause intense hunger especially after eating. I feel concerned about the pattern you are describing. I hope whatever is wrong he figures it out.

      • Anonymous :

        It sounds like he may have binge eating disorder. There is a 12 step group for this, Overeaters Anonymous, (also attended by bulimics and others with disordered eating issues) that really helped me.

    • I hate that all of my friends (seriously, ALL of them) are in constant crisis and come to me to support them and tell me all of their problems and NONE of them, literally NONE of them ever ask me how I am or support me and I have compassion fatigue and I really just want to go away alone somewhere and I wonder what it would be like to have actual friends who reciprocate?

      • Same, friend. SAME.

        • Anonymous :

          Me too. I am the single and childless by choice friend in each of my small groups of close girlfriends. It means that everyone’s crises are more important than any of my problems. Sigh.

      • Same. I just shared that a grandparent has cancer with my best friend (whom I supported non-stop through her father’s illness) and got one “I’m sorry” text back and nothing else. I hate this because I am an independent person who very rarely leans on anyone for emotional support and the one time I do, she can’t be there.

        • Original anon on this problem here- exactly. It’s like if I try to say something like, this thing is really hard right now, it’s like “gee that sucks, back to my problems for three hours mk?”


    • My son has severe anxiety and depression, is a big pot smoker and used opioids for a while. We can pay for treatment but he won’t go. He has no job, dropped out of school and is living at home. Tonight he freaked out, threw things and punched a hole in the wall. I could not calm him down and had to hide in my bedroom. I feel like crying and know it’s only a matter of time before he ends up in jail or preferably, a psych hospital (which is still pretty awful).

      • You can call the police for him damaging your property. Maybe an arrest will knock some sense into him or maybe you can talk with the judge to get the penalty be community service and random drug tests, which could change his behavior. Regardless, if this is how he behaves when angry, you shouldn’t live this way. Come together with your partner and tell him that he’s got a week or 2 or up to 4 before he’s out. If you don’t trust him not to demo the place in the meantime, just change the locks if you have to. Tough love may be his only hope, as allowing him to continue is clearly not working for him or safe for you. <3

      • Clothing staples :

        This is exactly my nephew. What worked…… hospitalization. The younger you do it the better.

        Look into how this is done in your community. Sometimes there is a separate phone number you call at the police station so a trained policeman comes. If he is a danger to himself or you, this can lead to hospitalization against his will. Know which hospitals are available to you for bringing someone in an acute crisis in your area, and which ones your insurance covers. Often, you are brought to the big, County hospitals acutely, but if you know which nicer/better/closer hospital to you that you prefer, you will ask to transfer him there after he has been assessed in the big hospital ER.

        Go to the NAMI website in your area. Find out when there is a support group for family members of those with mental illness. GO. And find the phone number on the site to call if you are in a crisis and call NOW to get advice. They are great.

      • Anonymous :

        I have been there. It’s a tough road and there are no easy solutions. For my son, he finally got better when got into an intensive outpatient treatment program and began attending NA and AA meetings. He got a sponsor and worked his steps. Now he is 18 months sober and is a sponsor himself. It took 6 very long tough years for him to get there, and he had to make the decision to get sober. No one could tell him anything – he thought he knew it all. My heart goes out to you. It’s a tough secret to keep, especially if you have friends with kids his age that are doing well. My advice to you is to get a good therapist who can help you know the difference between enabling him and supporting him. I could not have gotten through it without mine.

      • My brother and sister both went through different flavors of this.

        For my brother, he was 17 and a senior in high school. He smoked pot and used various other drugs. He threw furtniture, punched holes, etc. Ran away for weeks at a time. Once, my parents had the police pick him up (as mentioned above, a trained policeman, it was very cordial) and he spent the night in jail. It broke up my parents marriage as my mom wanted to kick him out and my dad refused to, so my dad rented an apartment and he and my brother lived in it until my brother graduated high school. parents divorced, sold the house, and my dad bought a 3 family house that my brother lives in/caretakes while working semi part time at a marina. He’s gotten 2 DUIs and done 5 months of jail time for that (there were drugs in the car too). He’s 29 now and…just coasting.

        On the other hand, my sister went to college and became a huge binge drinker. Moved across the country, got a good job, and at 25 had a compete manic depressive attack (? Not sure the term) and was hospitalized for 3 weeks. At which point my parents flew out there and found out she was a complete alcoholic (hidden bottles everywhere, blood work at the hospital was off the charts…), the works. She was basically strapped into an airplane and taken back to live with my mom, do outpatient rehab/NA/AA the works. And has been on psych meds ever since (she’s 32) with a few bad relapses. She’s married now and she’s (a) totally dependent on my mom in a super unhealthy way and (b) has a husband who is a great guy but totally not the right person to deal with her entire package.

        Somehow, I ended up with a regular (great) job and a husband with a regular (great) job and 2 kids and a house in the burbs. We’re about to have our 3rd kid and I am so, so paranoid that 1-2 of them will turn out like one of my siblings. Whom I love, but recognize they are not healthy.

    • I have no family to spend the holidays with, have two weeks off Dec/Jan, could fly anywhere, but can’t decide. So I’ll probably just hibernate at home.

      • Anonymous :

        In the way that asking the waiter often helps identify the right thing to order based not on their answer, but your response, you should go to: 1) Germany/Austria and see the Chrismas markets, 2) Belize and see the nature and ruins, or 3) driving tour of the Pacific Highway San Diego to SF.

        • So funny! I have been eyeing the flight prices of Vienna, Munich, and Budapest. :) Thank you.

          • Anonymous :

            Yay! I hope you have an awesome time! I often find that it’s getting out the door that’s the hardest part for me. Once you’re there, you’re so thankful that you left.

            I did Vienna the week before Xmas many years ago and it was amazing! Do it!!!

        • pacific coast highway was closed to all traffic at big sur to a bridge being destroyed by weather – not sure if that is still true –

      • I’m going to Rome by myself for the week between Christmas and New Years! You should absolutely go somewhere, it will be magical.

    • I recently got my engagement photos back and I nearly cried. I’m so critical of my looks and for each photo all I see are my imperfections. I want to change my teeth, tone up, lose weight, get plastic surgery and lighten my skin. I weigh less than 115 lbs and I know objectively that I am not bad looking or overweight, but I can’t help focusing on how bad and imperfect I look. My fiancé just doesn’t understand it. My confidence about my looks hasn’t always sucked, but professional photos really highlighted the deep issues I have with my appearance. I don’t want to share the photos and am not looking forward to my reaction to actual wedding photos.

      • I’m sorry. Pictures are tough. This may not help you, but I now look back on pictures that had me in tears and think I look great.

    • Anonymous :

      My husband hates the house we bought 9 months ago. It took us 18 months of hell to find it. I just want to settle and nest, and all he says is that he hates it and wants to move to France/US/Scotland…….where depends on the day. My heart is sinking,

      • It sounds like your husband is unhappy with something other than the house. Is he dissatisfied with his career? Going through a mid-life crisis? Unhappy with the social/political situation where you live. Or maybe he is depressed? There was another poster a few weeks ago whose husband said he wanted to move and really he was unhappy with his job.

  24. items for sensory specified people :

    Does anyone have sensory processing disorder or have specific aversions to specific aspects of clothing? I have numerous family members and friends with it and wondered who might know of great items for gifts or to recommend to them.

    For example, one person cannot stand the seam on socks and has to wear them inside out, if at all. Another hates the look of buttons, so finding professional tops without buttons either for utility or decoration is tough. A third hates anything on her feet and struggles with any type of shoes (doesn’t like anything too loose or too tight and perfect is near impossible).

    Any recommendations would be great! PS If you’ve got your own aversions, feel free to share them here too, no one is alone! :)

    • I suspect that I do. I haven’t been able to stand high crew-neck shirts or short necklaces or anything that feels restrictive on my neck. I practically tear off my bra and pants when I get home and always go braless at home (even bralet*es can be irritating). No ideas on gift recommendations, although more structured clothing is probably out for most people.

    • Anonymous :

      I would get them gifts that are not clothing.

    • Anonymous :

      I hate buttons with holes in them (the kind with a shank is fine). The smaller and shinier, the worse. They just gross me out. I can deal with suit buttons, but they must be securely attached (no loose threads) and in perfect condition (no cracks). Blouses and shirts with buttons are a no-go. I just wear sheath dresses, sweaters, and pullover or wrap blouses with no buttons. I used to have a ton of the old J. Crew Jackie cardigans before they changed the buttons. Only close family members know. I am glad to know there’s at least one other person out there with the same aversion.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Re: buttons, do you think you might have ‘fear of circles’? I can’t remember the name of it but if you google that you’ll get the answer. Whenever I google it it shows me images that horrify me so deeply I close the window and forget the word. ANYWAY yeah, it’s a thing. I also hate those ‘decorative’ seed pod things with holes in them. EW just typing about it is making my skin crawl.

    • Sensory issues :

      I can’t stand corduroy. I feel like I’m constantly at risk of brushing against it “with” the grain instead of against it. And just the thought of that is like nails on a chalkboard.

      I have FINALLY gotten over an aversion to touching any polyester fabric. I still kind of hate it but I can tolerate it.

      I overcame the aversion to the rough seams of denim jeans in high school because that was the only acceptable thing to wear. Now I prefer 100% cotton even though it’s less soft (see the polyester aversion above).

      I think I got to a place where I just expected clothing to be kind of unpleasant or “painful,” so I’m actually more okay with scratchy wool, pinchy shoes, underwear bras, etc., than a lot of people I know. Soft wool, well-fitted shoes, and wireless bras bother me too, so who cares?

      I do sometimes wonder if I have some baseline anxiety from fighting my preferences on these things (for example, I think I am in a worse mood and feel more agitated when I wear a poly blend dress than when I’m wearing fresh pressed linen–it feels sort of like the difference between working under flickering florescent lighting vs. a well-lit room?). But I don’t know if it’s more dumb to feel that way or more dumb to accommodate such a fussy preference.

    • Anonymous :

      Hm, I wonder if I have this issue. I hate having exposed skin (arms, legs, feet), not because I’m like conservative or anything but because the feeling of air on my skin drives me nuts. Also I find really structured clothes to be…distracting. As a lawyer this is tough. Most shoes expose the tops of your feet. MM LaFleur dresses + jardigans with thick tights and booties has been a savior this season.

  25. weight loss :

    Trying for the first time in my life to lose weight after a stressful few years where weight came on and now that I’m in my mid-30s. I’m afraid of becoming obsessive or unhealthy since I’m pretty type A and can become fixated easily on any focus (makes me great at my job, not so great for this kind of stuff).

    Any advice? I’m currently counting calories on loseit and trying to add more exercise in daily. I’m only weighing in once per month so I don’t fixate on one pound here or there. Am just letting changes to my face or the way clothes fit be my guide except for monthly weigh ins.

    I want to do this but I fear becoming someone who is forever fixated, as I’ve had friends who accidentally became disordered eaters while trying to drop.

    • Flats Only :

      If you’re afraid of developing disordered eating, don’t use any counter or app that compares your calories eaten vs. burned during the day and gives you feedback or reminders. My fitbit initially did that, and although I just found it annoying I could see where someone could go really, really wrong with constant reminders that “you haven’t exercised this hour” and “you’ve eaten more than you’ve burned off – get up and exercise now” etc.

    • I’m in my very late 30’s and realized last year that I just wasn’t as fit as I wanted to be and had gained far more weight than I was comfortable with. I ended up losing about 45 pounds last year (1 to 2 pounds a week). I started off trying to count calories, but it was hard, frustrating, and time consuming, so I quit pretty quickly.

      Instead, I decided to eat a bit more strategically. I’d plan on my regular two meals (I’ve never been a breakfast eater), but I made them a bit smaller, and planned for every meal to be 60 to 75 percent fruits and vegetables, plus I tried to have one high protein item with each meal. The smaller meals did mean I was hungry after a few hours, but I also prepped and packed some healthy but indulgent snacks (grapes and some nice cheese perhaps). If something came up that I’d normally indulge on, I did, but in moderation (for example, when there were donuts at work, I grabbed a couple donut holes instead of two whole donuts, got a fresh coffee, and really enjoyed eating them before I went back to work). I still ate everything I had always eaten, but in different amounts, and I realized I enjoyed a lot of healthy foods when they were prepared nicely (steamed green beans with a drizzle of miso butter are far tastier and easier to eat than plain unsalted microwaved beans). That meant I kept eating the healthier stuff – it’s important to acknowledge that a bit of butter on a pile of veggies you actually eat is much better than nibbling and plain bland ones, getting hungry later, and eating whatever is handy.

      I also worked on the low-hanging fruit so to speak. I was obsessive about not drinking sodas – I’d had a two can a day habit, but an extra coffee and some flavored sparkling water really cut down on the sugar and calories. I also made sure to do three or four “activities” a week – taking a class, going for a walk, gardening, a session at the gym – not because of the weight loss, but because I felt healthier and it kept me from boredom eating. Also, I can be a pretty type A myself, and that gave me real tasks I could check off.

      The most important thing though was to keep in mind that it’s not healthy to lose more than a pound or two a week on average. But it is an average. Some weeks I didn’t lose anything, other weeks I might have lost three pounds. But it was an overall trend of improvement.

      And keep in mind, you’re not going to want to track calories forever. It’s better to focus on creating the habits you want to move forward with. Good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to strategic/mindful eating and choosing tasty food. I have lost a few easy pounds the past few months just by paying attention to my actual hunger– I have found that I am generally content with a much smaller serving than I would have mindlessly chowed down on in the past just because husband was still eating, or it looked like a good amount, or whatever. Sometimes I put half of my dinner back in the fridge. Sometimes I eat it all and come back for seconds. It’s all good as long as the feeling is coming from my body.

        Good luck from a fellow type a who had disordered eating issues 15-20 years ago.

      • It is my current goal to lose a substantial amount of weight slowly and consistently over the next year, because I believe (based on some research) this is the best way to keep weight off. I want to do it with sustainable modifications, and luckily I really like cooking, healthful foods, and, once I get over the initial hurdles, exercise. Your post is very helpful.

    • I think it sounds like you’re already doing the right things. I personally like ITrackBites (which is a knockoff WW app) because it tracks “bites” (aka “points”) instead of calories. For some reason I get weird counting calories but “points” or “bites” don’t seem to bother me as much. I think monthly weigh ins are super smart and going by your clothing the rest of the time. For me, I feel like I notice a change in how my clothes are fitting before I notice too much of a change on the scale.

      The fact that you’re so self aware makes me think you’ll be just fine!

    • As someone prone to disordered eating, focusing on fitness goals or functional goals rather than tracking calories/weigh ins is better for my mental health. I also find taking classes that are miserable without clean eating (hot yoga, high intensity interval training) that make me eat clean by default work out well. Basically, if you are obsessive, be obsessive about fitness goals instead of weight loss and the weight loss will follow.

    • When I wanted to lose weight, I met with a nutritionist who gave me very general non-caloric guidelines for what to eat over the course of the day (i.e. 5 servings of vegetables, 4-6 servings of carbs etc.).

      It helped show me what a balanced diet for someone of my height/weight/age was, but didn’t require counting calories – something I knew probably wouldn’t go well for me. Basically, I needed to eat WAY more vegetables and protein, and fewer carbs. Following this general plan, I have maintained this weight loss without super extreme measures, but mostly just altered slowly and stably what a normal week of eating means for me. Now that most of these choices are habits, it’s much easier. The first 6 months or so required a fair amount of thought and effort to learn my new go-tos, but it got way simpler after that.

  26. Dermatologist in NYC? :

    Want to thank those who suggested doctors. I took the advice to see someone at Schweiger Dermatology Group, I saw Jane Schneider (who was recommended) and she was great!! Thanks again!

  27. YOU GUYS!! I interviewed for a job on Thursday and they just called to offer it to me. The salary is a little lower than where I am now, but I am going to counter to see if I can bring them up. It’s $7k under where I am now, but I would be happy to accept at $5k under where I am now. Honestly, I’d be fine at the salary they offered me but considering I negotiate contracts for a living and that is what the new job entails, it seems ridiculous not to counter.

    I’m trying to strategize my counter offer – I know there is an argument that current salary is not relative to your new job salary, but can I legitimately use my current salary as a negotiating tool? Or is that lame?

    I’ve negotiated salary before, but for some reason am being weird about this! HELP!

    • Oops, I meant I’d like to get them to come up $5k, which should be nbd.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Not at all lame to use current salary as negotiating tool! Go get ’em! And congratulations!!

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s fine to use your current salary as a negotiating tool, unless the job is one where it’s expected you would take a huge pay cut because you are changing industries or type of employer (e.g., scientist at Big Pharma to scientist at govt lab — of course the salaries won’t be similar and you would look silly if you thought they should be).

    • Thanks! It is a very similar position so it wouldn’t be out of touch in that way.

    • I went in house (also to negotiate contracts!) from a large law firm in a LCOL area and they initially offered me $8k less than I was making at the law firm. I countered asking them to match my current salary and they did it.

    • Thistledown :


  28. Organizational Downloads :

    I can’t remember who shared it (or if it was here), but someone recently shared a Daily Task List download (hours on one side/morning and evening reminders) and it’s been SUPER awesome in keeping me organized the past couple of days.

    Do you have any recs for similar tools? I’m a first year associate and trying to be as focused and organized as possible.

    Thank you!

  29. DetroitQs :

    Possibly moving to Detroit (northern suburbs) for an in-house job. how expensive is it to live there? I am googling but surprisingly nothing very meaningful is coming up. I am also surprised at how bad the traffic seems. Anyone live there that can talk to me about the daily grind?
    We have four kids and dad is stay at home.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s cheap compared to most major US cities. Not sure where you’re coming from, but I think cost of living would be an improvement unless you’re currently in the rural Midwest or South.

    • Deee-troit :

      Hi — Northern suburbs here. Are you willing to post what area you are looking at? Traffic can be bad — but it isn’t like Atlanta bad. The roads & constant summer construction leave something to be desired, but I love it here. Happy to answer any questions!

    • I live in Downtown Detroit. It’s definitely getting a lot of young professionals moving in and nice new construction going up. The public schools in downtown leave something to be desired. You may want to look into the suburbs north of the city if you’re looking for better schools. Your commute will be longer and traffic can get annoying.

  30. Anonymous :

    I currently use the Burt’s Bees pomegranate chapstick, but I feel like it’s been making my lips worse. Any recs for better (still cheap) brands? I also get cold sores much too frequently so would also appreciate suggestions for how to deal with those.

    (Gut check: if I have a cold sore, it’s appropriate to dab some Abreva on it and go to work as normal, right? I’m not supposed to find some way to hide it? I work in a business casual environment, but my colleagues still look polished despite not being in business formal.)

    • Anony Mouse :

      I like chapsticks from Badger Balm and Desert Essence.

    • cold sores :

      I definitely don’t cover cold sores at work, and I find that chapstick with sunscreen helps prevent them. Also, starting with the Abreva absolutely as soon as I feel like a cold sore might be coming on.

    • I cannot remember having ever seen a coworker with a noticeable cold sore. I think it must depend on how forward facing your role is — I am a lawyer, so dealing with external clients or the court with a cold sore seems untenable to me, but if you are in a different position or industry, and not client facing, it is probably NBD.

      • Untenable? Seriously? Like if she has a hearing on Tuesday and on Monday she gets a cold sore, she should try to cancel the hearing? Get someone else to step in unprepared last minute because . . . cold sore?

      • Anonymous :

        Wow, you think having a cold sore is untenable?? Man, I’m glad I don’t work with you.

    • I like Neutrogena lip balm with spf during the day. It’s pretty lightweight. For serious moisture I’d recommend using aquaphor.

    • Anonymous :

      Longtime cold sore sufferer here.

      My doctor told me that Abreva is fine but you should not goop a lot of other stuff onto the cold sore – especially things like lip balm – because once the blisters get to breaking stage, it is an open sore and prone to infection from bacteria in products and from your fingers. He’s apparently seen some pretty gnarly infected cold sores in his time.

      Put Abreva on in a thin layer and then leave the sore alone. The best way to cure cold sores, bar none, is Valtrex. It gives me headaches but I’d rather deal with a two-day headache than a weeklong cold sore. I have a standing prescription that my doctor renews every year and I call in for it when I need it. So if this is that much of a concern, talk to your doc (or go to a Minute Clinic) and get a prescription.

      Just like injuries or pimples, no one asks for cold sores and if someone judges you for having one, that’s their issue. Almost everyone is infected with the virus but not everyone gets the sores, but everyone should understand that the sores are not a symbol of some kind of moral laxity or fundamental unfitness for the professional world. The comment above about it being “untenable” to meet with clients when you have a cold sore is reason 9,913,900 I am glad I am not a lawyer, or at least not a lawyer for the people some of you folks work for. I mean, really. For G o d’s sake.

    • Also, there are cold sore covers that are sold in Europe – I order them in bulk off of amazon. They do hide it a bit, and honestly its more for keeping the sore covered/moist which helps it recover A LOT faster. Ditto with sticking a collodial bandage on it at night to sop up the discharge and keep it from drying out.
      Huh – plus maybe give this a try?

  31. I’m going to see someone this weekend who snubbed me professionally and I suspect they will have an “oh sh*t!?” moment. I’m really really excited to see the look on their face.

    • Anonymous :

      I hope it sets up well, and everyone is civil and graceful in passing. The goal is to get past this and not bring negative energy toward you. Best wishes that this person is impressed and doesn’t create any further impediments.

      • Impediments? They’re basically a nobody, and can’t impact my career in any meaningful way. It will just be gratifying seeing them realize they made a mistake.

        • You think that he/she cannot impact your career but you never know who knows someone else. I would hate for you to treat this person badly only to find out you’re interviewing for a job and his/her best friend is the hiring manager! Or treat someone badly in general.

  32. I would like to get a family dog as a comfort dog for an anxious kid (and myself, an anxious mom). I’d like some thoughts and advice on how best to make this work as a two working parent household with older elementary school kids. Any tips on breeds that would be good, how to ensure we get a dog with a good demeanor, whether I should try and change my schedule a bit so we are home more, etc. There have been a lot of posts from expecting moms, so think of this as a post from an expecting “fur mom.” Also, there are many places where you can get a dog (rescues, humane society, breeders, etc.) so if someone can touch on the pros and cons of these sources, I would appreciate it.

    For more background, I like smaller dogs because they are easier to control and bathe, I have allergies (mostly to cats though) so I’d prefer a dog with “hair” rather than fur, I would probably prefer an older dog rather than a puppy because I need my sleep (and my nice leather shoes), and we live in the suburbs and have a pretty small front and back yards, but neither are fenced in. We also live in the PNW so it rains a lot so this dog will probably be indoors most of the day.

    • Dog lover :

      You will probably get some answers like “You have to get a golden retriever”, but I think trying to focus on one specific breed is silly. Yes, there are some notoriously child- and family-friendly breeds (like goldens) but there are dogs with all kinds of different personalities in any breed. The most important thing is making sure the individual dog has the right personality and needs for your family. A rescue organization can help a lot with that. If you tell them what you’re looking for and what you expect of the dog (e.g., being inside all day), they can match you with the right dog. I would definitely consider mixed breeds. They’re generally smarter, healthier and live longer, plus they are a good way to get some good traits of one breed with some good traits of another breed (for example – a chihuahua mixed with a bigger dog often has the small size of a chihuahua without the stereotypical aggressiveness).
      I would adopt from a rescue, not buy from a breeder, not only for the conventional ethical reasons, but also because it’s really the only way to get an older, house-trained dog. The big con of a rescue is that the adoption process will take a while (both the vetting and also the waiting for the right dog), but waiting around for the right dog is worth it. Some rescues are (stupidly, imo) reluctant to adopt to people without fenced yards (there are dogs that need fenced yards but there are plenty that don’t, and it should be a case-by-case thing, not a general rule), so you may have to do some shopping for a rescue organization before you shop for the actual dog.
      There are no truly hpoallergenic dogs, so if you think you are allergic to dogs, get tested before you adopt one. The hair/fur thing is myth, the allergy is to the dander and all dogs have dander.
      Dogs are the best! My chihuahua mix is curled up asleep on my lap right now, and she has brought so much joy to my life.

    • Anonymous :

      Comfort animals are for home, so you will want an animal that has some level of training already if it’s a dog. That’s tough to know if it’s coming from the humane society, so connect with people who have a history of working with the dog you are considering, and see what you can do before you take on the dog to assure success, as dogs require a lot of interaction. Also, do the disabled community a huge favor and do not take it out in non-dog-friendly places and represent it as a service animal (not that you would, this is a PSA) the allowance for Comfort animals are a housing exception, when the landlord prohibits pets.

      Given your dimensions you may want to consider other indoor animals, like a rabbit, or a ferret, or chinchilla. Just floating a balloon on that.

      Golden retrievers are know for easy temperament. Poodles have the hair, but with labradoodles – good friends have one with a Lab’s fur coat, so know that the genetics can play out either way.

      While kids will talk a good game about caring for the dog, know that once the honeymoon fades, pet love abides, but the parents carry the work. Better to have the kids working with you and leveling up than delegating. Hire pet sitters and dog walkers if the work schedule can’t get you home. Read up on your county’s expectations for your dog for shots, cleaning up waste, barking mostly for peace of mind.

      • blueberries :

        Fun fact—in California, the DFEH has a YouTube video suggesting that California law requires comfort animals to be allowed in restaurants.

      • Comfort animals are also allowed on airplanes. But yes, the legal privileges for comfort animals are limited to airlines and housing complexes and they are not allowed in restaurants, stores or most other businesses (unless the business welcomes pets) and they are not “service animals.”

    • Anonymous :

      You can adopt Guide Dogs that never ‘graduated’ from the Guide Dog Problem. They already know basic commands and are potty trained.(link: https://www.guidedogs.com/meet-gdb/dog-programs/dog-adoption )

      The American Kennel Club (AKC for short) also has descriptions of just about every dog breed out their, including personality and type of care the dog breed requires (link:http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/)

    • a maltese or maltese mix doesn’t shed and is small. However this may not be a good breed if kids are small as a dog can be hurt if a kid picks them up wrong or drops them. Go to a shelter, where the dogs have been observed and tested for safety and talk with a professional there about temperament. Do this solo to narrow down options, then bring kid(s) in to meet the few you’re open to and see what clicks. In addition, expect to spend time/money on training and plan to include the kid on this process so the bond and training behaviors are taught to parents and to the kid spending the most time with the dog. This isn’t a short or easy process but it’s the only real way to get this right and make sure the dog is the right fit and happy for your home and needs. (You may also want to hire private training in your home.)

    • Thistledown :

      Small dogs can be very difficult, especially because people spend less time training them. The size does make many things easier, but I think it will be more difficult to find one that’s easy going and comforting. Not that it can’t be done- you just might have to look for awhile. The last thing you want is a snappy little dog who adds to your stress.

    • Anonymous :

      You could try fostering for a rescue, so you can experience a new dog’s personality before committing. My SO and I did this and admittedly we ended up adopting our first foster dog, but she is PERFECT for us.

  33. Feeling down :

    I just need to vent for a second…

    Early 30s, have been with my BF for a little less than 3 years, planning on marriage (I actually know that he purchased a ring, which is super exciting!). We’re figuring out Thanksgiving plans…both our families are local-ish (within a 1.5 hour drive). My family has been super welcoming to him…mentioning him coming over for Thanksgiving a few times, acting excited about him celebrating with us, etc. He got in touch with his mom today to ask about her family’s plans, and her response was along the lines of “I assume [Feeling down] would celebrate with her family.” She and I don’t have any “issues” and we get along fine…it’s just bumming me out a bit.

    • Dog lover :

      I think this is an “assume best intentions” thing. I would read this as she didn’t want to be overbearing and interfere with your plans with your own family, and maybe inadvertently made it sound like she didn’t welcome you. It’s not uncommon pre-marriage for couples to split up and do holidays with their own families, and maybe she thought that was what you guys wanted to do. Something may also have gotten lost in translation between her talking to your BF and your BF relaying the conversation to you. Of course, if this keeps happening that’s a different story, but if it is a one off thing try not to read too much into it. I have in-laws who call and berate us every year we don’t agree to go there for Thanksgiving, so this hands-off “oh I thought you’d be doing your own thing” sounds like a dream to me.

    • That sucks, but she probably didn’t meant anything by it. In my family, significant others generally spent thanksgiving with their respective families until marriage just because both families celebrate that holiday. It just depends on each individual family. My mom would say the same thing and certainly not mean it in an offensive way.

    • Thistledown :

      Could you reach out the her, maybe outside the holidays, and plan to do something together? It would make me feel better to know I was building a connection in some way, even if it wasn’t the way I had expected.

  34. Job searching :

    Due to a number of things, I’ve never had
    to seriously job search before. I do now. I don’t really know where to start. I’m working my network, but it’s imperative my current employer not find out I’m looking and that’s causing challenges. It’s a small industry.

    I have a JD but do not want to practice law. I’d like to go into government work. Federal or local. What sites do you use? Is it inappropriate to ask my mentor, who works in local government in a department I’d love to work in, if he knows of anything coming up soon?

    I’m just so lost and feel stuck- I need to leave my job for mental health reasons, but the thought of job searching is terrifying because of the anxiety and uncertainty and change. Any kind advice would be appreciated. I’m not on a position where I can just not work for more than a few weeks, at most.

    • Anonymous :

      Update your resume, and reflect on what you’ve done well, and what you would like to do. Once you get to this position of strength, move forward at home by looking at what jobs you might be suitable by looking at the websites of the agencies that you would like to work for either by distance or topic.

      There are headhunters and agencies that might be able to work with you for placements, but often the ads are listed redundantly by employers so they recruit the candidate directly. They will anonymize your information, but it’s completely reasonable to tell them to hold your personal information until an interview is being requested.

      For your mentor – look at what’s going on with his agency, including posted jobs. Listen for news about retirement or other changes, but know that bringing him on board with your search has to fit in more broadly. He has a network as well.

  35. Good JuJu :

    Please send me all the good JuJu. I’m flying up to another city for a jam-packed day of interviews for what I think is one of the most perfect jobs for me. I feel ready and confident. But good juju never hurts :-)

  36. I’ve never been on a cruise. Any recommendations for a single person? Any recommended cruise lines? Any tips? Thanks!

    • it’s often more expensive to go solo but can be done, you can g00gle for which cruise lines and ships offer packages for singles. In addition, plan for safety since you won’t have anyone checking in with you. be safe and have a blast!

    • disney = families. 3 day cruises have a reputation for being booze cruises. I like Celebrity, Holland America – a little nicer food and ambience than budget lines like norweigen, carnival. high end lines like crystal are very pricey but very nice. use cruisecritic.com to see user reviews of the cruise line you want. norovirus is serious. use the onboard hand sanitizers. get the prescription motion sickness patch ahead of time if you get motion sickness. alcohol is not included except on the high end lines. cruises (other than disney) have a reputation for pasengers being newly wed or nearly dead but you can be neither and still have fun. Alaska destinations are scenic and only accessible by boat. cruise critic website should have lots more tips. bring your passport.

      • +1 to Cruise Critic. I have been using it since I got my e-mail from Prodigy and it is terrific. Cruise Critic organizes a meet up for its followed on most cruises on the major lines.

    • I know NCL has studio cabins you can stay in without paying a single supplement. A friend did that and had a great time. Agree with above that Alaska (and the fjords of Norway) are super scenic and best seen by cruise ship.

    • Anonymous :

      Tbh, interrogate yourself if you’re fine with being the only person alone in enclosed social settings. If the idea of going to a wedding alone where you don’t know anyone gives you anxiety, I wouldn’t. It will be a lot of time where everyone in your sight line is part of a group. I travel alone and am pretty good with my singleness and know I would HATE to be alone on a cruise.

      If this isn’t you, first, yay, second, maybe look into the more boutique lines?

  37. I’m an income partner at a midsized law firm and I feel like some of the staff at my firm are so great to me. Two of them (my assistant and the receptionist) have birthdays coming up (one a milestone birthday). I was thinking about getting each of them about a $50 gift card and taking my assistant out to a nice lunch (the receptionist does not take a normal lunch break). Does $50 sound like too little?

    • Thistledown :

      I think $50 is fine, but $75 or $100 would be really exciting.

    • I’d probably do $75 or $100 too. It’s not much to you but it’s lots to her and you are building good will for future friendliness

    • is the receptionist hourly, and so if she takes a lunch she misses out on an hour of income? if not, could you get her a lunch one day and take them both out (individually probably). it seems like that might be something they would enjoy

  38. I’m a 37 y/0 redhead with ruddy skin, furrows/lines, and now pretty serious acne after a health issue that I’ve had. Probiotics and fermented foods (yes, I have tried that for a long while) make it worse. I’m already dairy, refined sugar, and grain free most of the time. Also nightshade free most of the time…and of course I don’t eat processed foods. I have been contemplating using Differin on my face, but I’m afraid of just making my skin worse…getting orange peel texture, perioral derm/rosacea…My skin is already horrendous as it is. Everything I research seems to come with dire risks and people who want to commit suicide/be a permanent recluse because their skin looks maybe 20% as bad as mine looks right now. Anyone been in this position? I feel like an old hag who needs to do serious things with my skin, but deep down, I feel like I should just leave it alone, treat it like glass, and eat better/use Frownies. Any advice? I know this sounds like trolling…but it’s not. I’m losing sleep over this…

    • Anonymous :

      What products are you using on your skin right now?
      Healthy skin does start on the inside, but the quality of the products you use on the outside matters a lot, and more expensive isn’t always better. I have “problem” skin and I started using The Ordinary and am really, really pleased with how my skin looks now.

      • Cetaphil for oily skin (which is too drying, but doesn’t break me out), Clean and Clear makeup wipes, and Differin moisturizer.

        I have recently purchased the whole Differin line, Ole Henriksen Night whatever, some Clinique moisturizer in a tub that MakeupbyTiffanyD was recommending…Haven’t really used any of it yet…Scared…

        • I also have gotten a new script for Finacea…which is an acne/rosacea med (used for both). I used that for years, and it didn’t really help my acne and made my skin shed constantly. Plus, I felt it aged me while using it. I’m just wondering if I use different products with it if it will work better. Ugh. Apparently, if you use it with glycolic acid, it is more effective for acne, but I haven’t found the right one…

    • I had pretty bad acne and redness for a long time (basically puberty to my early 30’s). I was awesome with makeup, but it made me really self conscious. One day I mentioned the problem to my doctor; she had me take off my makeup, took a look at my skin problems, and changed my birth control prescription. Boom. Three months later, my skin was 80% better. It’s still not perfect, I have birthmark on my nose, there’s still a problem with redness, but I’m so glad I asked my dr.

      So, before you spend any more time losing sleep over your skin and possible treatments, make a dr’s appointment and ask for advice.

      • Birth control from my early 20s on ruined my skin. I wish I was never fear mongered into taking them for 15 years, because I don’t really need them and I feel a lot better off of them. The inflammation and redness they caused has improved since I went off due to the health issue, but there was a LOT of damage done there…To anyone looking on…try to go the natural route if you want to “fix” your hormones…

        • I wasn’t recommending birth control in particular. Only pointing out that while it was a mystery to me what I could do to get good results, my dr had a suggestion that worked pretty much immediately and that consulting with a dr might be useful. But downthread, it seems like you’re not interested in advice to follow medical advice, so YMMV.

          • I wasn’t trying to put you down, I was just saying that birth control can worsen acne and I wish my doc had admitted that to me so that I wouldn’t have suffered for so many years. They just wanted to keep me on to have the income coming in. I tried all of the birth control pills that were for my specific issue, and one was worse than the next. Just putting that out there.

    • Clothing staples :

      How about starting with a dermatologist?

      This is definitely where I would start. Acne, acne after a medical issue, “horrendous” skin…. Dermatologist.

      Why take the risk?

      And no, most acne/severe skin issues are not solved by eating “better”. I feel like you are getting distracted by this direction. For all I know, your extreme dietary changes may be causing a nutritional deficiency that is making your skin worse, and causing anxiety / interrupting your sleep as well (hello B12…).

      See your doctor.

      • Yeah, I’ve been to derms in the past and one basically says to do very little because of my type of skin, and the other says to use retinoids and acts disgusted with me for not trying them. I need to find someone else. I hate that I feel like I can’t trust a doc to tell me the truth…

        I have tried some supplements and they seem to work some, but they are messing up my cycle. I am looking more into that and thinking about dropping over $125 a month for a while to see what happens. But I still feel like I have to do something about these clogs…and I have this fear that I’m going to look older than all of my peers just because I don’t use an anti-aging product and everyone else does…

        • Clothing staples :

          What you are doing does not make sense.

          You are spending hundreds of dollars on brand name beauty products, random supplements and altering your diet drastically. If two dermatologists have recommended retinoids to you, why aren’t you trying them? Instead you are ?self diagnosing/treating yourself blindly with who knows what.

          I also don’t understand why you say you “can’t trust a doc to tell you the truth…”. Something is just really off here, and I worry that you do not have a healthy assessment of yourself.

          What are we missing here?

          A generic retinoid is dirt cheap by the way. If you have acne, that is a legitimate treatment. If you are just worried about aging, well…..

          • It’s just that when you read these skincare message boards late at night and learn about all of these tragedies, you get scared. I don’t know whether to believe these people or not. Are they exaggerating/mentally ill? I don’t know why some docs tell me to leave my skin alone, that nothing can be done…and some tell me to use the retinoids…I guess I just have to take a leap of faith.

            I have had bad experiences before. I have bad scarring from V-beam…I don’t know what I’m looking for here. I guess no one can tell me for sure what is safe…

      • I struggled with cystic acne all my life until I was a few years out of menpause. Now I’m on a ketogenic eating plan, which has been life-changing — never hungry! lost 27 pounds! fell great! — and there are doctors who think that in addition to being anti-diabetes Ii, anti-obesity, anti-cancer, and anti-epilepsy, the ketogenic eating plan may also be anti-acne. I wish I had discovered it years ag

    • SillyValley :

      Dermatologists can vary wildly, but if you can find a decent one it’s really helpful.

      The ‘probiotics/fermented foods make it worse’ thing makes me wonder if it is fungal acne. I’ve heard others recommend using a pyrithone zinc treatment like Nizoral (yes, on your face).

      I’ve had good luck with Differin in the last few months – it’s a lot gentler than prescription Retin-A or some of the OTC retinoids, in my experience. If you google getting used to retin-a strategies, you could apply them to Differin too; something like starting once or twice a week and then building up slowly should work.

      • SillyValley :

        And a reply to your comment upthread about what you’ve been using: Cetaphil broke me out low-key the whole time I used it, and I didn’t realize it until I stopped. I double cleanse with an oil cleanser first (right now the one from Muji) and then the CeraVe hydrating wash. Gentle acids are great for clearing clogs and making the skin look better – BHA/salicylic acid in the 1/2-2% range, preferably a watery/toner version just so you don’t have complications from a creamy formula, and/or a gentle AHA like glycolic or mandelic acid. And of course sunscreen every day, especially important if you have redness and maybe some rosacea.

        • Minnie Beebe :

          Cetaphil contains panthenol/b5, last I checked, and through trial and error, I’ve discovered that I CANNOT use anything on my face/body/hair which contains that substance. I read all labels carefully. It’s the biggest contributing factor to my acne woes, for sure.

          Other than avoiding panthenol religiously, I use a Neutrogena cleanser (which follows an olive oil cleanser if I had a bunch of makeup on), followed by pure rose water toner, a niacinamide serum, and Cerave PM moisturizer. In the mornings I’ll also put on some Elta MD UV Clear sunscreen. This is all inexpensive (well, the sunscreen is a little more expensive than the rest, but not outrageous) and works to keep my skin clear and not flaky or irritated.

          • I have heard about using olive oil to remove makeup, and following it with a cleanser. As I am acne prone, I have been apprehensive. What Neutrogena cleanser do you use? Is the rose water toner crucial in making sure the oil is removed?

    • Go to a dermatologist! I’ve found dermatologists that actually did listen to me. At a point, I’d used every product on the market other than Accutane. The best for me have been Aczone and Retin-a Micro. Aczone is more of an anti-inflammatory than a drying retinoid. Also Vitamin C Serum.

    • Do you eat eggs? After many months, I figured out that eggs were making my child break out. Aside from that, I find that my skin does better without any cleansers. I just use hot water on a wash cloth to clean my face. I aslo use a facial oil instead of a moisturizer. Good luck!

  39. Anyone have a recommendation for Botox in Dallas?

  40. Black socks :

    Where do you buy socks?

    I need to replace all of my socks. I mostly wear them in booties in winter, so they don’t show until I take off my shoes in someone’s house. Would like something of reasonable quality, reasonable warmth (but don’t need crazy warm specialty socks) for a decent price. Nothing fancy. Basic black.

    I need like 10 pairs so if there is a place you love to buy them, I may wait for a sale and buy a bunch at once.

    • Anonymous :


    • Anonymous :

      I was having a terrible time finding fairly thick, mostly cotton crew socks and ended up ordering from Maggie’s Organics. They aren’t cheap but hold up very well.

    • Anonymous :

      I get the fashion/cable knit Smartwool socks. And that’s pretty much what I wear all winter. Usually REI with the 10% off 3 or more pairs. I’ve built that collection of socks over time, though.

    • Kohls house brand (Sonoma?)
      Goldtoe brand (Kohls,JCPenney)

  41. Longtime follower, first time poster. Looking for advice/thoughts/etc.

    I work for Company A. I received an offer for Company B. For a variety of reasons, I declined Company B, and accepted a counteroffer from current Company A.

    As communicated to me by the GC (it’s just us 2 in the Legal Dept), the counteroffer was a salary increase to X on 11/1/17 with a minimum guaranteed bonus at the end of 2017. Another salary increase to Y on 2/1/18, with the same minimum guaranteed bonus at the end of 2018.

    This past Friday, he called me into to his office to say that he sent me an email summarizing my salary adjustment. As I was walking out, he said something like “oh by the way, this is all with an understanding you’ll stay through 2018”. I can’t remember what, if anything, I responded. But I checked my email and his summary includes just that, noting it was “as we discussed”. This was never discussed. His email also does not mention that my end of 2017 bonus is a “minimum”, but does mention a minimum end of 2019 bonus, which was also never discussed.

    Our HR Dept consists of our CFO and that’s it. It’s just a complete misrepresentation of what was agreed it. I have no idea what to do.

  42. rampura banasree,H-22,R-2,Block-B,6th floor

  43. I saw that first white eyelet dress on ChicWish. I love it! I haven’t had the chance to shop there yet. You and your fro are gorgeous! And I saw you on your collab with PeakMill just now. I love your personality. I used to see you on LookBook.Nu when I used to be on the site. You always stood out to me and I was always happy to see a black girl on their timeline. I love your style and thanks for this Lookbook. Even though I have always thought that color looks great against dark brown skin, I was always afraid of white. It looks mahvelous on you! Yaas! Spin girl! Spin!

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