Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Hue leggings are some of my favorite leggings for the weekend. Fleece tights (or should I say, FLEECE TIGHTS) are kind of an inside joke among the readers, but if you’re looking for fleece-lined leggings for this winter then I have to say, Hue has delivered in years past for warm, thick, and comfortable leggings that don’t get baggy. I also like the fact that they actually have functional pockets. Zappos has them in sizes XS–XL in ink wash denim for $54, and they’re also at Amazon in black and ink wash denim. HUE Fleece Lined Denim Leggings

Here’s a plus-size option.

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  1. I know a lot of you are Bostonites… any suggestions for a place to hold a family dinner for around 20 people on Dec. 29? (It’s a pre-wedding, pre-rehearsal event; unfortunately we’re planning from afar). Thanks!

    • I’d probably try to get one of the North End Italian restaurants. They are very used to doing big parties and Italian food usually covers all bases.

      • thanks! do you have any particular favorites? or are they all the same?

        • Ha! Jinxed on the reply below :) My only other advice is that Vinoteca Monica and Prezza are a bit more sedate and quiet. Mare is like a hip seafood place. Strega and Carmelina’s (might be mis-spelling) are traditional louder Italian places…but in a good way if you are looking for that kind of atmosphere.

        • Full of ideas :

          Upstairs at Bricco

      • Also adding, I would just use Yelp to pick one, but some of the ones I’ve been to that are good for large parties: Strega, Vinoteca Monica, Mare, Prezza, Carmelina’s…honestly, the list is kind of endless.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I do not know about the size of the one in the North End, but Giacomo’s has amazing food.

        • It is tiny :) And you would have to rent out the whole place, which is actually totally worth doing if they’ll let you because the food is amazing!

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I have only been to the Back Bay location, which is also tiny. But the food…I would go to Boston for the gnocchi alone. Plus the dream of running into Cam Neely.

      • I agree. There is a great Italian Restaruant just north of the new Boston Garden where Rosa ordered a pasta primavera and I had shrimp scampi, and it was sooooo good that Dad said we would go back next year! I strongly recomend it to the HIVE. If anyone remembers the name, please share, b/c I know where it is and how to get there, but I just do NOT remember the name. FOOEY!

        As for the FLEECE TIGHTS, I could have used a pair today, b/c I had to go downtown and even tho it was warm out, the wind went up my dress and it was NOT comfy. Even tho I had a pea coat on, that did NOTHING to help, either.

        When I got into court, my hair got all mussed from the wind also, so the judge thought I had walked all the way down from 36th and 3rd! Can you imageine me doeing that? No! Not even in the summer or when I wear my Nike Air’s! DOUBEL FOOEY on that!

    • thank you all so much!

    • Yvonne’s is pricy but if you are open to that it has gorgeous private rooms (or you can rent out the whole thing, depending on the party size) and the food and atmosphere are amazing

    • Post 390. Fantastic food, fantastic service, and you can reserve sections of the restaurant for events.

    • I would consider The Cottage in Chestnut Hill, outskirts of Brookline. They have a beautiful private room, great food, and PARKING which is tough in the North End–depends on where people are staying. I also love the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. Henrietta’s Table has a private room as well, and it is so fun to walk around Harvard Square before or after the dinner. Enjoy!

  2. Gracious and professional :

    I was notified yesterday that I didn’t get a position that I interviewed for. I really liked the interviewer and would like to thank them for reaching out to let me know. What’s the best wording for doing so? (I’ve asked on Ask A Manager’s open thread as well, just wondering if anyone here has some advice).

    • Something like… “Boss, thank you for letting me know. I truly enjoyed meeting the members of your team and wish you the best/remain very interested in this field/etc. If you ever have another opening on your team, I would be very interested in discussing it with you.”
      … That feels a bit clunky in writing, but I did something similar to two jobs I didn’t get at two different companies, and then ultimately got invited to interview and ultimately offers the next time they had an opening. I think the key is to express a positive, gracious message leaving the door open to future contact. Good luck and sorry this one didnt work out!

    • I would keep it simple. “Thank you for reaching out to let me know. I appreciated your time and candor in our interview. I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about [the company/position] and remain interested, so please do consider me for any future openings that may be appropriate. Many thanks and happy holidays, G&P”

  3. Help me console my sister :

    Thanks for the caring and helpful comments on my earlier post. I’ve arranged for flowers to be delivered to my sister’s apartment today and have been texting her. She’s doing a bit better. I’ll see her over Christmas. I wish I could fix this for her, but since I can’t, I’ll just keep telling her that I love her and support her.

    • Anonymous :

      I didn’t post this morning, but I had a miscarriage. Similar and yet different to your sister’s situation. I agree that the “you can adopt” or “you can foster” sentiments were unhelpful. What has helpful was:

      we love you
      we are so sorry

    • Senior Attorney :

      You’re doing the right thing. Hugs to you and your sister.

    • Still Grieving :

      Didnt see your post yesterday, but I miscarried 3 months ago towards the end of the first trimester. One of the things that touched me the most was when a friend said that the world was going to miss out because she knew our baby would have been an amazing person.

  4. Wanting to write all the things :

    Lawyers: what to put in a support letter?

    Long story short, my long term boyfriend has been charged with felony domestic violence (no it wasn’t me) and his lawyer has suggested I can write a letter of support. The woman who is pressing charges and the states’ attorney have so far made this process very one sided and have painted a pretty terrible picture of him and the events that took place (many are not true, others completely omit her attacks on him). I really want to write the best possible letter I can as this is one of the few ways the legal system is letting me have a say as someone who knew him before/during/after/bailed him out of jail/took him to the hospital.

    What should I say? How much to include? I’m an employed, successful professional (but not in a legal field) and I’ve known him as a friend for 15 years and as an SO for 2.5. I’ve been there for him when his combat PTSD have blown up, is that something I talk about?

    Any help, thoughts or questions would be super appreciated. Other than my own divorce (not fun but nothing like this) I have zero experience with court and testimony

    • I’m a criminal defense attorney. You say your boyfriend has been “charged” so what stage is the case currently in? These types of letters are for sentencing purposes only, i.e., they are not “evidence” in the trial proceedings. After a conviction, support letters help a judge craft an appropriate sentence based on the defendant’s life history. In my experience, you want to include absolutely everything you can about his good character. He served his country, you’ve known him for 15 years, his family background, his working life (if he looks good in whatever that is), etc. I would not necessarily include anything about PTSD before talking to his lawyer because that might have been strategically included or left out of his trial strategy.

      If this is for sentencing after a conviction, do not argue that the conviction was wrong or unjust or that the case was one-sided. That’s not your job – that’s his appellate lawyer’s job. Your job is to humanize him as much as possible. Good luck.

      • Wanting to write all the things :

        A 402 hearing is coming up soon and a possible deal is in the works. His lawyer suggested this could be a good time for a letter. There has been a lot of back and forth on felony versus misdemeanor charges and I believe this letter would be going to the judge who is presiding over the case.

        • So it appears it would be for sentencing purposes after a guilty plea to *something*. Write a draft and have his lawyer review it. I have edited many of these letters, and almost always review them for things that would make a judge roll his/her eyes or get mad. Overly sentimental is bad. Honesty is good.

          • Wanting to write all the things :

            Thank you! I will do exactly this and send the draft to his lawyer. I have a couple of weeks to get it done.

    • I would gently suggest that filing a public document voicing your support of someone charged with *felony* domestic violence might not be wise. Remember the reaction to Brock Turner’s Dad’s letter?

      I would less gently suggest that you DTMFA.

      • Senior Attorney :


      • Anonymous :

        This. If he has been convicted and this is part of the sentencing process, your letter will likely be public record. I would not get involved.

        IF, you still decide to write a letter find out what specifically he has been convicted of. Do not comment on the events or the conviction. Speak with his lawyer about the purpose of the letter. Are they trying to get the judge to sentence him to parole and/or a counselling treatment program. In that case, if he sought treatment for his PTSD when he was with you and was compliant with treatment as far as you know at that time. Then that would be relevant.

        The best course of action is to stay away though. I don’t see any benefit to you getting involved.

        • Wanting to write all the things :

          The deal will likely involve a counseling and/or treatment program as well as parole or probation. I’ll make sure to include my knowledge and involvement in the treatment he’s been involved in during the years we’ve been together.

        • Non-OP Anon :

          Is there some benefit to me isn’t really the guiding principle I try to live my life by. I hope that’s true for most of us.

      • As I stated above, it’s unclear what stage this case is currently in, but thanks for the presumption of guilt if it is just in the charging stage. People like you are why we need people like me. Prosecutors are not God, and they don’t always seek the truth. As for Brock Turner, those letters were all post-conviction and for sentencing purposes, and his friends and family had a right to write them, just as the victim had a right to read her statement in open court. ALSO, in most states (including the three I have practiced in), such letters are not part of the official court record. They are hearsay (ie not evidence) and addressed to the judge as correspondence.

        • Anon - not the OP :

          And even if it is post conviction, people mess up. I’m happy for you if you have never had to love someone that deals with combat related PTSD. There are a lot of people that need a lot of psychological help and they can be a danger to others before they get it and wonderful, repentant people after they get it. Not everyone who hurt someone once is a monster. This is why felons have such a hard time re-entering society and have such a high recidivism rate.

          • Some states have special “veteran’s courts” like drug courts because the issues are so complex and intertwined with mental health and PTSD. There was some controversy about it because they didn’t want to perpetuate the myth that all veterans have PTSD. Instead, a veteran that feels his/her service/mental health impacts their charge can ask for their case to be transferred to that court. It’s pretty progressive.

          • Wanting to write all the things :

            Thank you so much for saying this! This whole process has been a real struggle for both of us and it helps me so much when others get the PTSD component. It hurts to see him struggle with this and not always get the help he wants and needs.

      • Agreed, I wouldn’t do it! I wouldn’t want my name attached to a domestic violence defendant in any way, shape, or form.

        • Okay? That’s not like a controversial position or something the OP hasn’t thought of. Sometimes the people we love do things that we don’t like or that might even horrify us. Despite what your tone implies, I’m just not convinced that dropping people when they f up is the really the moral high ground. I’m not saying we have to approve of their actions, but we aren’t required to only love perfect people.

          • And loving people doesn’t require the possible risk to one’s reputation of going on the record to say so.

        • Non-OP Anon :

          Of course, it doesn’t require it, but some people might place a higher value on supporting their loved one (even when their loved one has done something terrible) than a hypothetical risk to their reputation. I’m not saying anyone has to make that decision, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t think it’s a risk to the reputation in the traditional way. It quite literally says something about your character when you defend someone guilty of a horrible crime (whether that is rape or felony domestic violence). Part of it is that you’ll stand by your loved one no matter what. Sometimes that is a good trait, but sometimes it’s a flaw – I would absolutely judge someone I know for defending a rapist or a child abuser for example.

          • 1. This is her boyfriend. Any risk of harm to her reputation is already there, b/c his plea will be a public record, so as long as she’s with him, I don’t see why she shouldn’t just write the letter, especially if it helps his situation and, by extension, hers.
            2. You can say that you would break up with someone in this situation but OP clearly has a different experience with the BF and isn’t going to do that.
            3. OP, i think you can write this letter in a way that doesn’t comment on what happened, but simply shares your very different experience with this person. That’s not the dad letter in Brock Turner case.
            4. I agree that it’s kind of sad and sh*tty how quickly some people are willing to abandon their loved ones if they screw up, esp. if it’s a matter of public record. An old friend of mine was in a similar situation (though not DV) and not one friend with an ‘important’ career was willing to even acknowledge they knew him beyond a passing acquaintance. It was and remains disheartening.

      • Anonymous :

        I would gently suggest that you understand prosecutors often overcharge criminal defendants to help get a guilty plea, and that this is a huge problem in our criminal justice system.

        I would gently suggest that the OP has known this man for 15 years and says he is of good character, and that the facts are complicated. As you are not her and as it is wise of bher to not post too many specifics on the freakin Internet, maybe you should back off your uninformed judgeyness.

        I would gently suggest that the women on this blog always want men to go to bat for them, so maybe don’t get up in the face of a woman who wants to support a man. Hypocrisy isn’t a good look.

        • This! So much this.

          I once knew a nice man who was charged with domestic violence because he grabbed his wife’s arm and “pushed” her hard enough that she fell (and that was literally the extent of her claims about what he did). Why? Because she slapped him across the face and was about to do it again. And he could not just walk out because she was drunk and he did not want to leave her alone with their young child.

          Fortunately he could afford a good lawyer and fought the charges. In the end, the DA just dropped them. I suspect that the fact that he was Hispanic and she was white played some role in the decision to charge him in the first place – although of course I cannot prove that.

          Moral of this story, not every man charged with domestic violence is an evil person. OP asked for specific advice. She did not ask us to pass judgment on whether writing the letter makes her a terrible person.

    • Anon for this Judge :

      Solo has good advice. If this is for sentencing, the thing that would be most helpful for me would be something that shows he has taken responsibility and is taking steps to prevent anything like this from every happening again. A letter that attempts to whitewash the seriousness of the crime is not going to help and may well hurt. I have seen far too many letters from women who I am pretty sure are going to be the next victim. Don’t be that woman.

      • Wanting to write all the things :

        I won’t be that woman, my therapist and I make sure of that. Like I said it’s a really complicated situation. What I really want to show is the responsibility and steps he’s taken as well as talk about his overall life as I’ve known him.

        I will think about the implications of writing a letter. All thoughts are appreciated.

    • I’m a criminal defense attorney and this is my typical advice for support letters. Describe yourself for the judge, describe how you know the defendant (how long and how well), discuss whether you were surprised by the charge and if so why, describe his good qualities and include examples. Do not ask for a specific outcome, do not say whether you think the process is fair or if you think the victim is lying, etc. Basically you aren’t the judge, you’re just providing the judge with additional information that she or he can use in making a decision.

      Stick to what you know—the people writing letters for Brock Turner got in trouble in part by commenting on their perception of the seriousness of the offense. Let the lawyer make arguments about the offense itself. Your job is to give context about the person because you know him personally. It’s rare for a support letter to result in blow back and I don’t know why you’d have any reason for concern if you’re simply describing your own experiences with the person.

      • Wanting to write all the things :

        Thank you!! This is really helpful

        • I was in court where a defendant’s employer showed up in the court room and testified on behalf of him as to what a responsible employee he had become. This was a drug case and it was enough for the judge to defer sentencing to see if he could keep it up. Incarceration would mean he’d be out of a job and likely re-offend. If he kept it up, he’d get probation or time served. He had done a few nights before he bailed out.

    • Reputational risks aside, as I believe others have explored that…

      OP, I’m more concerned that your boyfriend had a domestic violence charge *period* and furthermore so close to (in fact during) your relationship. That to me raises the bigger red flags.

      • I’m really ok. I’ve talked this over extensively with my therapist and he’s come to a couple of sessions w me.

        As others have said some prosecutors like to throw out as many charges as they can (regardless of the facts) and this is part of what we are dealing with. And it’s complicated. I’m very much ok w what I’ve chosen to do and the role he continues to play in my life. I know I’m safe and will be in the future and I know what I need to do to take care of myself. I divorced one abusive husband, I’m making damn sure I’m not getting into anything like that again.

        • DV Prosecutor :

          I mean this only to help, but women who escape one violent relationship are substantially more likely to end up in another abusive relationship. Take care of yourself.

    • I’ve been part of this community for years and these responses are shocking to me. This group has collectively advised women to dump men who: forget birthdays (or who didn’t celebrate them enough); are bad at sex or who have small a penis; use an offensive name when introducing them to coworkers; voted for Trump; … we aren’t generally a forgiving bunch. But THIS is the case where we’re advising OP to be compassionate, to forgive a fault, and to help her flawed-but-lovable partner through a difficult time?? When he’s literally been charged with a felony for violence against another woman – which the OP acknowledges is at least partially true??

      I know she didn’t ask us whether or not to stay with him, but seriously, I’m completely baffled by these responses. I spend 3 years with a dude like this and I swore up and down to my therapist and family and everyone else I was safe and they just didn’t know him like I did and he had changed and it was going to be different with me and who were they to judge my choices and I vouched for him over and over again and then he broke my nose.

      • Your note breaks my heart. Thanks for speaking your truth.

      • Anonymous :

        I am the Anonymous of 5:47 pm yesterday.

        My dad was once pinched by a girlfriend. His reaction was to literally sit there and wait to be punched again, “because if I did anything, even to defend myself, I would be arrested.”

        It is great that we’ve made strides in treating DV (it is no longer a private matter between husband and wife), but the result is men who are assualted and abused have a hard time coming forward, are reluctant to fight back, and if they do fight back, are the ones who are punished (rather than the instigators).

        People like you are the reason my dad had to be wait to get punched again. So take your self-righteous feminism and shove it.

      • Couldn’t agree more. I’ve seen advice to dump boyfriends who forget to take out the trash here and then this…?

      • DV Prosecutor :


      • I don’t think anyone told OP to stand by her man. She made her decision. I think posters were simply defending her right to do that and also acknowledging that their are nuances to individual situations. I’m very sorry for what you went through, but that doesn’t mean OP’s situation is the same.

      • Anonymous :

        I think its just kind of a lost cause. it sounds like he cheated on her, had a relationship with another woman, abused that woman, and now is going to write a letter defending him. I feel like its not so much that people are saying stay with him but like there is not much we can do when someone is in that deep.

    • Anonymama :

      There was an article in I think the NYTimes on Veterans Day about a similar situation, with a husband with ptsd and alcoholism and how he got his life together finally.

  5. I do like hue leggings. I wear an 18W at Talbots and have a long inseam, and the XXL size fits me fine. I think they would still work if I were a size or two larger.

    I would like to find this denim look style but haven’t seen in XXL.

  6. Biz-casual denim :


    We can wear denim all December! It’s not mandatory. Which is good, b/c I can’t think of a good denim outfit for the office for me. My usual for the few Denim Fridays I’ve not had meetings are:

    bootcut dark indigo jeans
    black western boots
    black sweater
    [this is also my cold-weather date outfit]

    Help me break out of my denim rut — it might up my weekend fashion game, too. Good blogs? Websites?

    • When I could wear jeans to work, my uniform was slim or straight (not skinny) dark jeans, a drapey blouse, and a jacket or blazer. I like the AG prima jeans, blouses from Ann Taylor, and jackets from everywhere- my favorite is from Rebecca Taylor. I tend to go for tweedy Chanel-style jackets with bracelet sleeves or for a hip length blazer. At work, I’d wear pointy flats or pointy chelsea boots. For dates, booties like the Rag and Bone Harrow (the Blondo brand has a bunch that are lower heeled, waterproof, and so comfortable). I’m about 30, for reference.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I’m a huge fan of the blazer-with-jeans look, with a nice blouse or a cute tee, depending on how fancy I want to be. Also jeans + a button-down (one of my father’s colleagues dressed this way when I was a kid and I low-key idolized her).

    • Anonymous :

      Currently feeling pretty fab in today’s jeans outfit. I’m wearing a crisp button down shirt (half tucked, actually), a pair of tortoise shell flats, and dark wash straight jeans. I’ve accessorized with pearls and pearl studs. I feel very Connecticut today.

      Outfit #2: Jeans, Breton striped top, dark plum blazer.

      Outfit #3: Silk popover blouse (I’m very fond of a mustard one) with high waisted jeans, tucked in. I usually wear with caramel colored low heeled booties.

  7. Safe for cats :

    Are Christmas trees (in general) safe for cats to be around? Does anyone know of a reliable guide showing which types of trees or wreaths might be toxic? Google is surprisingly unclear…

    • The ASPCA has a database of toxic and poisonous plants which you can sort by animal. It’s a bear to go through, but I think they will have a blog post up about Xmas decorations (as they have had about tgiving recently).

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely do not use icicles or long tinsel pieces.

    • New Tampanian :

      Christmas trees are generally OK. Just keep any tinsel or ornaments with “strands” of anything hanging. Keep breakable ornaments higher on the tree. Your cats may try to drink the water.

      • Anonymous :

        my cat likes to play with the water–she hates water on her, but loves to splash her and her brothers’ water bowl and the christmas tree stand.

    • Trees are safe for cats. But I’m not sure that cats are safe for trees. I found one of my kitties about 2/3 up my tree. I’m lucky that we invested in a really good stand, otherwise that tree would have been on the ground. We have a 17yo cat who has never had issues with the tree. This year I also have two 10-month-old kittens. The tree has been up with only lights for close to a week and we are still on fence about adding any more decorations.

    • Yes safe, but toys may get broken. My cat outgrew this after 5 maybe?
      Poinsettias are toxic though. Don’t get them.

  8. You guys- the Athleta winter collecton is SO GOOD. I bought this cashmere turtleneck in two colors and I’ve been living in them, with slim black crop pants and pointy kitten heels at work (elevated business casual) and with jeans and leggings for Thanksgiving with the fam. I also grabbed a couple pairs of their “street leggings” – a little more structured and snazzy than running tights for working from home and doing neighborhood errands. My experience with all their sweaters so far has been that they’re machine washable, run slightly big, and they’re cozy, warm, stylish workhorses for me in the Chicago winter.

    • Anonymous :

      I saw that sweater in the store and it is gorgeous. I was mad at Athleta for making it cashmere because I am allergic.

    • Biz-casual denim :

      YES — reading the reviews from all ages / sizes on the website convinced me to shop there years ago and most of my non-work clothes are from there. I never, ever would have thought this but their stuff is so good.

      They also have excellent fleece-lined leggings (leggings and as boot-cut pants).

    • Does Athleta fit curvy people? I would say Ann Taylor and esp. LOFT are curvy friendly if that helps.

      • I’m curvy-ish (5’9″, size 10-ish, hourglass) and have had a lot of success with Athleta.

        • Thanks! Any more curvy people had any luck?

          • Also 5’9, 180ish, hourglassy in the sense that I have big shoulders and big hips and a small waist, but I’m not especially busty. Size Medium at Athleta is a slim fit, size large is really drapey.

      • I’m 5’4, size 12/14 and have also had great success with Athleta.

      • 5’11, athletic 16/XL and I love Althleta. Go to a store and try some things on if you can. Some of the leggings have a never-ending drawstring thing that I’m obsessed with, if you have trouble with leggings creeping down during HIIT or more intense cardio like I sometimes do.

  9. Mother Gifts :

    My mother is extremely hard to buy for. She doesn’t drink, doesn’t wear makeup or enjoy spa-type things, doesn’t have any giftable hobbies (her hobby is helping at church), doesn’t enjoy going out (so no experience gifts), sees cooking/food prep as work (so kitchen gadgets are a no-go), is concerned about her weight (so no food gifts), and doesn’t appreciate candles/home decor because she’s a teacher and gets a lot of that kind of stuff from students. We’ve never been able to buy her clothing that fits and is her style, and we’ve pretty much exhausted the jewelry/scarves/accessories gifts. We’ve done donations in her name before, but I’d really like to find something special that’s just for her!
    I think I just made my mom sound like a horrible boring person- she’s not! She’s wonderful and has a big heart but just doesn’t fit in most general gift categories. She’s always very sweet and gracious about anything we give her and would never complain, but I’d love to give her something that she would really appreciate!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Books? A Kindle and gift cards? Harry and David fresh fruit subscription?

    • Anonymous :

      Theater tickets

    • Does she have one of those really soft faux fur throws? They’ve improved a lot over the last couple of years. I received one as a white elephant type gift and my kids and I absolutely fight over it.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you buy flowers for church one sunday or at Christmas in her honor?

      • Senior Attorney :

        That sounds like a great idea! Also I think books are good.

      • Biz-casual denim :

        This is what I do for my parents on their anniversary. But you could chip in for holiday decorations. They often go to nursing homes or hospitals after the services.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Great idea! Or donate in her name – this may be what I do for my mom.

      • Mother Gifts :

        I really love this idea, but she thinks the flowers in church are a waste of money (this is a conversation for a different time). Maybe I can see if they donate the Christmas ones to a nursing home or hospital and that might be more amenable to her though.

        • Anonymous :

          Or dedicate some hymnals with her name on/in them.

        • Senior Attorney :

          HAHA I love your mom! She is a hard nut to crack, for sure!

        • How about taking her to a historic church in the area (if your faith tradition has this), followed by lunch, partnered with dinner nearby if it’s an evening service because she is busy on Sunday. Some place that she maybe has not had time to explore. I’m on the East Coast, so we have loads of older basilicas that have services.

          Or maybe go to services with her at the place where she married your Dad, or where she grew up, etc. and ask her to tell the stories of what she remembers, or just listen…

          Make a memory, if you can!

    • Buy tickets to some religious-type concert and go with her?

    • Last year, I got my mother one of these necklaces with her deceased mother’s handwriting: https://www.etsy.com/listing/502159240/custom-handwriting-necklace-actual?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=handwriting%20necklace&ref=sc_gallery_2&plkey=605bbb5a88b0410af8ca22c8682792f11eea8261:502159240. It’s not fine jewelry, but it was her favorite gift by far.

      If her church is important to her, you could do a custom watercolor of the church: https://www.etsy.com/listing/276911566/custom-house-portrait-painting?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=custom%20water%20house&ref=sr_gallery_1.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Oh wow. The handwriting necklace is amazing. Note to self: steal a letter from my grandmother to my mom when I’m home for Passover.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This is amazing. My husband has perfect copperplate handwriting and I would love something like this in his handwriting.

    • Anonymous :

      Professional family pictures done of all of you?

    • Does she watch tv? Maybe a subscription to netflix, hulu, hbo go, or something. Or a magazine (s) subscription. Couple that with a cozy throw.

    • Can you say a bit more about the kind of helping she does at church? Does she need vestments, like an alb or a home communion kit? I also wonder about prayer books. Maybe a cd from the church’s musical tradition? All of my suggestions are very Episcopalian!

      • Mother Gifts :

        She’s all about church missions- homeless ministry, community outreach events, helping shut-ins, visiting people in the hospital or nursing home, etc. Definitely no vestments, and she’s very shy about taking credit for what she does!

        • Anonymous :

          That stuff all involves day trips in the car. Could you get her things like those heated seat covers (if she doesnf have heated seats and lives in a cold climate), Tervis tumblers with lids, ceramic travel mugs that can be put through the dishwasher, a small cooler for healthy snacks, etc?

          • That’s a good idea to get her stuff to make car trips more pleasant. Maybe a trunk organizer?

            But also it sounds like your mom is incredibly giving and, while you want to do a gift that’s for her, she would likely really appreciate a donation to one of the causes she supports.

        • Anonymous :

          What about buying a bunch of dollar store type items that she could use to make care packages? Boxes of handwarmers, personal care items, rolls of quarters, snacks – things she can mix and match for her care ministries? Or a large variety box of greeting cards from current (or similar) that she can use for her home visits with people?

        • She sounds wonderful! It is hard to give things to someone who is so giving. Earlier today I was wondering about a pocket cross, the wood ones you can rub your fingers over. You could give her one for herself or give her a whole bunch so she could give some to the people she visits in the hospital. The gigantic online retailer sells some made in the Middle East.

    • It just occurred to me to recommend barkingdogshoes dot com. Kirsten is a teacher and does a regular feature on comfortable but stylish shoes for teachers. If you know her shoe size that may be the way to go, particularly with free returns at places like zapp0s and amaz0n.

    • My mom is impossible to buy for too. This is what we get her every year for X-mas:

      – a nice wallet in the style she likes
      – cozy jammies
      – slippers
      – fancy tea from Tea Forte
      – hand lotions that fit in her purse (shea butter from Body Shop or L’Occitane)
      – gardening tools (GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER! She likes pruning shears, garden gloves, orchid food, etc.)

    • Maybe music from her religious tradition? Bach; handbell choirs; gospel; chant? CDs and a way to play them, or set her up with a Pandora or SiriusXM subscription (if she would enjoy music more broadly).

  10. I’m a criminal defense attorney. You say your boyfriend has been “charged” so what stage is the case currently in? These types of letters are for sentencing purposes only, i.e., they are not “evidence” in the trial proceedings. After a conviction, support letters help a judge craft an appropriate sentence based on the defendant’s life history. In my experience, you want to include absolutely everything you can about his good character. He served his country, you’ve known him for 15 years, his family background, his working life (if he looks good in whatever that is), etc. I would not necessarily include anything about PTSD before talking to his lawyer because that might have been strategically included or left out of his trial strategy.

    If this is for sentencing after a conviction, do not argue that the conviction was wrong or unjust or that the case was one-sided. That’s not your job – that’s his appellate lawyer’s job. Your job is to humanize him as much as possible. Good luck.

  11. Help with Wrap Dress Styling :

    I just bought an all-navy wrap dress from Boden (because I have the same dress in a pattern and love it) and I’m really struggling with how to style it and what to wear with it. Can some of you who are less fashion-challenged help? My questions are:

    1. Does a blazer look weird with a wrap dress with a v-neck? I had planned to wear lots of blazers with this dress but somehow the double-Vs of the dress neckline and the jacket lapels just looks off to me.

    2. What kind of tights do you wear with a navy dress? It’s too cold for bare legs (although I’ll do bare legs and camel or taupe heels in the fall and spring) but I don’t know what color tights to wear and what type of shoes. The tights shouldn’t be navy, right? And black seems odd. Can I do purple or gray?

    3. If you do wear colored tights or even gray tights, what color shoes do you wear? Should they match the dress or be completely different? Gray tights and gray shoes never seems to work because the grays are always different. Same with navy tights and navy shoes.

    Thanks for any help you can provide. Who knew a simple, single-colored dress would be so difficult?

    • Linda from HR :

      You are correct, navy’s tough because black doesn’t pair well with it.

      1. Personally, I do try to avoid layering two V-necks with each other, so I’d probably go for a scoop-neck cardigan if you can get away with that.

      2. Grey works, but a medium or light gray. Skin colored tights are always good too, and I swear they exist! Check out Danskin’s ultrasoft footed tights.

      3. Either navy to match the dress, or burgundy. It’s okay if the shoes don’t match perfectly as you’ll have legs separating them.

    • Wrap dress with blazers are just super hard. I haven’t had success with anything worn on top of a wrap dress but worn open. High closed buttoned cardigans are ok. Fully zipped or buttoned up blazers where you can’t see what’s beneath is ok (like a blazer with a skirt). But whenever you can see the dress below and the neck and collar partially obstruct the wrap-style, it just looks off to me. No real suggestions. I only wear them in summer (which is 9+ months where I’m located). Perhaps try layering under the wrap dress for warmth?

    • I generally try to follow the CapHillStyle 2/3 rule – your tights should match either your shoes or your skirt/dress. I’ve found that they don’t need to be exactly matching for the look to still work. I’ve got a purple/burgundy sweater dress that I ran into the same issue with, and have worn it with purple (slightly textured) tights and pewter booties, and black tights and black booties. I think you could do navy tights with a navy dress, but I’d do something a little textured – I’ve got navy tights that are loosely ribbed that look good with several different shades of navy. Same with greys – a little texture covers up when the greys aren’t the exact same shade.

    • I think the problem with wrap dress + blazer is usually the heaviness of the blazer and the light weight of the dress. It can feel and perhaps look as if you forgot your skirt.

      I’d wear a cardigan and I wouldn’t worry about v neck vs v neck. I would wear a necklace – either a choker to fill in the v or a long necklace to echo the long lines of the dress and cardigan. For me, because I’m tall, I’d wear a long cardigan, preferably in a weight similar to the wrap dress, like a nice fine gauge merino wool.

      I would also be willing to wear navy tights and navy shoes. I like the column of color thing a lot. I’m a #bosslady and I feel like it’s a very boss lady look.

    • My secret for navy is to get a nice big scarf with a pattern that combines navy blue and black. For example, I have a scarf with a black background and a navy floral print. Then you can wear black tights, shoes, etc. with the dress because it’s clearly deliberate. Doesn’t work as well with super-dark navy, but even fairly dark ones can look very chic this way.

      • Anonymous :

        Can you or someone else recommend a specific navy and black patterned scarf? Preferably under $50? Thank you!

    • lawsuited :

      I usually wear a cashmere scarf with a wrap dress if I’m cold instead of a blazer. I always wear nude hose and coloured shoes (like, and colour at all – everything works with navy!) with navy dresses.

    • Thanks for the suggestions, guys…

  12. For those of you with weekly or bi-weekly house cleaning services, much do you tip for the holidays? In our previous city, our housekeeper had been with us for years and gave us a “friends and family” discount, so I always just gave her a 100% holiday tip. In our new city, our house cleaner is a lot more expensive, and I’m about to have a baby and take some unpaid leave, so I’m thinking more about this as I’m not working with the same budget as I normally am.

    • Anonymous :

      You tip the cost of one cleaning. That is the standard tip no matter what else is going on in your life.

      • +1

      • Senior Attorney :


      • Anonymous :

        Disagree. You tip what you can afford. Don’t break your budget to give a holiday bonus.

        • Anonymous :

          Agreed. Generally I think you can’t afford a service if you can’t afford to appropriately tip (e.g., don’t go a restaurant if you can’t afford to tip 20% in addition to the meal and tax) but a holiday “tip” is more like a gift/bonus. It’s a nice thing to do if it’s within your budget but it’s not a mandatory cost associated with the service.

        • If you can’t afford the tip, you can’t afford the service. Them’s the breaks.

        • Can’t afford the tip, can’t afford the service.

        • Anonymous :

          If your budget doesn’t include this standard bonus, then you cannot afford your house cleaner.

          • Agree. It’s like going to a restaurant. Tipping is part of the price. If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to eat at the restaurant, or have the cleaning service.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Strongly disagree. That is a serious bonus as my cleaner charges $110 each time and she is not even that great. I buy her something in the $50 – $60 range.

        • Anonymous :

          I think this is also regional. I give the cleaner a $25 Starbucks card (monthly cleaning is $150 paid to a service that sends the cleaner) and from talking to my neighbors it seems like many of them don’t do anything.

        • Why are you buying her something instead of giving her cash?

        • Anonymous :

          Yes. It is a serious bonus. And it is expected. And necessary.

        • Strongly disagree. Think of it from the cleaner’s perspective, or if any of you have ever worked as a contractor/had private clients. You would much MUCH rather have a steady client you liked and not lose money while looking for another one than worry about a stupid once a year bonus. Don’t give a sh..
          I was a high end private tutor for years. Trust me, the bonus is just nice, never expected. They know they cost more if they cost more and that’s part of it.

    • Anonymous :

      Piggybacking: we have been tipping 20% on each individual cleaning. Do we still do a holiday tip?

    • I tip an amount equivalent to a regular cleaning. I am also about to go on maternity leave and feel you on the budget squeeze – but I need my cleaning people more than ever. No way do I want to be worrying about pushing a vacuum post c-section. Cleaners and people who regularly come into my home are generally at the top of my holiday tipping list.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a little different than some here – my cleaner charges $90 each time; I tip her $50 in cash on her birthday and then at Christmastime I give her two $50 restaurant gift cards because (this is what she told me, I’m not guessing) she loves taking her husband out for dinner, and likes the gift cards because then they HAVE to go to dinner and he won’t insist on spending the cash on bills. But my housekeeper has been with us over 10 years, I went to her mother’s funeral, we text each other updates on our lives, etc. It’s a longstanding relationship. If it wasn’t, and I didn’t know this much about her, I would just tip the cost of one cleaning in cash.

      • Anonymous :

        Would this 100% tip rule apply if you have only been using the person for a few months? This is only the third time my cleaning person will be coming. I’ve had her come once a month for three months. I want to tip her enough that she still wants to keep coming, but I feel weird giving her such a large tip for only 1/4 a year of work. (As some context, she charges $120 per cleaning. Our house is only about 2000 sq feet, but this is what she charges everyone else on our street, etc., and has been charging them since before we moved in.)

  13. Linda from HR :

    I had a crappy experience today at lunch that reminded me of how nasty some women are.

    I was in the fitting room, waiting for a stall to become available, seemed like someone was coming out when a woman walked right in, passed me, and went straight for the now-vacant room, not even bothering to ask if I was waiting. I said “excuse me, I’m next.”

    “You don’t have to get so offended,” she said “I didn’t see you.”

    “Yes you did, you looked right at me!”

    “Well I looked at you, but I didn’t see you.” And she added “Not pretty enough!” as I entered the fitting room stall.

    Hokay, so I get that I shouldn’t have been so passive initially, and maybe I should have been more pleasant in informing her I’d been waiting, but to say I’m not pretty enough to be “seen” was needlessly cruel and uncalled for. It was basically a variation of “yeah well you’re UGLY!” all over a harmless misunderstanding. What the hell is wrong with people?

    At least I got a good deal on a new outfit for my friend’s wedding, and the ladies I met in line were awesome.

    • Wow, just wow. SMH.

    • Grrr. I’m mad on your behalf and running through snappy responses in my head. You were the better person.

      • Linda from HR :

        I kept thinking that if I saw her again before leaving, I’d march up to her and tell her what a disgusting excuse for a person she was, but I don’t like to start fights with total strangers, you never know how much it’ll escalate. Years ago some guy at the grocery store called me a b*tch like 10 times because, again, I’d informed him that he’d cut in front of me and he accused me of “having a cow” over it. WHO EVEN SAYS THAT?

        Some people should have to do all their shopping online.

        • An overgrown Bart Simpson in human form, that’s who.

          I hope that you remind yourself over and over that this is a reflection on the sad lives of these folks and in no way on you. They deserve your pity.

          But if you really want to make them mad, laugh at them when they insult you, like, “that’s the best you got?”

          Hugs to you.

          • Linda from HR :

            What I need to practice is looking at people like they have two heads for a moment, and then just going ” . . . what?”

            Not “what did you say?” like I’m challenging, but like “that didn’t really make sense and you sound a bit strange, please explain.”

    • This doesn’t even make sense. What a terrible person. And good for you for speaking up. It sounds like you handled it well.

    • I’m not sure how you could (or should) have been more pleasant about telling her you were waiting for the next available room. “Excuse me” sounds perfectly polite to me. Also running through come-backs in my head. What a miserable person.

      • Linda from HR :

        Well, my tone could have been nicer . . .

        • Once she said she didn’t see me, as long as she was letting me go ahead, I would have dropped it instead of saying “you liked right at me.” Nothing excuses what she said though.

    • Anony Mouse :

      I have no words. I’m so sorry this happened to you!

    • Anonymous :

      She’s the one with issues, not you; she had to resort to a 4th grade put down akin to “you’re ugly.” FWIW though I don’t escalate things with strangers in stores, parking lots etc and I might even let the person just cut in line for the fitting room etc. I’m not that passive in my regular life w people who are at least acquaintances but I think there are too many unhinged or angry strangers walking around with a weapon in their pocket/purse just looking for reasons to be offended. Not worth it.

      • Linda from HR :

        I’m usually pretty passive in pubic, I try to stay out of the way and yield to others if there’s any question of who’s next (like if we get there at the same time), but sometimes I worry that if I let this person go in front when it’s my turn, when will my turn be? Will someone else see me yield and also expect to go ahead of me? I can’t be a doormat all the time, there’s nothing wrong with occasionally being assertive. Not to be confused with rude, mean, entitled, cruel, or insertive.

    • WOW. I cannot believe someone said that. I’m pretty sure I would have been speechless in the moment.

    • If it makes you feel better, I once said, “Excuse me,” to a woman in a crowded grocery store. I needed her to move her cart about 2 inches so I could get by. She looked at me — in front of about 20 people who were in line down the side of the aisle and watching — and said, “No!” Then she turned back around. I was so stunned by her rudeness that I just stood there silently until she moved, with everyone still starting at me.

      • Linda from HR :

        Some people are just having a bad day, we shouldn’t antagonize them like that. Apparently.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        You have got to be kidding. I would have just hip-checked her cart and gone on my merry way after that.

  14. Cat Lady In Training :

    A certain scent/essential oil gives me migraine headaches. I had a horrible cluster of migraines in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and couldn’t figure out what was triggering them. I took a week off at Thanksgiving, and when I came back I heard that one of the ladies who sits in the main, open office area has a essential oil diffuser and diffuses the specific scent I have a problem with. I hate to be the person always asking for concessions-my personal office has had the fluorescent lighting removed-but I dread going into the main space and the thought of another month of migraines is unbearable. Do I just ask her to diffuse something else? (It actually annoys me that people bring these things to work-she’s in the public facing part of our office; god knows I’m not the only one with scent issues.) How would you handle it?

    • Anonymous :

      In the past I told my manager, who then talked to HR, who then talked to the person. Or, if you have a “facilities manager” you might tell him because it may violate some rules around flames or heaters being a fire hazard.
      Or, once I told a coworker that, while I loved her perfume (NOT) it was giving me terrible sinus issues. She said, “But I love it!” and agreed not to wear it, but came back the next day with something equally horrendous.
      These are tough – you might get a crappy reaction like Linda of HR did, seriously, if you address it yourself.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Agree with the above – run it up the chain, if you can. If there is nobody you can ask to address it, just address it with her politely: “Coworker, I’ve been struggling with migraines for the past few weeks, and I just heard that there’s a diffuser with this particular scent in the open area. That scent triggers my migraines, and I was wondering if you could switch it for a different scent or just not use the diffuser in the office. I’m really sorry.”

      Also, asking for the fluorescent lighting to be changed in your office or for someone to not be basically spraying perfume throughout the office is not some horrible high maintenance demand — not only are those things terrible generally (who likes fluorescent lighting or smelling someone’s perfume all day?), but they are known migraine triggers for you. It would be like someone pouring pollen all over my desk chair.

    • anonshmanon :

      Ask A manager would tell you to talk to your coworker directly, unless you have reason to believe that they are unreasonable and a PITA generally.

    • Cat Lady In Training :

      Thanks, everyone. The coworker is new and seems really nice. I’ll talk to her Monday.

  15. Sick kitty :

    I have a 14 year old cat who was in seemingly good health. Yeah, nope. I got her blood and urine results today and she has arthritis, chronic kidney disease, and needs to lose some weight. Since we moved a few months ago, she has become increasingly violent towards me and suffers major anxiety. She gets along with our two older cats but has vicious fights with out younger cat (yes, four cats in the house…). She is not a happy camper.

    I love her dearly. She has always had definite boundaries. She doesn’t like being handled and fought brushing sessions of longer than 2-3 minutes. She has never warmed up to strangers and seems to prefer only me. Many years ago, I realized that, as she gets older, I would have to forgo even basic treatments with her because she is just so feisty.

    The vet wants to do all kinds of tests and explore treatments. I respect her expertise but I am torn. This cat will not tolerate a daily medicine regime. We had to sedate her yesterday to remove mats from her hind legs. I just can’t see the point of trying to treat a mean old cat. I travel a bit and could not expect a cat sitter to put herself at risk of scratches or bites to administer medication.

    I guess I need to talk to the vet. But how do I do this without seeming uncaring? Do vets see this a lot?

    I love this cat. She and I have been through everything together.

    • I think I’m your cat, sans kidney disease.

      (in all seriousness, I feel for you. Vets will understand, or at least they should).

    • Anonymous :

      Wow, this could be me. We had a cat that went into CRF at 14. We did subQs for five years. But our remaining cat sounds like yours. I realize that giving subQs by oneself is hard on a docile cat. I would bet vets see this a lot. It hasn’t come up for me yet, but I know my vet will say the stress of treatment will be way hard on her, being that CRF makes them feel crummy as it is. I would have never agreed with you years ago but I see where you are and I love my cat too.

      A good site to visit about it is Tanya’s Comprehensive Guide to Feline CRF or CKD, to learn more about it and see if you think you can continue. You might have to board the cat at the vets since they will be used to difficult cats. But again it will be very difficult for you to manage treatment by yourself. Hugs.

    • My little old 15-year-old lady has the same disposition. Bites, scratches, growls – you name it – when you try to brush her or give medication. However grouchy/hateful she may be, she has been with me for nearly half my life. I love her with all my heart, and she loves me (and only me) right back.

      I don’t have any advice, but hugs to you. Talk to your vet. He or she should be willing to have an honest conversation about how to ensure that your cat has the best quality of life, whether that’s with or without treatments.

      • Anonymous :

        My cat is a member of the feisty old lady cat club. A few years ago I watched a bunch of YouTube videos about ways to dispense meds to your cranky cat. The tips were a lifesaver and the cat mellowed out after her last bout of illnesses. Hugs, sick pets are so hard.

    • Your vet will understand. Your cat is unhappy and the stress of treatment is not going to help. I’m really sorry you have to deal with this.

    • One of my cats, who passed 18 months ago, needed medication, subQs, etc. for 2.5 years. Before she got sick, I would have said that she would not put up with that stuff. Once she got sick, she put up with a lot while she was weak and then let it continue for the 2+ years that she was feeling better. She even let my neighbor pill her and give her fluids.

      I am sorry that you are going through this. Take it one day at a time and don’t make assumptions about what will or won’t work until you try. You will know the right decisions to make for your companion. If your cat really won’t tolerate your help, then not forcing her will be the best way to give her the care she needs.

    • Question on cats :

      A bit off topic, but, as a person who has never owned cats, is there not a way to train cats not to bite or scratch? I feel like animal owners of other species can train aggressive responses (from an otherwise non-aggressive animal- understand some animals have to be separated or put down due to aggression) out, but never see this from cat owners who seem to just…accept the pain.

      • Anonymous :

        They won’t do anything they don’t want to do! When they’re in the middle of a fit it’s chaos. I’m the anon above and mine will go ape-s and it’s just a cloud of claws and teeth. I got nine teeth holes in two fingers trying to give her an allergy shot. I couldn’t bend my fingers for days!

        • Anonymous :

          I’d shoot the cat or if I was feeling kind, throw it out of my house.

          • And if you “joked” about doing that to my cat, I’d shoot you, or if I was feeling kind, throw you out of my house.

          • Anonymous :

            I wouldn’t shoot YOUR cat for the same reason I wouldn’t steal your car – it’s your property. No need to throw me out of your house, no way I’d hang out with the kind of chick whose such a martyr that she’s been bitten 9 times by an animal because she must care for that animal’s medical “needs.” It’s an animal, it can be discarded.

          • nasty woman :

            Lol, what’re you going to do with your baby when it won’t stop crying and you haven’t slept in days? Yeah, pets aren’t humans, but who says animals can simply be “discarded?” They’re not trash; they’re sentient beings and even if they don’t have a “right” to live in your house (i.e., you can place it with a shelter if you can’t care for it) they still have the right to be treated humanely.

            Were you one of those kids who picked wings off flies and squashed frogs? I’m sorry your parents didn’t seek the help you needed, you psychopath.

          • Well that escalated quickly :

            The thing about cats is that they grow up to be adults. Imagine trying to give shots to an adult human being on the other side of a language barrier and with no concept of modern medicine, and then add in that they are another species with only a murky concept of language and zero concept of medicine. Even if they trust us, they don’t necessarily trust that we know what we are doing, and they feel that it is their call.

            Then add in that cats have some specialized altered states of mind (hunting mode, catnip), all cats have sensitive nervous systems and some cats are high strung besides, and all cats are scarcely one step removed from wild animals. Some cats had sheltered upbringings and have a lot of trust for humans, but plenty of cats have had bad experiences before.

            They have every reason to feel that they are harming us in self-defense. Yes, there are cats who have never crossed the line into actually harming someone (though usually even they manage to get someone by accident), but most of the pet cats who do are acting rationally and predictably.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, please don’t hang out with me. It’s not martyrdom but whatevs.

      • Sick kitty :

        It really is chaos when the cat decides she doesn’t want to do something. For getting her into the carrier, I wore some old leather gloves and still got two deep scratches on my forearm. Cats are fast, smart, and armed with 20 sharp claws plus their teeth.

        If my cat were a dog, she’d have to be put down. No question. But she’s a cat and cats are just different.

      • Cats are worth it <3

      • Some you can, some you can’t.

        Also even if a cat is _generally_ not one who bites or claws, they will at least nip you when you give them a shot. My dog never bites when she gets shots, she just whines. The cat though, despite being a completely friendly creature otherwise, is willing to defend himself against pain and sometimes nips when he gets shots.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t think cats were domesticated the way other animals were. I used to think the way you did, and I was very proud that I could brush my cats’ teeth, clip their nails, get them wet as needed, etc., without suffering attacks. Even at the vets, they only really said “ouch” in protest.

        Then once when he was sick and stressed, my cat had one memorable altercation with a vet tech (which he unfortunately won, though no one was hurt), and he’s asserted his own boundaries pretty forcefully ever since. Zero aggression for the first ten years of life, and now he’s on the “caution” list at the vet’s office, even though he’s happy and healthy again. It didn’t take much. Cats are just different.

    • Sick kitty :

      Thanks! This is all so frustrating. I need to talk to the vet and get a more accurate idea of her prognosis and what kind of treatments we would use if the tests came back. I am a little worried she’s sicker than she is letting on. She is very low energy today after being sedated yesterday. And she’s still vicious.

      She’s a fighter. It’s why I love her.

      • I’m sorry you’re going through this! I think you shouldn’t worry about any judgment from having an honest conversation with your vet over what sort of treatment you think will actually improve your cat’s quality of life and what won’t. My mom attempted to treat her cat’s stomach cancer quite aggressively some years back and I have never seen an animal so miserable. After a few weeks she had him put down instead of continuing with the treatment. No one will judge you if you decide to forgo treatment you don’t believe your cat will tolerate.

        • Sick kitty :

          Yeah. Right now, I have to decide whether to test for an infection. They want to sedate her for a simple BP check (I agree it’s necessary for her). I just don’t know that I would be able to treat an infection if that is what she has. Being sedated twice in less than a week is not something I want to commit to for her.

    • Cat Lady In Training :

      I had to put down my 18 year old cat in August for similar reasons. When she was 14 she was diagnosed with HBP/a heart murmur and the vet put her on medication. It was IMPOSSIBLE to give her the medication. My husband was battling with her night to take it and thought he had broken her neck. We talked to the vet, decided it wasn’t worth the trauma, and took of her off it. She was fine until the day I came home in August and realized she was struggling to breathe. We took her to vet and they diagnosed her with congestive heart failure and let us know she’d have to be on medication for the rest of her life. We decided to put her down. She was genuinely terrified when she couldn’t’ get her breathe and I couldn’t put her through that, nor did I think we could keep the regimen. I miss her Every. Single. Day. but I’m certain we made the right decision.

      • Cat Lady, we had a similar situation to yours that ended quite differently.

        Our vet treated our cat for heart failure and suggested monitoring over the weekend. Unfortunately, our kitty worsened very quickly over the evening, and she died in the car as we were rushing her to the emergency vet. She was terrified and fighting hard, and we were distraught. I still wish we had listened to our intuition and had her put to sleep over our vet’s recommendation.

    • Not a cat owner (not a cat person) but went through this with an elderly dog. He had bad arthritis, which warranted pain meds and other treatment. He also had canine cognitive dysfunction – doggie dementia -that just like people dementia can, changed his personality. My sweet, loving boy turned into a dog you could not go near without fear of getting nipped. He bit the cr** out of my hand one day when I tried to get him to take his meds (with peanut butter! On his favorite type of cracker!) and he didn’t want to do it. He was a big boy – 125 lbs at his peak – and so the nipping and growling was scary for anyone who didn’t know him well. And let me tell you what vet visits were like! I literally could not give him enough tranquilizers (without stopping his breathing) to get him to the vet without him frothing and snapping; at the vet he had to be muzzled, and there was one tech that would work with him so we had to schedule our appointments when she was working.

      When he was about 15 and a half, after another traumatic vet visit in which we were told there was really nothing more they could do with him (the doggie version of Aricept, called Anipryl, wasn’t doing a thing to help his dementia and the dementia was leading him to overexert himself in ways the arthritis painkillers couldn’t remedy), I asked the vet “so what if we stopped everything?” and she said “you do what you feel you need to do. He is pretty far gone mentally and so I’m not sure how much pain he is actually experiencing, or if he is experiencing it, how bad it is/how long he experiences it for.” We took the painkiller prescription and agreed we would force it only if it seemed absolutely necessary. Surprisingly, after we stopped the three-times-daily med administration attempts, and the other things we had been doing to try to help him, he got a lot calmer.

      Then one day, right before he would have been 16, he couldn’t get up one day – just couldn’t do it. That was when we knew it was time to call it. We had the euthanasia vet come to the house that day.

      The advice I have is that only you know your pet and only you can decide when it’s too much/not enough/time to say goodbye. I also can say that it is better to euthanize a day too soon than a day too late. We waited too long. If I had it to do over again, we would have taken him home from that last vet appointment, taken a couple of days to say our goodbyes, and euthanized him that same week. Because his quality of life was basically nil at that point and the remaining time he spent on Earth was for me, because I couldn’t let him go. Not for him.

      I don’t envy you this position that you’re in, at all. But go with your gut. My gut told me, towards the end “this is wrong, it’s time for him to go” and I wish I had listened. I kept talking myself out of making the call and all I did was traumatize my family and probably torture my dog. It is no fun, NO FUN to try to watch an animal desperately trying to get up and they can’t because their body has quit on them. I could have given him a better death than I gave him. That’s on me. And I’ll feel it till the day I die. Do what you feel is the right thing for your kitty. You can’t go wrong doing that.

  16. Barefoot Dreams :

    I am considering the Barefoot Dreams circle cardigan as a gift for my mother. Does the synthetic fiber make it overly hot? I’ve had that issue with socks made of similar fluffy yarn.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not sure I am physical capable of getting “overly hot” but I find it to be one of the softest, comfiest cardigans ever.

    • It’s a really nice cardigan. The only issue I had with mine is that the sleeves are quite narrow. I could not wear it over sleeves of any sort because it would just scrunch them up uncomfortably.

    • Anonymous :

      just got it based on the recs here last month and find it not to be overly hot at all.

  17. Apt valet :

    My apartment building has a valet service included in the rent. I don’t drive a ton, maybe use the. 2/3 times a week. There are 14 valets. How should I tip for Christmas? Is it necessary?

    • Cookies and a nice note for the group? I feel like the fact it’s included in your rent and the number of people involved makes it a little unreasonable to expect cash tips. Maybe if one particular person is always on top of getting your car, etc – tip that special person?

  18. Lapse of NY License :

    I am looking at an applicant to join our in-house department. He originally took the bar in two states, one of which was New York. He did not disclose, but I found that his license in NY was administratively suspended for six years for lack of compliance with the attorney registration requirements. It has been reinstated. I can’t decide whether this is no big deal (done routinely in NY) or cause for concern. Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      Not a big deal if he wasn’t practicing in NY at the time.

    • D. Meagle :

      I am going to assume that he was practicing outside of NY during the lapsed period? NY registration requirements are: every two years, you submit paperwork and pay a fee to have your license renewed. In the paperwork, you certify, among other things, that you have taken at least 24 hours of continuing education (4 of which must be ethics) in the prior 2 year period. If he wasn’t practicing in NY, and did not anticipate practicing there, he might have not wanted to spend time/money on the CLE and registration costs. I have friends that were admitted to multiple states and eventually let their license lapse in the “extra” jurisdictions for those reasons.

      • If you qualify for inactive status in NY (meaning you are not practicing at all in NY), you do not have CLE requirements.

        It’s far more likely that he did not renew his registration because he didn’t want to pay it. The degree to which this would matter to me would depend on what he was doing during that time. I’d understand a public interest attorney who was tight on money more than someone who’d made six figures but couldn’t be bothered to pay.

    • Anonymous :

      Not a big deal. There’s no inactive status in NY as in other states so when people move out of the state, they’ll often stop paying the fee or doing CLEs and that results in the website showing something like a “suspension.” It’s not a true suspension like for doing something wrong it’s more like letting a license lapse. As soon as you do CLEs and pay up, you’re in good standing within 24 hrs.

  19. Skincare Help :

    In my mid-but-now-late 30s and I’ve finally come to the realization that the primary skincare problem I have is not aging but related to pore clogging. For years I would go to bed without taking off makeup, mostly mineral powder or remnants of sunscreen or of the day. Now I’ve cleaned up my habits a bit (heh). Makeup remover washcloths help when I’m too tired or the water in the sink is too cold for me to feel like taking off makeup.

    But that combined with enlarged pores to begin with have made my skin crappy and clogged, with some sunspots thrown in. I had good results with a Clarisonic and apricot face scrub for the last few years (each one once or twice a week, not together).

    But now I suspect that my daily use sunscreen is itself a problem (titanium dioxide being a physical block) and seems to be clogging my pores. Any recommendations for sunscreen? And also for overall improvement of this issue? Do facials really help or can I do something (steaming, scrubbing) at home?
    Also should I re-evaluate my regular use items (CC cream, bare mineral makeup) and find things which are non-comedogenic, and how do I know they in fact are?

    • The apricot scrub is not doing your skin any favors, it is just inflaming it and making it raw.

      Look into oil cleansing to remove all your sunscreen and makeup, and check out KBeauty (the reddit Asian Beauty has great beginner guides and extensive lists of sunscreens).

      I use the canmake mermaid skin gel uv and it does not clog my pores while lots of other sunscreens do, for what it’s worth.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I second the recommendation for an oil cleanser. You might want to start with double cleansing (using an oil based cleanser and then an extremely gentle cleanser second). For me, I just use an oil cleanser now. It removes any sunscreen or makeup that I have on. My pores generally seem cleaner/less clogged.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      Chemical exfoliant. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA is my favorite! MY skin texture changed overnight going from Clarisonic to chemical exfoliation. You should not use both the Clarisonic and the chemical exfoliant thought. I use my Clarisonic 1x a week and chemically exfoliate every day.

      • +1. Paula’s Choice BHA comes in several formulations and works really well. I like the gel.

        Trash the apricot scrub. It’s terrible for your skin.

      • Anonymous :

        Ditto switching away from a physical exfoliant to a chemical one. I like Paula’s Choice 2% BHA gel solution as well (everyday morning use, I put makeup on top of it), and also use the 8% AHA gel occasionally. I like Allgenist’s cream to oil makeup remover for a full face day / lots of makeup, and use micellar water (from CVS) on a cotton swab every night. As for sunscreen, I highly recommend Biore UV 50 Watery essence from Amazon, it’s Japanese sunscreen, light as a feather, feels like an expensive face cream, and it’s 50 Broad spectrum UVA / UVB. Highly recommend, and it’s great for everyday use under makeup! Do not stop using sunscreen every day, that’s what you should be doing!
        Biore sunscreen here:

        As for sunspots, you may want to look at getting a over-the-counter Vitamin C serum, something like this: https://www.amazon.com/OZNaturals-Vitamin-Facial-Hyaluronic-Natural/dp/B01NB28F0D/ref=sr_1_16_s_it?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1512427790&sr=1-16&keywords=vitamin+c+serum

    • I’m similar in that I prefer to use a physical sunscreen, I can’t tolerate most chemical ones on my face (sensitive, rosacea) but thick titanium dioxide clogs my pores. The sunscreens that have worked for me (in order of awesomeness) and all approved by my dermatologist:

      (spray on hands, rub on face) EltaMD EltaMD UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 https://www.amazon.com/EltaMD-Aero-Broad-Spectrum-SPF-6-0/dp/B008BQ5TW4

      La Roche-Posay Anthelios Face Sunscreen SPF 60 https://www.amazon.com/Roche-Posay-Anthelios-Sunscreen-Ultra-Light-Antioxidants/dp/B002CML1XE/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1512165795&sr=1-2-spons&keywords=la%2Broche%2Bposay%2Bsunscreen&th=1

      (this one makes me a bit nervous to rely on for full sun protection because I can’t see it as it goes on, but I use it as my emergency work bag sunscreen since it is not liquid) SUNFORGETTABLE® BRUSH-ON SUNSCREEN SPF 50 https://www.colorescience.com/products/sunforgettable-mineral-sunscreen-brush-spf-50

      (this causes a bit of sensitivity for me) EltaMD EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 (not physical) https://www.amazon.com/EltaMD-Clear-Broad-Spectrum-SPF-1-7/dp/B002MSN3QQ/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_510_bs_tr_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=D71TNPCR4DF65CTNW9YC

      I use a Clarisonic two- three times a week, try to be very diligent about always cleaning my face at night. Silicone-based products tend to clog my pores so that might be an issue with some of your other products. One of my sad discoveries was that while the SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator did exactly what it advertised and made my skin beautifully glowy and reduced fine lines, it also gave me blackheads for the first time in decades. Yup, has silicone products in it.

      • Very helpful, thanks. The sunscreen is in my cart! I’ll look for silicone as an ingredient and see if I can eliminate it to avoid clogging.

  20. Paint help! :

    Anyone with a little time on their hands able to give me decorating advice? I’m painting a bathroom that has mint green tile, a toilet that a peachy color not too different from what Crayola used to call “flesh,” and a toilet that is supposed to match but has more greige than peach undertones. It is currently painted a very pale green and it is not good at all. Do I have to stick with white? Any other suggestions that might make the tile look cool and the fixtures less awful?

    • Anonymous :

      This is crazy, but what about a navy or dark teal. The teal being on the same “strip” if you will, of the mint. Or a dark purple, even? I think you need to get away from the pastels unless you can get a new toilet.

      Wait, are you saying you have two toilets in the same bathroom? Like a Jack-n-Jill? Changing out toilets is not too expensive and it sounds like that would go a long way to making your paint open to something more pastelly. Plus with those colors maybe they are ready to go anyway?

      • No, sorry! The tub is peach, the toilet is… whatever it is. I haven’t been able to talk my husband into a new toilet yet because he put the damn thing in ten years ago, trying to match the tub. Maybe I’ll revisit spending a few hundred bucks to replace the vanity and toilet….

        • Anonymous :

          I’m anon at 3:56 – ok, then I understand they have paints or coatings they can do on tubs. Maybe then you have just two colors to work around?

          • Nooooooo….. those things are hideous. My current house has that in both bathrooms and the tile looks like painted/coated crap and there’s nothing I can do about it but remove and replace the tile. That’s one of those home improvement ideas that is a lot better in theory than in reality.

          • That was my worry! (although I have had cast iron tubs professionally refinished with success, this is fiberglass)

        • Anonymous :

          There is no point to painting if you’re sticking with a peach toilet. It’s lipstick on a pig. Replace the toilet or don’t bother. Ask why your husband gets to make this call.

        • We have a bathroom with similarly-colored fixtures and a darker green granite countertop. I asked a decorator for advice, and to my surprise she suggested a slightly purplish-toned terra-cotta (like Pantone 202, but a little lighter) for below a chair rail and a deep beige above. It looks great!

    • Medium to dark gray.

    • Seriously this sounds like a case for a total gut.

    • OMG I think you live in my childhood home – I miss that funky bathroom so! What about painting it blue? You could go light powder blue or a deep saturated ocean blue! Also, I found that browsing in the store at Sherwin Williams helped me make a decision. Or you can take 500 paint chips home and hold them next to your floor/fixtures. Good luck!

    • Anon DIYer :

      I’d stick with white for the walls, but I would work to find some sort of peach and mint artwork to hang on the walls. You can make your own (I like a painted canvas with tons of overlapping lines in your colors) or I’m sure you can find something online.

    • What do you think of this look? Paint to match the fixtures? I think you have to go total Miami vice/ vintage and fight your urge to tone it all down.


      • Similar


        • I love #2. If only our tile were that nice! (Also, it doesn’t have any bullnose, much less a nice contrasting one).

    • I don’t have any specific advice, but I googled “mint green, peach and beige” and got pictures that were shockingly not horrifying. I think if you do some work with pattern and/or texture, you can bring the existing colors together in a way that isn’t garish and probable really cool. You’ll have to do some looking for the perfect pattern, but I think this is one of those rare occasions when wallpaper might be your best bet.

    • Replace the toilet ($150) and re-glaze the tub white (~$500 I think). Then you only have the mint green tile to work around. I think a navy might look nice or a blue green.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Also try looking at www.retrorenovation.com. They have a lot of features about funky fancifully-colored bathrooms.

    • I’d get a shower curtain with a design incorporating peach and green (Monet waterlilies perhaps?) and then pick a gray or navy or dark green to match the background of the shower curtain. Something large and multicolored that can pull in the green, peach and a third color would completely change the space.

    • Anonymous :

      I think I might use a slate-y gray, as both mint and some peachy shades look good with deep gray. Probably with a cool blue undertone to it.

    • SF Girl by the Bay was just featuring those colors in bathrooms. I’d check that out. I’d also personally go with tropical wallpaper and just lean into the retro vibe.

  21. BIL gift & stocking stuffer ideas :

    Happy weekend!

    I’m trying to think of things to give my future brother-in-law (sister’s fiance) who I don’t know all that well. He’s 35, into animals / conservation, has a phd in philosophy, is a coder, is super into my sister (yay!) and seems like a nice, chill, sort of quiet dude. Budget $30-50.

    For more fun – and maybe related – what are your favorite stocking stuffers? I’m planning to go home for the holidays with some face masks to do with my mom & sisters and some fun local chocolate for the house. Is there anything you like to receive or that you always find is a crowd-pleaser when you give?


    • What about a nice henley shirt (Under Armour has super soft ones), or a winter hat/scarf?

    • Dealtwiththis :

      Zoo membership or a Joel Sartore print. Currently 50% off select prints which brings the cost to around $37 for a 20 X 30 print.

      • Anonymous :

        I would NOT do a zoo membership for an adult animal lover. I love animals and avoid zoos as much as I can (it’s not a firm rule and I go with my nieces when they want to, but I would not consider a zoo membership a gift). Even at the best zoos, it’s not a nice life for many of the animals (think elephants that walk 100 miles a day in the wild – even if they’re treated kindly, there’s no way a small area can replicate their natural existence and many of them show signs of stress).
        Kids are different of course because they like seeing the animals and don’t understand the backstory but most adults who really care about animals and conservation aren’t big fans of zoos. I would much rather have a donation in my name to a wildlife or conservation charity.

    • For my boss, who’s an animal lover, I’m getting an adoption certificate for a specific animal (sloth) from the WWF. Maybe he’d like that? It’s a little cheesy I guess. Whiskey stones are always popular with the guys in my family.

      My go-to stocking stuffers are food treats: summer sausage, fancy nuts, chocolate liquers (sp?) or spa type stuff: lip gloss, fuzzy socks, a mini hairbrush for your purse, etc.

    • ThinkGeek gift card. No coder wouldn’t like that.

      Subscription to National Geographic.

  22. I try to avoid breaking news for the most part (no alerts on my phone, no cable news) and get my news through long-form articles and trusted sources. But I stupidly went on twitter just now and it truly has me believing the world is going to end between nuclear war, trump staging a coup and the US turning into a fascist state, the comparisons to Hitler and Nazi Germany and so on.

    I am unable to process this level of horror. It could be hysteria, but it also very well could be true. I feel helpless to stop any of it. What should I do besides avoid twitter? See a therapist? Talk to a friend? Journal? I feel terrified and I can’t make the fear and anxiety go away.

    • Read real newspapers (printed or online version) that are just left and/or just right of center. You’ll get a better sense of what’s going on to calm your fears. Your fear and anxiety are warranted the way things are now, but to the level of terror or not functioning properly is not warranted.

    • I feel the way that you do, and I don’t get any of my news from social media. I’m considering going back to church.

  23. Baconpancakes :

    Gahhh my health-obsessed yoga instructor friend who has self-diagnosed as gluten and lactose intolerant has just informed me that she can’t tolerate butter because it’s milk-based. Since butter is widely known as safe for lactose intolerant people because there’s basically no lactose left in it, and I have already prepared a gluten and milk-free menu for the dinner party she’s attending tomorrow, it’s taking all my strength to keep my extreme annoyance to myself. (Even though this restrictive diet behavior is throwing up all kinds of red flags for eating disorders, I don’t know her daily eating habits well enough to feel like I can legitimately comment.)

    • Anonymous :

      What are you using butter in and can you use oil instead? If you can sub it out in 1-2 dishes that she can eat, I think you’re well within your rights to say – Jane – x and y are cooked in butter but the rest of this stuff isn’t.

    • Anonymous :

      Butter bothers my stomach, to be honest. Ghee is ok.

    • Don’t adjust a menu you have already prepared based on her last minute declaration that she no longer eats butter, especially after you already centered the menu around her gluten and milk sensitivities.

      Serve what you serve, she’ll be fine – she can choose not to eat an item with butter, or suck it up knowing she doesn’t have an allergy or a strong chance of getting an upset stomach.

    • Ehhhh, my sister and I are both lactose intolerant, and I tolerate butter just fine but she doesn’t. The ability to digest lactose isn’t really an on/off switch. Some people handle tiny amounts of it fine, and some people don’t. The amount of lactose in yogurts also varies wildly by brand and I can handle some and not others (as I’ve learned through years go trial and error). You might have other reasons to think your friend is fooling herself, but I don’t see this as strong evidence.

    • Blonde Laywer :

      Earth balance is delicious and dairy and gluten free. Use that in place of butter!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Honestly? I would just lie and see if she notices. $50 says she will not. Because her things are completely made up, clearly.

      • Anonymous :

        But on the other hand, if someone doesn’t want to eat butter, why does it matter? Do they really need to be tricked into eating it? A majority of the population is lactose-intolerant. It’s not such a stretch that she could be.

      • Anonymous :

        If anyone ever does this to me, they absolutely deserve what will happen to their bathroom as a result.

        • Yep. If someone lied and fed me milk instead of lactaid or dairy-free alternative I would HAPPILY vomit on them.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. And if your place only has one bathroom? Well, too bad for the rest of your guests. I’m busy after eating a bunch of stealth butter I wasn’t expecting.

      • Anonymous :

        Why are you so sure it’s “clearly made up”? Plenty of people have legitimate dairy and gluten allergies and would get very sick if they unknowingly consumed something with those ingredients. I can’t imagine trying to get a friend to eat something they’re allergic to. If it’s too late for OP to accommodate this diet, it’s fine to tell her friend that, but don’t lie about what’s in the food. What a mean-spirited comment.

        • Wow. It is horrible to knowingly feed something to your friend that she specifically told you she isn’t eating. If you can’t accommodate her diet, tell her. The fact that you’d even think about doing this tells me you’re a terrible friend and you’d both be better off going your separate ways. You don’t get the right to decide what she should eat against her wishes.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Hey, not sure if this has gotten confused with replies, threads etc, but I (the OP) never said I’d be feeding her butter and lying about it. The last time she came over, before she told me she she couldn’t eat butter, I made a gluten and lactose free meal (with butter-glazed carrots that she happily ate), and she expressed how wonderful it was to be able to eat everything at the table and not worry about it, and how that never happened and she was so grateful. So yeah, I’m just frustrated that I have to choose between scrambling to adjust my entire menu (potatoes, corn pudding, turkey, butter-poached pears) and/or buying ingredients for this one dinner that I personally don’t like to eat (sorry, but Earth Balance doesn’t replace butter, I’ve tried it), and making a guest feel like she’s not “safe” at my table.

          • OP, you’re right, I read too quickly and conflated the posts. I’m very sorry for thinking you were going to lie to her about the butter.

            I think you’re fine just letting her know what dishes have butter in them. She’ll be able to plan in advance and eat something filling before the meal if she doesn’t want to risk eating the turkey. She gave you late notice about her restrictions and you’re accommodating her as much as you can without redoing your entire menu.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            That was me, not Baconpancakes, which is clearly a better and less-judgey friend than I.

            One of my best friends has been a disordered eater her entire life and the fact that OP opened with the words “health obsessed yoga teacher” and “self diagnosed” says a lot to me.

      • Wow. That’s cruel.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        If she does notice, she might just be too polite to tell you. If I get sick after eating at a friend’s house, I don’t call up and say hey! Your food gave me diarrhea!! I just think twice before eating there again or start asking 100 questions before I do eat there (including looking at labels myself).

    • Anonymous :

      Plenty of people with dairy issues can’t eat butter. Sounds like she’s incorrectly assuming that “lactose intolerant” is a catchall for the many different types of dairy issues it’s possible to have.

      • Yep, my mom can’t have any dairy and would get violently ill if she was served something with butter in it. Honestly butter is easy to eliminate. Use earth balance or coconut oil in baked goods and olive oil for everything else.

    • Anonymous :

      Eh … my mom is lactose intolerant and butter bothers her. She doesn’t usually have problems eating baked goods made with it, but if she put butter on toast she would definitely feel sick. She certainly doesn’t have any kind of eating disorder. I’d give your friend the benefit of the doubt. It’s not that hard to substitute margarine in recipes.

    • Baconpancakes :

      The frustrating part is that I had already marinated a turkey that used two sticks of butter in the recipe. I have previously suggested she see a doctor because if she can’t tolerate butter, it might be an actual milk protein allergy and not a sensitivity, but she refuses to get any of her suspected intolerances checked out. She also refuses to try lactaid or try goat or sheep’s milk cheese or milk, and she adds a new intolerance every few months. Used to just be milk. Then she added beer, then all gluten, then sugar, and now it’s butter. So now I have a 13-lb main dish one of my dinner guests can’t eat, despite carefully crafting the entire rest of the menu around her preferences.

      • Anonymous :

        If she has a food limitation that she has only brought up to you in the 11th hour, I personally feel as though this is a situation where you warn her, let her decide if she wants to eat it, and tell her to check out the sides. Normally I’d not be so harsh, but if someone has planned something and will clearly be preparing in advance, you can’t spring a sensitivity on them at the last minute and expect them to be able to shift gears.

        • Baconpancakes :

          I know that’s what I’ll have to do, but it is physically painful for me to be such a bad host that I serve a main dish and multiple sides a guest can’t eat. (Especially when she previously ate butter-filled dishes I cooked with no problem, which is why I picked this recipe.)

          • Given the circumstances, you are not being a bad host. And I suspect you know that.

        • Anonymous :

          It sounds like a misunderstanding, not a last minute surprise, though. I’m not sure that it is widely known that people with lactose intolerance eat butter – I would think the opposite.

        • This is the right thing to do.

          The “bad host” anxiety can be very stressful for people with dietary restrictions. It can be just as humiliating when a host caters the entire menu to my restrictions (so that all the other guests have to go without) as when there are only a few things for me to eat.

          Don’t lie though; it’s her call whether she wants to take a risk.

      • Anonymous :

        I know your intentions are good, but you can’t control what she eats and what she talks to her doctor about
        You seem to have some contempt for her eating choices. There’s not much a point in getting checked for a milk protein allergy if you’re just going to avoid dairy, speaking as someone who doesn’t eat dairy. It doesn’t appear that she wants to eat those foods, so why would she care? Just tell her you already had marinated it in butter, thinking that butter had no lactose, and she’ll cope.

      • Anonymous :

        Oh well? Just tell her the turkey has butter in it, sorry. She can make do.

      • I have two people in my life with orthorexia, so I want to say that I hear you. As a good friend, you feel very powerless watching someone self-destruct in the guise of health. You will never be able to keep up with what she isn’t eating, because she will continue to eliminate categories of food from her diet. You are neither a bad host nor a bad friend.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I think this above is why I suggested that you just serve whatever and do not tell her.

        I would never knowingly poison someone. My cousin is celiac and I make a significant effort to offer him alternatives that he can eat when he comes over.

        However, your friend is using self-diagnosed “sensitivities” to make excuses to for her disordered eating and I would not enable that.

    • Maybe it is her imagination and maybe she has real health issues and is not able to identify the root of it all and is determined to do whatever is in her control. Which is normal reaction. I would not judge. Chronic illnesses and health issues may be frustrating. I would assume good intentions. She may feel sick after butter for other reasons than lactose.
      I have lactose intolerance and allergy and can imagine how frustrating this can be. As a guest, I try to send heads up on food limitations in advance and always offer to bring my meals not to put any more stress on the hostess.
      Be thankful for having your friend over – clearly she has other virtues as you count her as a friend.

  24. wildkitten :

    Can anyone recommend a plaintiff side employment lawyer in Philadelphia?

  25. my 3 yr old iphone 6 is doing that battery draining thing where the meter jumps around from 89% to 2% in 5 minutes. is there any hope or am i going to have to drop $ on a new phone soon?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I went to a hole in the wall phone repair place and had the battery replaced. Cost about $60 and made the phone work like new. Who knew such a thing was possible?

      • +1 Both my dh and dd had the batteries on their iPhone 6s replaced within the last month. $70 each and they are working great.

    • Go to the Apple Store. My mom’s 5S was dying and she got a new one for $79 or something, which is enough to tide her over until she decides she’s ready for a new one.

  26. Anonymous :

    Just wanted to throw out there that the Women’s March is going to happen again on Jan 20, which I just blocked off on my schedule.

    • Anonymous :

      Because it did a lot of good last time?!

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, I think so. Based on your snarky comment – what outcome would have satisfied you? Two million women protest and the president steps down? Getting out of this mess will take much longer than four years.

      • Unlike this incredulous anon, I think it *did* do a lot of good last time, but question the value of another one . . .

  27. Does anyone have experience with Lagos pearl studs? I am considering these 8mm earrings for a 15 year old who only wears stud earrings.


    • I have experience with Lagos and think of them primarily as a Silver jeweler, not a pearl jeweler. I have an elephant pendant from them that I love but I would buy pearls from Kojima or pearl paradise.

      How about these? Link to follow

      • https://kojimapearl.com/products/dark-twinkle-pearl-stud-earrings

        She has a discount going right now with code pearlmagic

        • Here they are in a lighter silver color. I have a pair of these and a 16 year old daughter who borrows them


      • This is very helpful. Thank you for replying. The starburst earrings are great, and I found a nice pair of studs on Pearl Paradise. If I go with the pearl studs (she likes to sleep in earrings and rarely changes them), do you think 7.5 – 8.0 mm is a good size? Thanks again!


        • That’s a generous size. I’d go that size or even smaller if she’s going to sleep in them. Pretty pearls!

          • Thanks again – I worried they were a tad too big! Your comments truly helped me.

        • Also I think if you sign up for pearl paradise emails they will send you a discount code.

  28. Just for fun, what’s on your holiday wish list this year?

  29. This is the only place I can share this! I met a woman recently that I share a relative with. She and her group of her friends are all so beautiful,successful and polished. Like mind-blowingly successful. My heart was beating so so fast I was excited to meet her. When I spoke to her she was even more beautiful, cool, and so warm. She was not standoffish to me at all. We exchanged information so it is in her court to reach out, because I am too fearful to make a move. I was very intimidated and although I want to be her friend badly (common interests, family connection)- it would be perfect. My fears: I am terrified that possibly in meeting her other friends or getting to know her better (if she chooses to), that she will not like me, or her friends won’t like me. Think real housewives kinds of friends. (Which aren’t my cup of tea ordinarily). But I am open minded. I am not a social climber – nor do I want to be around her to gain anything. I simply have been wanting to make friends and given our connection, I am hoping it could be a safe – life long friendship turned sisterhood.

    I know this is MY insecurity and I am owning my stuff. I know I have been hurt and betrayed in the past, and so I am worried about putting myself out there. I am also worried I don’t match up to her. She is no stranger to a private jet or other luxuries. I do well for myself too – but I am not one that is interested in being “seen” or “flashy”. But I could hold my own.

    Gosh I am overthinking, or maybe I am not. Feel free to tell me if you have felt this way.. or not. lol

    • If it were me, I might send a text or email like, “It was so great to meet you and your friends! Though I’m sure you’re very busy, I’d love to keep in touch!” and then take the response at face value (assuming actual interest if the response says so) without letting myself assume that lack of response meant anything other than that she’s super busy. I try to talk myself through such things by reminding myself that I’d be more mad at myself in a year if I never tried and missed out on a year of great friendship that could be than if I tried and got rebuffed. Hope this helps!

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, if you leave the ball in her court I feel like you are likely to be disappointed, but if you reach out you may well get a positive response.

  30. My nephew is 12 years old and I do not have a close relationship with him. His father is my brother, who avoids our side of the family because he felt that his wife was not immediately accepted by us so they eloped years ago and have avoided getting together with our side ever since. I basically have an e-mail relationship with my brother since he lives in another state and I never see him or his family.

    I asked my brother if there was something I could get my nephew as a birthday gift. My brother decided to give my nephew my e-mail address so that my nephew could ask me directly by e-mail. One time he asked for very expensive basketball shoes and I paid about $120 for them and bought them online. The following year he asked me for a specific football player’s jersey, and that was about $100 as well. The requests were kind of surprising to me in that my nephew calls me by my first name (not “Aunt Kelsey” but “Kelsey”), which is just not done in our family (or in our Asian culture), and I just blamed that on my brother not teaching him good manners.

    Just recently, nephew proceeded to e-mail me directly, calling me by my first name again and asking me for a MacBook Pro for Christmas. The retail value of this is $1,700! I am floored by this request. I literally spend less than $50 on each of my kids’ gifts and the gifts consist mainly of paperback books and Legos. Do I tell the nephew that his request is too much, just ignore the request, or do I forward this to my brother or what? The problem is that my brother is kind of a taker and it looks like he is raising his kids to be takers as well. Oh and before you think this is some kind of act of charity, my brother is a doctor who can buy his own kids’ stuff.

    What would you do if you were in my shoes? I am starting to feel like I’ve been portrayed as some kind of sugar daddy and I really don’t like that feeling. I also found out that Nephew asked my parents for an Apple Watch, after my parents gave him an iPad last year. I don’t even own an iPad or an Apple Watch!!!

    • Anonymous :

      It’s likely that the kids parents say no to these kind of gifts, so the kid asks you and your parents feeling like — we’re not close to them, dad hardly talks to them, it’s worth a try to see if they’ll get me the 1k gift I want. He may not do that with his moms side bc assuming there’s some closeness there, he may know that his aunts/grandparents will say no/tell his parents/he’ll get yelled at for being greedy or whatever. With you all he may feel (and your brother may imply), what is there to lose??

      That being said you’re not compelled to buy anything let alone what he wants. If you have ANY relationship with him – even emails a few times a yr – you can jokingly say “nice try buddy but I’m not even spending 1k on myself this yr, look out for a package from Santa soon” and just get him a reasonable gift. Or you can ignore him and then send a different gift or none. Or you can forward the email to your brother and say — you may want to let Josh know he won’t be getting a laptop from me as I think it’s a bit of an extravagant gift; if he has other smaller things he’d like let me know, otherwise I’ll pick out something. Then if your brother ignore you, mail the kid a gift card etc.

      Personally I’d go with option 1 if I ever talk to the kid via email/text. If I don’t and it’s just gift requests, I’d email my brother so he knows I don’t appreciate the gift grab.

      • Thanks a lot. Your reasoning makes sense and I know I bear some responsibility here for creating some kind of expectation that there’s no limit to what he could ask. I’m going to borrow your language.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, that’s really demanding and unreasonable. Personally, I would write him a nice card with 50$, that he can use to save up for a laptop or anything else he wants. I would not alert him or your brother before Christmas, because since when are you guaranteed to get any wish granted as soon as you expressed it? He

      • A card with $50 sounds perfect. Actually, I am reminded that Santa has never given my kids (or me) anything they’ve requested, so in this case, maybe I’ll just be Santa.

    • Send him a pair of socks or something. I don’t blame your nephew because he is only 12 and so far his relationship with you has consisted of him asking for what he wants and you giving it to him and he probably isn’t being raised to know why that’s not great. And is too young to pick up on it himself. But that’s not sustainable and he should learn that lesson, so what better time than the present.

    • I don’t know, he’s 12. Yes, that is an absolutely ridiculous request, but I also think it’s silly to conclude that your brother is “raising his kids to be takers.” You might not have the greatest relationship with that side of the family, but there’s no reason to think that your nephew understands those dynamics (and from your description, it seems like you’ve given him expensive gifts before at his request). I’d politely explain that the gift is far too expensive, and that you prefer to be called “Aunt Kelsey.”

    • Oh man. I know with a kid you really need to blame the parents for poor behavior as much as the kid, but I’d be livid. 12 year olds are not four year olds. By the age of 12 you should REALLY know that it’s completely inappropriate to email a relative you don’t know well and ask for a $1,700 (!?!) gift. It doesn’t sound like you’re close enough with the parents to bring it to their attention, so I would probably just ignore the email and send a cheap and generic gift. I personally think a $50 cash gift is too nice for such a little brat, since that’s about what I spend on my close friends and family members.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d get over the Auntie thing, you’re being ridiculous. And just reply “Hey that’s cool but way over my budget! Anything you’re eyeing that’s less than $50?”

      • Idk. Depending on OP’s family and their culture, calling her by her first name could be very insulting/disrespectful. I definitely would be put off if my nieces and nephews called me by my first name.

      • No way. Hugely insulting in Asian culture to be addressed by your first name, by a young person. Heck, children I barely know call me aunty, out of respect. That’s the norm and that’s good manners.

  31. Party Probs :

    Would you go to a party if…
    – the person who is hosting it is someone you really adore and think is great, but you very seldom see her because your lives are really different and you live across town from one another.
    – the hostess invited you to the same thing last year and you couldn’t go.
    – the party itself sounds fun.
    – the only other person you’ll know there is an ex-friend of yours (still friends with hostess) about whom you still have some hangups, because you basically fought then mutually ghosted.
    – you can’t bring a date to cut the awkwardness, and you can’t booze it up to cut the awkwardness (driving).
    – you would love the excuse to wear something cute.


    • Party Probs :

      That got long and off topic but my main hang up is that it will be awkward because of ex-friend and I won’t have a date to cut the awkwardness.

      • Go for a while and have your excuse to leave at the ready. You might have fun and not need it. Be as fabulous as possible – dress, shoes, accessories, attitude.

    • i’d definitely go. as you said, you love the hostess and the party sounds fun. meeting new people can be fun. the worst that could happen is that things are awkward or not fun, and you can always make an excuse and leave. the ex-friend situation could be awkward, but the likely outcome seems to be that you’ll either be civil or will avoid each other, which isn’t the worst.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes absolutely! And take an Uber so you can drink. It sounds fun.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t, because I don’t understand how a party would be fun if I don’t know anyone, don’t have a date, and can’t drink. Possible exception would be if I thought my friend had invited a lot of attractive men. But you sound more extroverted than I. If you think you would have fun, go for it!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I would totally go, because I don’t get nearly enough chances to dress up, and I like talking to strangers/making friends.

  32. tips re: psyching yourself up to apply to a position when the feelings of impostor syndrome are overwhelming?

    There’s a prestigious position for professionals in my field. I had always assumed that I wouldn’t apply – while I have some of the necessary credentials, it is really limited to those with the most stellar resumes. I am totally interested in the job – no question about it – but the application process is arduous, and I already have trouble putting myself out there, and so I never took seriously the thought of applying.

    About two weeks ago, my boss came into my office and told me that he thinks that I should go for it, and that he would support me throughout the application process. This isn’t the sort of offer that I can lightly brush off. Support from key mentors is an important factor, and my boss mentioned that he’d started dropping my name.
    I have a few months to put together my application and recommendations, but I haven’t yet moved a finger. Every time I think about trying, I convince myself that I’m not going to get it, anyway, and so there’s no point in going full throttle. Or, I look at the profiles of people who have had this position before and remind myself of all the ways that I fall short. Any advice for getting over that?

    • Anonymous :

      It’s hardly your only shot, right? Just apply. It’s good practice.

      • The annoying thing is, it probably is. This position is intended for early-career professionals and so it’s either now (or in the next 3-4 years) or never. I’m come around to thinking that I should apply, but it’s just hard to motivate myself to take the first steps (emailing past applicants to discuss the practice, putting together the materials).

        • Anonymous :

          Get over yourself and apply!!! Srsly. It’s adult [email protected] time. Your. Boss. Told. You. To. Do. This. So do it!!!!

        • New Tampanian :

          Think of all the obnoxious mediocre white men in your field applying for this position RIGHT NOW. Do you want THEM to get it instead of you because you chose to sit it out?! DO IT.

    • Do it! Your boss supports you, so you’ll be letting him down if you don’t apply. Plus, even if you don’t get it, those who consider the applications may start thinking about you for the next thing that comes up. Go for it, and good luck!

  33. Thank you! What you describe is similar to my situation.

  34. Yet Another Gift Question :

    My in-laws have never gotten my three year old daughter a Christmas or birthday gift. I think they aren’t big on gifts in their family (adults don’t exchange gifts, they didn’t get DH and me a wedding or baby present, etc., although they did give my husband holiday gifts when he was a little kid). DH has suggested that this year we buy something small (<$20) and make it from his parents so she won't think one set of grandparents got her a gift and the other set didn't (my parents will definitely send a gift – in fact with them we have the opposite problem of them buying too much). I think this is absurd – his parents are not millionaires but they're financially comfortable, they can certainly afford to send our child – their only grandchild – a $20 gift twice a year, and if they don't want to then it's on them and who cares if their granddaughter knows they didn't send anything. I get that my husband probably feels embarrassed about it especially with my overly generous parents, but I think if it's such a big deal he can talk to them directly and gently suggest some very modestly priced gift she might enjoy. My mom – who is the world's kindest person – thinks my in-laws don't send gifts because they don't know what to get a preschooler, and if that were really the issue maybe some gentle suggestions would help. I'm not so charitable – I mean, we had a wedding registry with a hundred things we wanted and they still didn't send anything – but I also don't think it would be the worst idea for him to raise it with them. Thoughts?
    (to be clear, I would never raise this with them and would leave all discussion to him, and I'm not telling him he needs to talk to them, just that it's an alternative to faking a gift).

    • In-law relationships are tricky. I can identify with your feelings and do not think I would want to misrepresent one set of grandparents by wrapping up a present from them. In this situation, I would probably wait until my daughter asks about it and simply say, “Everyone expresses love differently. Nana and Papa are not big gift givers. They like to (visit/cook for/spend time with/(insert whatever)) people instead.”

    • I think you’re right. What happens when your kid thanks them for her new toy? Because at some point you will also want to teach her thanking people for the gifts they send, no? And I don’t think you can just do it this year and then stop when she’s 5; that seems worse than just having her realize that one set of grandparents doesn’t send gifts.
      If it matters to you husband, he should talk to them. Maybe he can just say something like, ‘hey, we’ve got Kid’s Xmas wish list, let me know if you want to get her something and I can provide some ideas.’ Honestly though, it sounds like they don’t live nearby and odds are she won’t even notice.

    • Anonymous :

      Ridiculous. No. Do not set up some silly lie.

    • Anonymous :

      In my limited experience, 3 year olds do not remember who got them what for very long AT ALL, and don’t do this kind of score keeping. My son is 5, and my father in law has never bought him anything. As far as I can tell my son has never noticed. He’s definitely closer to my parents but he sees them a lot more and they are much more invested and interested in him and fun to be around. My father in law is in poor health, can’t/won’t come visit us (he lives on the other side of the country and we visit 2x a year), doesn’t even call my husband on his birthday – although they get along fine – so I have pretty low expectations for him. He’s not a terrible person, he’s just been depressed for 25 years and is kind of self-absorbed. People express love in different ways, and some aren’t good at expressing it, but those are useful lessons for kids to learn. Gifts do not equal love and people aren’t perfect.

    • So…in my house we’re in a situation where my DS is super-close to my parents (they live about an hour from us and provide a lot of backup childcare/weekend fun time/school break sleepovers, etc.). He has no relationship, really, with my MIL because…reasons, I guess? She has not really been involved in his life and has only seen him like four times in 10 years; two of those times he was under 2 years old. She just has no interest in him.

      My rule from the jump has been, I am not lying for my husband’s mother. If questions get asked about why doesn’t my other grandma call, write, come to visit, get me a Christmas gift, etc. I am not going to cover for her. I’m not going to be rude, but I’m not going to prod her to call, or buy a gift and say it came from her. Because that is lying and lies always out.

      At 3, your daughter will really not have any concept of who is giving her what. My son did not become aware of that until he was maybe 6? And he was 8 or 9 before he commented about it. My husband has done a great job of explaining that all families are different and that he and his mom are not close and so there’s not going to be a lot of contact between DS and his mom, and that’s all we can really say. My DS accepts that. He doesn’t know any different, and frankly in his peer group things are so variable as far as grandparents (ranging from, there are no grandparents because the parents were in their mid-40s when the kid was born, to kids who have six sets of grandparents and step-grandparents who are all still in the picture), that his situation doesn’t seem weird or unusual. I would not set up a situation where you are lying to your DS on behalf of your inlaws. Not so much because she will thank them for a gift they haven’t given and create awkwardness, but that you will be setting up a situation in her mind that doesn’t reflect reality, and eventually that will get dispelled (which may then lead her to wonder what she can trust). And also create a complicated situation that will someday require WAY more explanation than the straightforward truth would have required.

    • lawsuited :

      Reassure your husband that the one-for-one accounting of gifts is more an adult phenomenon than a child one. My maternal grandmother gave me exactly one gift – a used lipstick – my entire life and I literally never thought about it until I was about 20.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – Kiddo will only know to make a big deal about it if you make a big deal about it. You are the one feeling the insult here, not the kid. Kiddo will just see it as the way it is.


    Hey you rang? No seriously I just want to say that this post and this fleece tights reference made my day. I know it’s been a minute since I posted under this name but I had to cut out of here a few years ago after a season of light hearted trolling because I didn’t want to end up like that sad sack Ellen always posting but never getting any attention but don’t you ladies worry I’m still around keeping an eye on all of you and the latest haps. And don’t forget if these leggings are a little too spendy and finances are tight you can always get them cheaper at Walgreens

    • +100 for this, thanks for the laugh!

      p.s. I buy alllll the tights at Walgreens when they go on sale 2 for $10


        Thanks girl think of me next time you’re at the register and don’t forget to use your balance rewards card when you’re getting them deals

  36. Anonymous :

    I just got a job offer today for the literal job of my dreams, something I’ve been working towards for easily the last 10 years of my career.

    If you’ll allow me a moment of mushiness…I could not have gotten this without you wonderful ladies here, who helped me step up, lean in, speak up and strategize my way forward, and just generally figure ***t out. Y’all are ridiculously awesome and I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. This community is amazing.

    Wish me luck – it may be a dream but that doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge – I’m gonna need some luck and some more strategy for sure.


  37. Koala Bear :

    I’ve been at the same biglaw firm (high end, lockstep, well regarded) since I was a summer associate. I work in a support practice, but a valuable one. They made one associate partner a few years ago; prior to that, the last promotion to partner occurred in the early 90s. One partner just retired, and a few more will retire in the next few years.

    As a senior associate, I was initially told that I wasn’t partner material, but that maybe I could be a long-term counsel (something they don’t normally do). I worked really hard over the next 12-18 months, and at my next check-in was told that I had made a ton of progress and was now on track to make counsel in 2017, partner in 2019. I was pretty happy with that and had been working toward that goal (and was in fact named counsel earlier this year).

    I just learned that two associates in my group will be making partner this year. Both are junior to me. I’m sort of numb—I can’t believe I’ll still be up for partner next year, and even if I do, why did I need a two-year delay relative to these people (who in my experience are competent but not superstars—I wouldn’t have guessed that of all of my peers, they would be the ones to make partner, and right off the bat)?

    On top of that, I’ve worked past midnight every night this week and will be in the office all day tomorrow.

    What career advice can you give me? I know I need to initiate a conversation with the partners but could use some suggestions on how to frame this. I’m numb, but also furious and insulted and ashamed. And I guess I should start talking to recruiters too (in which case, any recommendations in the NY area)?

    Thanks for any thoughts.

    • Anonymous :

      Leave. Sorry. They are screwing you. Start really channeling your energy to marketing yourself externally and networking.

    • I have to agree with the above advice – time to go. It’s painful, I understand. But many companies/firms will not tell you straight out there is no future for you at their organization; they let you know in other, more insidious and subtle ways. This situation you’re in is no different than when someone you like isn’t calling you – the message isn’t really mixed; it’s actually pretty clear. You’re not going to make partner. Time to move on.

      FYI, Something similar happened to me a couple of years ago and I ended up in a much better place by choosing to leave. My thought process was: I can use my energy being hurt and angry, or I can use my energy to get out and into a better situation. I did the latter. Living well is the best revenge. Use this weekend to go over your resume and polish it up; then Monday start setting up lunch and coffee meetings with people in your network. It will take time but you will land on your feet. Hugs.

    • Anonymous :

      Suzette Rubenstein. 212-822-0207.

    • Anonymous :

      Agree with everyone re: leaving. There’s only exception. I am in a small practice area, and part of our practice area is really technical. Associates who practice in the technical area are tracked differently, are often trained by one partner leading up to that partner’s retirement, and then assume their spot when they leave. So, if that could apply to you, it might be that they are waiting for a specific partner to retire. But honestly, I think you would know that.

      I also think it’s worth a conversation with a trusted mentor about your future. Generally, when you’ve been there for so long, law firms want a good outcome for you, even if it’s going elsewhere and they will try to help you. In your shoes, I’d reach out to my two mentors, explain that it seems like my future at the firm has changed, and talk about next steps with them. I’d also value their insight on why it didn’t happen for me, so I could take that under consideration when I look into my next step and what might be suited to my skills.

      I think you should re-post on Monday – you would get more responses.

      Also, if you are in a small area, find a recruiter who specializes in placing in your area.

  38. I’m a relatively senior associate at a midsize, regional law firm. I really, really like my job. Like, a lot. I’ve inexplicably developed a ridiculous crush on a partner in a different practice group, and I need someone to remind me that doing anything about it (other than stewing silently) is a terrible, bad, awful idea. Nothing good can come of this, right? Even if it were requited (and I think it might be?), odds are it eventually ends in embarrassment and awkwardness and is generally bad for my career. Right … ?

    • Anonymous :

      Right. You’ll be the one to lose your job if things go poorly.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t say “nothing good” can come of it, but certainly lots of bad can come from it. If you go for it, do it with your eyes wide open knowing full well that if things end poorly you will be out of a job.

    • Anonymous :

      Or you can date secretly and get married and remain partners at the same firm…. (we have a partner couple at our biglaw firm)

  39. Our nanny uses her middle name as her first name. So, her legal initials are ABS but she always goes by BAS. I found a cute monogrammed item from Anthropologie I’d like to get her as a stocking stuffer. I’m not sure how to handle the monogram?

    • If she goes by something, use what she goes by. Or don’t monogram. Or include a card that you’re happy to monogram it if she wants so then she can decide.

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely what she goes by.

    • My husband goes by his middle name. To use your example, his name is Alexander Brian Smith, but he goes by Brian. His correspondance stationary and all his credit cards, etc all say A. Brian Smith, and his email is absmith0. The fact that he goes by Brian doesnt change the fact that his initials are ABS. If someone got him something that said BAS, that would be really weird.
      However, if something was personalized with a name (not initials), I’d choose Brian, as what he goes by.

    • lawsuited :

      Maybe just “S”?

    • Does she actually still use the A though? If she goes around calling herself BAS, I think that’s what I would use on such a gift. But if she’s just using B and otherwise ignoring the legal A first name as is often the case in such a situation, it would be very weird to flip the B and A in her monogram and I would opt for ABS or if possible, just the whole first name (and barring that, last initial only).

  40. Women who use and recommend the Tinkle razor – can you explain how it is different or better to use the Tinkle over a regular razor or straight blade?

  41. I’m fortunate to say I snagged my first “big girl” job (as well as my dream job) as an in-house, corporate attorney in a relatively liberal market. However, I’ve never had business cards before so I’m wondering whether it’s proper to use nicknames on business cards. I almost exclusively go by my nickname; the only time my full name is used is on my resume and by my mom, who will forever call me by my full name (“I named you X, not Y, so I’m calling you X!”). I want to be taken seriously and obtain leadership roles in the company, but I 100% prefer people call me by my nickname.

    I realize I’m overthinking this, but then again, I am a lawyer. What say you, lady-professionals and -bosses out there?

    Also, any non-obvious first day/week of work tips for a gal in her first professional job?

    Thank you in advance for advice!

    • anon for this :

      NAL but a professional… It may depend on the nickname. If it’s Stacy instead of Anastasia, I’d vote to go with what you want people to call you, so they connect you and your name to that business card. If it’s Muffy instead of Ann, maybe that’s not the impression you want to give off? If, however, you already decided to be known professionally by one first name, I’d say to either use it or to put First (Nickname) Last on your cards so it connects you to them in folks’ minds.

      That said, if you prefer Miley to Destiny, maaaaybe go for the legal name change ;)

    • Congrats on the job! :)

      I don’t work in law, but in my sector (medicine) an office manager handles all the ordering of business cards, lab coats, etc. Outside of what size of coat I want, I’ve never been asked for any other input. Is there a chance this decision will be made for you to conform to an existing office standard/policy? In my case, my coat and card says my full name (ex: Katherine T. Smith, MD). When patients call me “Dr Smith” I ask them to please call me “Katie”. I also sign all my emails Katie but my email was set up as Katherine Smith. I went through a phase where I thought “Kate” might be more professional than “Katie” but it never stuck. Plus, no one seemed to care so Katie it was. PS, none of these are my real names ;)

      I don’t think it’s a problem for you to use your nickname as long as it’s reasonably derived from your first name and otherwise professional (read Muffy above).

    • Anonymous :

      Being taken seriously will come with experience, and will depend far more on your demeanor and excellence than your name. Go with the name you ordinarily use.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      If your nickname is professional enough that you go by it professionally, it’s professional enough to put on your business cards. Also, if it’s not really obviously a derivative of your real name, I would probably not connect my memory of meeting you with the card I have in my wallet later, unless I noticed the difference when you gave it to me.

    • I have a first name that not many people can pronounce so I go by my nickname as well. I had a lot of client interaction and wanted people to be able to relate my card to me and went with the First (Nickname) Last option. I wanted to add a Miss because it is a very obscure name and no one would know from either my first name or nickname what gender I was but decided to leave it out because either they would meet me and know and does it really matter? I did so in my resumes because I wanted to make the interviewer as comfortable as possible

  42. Unlikeable? :

    I have the sneaking suspicion that I’m actually an unlikeable person. I consider myself friendly and nice, but my distinct lack of friendships and/or relationships is leading me to think otherwise. I feel like I try to be friendly with people, we hang out a handful of times…then nothing. I’ve tried reaching out and always get the brush off.

    I have literally zero friends and I am sincerely worried that I am really just going to die alone :(

    • Anonymous :

      Wow, this is me too. I think people feel awkward around me. Want to have a drink? :)

    • Not sure if you are still checking this post, but this article really helped me. I’m not saying you’re bitter or angry (the headline is a little sensational), but the article has really useful tips and some links to other good ones by the author too.


  43. Making friends in my 30s is definitely harder than it was for me in college.
    Do you have a sister that you are close with? I would ask her for some candid feedback about your personality. Mine would tell you that I’m terrible at returning phone calls and am too quick to give advice rather than just let her vent when she needs it. These types of things are always kind of hard to hear, but helpful in improving my relationship with her and my girlfriends.

    Is there any pattern to the failed attempts at friendship? Like if you brought up a certain topic did the mood shift both times with two different people? Did it feel more like a date to you than just meeting up for coffee or getting nails done?

    I have had a couple of new friendships fizzle out over various reasons – I felt like the other person was always one-upping me with their stories/experiences, s/he had very different political or ideological leanings, I had kids and she didn’t, things like that.

    The best places I’ve met friends? The dog park, meetup groups – especially a hiking one, where it was another person’s first few times in the group and we were equally matched in fitness level, etc — we would sort of hold one another accountable for showing up, and the hike gave us time to talk but it was also ok if it was silent. I also have found good friends through volunteering. Now that I think about it, these were all activities I signed up for to get out of the house and do something, and as a side bonus I met people but making friends wasn’t the initial goal.

  44. Peloton v Fly Anywhere :

    Has anybody tried Flywheel’s new at home bike + subscription? I have been thinking for awhile about buying a Peloton but am now torn between Peloton and Flywheel. I’ve read past Peloton reviews here but would love to hear if anybody has any more insight to offer. TIA!

  45. Lana Del Raygun :

    I think I want to start wearing perfume, at least for date nights. I’m going to go to Sephora and do their quiz + three samples thing, but I don’t know what approach to take: There’s definitely a family of scents that I always gravitate towards for shampoo etc (usually citrus and/or mint, often things that smell like fruit juice) and I WISH I were a sexier-smelling kind of person. Like, I wish I were Joan Holloway but I think that at least right now, I’m more of a Peggy.

    If you were me, would you go for the familiar or the aspirational? Can I grow into being a Joan? Where should I start?

    • Anonymous :

      Try retro ones. Nowadays everything smells like dryer sheets or caramel or fruit. Maybe Chanel No 5 or the Guerlains, some older YSL, Hermes, etc.

      Or Annick Goutal makes some that are lighter feeling but not little-girlish.

      Go to Nordstrom maybe – the women working there tend to be older and can show you something like what you’re thinking of.

    • lawsuited :

      You can definitely grow into other scents – just choose a gateway scent for now :) I recommend Chanel Chance Au Fraiche

    • Anonymous :

      ooh…gateway scents–jo malone are great because they have a range so that you can fruity + sexy or floral + interesting…

      i personally think the hermes ones are difficult if you’re not used to wearing scents/perfume generally already.

    • The best thing to do is narrow down your preferred scents using an online tool like Sephora’s, and then go to Sephora or a department store and smell a few scents that might match your preferences. They say you can only really try maybe 3 scents before you start getting “scent exhaustion” but I can usually smell 4-5 and then I start having a hard time telling things apart.

      I’ve worn Elizabeth Arden Green Tea during the day for years and people just think it’s my body wash or something, it does not come across as “perfumy” at all. My night perfume is Donna Karan Gold, which I don’t think they’re making any more – I bought two bottles before they stopped manufacturing and since I don’t go out a lot, it’s lasting a long time.

      All I can say about myself and perfume is, I know what I like when I smell it. I usually don’t like floral scents, but Gold has a lot of lily in it and I love it. Try lots of things – Sephora perfume sampler sets can be great for this too – and just see what you like.

    • There are nice perfume blogs these days! Try Now Smell This with lots of good reviews, and you want to get as many samples as possible when you’re trying to find what you like.
      Try a Birchbox for perfume: Scentbird, Commodity, Olfactif, Pinrose
      Sephora’s great, but there’s so many more options out there. Go play on the internet!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Thank you everyone! I went to Sephora (they gave me four samples even though they’re only supposed to give you three), and they had a box of coffee beans to sniff in between as a “palate cleanser.” I suspect I’m going to like the YSL one best and then not be able to afford it, but we’ll see. :)

  46. Anonymous :

    I’m sure that this has been addressed before in some way, but here goes. I’m in my early 30s, have been in training in the medical field for many years (read: making very little money for the work that I was doing) and now (finally) have a job earning in the low six figures. In my previous serious relationships my partners made much more than I did and always paid (and at times I strongly disliked being dependent on them to cover me). I’ve been dating a new guy for about a month and I suspect that he makes significantly less than I do. I have no problem paying for dinners, drinks, and fun things that we do together — I work hard and can afford to pay for these things. How do I handle this? Should I have a conversation with him about it (and what should I say) or just insist on paying fairly often, particularly if going out was my idea? I know that if we continue to date we’ll talk about money, but we’re still in the early stages at this point.

    • I’ll probably get flamed for this, but here is my honest advice to you after being in a similar situation and who ended up marrying a man who made much, much less than me: don’t do it. You’re a great catch and deserve an equal partner financially. You deserve to be treated to nice things without having to foot the bill. You deserve to be surprised with trips, nice meals, whatever floats your boat. If you want to just have fun with this guy, fine… but he still should be organizing dates and paying for you in whatever budget he can afford. You should not be paying the bill every time. I would do some inner exploration about why being treated (or having a man take you on a date and pay the tab) feels uncomfortable to you.

      Here’s why I wouldn’t do it all over again: I ended up resenting the guy. At times, I felt like his mother – like I was responsible for his and my lifestyle. I was tired of being the woman and the man in the relationship. Most of the time, I felt responsible for everything… earning the money, paying the bills, taking care of the kids… it was really, really tough. Imagine you have kids with this guy. Maybe you want to work full time, maybe you want to work part time, maybe you don’t want to work at all. Guess what? You’re going to be working. Maybe he’s got student loan or credit card debit… guess what, it’s yours.

      Yes he was funny. Yes he was great in bed. Yes he had a good family. Yes he had a job. But it wasn’t enough. After 5 years, I was burned out and the stuff I felt so crazy about while dating him totally turned me off in the end.
      Several years later, I found a guy who was all of those things above PLUS made more than me. Being with him gave me the freedom to work part time, explore my own interests and passions, and we were able to build an amazing lifestyle together. I realize I don’t speak for every woman, this was just my experience.

      I wouldn’t bother with him, sorry to say.

    • I think you may just have to get used to less expensive activities for the time being…things that he can afford. You can’t just want to go high end all the time, want to date this same guy, and get mad because you feel like you have to pay.

      Or just date men with a similar income.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I mean, you gotta talk about money at some point if you stay in a relationship. What my boyfriend and I decided on is that when one of us asked the other one on a date it was understood that we would pay for it. I think he ended up choosing more expensive dates than I did, and it wasn’t a big deal because he wasn’t choosing *better* dates than I was. As long as you’re contributing the same amount of fun, and neither of you looks down on or resents the other’s contribution (this is the most important) I think the actual dollar value isn’t crucial.

      Full disclosure: when I say that he chose more expensive dates, we were in college and this meant that he invited me for an $8 burrito at Chipotle and I invited him for a $4 movie at the student theater. This may not transfer as well to larger discrepancies, but I still think you can make it work–I vaguely recall Miss Manners getting asked about how ladies were supposed to reciprocate invitations in the days when gentlemen were always expected to pay for dates, and she said they did it by inviting their beaus on things like picnics, where you don’t pay for things on the date (and it’s cheaper, since these ladies couldn’t have jobs). So even if one person is shelling out more cash, both people are contributing.

    • I would offer to pay half the time or see if you can insist you pay when things are more expensive. You could try surprising him with tickets to things you both wanted to do.

      I definitely judge Flame Me for her point but that’s how she feels and I’m glad she is honest and put it out there because if that’s something you should be able to consider. It sounds from your post that perhaps you aren’t as concerned about being treated as just having fun in a partnership. Just remember if you go the route of Flame Me, you could have a great partner who makes the same money as you but that partner may lose a job, become disabled, or for one reason or another not be able to make the same amount of money as you. I would however stress that you note the guy’s demeanor when you pay for things, buy expensive tickets etc. If there is even a hint of shame, reluctance etc then I would take that as a giant red flad that perhaps you making more money than him would become a bigger issue if you get more serious and combine finances etc.

      Either way, Have fun and goodluck!


    Might I suggest Jean Nate or Wind Song you can get them at Walgreens

  48. Eileen Fisher Home? :

    Anyone here recommend Eileen Fisher home items from Garnet Hill? In particular, the sheets? I love her clothes.

  49. FYI — packing cubes are a deal of the day item today on Amazon. $18.49 for the three piece set. I don’t personally use them, but they are FREQUENTLY mentioned here, so passing it along for those who love them. :)

  50. Fashion derp :

    I hope the corporette hive mind has an answer for me – I met a lawyer in Boston last week with a nice suit with an unusual logo and I cannot figure out the brand despite my google-fu. The silver buttons appeared to have AG on them (but it is not Armani) and the sleeve had a (way-too-prominent) silver hexagonal coin attached with a ribbon. Any ideas? Thanks

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