Weekend Open Thread

Simona MuleSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

I have never owned a pair of white shoes in my life (at least, not past age 5). I’m not a huge fan of loafers. It is August. AND YET… suddenly I want a pair of white mules. I keep seeing stylish people wearing pointy-toed white mules, particularly with dresses and skirts, and thinking, OH, that looks nice. Poking around the web for some, this Simona mule from Paul Green looks nice (but $320). Am I crazy? Discuss. Simona Mule

Some more affordable white mules: Franco Sarto ($32 in some colors), Naturalizer ($71), Marc Fisher ($99), Sam Edelman ($119), and, for a sportier look, Superga ($89).

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    When do you expect/hope to retire? Does early retirement appeal to you or are you of the view that working as long as possible is better for your mental health?

    • Anonymous :

      It’s just the math — women in my family live until they are in their mid-90s. I’d need a ton of $ to retire at any point if I live that long (plus, b/c I work crazy hours, I will feel the need to enjoy all the things in my retirement that I haven’t yet done, and that will probably mean my cash burn rate will go up initially. So, planning on living frugally and working at least into my mid-60s at minimum.

      FWIW, I work with a guy born in the 1930s. He is maybe on a 75% schedule and is always a ray of sunshine and totally happy. I want to be him when I grow up.

    • I am of the view that if you have non-work hobbies you really enjoy doing, then there is no “work is better for your mental health.” Happiness is best for your mental health, as long as you also aren’t stressed about finances.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Honestly, depends on the healthcare/health insurance situation in this country as I get older. Healthcare cost is the biggest unknown to me in retirement calculations (and one of my grandmothers had breast cancer and the other died of a heart attack, so we don’t have the healthiest health histories in the older women in my family). I don’t want to be one of those lawyers who is still working in their 70s, though.

      • Same boat here. I’m fortunate in that I have a defined benefit plan plus significant retirement savings so I don’t have to worry about outliving my assets, but pre-Medicare health care costs will be the thing that determines when I can retire. I’ve got a few decades so maybe the American health care system will be fixed by then?

      • Huge concern here too, healthcare costs.

        I’m the 52 year old from below.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m going to be 60 this year and my husband is 70. He signed a five-year lease on his office last year so he’s planning on at least four more years. I was planning on retiring at 65 but I just realized the other day that my ninetysomething parents are likely to outlive their money, so I am definitely not retiring while they are still alive, which could well be another 8-9 years.

      My husband has his own law practice so can work as much or as little as he likes, and I have a sensible-hours government job, so we are in no hurry to retire. “Use it or lose it” is one of the rules we live by and we don’t want to just sit home and vegetate.

    • Anonymous :

      Probably never. I won’t be able to afford to.

    • Anonymous :

      I plan to retire from my primary job when my youngest child is out of college (I’ll be ~54). My husband earns a lot (and loves his job) and once we have the college bills behind us, I would like to leave my high-pressure career and do something more fun, probably part-time and ideally remotely so I can accompany my husband on his frequent international business travel. I’ll keep my licenses active so returning to work is an option in the event of divorce or something like that.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d like to slow down around 55-60. I’d want to have a ‘fun job’ and not the current high stress job. Like BFF”s mom retired from a sales position with heavy travel. She got into running as a hobby and now works a few hours a week at a running store and teaches running clinics. My yoga teacher is a retired elementary school teacher and she’s 60 plus. #goals!

      • Anonymous :

        I would like to slow down — I’m nearly 50 and just a lot more tired than I used to be. I don’t have the stamina for working into the night anymore on a regular basis.

    • I’m 52 and still have two kids to put through college (starting fall 2020, ending probably spring 2025) so I can’t at least until then. My husband is early 60s and will retire well before me. I would retire tomorrow if i could, but I would probably find some paid part time work in my field, for instance as a consultant. But it’s not in the cards for me.

    • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

      I’d retire today if I could afford to. Hoping to retire between 55-60.

    • At 36, I just have no idea how I’m going to feel in 25-30 years. Right now I work like the Energizer bunny at a draining but rewarding job that doesn’t pay very well. I like my current lifestyle, but there’s no telling I’ll feel the same way forever. I’m also single with no kids in my life, which means my work schedule doesn’t affect anyone else, but who knows what may happen in that long a period. My extremely open-ended approach right now is: work my heart out as long as it still feels good, and save as much as I can for retirement, to give myself options.

      The older folks in my office tend to have less intense schedules and be less concerned about management approval. My best guess is that that’s where I’m headed in my 60s, but that I will work (at least some) until I physically can’t anymore.

    • Anonymous :

      I work as a lawyer in state government and have a defined benefit pension plan. I will be eligible to retire at 50. I will probably retire from this job at that time. I think I will likely do contract work or something like that for another 10 years or so after. My husband will probably not retire until he is 65 or so (and we are the same age.) Our youngest should be in her last year of college when I retire, so I guess it will also depend on how the kids are doing.

      • Anonymous :

        I am 55 now. I can’t believe how fast the last decade went. Our goal is 65, but I am having a bad year health wise and that’s worrying me. I keep telling myself to hang in there until everything stabilizes.

    • Anonymous Retired & Working :

      I was forced into retirement when I was 56 when my company off shored 100s of jobs to Bangalore. It was forced in that everyone in the US lost their job, and if you were 53 or older, the company changed your status to retired. This was favorable in that it helped me with retiree healthcare, but really my preference would have been to keep working. I wasn’t old enough to collect retirement funds, although I believe I could have tapped my 401K.

      I spent about 10 months retired. For the first five or six, I was just recovering. We had to train our replacements in Bangalore, so there was a lot of international travel. It was also stressful because as people in the US and Europe left, things started to go wrong, and there were fewer and fewer of us who could step in and resolve problems. So, at first I caught up on sleep, had lunch with friends, worked on my house, worked out, read, and watched TV. I also looked for a job, which was difficult and demoralizing. I was probably a little sad and depressed, too.

      Much to my surprise, I acclimated to early retirement much better than I had thought. Sure, I was bored sometimes in the afternoon, and eventually, almost everyone I know was working, so fewer people to hang out with. But, I really enjoyed working on my house, and watching TV, which I never had time to do when I was working. I started to really wonder about the drive we all have to work, and if working was as important as I thought it was.

      What worked for me is I have healthcare, and I think I have enough money saved, barring a severe economic collapse. My health is good, and my expenses are manageable. I traveled a lot for work, so have no desire to do that again. Looking for a job at 57 was terrible. Well, looking for work is difficult, and being an older woman sure didn’t help. I was surprised at the rudeness I encountered, and the ghosting done by executive recruiters and companies. As the economy got better, I got more interviews. I turned down two jobs, lost out on one I really wanted, and start a brand new job on Monday.

      I decided to go back to work because I feel there is a window of time to do so, and I didn’t want to regret not going back later. I still have a lot of energy, and think I have a lot to offer. I feel differently about it though — it’s a big job, and I will do my best to deliver value and be wildly successful. But if I hate it, I’ll quit and retire again. I learned from some of the younger people that jobs aren’t lifelong commitments! I think I’ll probably retire before I’m 65. It’s pretty common for companies to have layoffs, or to push out older people, and if that happens, I’m done.

    • I would love to retire ASAP. I’m confident my mental health wouldn’t take a dive because I have a lot of diverse interests outside of work. I would love to have the time to travel, ski mid-week, hike, read novels, take classes, volunteer, study languages, etc. – things I do now but always wish I had more time for. I read a lot of blogs about early retirement and am trying to find a way to make it work for my husband and me.

    • Anonymous :

      We are saving with plans to retire at 55. Our youngest will graduate college when we are late 50s (56-58). Im already in a more lifestyle career (part time consulting, my own shingle) and while I plan to go back to a FT role once all the kids are in elementary school (2 more years!) I will step back in another 10 or so.

      I’ll probanly consult past 55 for something to do and ideally for health insurance (but we’re saving assuming we need to pay cash for that) . DH will be working on 757628 projects ASAP.

    • I feel pressured to retire very young because my husband’s life expectancy is probably quite limited (based on family history and his health). In reality, we’ve both has several long periods of unemployment due to both economic issues and family caretaking, so it probably won’t be feasible.

    • I have no idea. I know that I’d like to slow down at some point. Part-time work or consulting might be appealing. My parents are in their 60s and still working, partially because they’d be too bored without work, and partly out of necessity. As a result, they’re not able to provide much tangible support (i.e., backup childcare) to their adult kids — not that they’re obligated to, but it would be nice. I would like to be in a flexible work situation that allows me to spend time with my grown kids and their families, should they choose to have them.

      But honestly, I think it’s really sad that I’m 38 (as of today!) and already wondering how I’m going to stay relevant and keep reinventing myself in my career. I’m in middle management and don’t have any desire to hold an executive role, which would be a terrible match with my skills, interests, and frankly, lifestyle. Unfortunately, I’m in a field where older workers seem to be getting forced out at a rapid rate and replaced with younger, cheaper labor.

      • Yeah, my worry isn’t so much when I will retire, but if my job skills will be relevant in 20 years with so much in flux and older workers getting pushed out.

    • bellatrix :

      At the moment I’m planning to work until at least my 70s, but that’s 30 years off so who knows what the future holds. I do know that I don’t do well with an unscheduled life. I was laid off in June and have been job-hunting this summer, and I feel so listless. I do better when I have accountability to someone. All that to say, retiring early and being completely free doesn’t hold much appeal. But who knows, if my husband’s retired at the same time that might make a difference.

      The other thing to consider is that I was pretty much out of the workforce for 6 years (SAHM), plus my retirement savings haven’t always been very robust. And my husband didn’t start saving at all until his 30s. So in my view we need to work a little longer to make up for those years of sparse savings.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m 35 now. Most of my family has retired or taken a significant step back between 55 and 60 and that feels about right to me and I think our savings are on track to be comfortable retiring around then. My family has all lived into late 80s at least with some making it to mid 90s. DHs family other than those who died in a war have all been close to 100.

      I don’t imagine I’ll be doing my current job at 55 (BigLaw senior associate, might make counsel and then could stay if I am busy, won’t make partner). I’m hoping to go in-house. If I could swing it I’d love to retire at 50, but with my long lived family that probably would be unwise from a savings perspective. My DH is 5 years older than me and if left to his own devices and a job he liked would work into his 70s. He gets that will make me sad, so he’ll probably retire or take a significant step back around 65.

    • I am 60 and retired about two years ago. I was a partner in a small litigation law firm, worked 50-80 or more hours a week at times, and had arrived at the point that I was not enjoying the practice of law. I started practicing in 1982, after a federal district court clerkship.

      I love retirement. My partners asked me to stay on as “of counsel” and I have done some consulting work for them since retirement. I am single with no children so was able to build up savings and retirement funds. I’ve kept my license active and have remained involved in several professional organizations, as I may do more consulting work from time to time.

      Being bored or inactive is not an issue for me. I am active in several volunteer organizations and stay busy with hobbies, gardening, etc. I was reviewing some office memos today while looking for something else and realized how incredibly glad I am not to be in that stressful, conflict-driven environment.

      I have had a number of relatives die at a young age, due primarily to cancer, although my mother beat it and is now 84 and doing great. It is really true that life is too short and I did not want to spend it all working. Planning and saving early is really critical, and I was fortunate enough (and worked hard enough) to be able financially to retire early.

    • I am 51 and ready to leave a government gig to start my own practice. A little scary but I don’t want to be counting the days until retirement and being too old to get a job elsewhere.

  2. Vancouver, BC :

    Happy Friday! What are my must dos for a long weekend over Labor Day (US) in Vancouver, BC? We love outdoors, fitness and eating, but we’re open! Early thirties couple without kiddos or a car. We are staying at the Loden Hotel in the Coal Harbour area (but can still change if we should). Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      Go for a run/walk/bikeride on the Seawall around stanley park. A full loop is about 6 miles, but you could also do part of it only. It will be steps from your hotel.

    • Anonymous :

      Canada has Labour Day too.

    • Anonymous :

      Whale watching! We did Prince of Whales in May and it was amazing! There are bike tours, including one that stops at breweries I believe. Stanley Park is beautiful. Yaletown is fun to walk around; there are lots of restaurants (and gelato). Take the Seabus over to North Vancouver and explore Lonsdale Quay. We spent 6 days there and did not run out of things to do.

    • Paddleboarding or kayaking at Deep Cove (North Vancouver). It’s a beautiful spot.

  3. Frustrated with husband - working remote :

    I’ve been offered a great job opportunity in a different state, and my husband’s been completely supportive. He’s been worried though, understandably, about his job options. Now that I’ve accepted, he’s even more so. I’ve suggested to him that he ask his current employer about working remote – many other people in the company do it, and have been offered the option in the same scenario as ours, with the spouse requiring a move to another state. However, he said it’s against his department policy – and based on that and general comments his director has made before about remote, he said it’s pointless to ask.
    I’m very frustrated – our huge worry is his finding a job in this new state, and this could solve all our problems. I asked him what he’s risking since he’d be quitting anyway, and he said he’d feel stupid, and there’s no reason to ask when he knows what the answer would be anyway.
    I’m so frustrated about this! Am I being unreasonable?

    • Trust his instincts.

      • Anonymous :

        Hopefully this would mean he’s already networking all over the place and doing something (vs “worrying”).

        But if I had a good employee who didn’t try to stay after a move (I work remotely from 4pm on every day and often when we have contractors over; one person worked remotely for a month b/c she wanted to rent a mountain cabin (with internet)), I’d be disappointed, almost like they weren’t as dedicated to the team as they could have been. I mean, if you’re super-junior it might not work, but I’d want to keep all of my senior people that I’ve invested a lot of time training (and who’d be hard to replace).

        • Thank you. That is so helpful. He’s really well regarded by his management, and I thought the same thing — that if anything, they’d want to keep him. Certainly they wouldn’t be offended or put off by his asking. It just seems unreasonable to not even try.

        • anon a mouse :

          This is anecdata, but my agency generally frowns on telework. They granted a situational exception to a colleague in a situation very similar to yours — the wife had a job that required them to relocate. I think they granted three months of situational telework. He was working on some key projects, and his immediate departure would have been painful given the hiring freeze.

          Could your husband frame it as, I know that long term telework is probably not an option, but I don’t want to leave everyone in the lurch – can we find a duration that would work best for everyone involved?

    • Anonymous :

      Man, if I had $1 for every time I felt stupid . . .

      I don’t get it — it’s not like he has anything to lose.

      • Anonymous :

        That’s how I feel! It makes zero sense to me, and there’s SO MUCH to gain and absolutely nothing to lose (except he won’t feel stupid…it’s not even a stupid question to ask!) He actually said I should stop acting like I know what’s best for everyone.

        • Elegant Giraffe :

          I would feel the same way as you and would be incredibly frustrated, but at the same time, maybe you have to let it go. If you’ve had a serious conversation about it and he’s still not willing to ask, is this the hill you want to die on? Like you can’t force him to ask.

        • Anonymous :

          In that case, what else is he doing to move the task of finding a new job along?

      • Anonymous :

        Depending on how opposed to remote working his director is, he could actually lose a solid reference if it changes the director’s opinion of him. I’d trust his instincts and focus on finding a new job.

        My DH worked remotely for a couple years and had a very hard time with the isolation. I wish we’d bitten the bullet and looked for a new job right away.

        • +1. He could lose a good reference.

          It’s hard to know his/your situation, but is it certain that you guys are moving? If so, if I were him, I would go to my boss and say “My spouse has accepted a job in NewState. I know it’s against policy to work remotely, so even though I wish I could keep working here, it looks like my last day will be X. I’d like to help transition as much as I can over that time period, so should I set up time with you tomorrow morning to review my workload and transition plan?”

          That will signal to the boss that if there’s any flexibility in the policy at ALL, he would be open to staying. But it also very clearly says he understands the policy and is not outright asking for an exception. Setting up a second meeting to review the transition plan gives the boss time to process the info, and go run down the exception process if there is one.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t understand this concern. For simply asking if there is any opportunity to work remotely a good employee might lose a reference? I guess people react differently, but this would seem like an extreme response to asking a perfectly reasonable question. It could even be presented with the caveat that he’s only asking because he doesn’t have another choice since he’s moving and he knows it’s against policy, but he wanted to ensure it wasn’t really an option before giving notice.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 to this; it leaves the door open to change while acknowledging the writing on the wall

          • I don’t think he even needs to be that “done deal” about it. What’s wrong with just saying “My spouse has a new job. I know it’s against policy to work remotely, but I really like working here and thought I would check if there is any flexibility.”

          • Anonymous :

            If this is really his concern, he could always ask without asking. Something like:

            “Hey [supervisor]. My wife accepted a new job in [city], so we are moving in [date]. I understand that the Company has a no telework policy, so that means my last day will be [date]. I’m really sorry to leave this Company. It’s been so great working here [etc.].”

      • And Peggy :

        Right, there are plenty of things I’ve felt stupid asking for. The other day I emailed an event organizer about getting paid for working the event over the weekend, and it was so. freaking. hard. to write and send that email because asking for what you want can be hard! But when it matters, you ask anyway. You make sure the person you’re asking knows it’s a big ask and you’re okay with no, but that you would have regretted not asking at all. So I can understand feeling annoyed that he hasn’t even tried to work out an arrangement.

    • Anonymous :

      Policies are broken all the time. He should ask.

      • I agree. He should ask. My company was similar – there were people who worked remotely 100% of the time but in my department, no one was allowed to telecommute and our CEO frowned upon it. I made the request to my boss and then to his boss and then made a personal appeal to the CEO. I was able to keep my job and work remotely! It’s expensive for companies to replace people so it makes sense to keep them on if their job can be done remotely. I don’t know how easy it will be to persuade your husband, but I think it’s strange he won’t even ask about it. What’s the downside? He won’t look stupid if they say no. He will look like he was advocating for a smart idea.

        • Also I think that companies are more willing to accommodate people working remotely if their spouse got a job in another state. I can see how companies might value face time and not appreciate an employee who never wants to come into the office if that’s counter to the culture, but if you are just trying to stay on the only way you can, then they will be more understanding.

    • Anonymous :

      He only has nothing to lose if he’s 100% quitting his job. It sounds to me like he doesn’t want to ask because he isn’t planning to leave his job. Do you think there’s truth to that?

    • I agree with everyone saying he should ask. I have a hard time seeing the downside. I would also go in with a proposal, like work remote but come into the office 2x a month/for important things/something in the face time category that would alleviate the concern and make them more amenable. If he pays for the visits back, that’s even better.

    • If you don’t ask, the answer is no.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes you are. Why don’t you trust your husband with his job? He is the expert at it not you. You must chill. He is leaving his job to move with you, stop hassling him and be supportive.

  4. Gail the Goldfish :

    PSA to other Triangle area folks–there is a MM LaFleur popup coming to Raleigh next week. You can sign up for an appointment on their website. I’ve never gotten around to ordering online, so I’m interested in trying it out.

  5. I hate mules. They don’t stay on my feet. And no one I know has super attractive heels that need to be seen in the office. And white shoes still feel 80’s/early 90’s to me. And not in a good way.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t understand how people go down stairs in these (or up). Maybe people have sticky feet?

      • Anonymous :

        My recollection from the last time this style was on trend is that there are a lot of slapping and clopping sounds involved.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I hate mules too.

    • Can’t walk in them at all unless they have a strap up higher on the instep – basically like a Mary Jane strap but on a backless shoe. Unfortunately this is currently impossible to find. But it does make me wish I’d held onto my Maud Frizon pair from the late ‘80s.

    • I think of this as the “ugly leather bedroom slippers” craze and can’t wait for it to be over.

  6. I recently moved from a fancy office (law firm) to a bland cube (government). My new space has a nice window next to it but the cube itself is very plain. I didn’t have any real decorations in my old office but I feel like I need a few things to make my new cube a little more comfortable. What are your favorite things in your office that are still professional-ish? What do you have in your workspace that you find helpful (organizational things, references, circuit court maps, etc,). If you were starting with a fresh space, what would you add?

    • Anonymous :

      If you have good light, a succulent.

    • Horse Crazy :

      I like calendars that show my interests while still being professional. I have two right now – a horse one from the show Cavalia, and a National Parks Foundation one that I got for donating to them.

      Signed,
      Commiserating in a bland government cube

    • Owl Lover :

      I think its the little things, like one of my coworkers has a tape dispenser that is shaped like a bulldog, but its chrome so it looks sleek and stylish. I have a set of Owl office supplies which are vintage and really make me happy. I am sure no one at work notices them but me. You can also find really great frames for calendars or photos, and organization supplies that look sleek and elegant, but still personal.

    • Anonymous :

      Also in a bland cube. The biggest thing for me was banishing all black plastic office supplies. I brought in my own pretty organizational things – pen cup, trays, file holder, etc. I also hung a pretty wall calendar – I don’t use it for keeping track of my schedule but I like having nice pictures to look at. Even for things like paper clips and thumbtacks, I brought in my own pretty ones. It sounds stupid but not having ugly black plastic stuff to look at really makes me feel happier. Also, bring in a nice task lamp.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        My coworker has a sleek organizer set in different shades of blue. It looks great – I think it might have come from MOMA store? Related, museum stores usually have nice, unique office supplies.

    • This file holder gives my state government cubicle a touch of class: https://www.worldmarket.com/category/home-decor-pillows/home-office/desk-accessories.do?template=PLA&plfsku=541662&mrkgcl=660&mrkgadid=3172036561&camp=ppc%3AGoogle%3APLA%3AMerkle_Shopping_PLA%7CBrand%3ABrand%7CHome_Decor&product_id=541662&adpos=1o5&creative=166020934503&device=m&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI65qCjpXj3AIVEarsCh2SmgGWEAQYBSABEgK_RfD_BwE

  7. CorporateInCarhartt :

    PSA: If you happen to be a gear head or the outdoorsy type, Backcountry is having a terrific sale right now.

  8. Anonymous :

    Anyone have any suggestions for a therapist in Jersey City or Hoboken? If they take insurance, that would be big bonus. Grief counseling and relationship stuff.

  9. Purge replace :

    Do you purchase new pieces of clothing, and then reevaluate your current or older items, or do you clear out the “questionable” items, and then look for new replacements?
    I’m doing a mini purge of my closet today and the are a couple of blouses I wear, but seem to slide up when I move, but otherwise are ok under a cardi or jacket. I like the colour and pattern, but if I pass them on, I feel I can replace them, whereas if I keep wearing them, they will always be a middle of the road type item.
    I have about fourteen blouses including these, and most are between one to six years old, so my wardrobe is not large. (I have more knit tops and t shirts, but don’t count them as blouses).
    I’m curious how others approach this purging, replacing cycle.

    • Anonymous :

      You need to KonMari your wardobe. It sounds dumb, but it’s really helpful. Do they spark joy?

      • Purge replace :

        That’s the problem…the colour and print sparks,joy, bit the slippery riding up doesn’t!

        • Anonymous :

          Things that make me uncomfortable don’t stay in my wardrobe. Something always sliding up would be uncomfortable to me.

          If they are acceptable to you for a more limited use, maybe that’s a reason to keep them.

        • Being annoyed by your shirt all day long is the opposite of joy – you have my permission to let those things go!!9

      • Anonymous :

        I think this is a odd question when it comes to assessing work clothes. The overlap between what is suitable for work in a traditional business environment and what I love is very small. I go with does it fit, and is it too worn out? If the cut isn’t right, and it can’t be altered then it doesn’t fit and it goes.

        I keep a list as the season goes on of what I am missing, and unless it’s critical don’t restock until end of season sales.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a mental list of “questionable” items, but I don’t purge until I’ve purchased replacements. Once upon a time, I was too ruthless with a closet purge, which meant that I ended up needing to make an emergency run for more tops (which meant that I bought middle-of-the-road replacements rather than something I really liked).

    • Anonymous :

      I will keep essential pieces that I only have one of (suit, long coat, pumps, c-tail dress, evening gown) until I find a replacement. All other pieces get donated as soon as I decide they are unsuitable. I am hard to fit and am picky about clothes, so I generally buy new things as I find them and don’t maintain a set wardrobe size. I don’t buy more than I can reasonably wear, but I don’t keep things I don’t like just so I have a certain number of pieces in a category either. I’d rather only have two blazers I like and wait for another perfect one to come along than have ten I don’t really feel great about.

      • I’m the same, and I feel like it’s the appropriate middle ground between “keep everything” and “get rid of everything that you don’t love.” I get rid of most stuff, but I just need black trousers or nude heels or a white camisole in my wardrobe to function, so even if it’s not one that I’m enamored with, I keep it until I find a new one, then ditch it.

    • Anonymous :

      I tend to clear items out when I realize I don’t wear them, or when they get worn-out, faded, torn beyond repair, or permanently stained. I love some things more than others, but if I’ll pull a blouse or dress out of the closet and wear it every few weeks, I don’t throw it out. I start shopping for new pieces only when I feel like there’s a need, and then I try to be careful and selective.

    • Anonymous :

      I clear out first then look for replacements.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m the opposite. I will keep the B- item while I search for the elusive A version of it. Some times you just need something clean and the meh items work just fine.

        If I only had items I loved, I wouldn’t have enough clothes and then I’d wear out what I loved (so it would go from A to A- to B+ to B condition probably pretty quickly or the dry cleaning bills would kill me). If something is washable and B- and doesn’t need ironing, it may stay forever.

        • Purge replace :

          This is part of the dilemma for me as well. I have an “ideal” version in my mind, yet the reality is that the ideal orA items, would wear out, and because they are few and far between, I would have very little to wear.

          • Anon from 2:58 :

            I’m anon at 2:58, and here’s a bit of explanation behind my thinking:

            In recent years I’ve been trending towards the minimal lifestyle and attempting to acquire less *things* in my life that I don’t really need. So over Memorial Day weekend this year I did a huge purge of my closet, donated/threw out things that I hadn’t worn in over three years or were in bad condition. Then I determined if I need to buy any new under wear or any basic tees, etc. Then I looked at my remaining office clothing and made a list to keep an eye out for sales on anything similar to what I want to acquire or replace. If I can, I will buy multiples (in the same color or different colors) of items that I consider basic weekly wear.

            Also, money plays into this a bit. I’m a field engineer so I make probably a fraction of what the lawyer ladies make on here. I simply just can’t afford to buy clothes and shoes on impulse and rarely wear. My most expensive set of shoes are my puncture-proof safety boots that I wear weekly.

          • Purge and replace :

            Hi anon at 258, thanks for the further explanation. I like your strategy— I want to reduce what I have, and keep and eye out for new things to freshen up, as well as replacements. Thanks for the more detailed explanation.

    • I purge shoes about once a year and it’s often when I know my shoe space is at capacity and I might want something new. Or, like this year, I realize that I have shoes that I don’t wear and forgot I had so I do a purge. I invite friends who wear my shoe size to come shop in my closet. I give away anything that was fancy but worn to my friends who ride in the Muses parade (to bedazzle and throw). For clothes, I purge when I swap out my clothes seasonally. When I move items to my closet from my spare room, I consider whether or not I’ve worn them. I’ve recently lost weight so I’m hunting out clothes that fit now (especially jeans in different sizes) and trying on everything to see if I still want it. I’m getting rid of a lot of things I saved and keeping a few things I like.

    • Truthfully, I will get something in my head, like, I need blouses to wear with navy, and then I will buy way too many of those, and then my closet will be too crowded and that crowdedness will make me purge the stuff I’m not wearing any more. So I buy a replacements first. But I wouldn’t say my method is healthy.

      What saves me is old house/small closet. I just can’t fit many items at any one time so it makes me ruthless about purging. I do it at least a couple of times per year.

  10. Closets -- ideal rod space :

    My closet consists of one rod of about 4 feet. I have some plastic drawers below the short hanging items and shoes below the long-hanging items in a big bin. I have boots / folded t-shirts / purses in a bin on top of my hanging rod. I also have a dresser out in my bedroom.

    I have invaded a guest bed closet to the tune of 3 feet of the hanging rod.

    Hanging clothes are wool suits (need sometimes for work, not daily), nicer dresses from when we were business-casual (more formal end of spectrum), funkier pieces for now that we are casual at work, actual casual clothes for when I’m not at work, blouses of all sorts, jackets (for when I wear jeans to work) and cardigans (b/c I am always cold). Whew. I had fewer clothes when we wore suits!

    And winter items are stored in a bin.

    My house is old, so I think I’m under-closeted. But I’m already using 7 feet of rod space.

    We’re contemplating a remodel (which would add closet space). What is your ideal amount of hanging rod space? 10 per adult? More?

    • Anonymous :

      I meant: is your ideal 10 feet of hanging rod space? More?

    • We have about 4 feet each. That’s plenty. I hang the clothes in my current seasonal rotation – including jeans and tee shirts – plus all suits and formal dresses (not much in this category). PJs and workout clothes go in a drawer, off-season clothes go in two airtight bins at the top of the closet. It’s a good reminder that I don’t need to own more clothes than that – if my closet feels full, time to pull out the stuff I’m not wearing regularly and get rid of it.

      This isn’t to criticize – you should have the closet space you want! But it’s way more than I want.

    • I don’t know about rod space, but do you have a small room that you could turn into a closet? Look up “spare room closet”on Pinterest for ideas.

  11. Stir Crazy :

    DH and I could really use a date this weekend–he’s been ramping back up at work after a long FMLA, taken on a time-consuming new social hobby, and he’s leaving Tuesday for a end-to-end work conference and family visit. But we usually spend time together outdoors, and it’s g0d0ffal air quality and heat right now.

    Either that, or I might chop my hair short when I just grew it almost long enough to put in a ponytail.

    Suggestions for either? Votes on which?

    • Anonymous :

      Go to a movie? Or dinner? Or a climbing gym?

    • Anonymous :

      Cutting/coloring/chemically treating your hair except after due reflection and a cooling-off period has always been a bad move for me.

      Pedicure FTW?

    • Don’t cut your hair off because you’re bored and stuck inside. That should be a decision based on more careful consideration.

      • Mineallmine :

        Why not? I’ve certainly done it and survived. Hair grows if you don’t like it, and sometimes impulse yields unexpected benefits like a surprisingly flattering cut you’d normally never consider. It’s how I went from long to a shoulder length A lob that surprisingly looks way better. Don’t overthink it!

    • Anonymous :

      Bowling? Escape room? Concert or play?

    • Anonymous :

      My ideal date night right now with my husband would be a long dinner at our favorite fancy place that spaces the courses out just right and always has excellent wine or cocktail recommendations. Then I would want to go somewhere indoors to either walk around (so maybe a museum) or to sit and listen to live music (our city has nice chamber music at the downtown theater or even one of the little bars that has live music.) Then I would want to get dessert from the gelato place and go home and continue the night with drinks, music or a movie, etc….

      • Anonymous :

        Museum! That’s something we actually have a few of around here…

        • pugsnbourbon :

          My wife and I had an awesome time a couple weeks ago exploring our city’s art museum.

          Additionally, we have what we call “barstool time” which is exactly what it sounds like.

  12. Anonymous :

    Is anyone from DC/NOVA in town this weekend and if so, are you just planning to go out as you normally do? I’m a woman of color and I’m just kind of worried about what to expect with the white supremacist rally coming. I assume Sunday will be crazy but was wondering if it’d be fine to go out to dinner or for a drink on Friday or Saturday evenings in DC and NOVA. It sounds like their turnout is pretty low and can’t imagine they’d do anything on Friday or Saturday. What is everyone else planning to do?

    • Anonymous :

      Same question. Muslim woman, live in Nova but lately in order to get some studying/interview prep done with a change of scenery, I’ll go into Georgetown to a coffee shop. I’m thinking I may pass on that this weekend. I know the rally isn’t in Georgetown or nearby but then how hard is it for them to walk into businesses and make trouble?

    • 1) It’s incredibly disheartening that you have to ask this question in 2018

      2) It’s one weekend, I would just stay in. Those people are crazy. Do you really want to be a headline because you accidently stepped on the shoe of a white supremacist who then shanks you for being “impolite”? This is not an exaggeration of what could happen but a real possibility – a poor girl got her throat sliced a couple weeks ago by one of these guys while just waiting for a train.

      Just have a nice staycation in your house, or go out of town for the weekend.

      • So, I completely agree that white supremists are terrible, and also probably irrationally reactive to nonexistent slights. But it’s my understanding that the BART murderer is severely mentally ill and was off his meds. And I just wish there were more resources for the mentally ill. That’s all…

    • Marshmallow :

      I am sorry you have to ask this question. Please stay safe and take it easy this weekend– I’d assume fine to go out if you aren’t near where the rally is, but I’d also stay away from hotels, bars, restaurants in that area. Ugh. This really makes me sick. I hope they have an embarrasingly small turnout and are swamped by counterprotesters.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here, I know it’s sad we have to worry about this in 2018 and in a place like DC of all places. But as you all said, these people are crazy so I have no idea what they could do. But at the same time, it feels like letting them win if I just say inside and don’t live my life.

    • Anonymous :

      I am white, so understand that this does not affect me in the same way, but since you asked, I’m going to stay away from where the rally is as well as major tourist hubs and places where lots of tourists often stay (e.g. stay away from Pentagon City even though it’s not near the rally because a lot of tourists stay in hotels there).

      • Also white and taking the same approach. I don’t spend much time downtown on the weekends anyway, so it’s not a hassle for me to avoid it. I think anywhere outside of downtown should be fine, though.

    • Kat in VA :

      I’m white and so very angry for you that you feel like you have to ask this question even now in this day and age. We’re supposing to be progressing, and it’s all pointing toward the other direction. :(

      That being said, I’m avoiding going anywhere near DC this weekend because I figure the fools are going to ramp up on Saturday for their stupid march/parade/showoff of ignorance on Sunday and I don’t want to be anywhere near that.

      I’d say if you go out for a drink/dinner that NoVA should be OK if you’re further from DC, more toward Reston/Tyson’s/Vienna (where there’s tons of drink/dining options) and less Crystal City/Arlington and definitely not DC anywhere.

    • I am Asian but not Muslim and I will be going into DC this weekend. I already have tickets for the National Building Museum Fun House exhibit, and will do my best to avoid areas where they might be protesting/counter protesting.

      The super minor thing that makes me feel not as scared is that I know Otakon is happening in DC this weekend as well, and they’re a quite diverse group. I plan on staying near the Gallery Place/Convention Center side of DC where it’s much more likely to have tourists from across the world visiting.

  13. Not Enough Work :

    I am a mid-senior litigation associate at a fairly large law firm. I have been at the firm for years and have always hit my hours and have gotten excellent reviews, but this year I struggled to keep enough work on my plate. I have continually asked for more work from various partners (free market system), and I tend to get smaller projects rather than staffed are large litigations like I am accustomed to. I have also had discussions about this with our workflow manager, mentor, and numerous partners. Oddly, no one except me seems concerned. Has anyone else experienced this? Amy tips on unique approaches to find work and/or market myself?

    • Keep doing what you’re doing and hope the work picks up, but start getting your resume together and contacts in order. It may be a random slow period, it happens. Or, you are being subtly but on purpose given the message that you aren’t being considered for partner and should start looking elsewhere. Remember, big law firms are awful in that they are never direct about this sort of stuff – honestly its kind of a method of gaslighting. Work dries up, you think its you, when its any number of reasons (loss of a big client, work drying up, clients don’t want your high fees on the bill, partners don’t want to share profits). Prepare yourself for the worst and hope for the best.

      • Not Enough Work :

        Thanks-This is the approach I have already been taking. I’ve been concerned enough that I have applied for some other jobs and have some interviews coming up. I wish they would be more direct, but I get a law firm won’t do that.

    • Anonymous :

      First question – how’s your department doing overall? Is everyone else at your level busy but not you? Or are there lots of people who finish up a case and then are in line for another matter waiting for work to come thru the door? As you know — the first is more detrimental than the second.

      What department?

      • Not Enough Work :

        It is hard for me to tell how the department (IP litigation) is doing. We constantly hear the group is “busy,” but when I talk to others, they are also looking for work and our work flow coordinator says the same. There are very few people at my level, and of those I understand some are busy and some are not. It is true that I had a lot cases settle/go away recently, so it could just be a random slow period. I have never had a slow period before, so that makes it especially disturbing.

    • I hate to say it, but when my workflow sort of suddenly dried up last spring, it was a sign they were preparing to push me out. (And I asked if I should be concerned and was told no). Hopefully that’s not the case for you, but I wanted you to be aware of the possibility.

      • anonymous :

        The same happened to me, too. It was them creating a paper trail to push you out. Law firms are so cowardly, they will act all smiles and lie to your face if you ask a direct question about it to actually improve and correct it. I’m jaded so take with a grain of salt, but ultimately, they have to make cuts (not every associate is supposed to make partner) and I think they do a lot of the weeding out themselves and then let it get hyper-competitive among the ones they have chosen to duke it out for partner. This may or may not be what is happening, so be alert. I would advise at least looking around. Even if they aren’t trying to push you out, do you want to be working somewhere where there isn’t work for you? Ultimately, they will have to push you out and you will be more expensive by then if there’s no work.

        No advice unfortunately, as it seems you are doing everything you can to pick up more hours.

        • Not Enough Work :

          Thanks for this. Yeah, I am a direct communicator, and I have ask multiple times if there is a problem and if so, what can I do to fix it. I am met with either genuine or feigned shock that I even think there is a problem. I would like to think there is not a problem, particularly since I have gotten good reviews, and been very involved/included in business development and hiring initiatives. But yes, preparing myself for the worst.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you have a mentor you can talk to? Some one who could talk to you about the workflow in your practice area?

    • A different anonymous :

      Use the slow time to network.
      – Been there been pushed out.

    • This just happened to me about 3 months ago actually. Work dried up around April/May, the pay-raise happened, and literally the same week I was told that I have 4 months to find another job. My last performance review (in Feb btw) was all positive. All of a sudden, HR asked for a meeting and I was told that I sucked at everything basically. Firm was also very slow since end of last year, so I knew it was mostly because several large matters had wrapped up. But it would have been nice if the firm just admitted the truth instead of undermining my confidence.

      I already had one interview lined up, and was still hustling for work when HR reached out. However, I really wish that I had sent out my resume and started interviewing back in April, after a week of very little work, instead of waiting a whole month or even just two weeks. After I got the message, I found it to be harder interviewing because I was feeling so nervous.

  14. Anonymous :

    I have a friend, mid 40s, who did not graduate from high school and has only a few hours of college. Yet he has built a great sales career (in technology) and makes mid six figures. Now he is afraid to apply for jobs because of e-verify because they will find out he didn’t graduate from HS nor has a GED. Anything I can share with him about this – he has hundreds of contacts and is often contacted by recruiters, but won’t pursue any of this.

    • e-verify is not the same as a background check. e-verify is a system to confirm your eligibility to work in the US. A background check is to confirm whether you _lied_ on your resume. As long as he’s not lying about HS or college, he should pass a background check. Whether a job requires HS or college to even get through the door is a different concern.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m confused. Does his resume say that he has degrees he actually doesn’t have?

    • So does that mean that he’s been falsifying his credentials for the past couple of decades? Or has it just been overlooked? Either way, I think he needs to have a good explanation, although the former is trickier. How hard would it be to get a GED so that he has that box checked?

      • +1
        if you’re looking to help him out, why not gently push him to study and take the GED so this becomes a non-issue.

        • Anonymous :

          In your forties?

          • Seattle Freeze :

            Why not? One of my dearest memories is of attending my grandmother’s high school graduation – she had to drop out as a teenager when her mother died, and decided to attend night school and get her diploma when her youngest was finishing school. She was near 60 at the time. I have a picture of her in her cap and gown, holding her diploma, and she’s just glowing with pride.

    • Flats Only :

      e-verify has to do with verifying whether an person has the legal right to work in this country. It doesn’t have anything to do with verifying his education or other items on his resume. As long as his resume does not falsely claim he graduated high school he will be fine. High School was 25 years ago, and will most likely not even appear as a question on an application.

    • Anonymous :

      I have just spent a lot of time looking for jobs, and I was not asked about high school for hardly any. I think when I got hired at my current job they did, but that was because I had to have a background check done — the hiring manager doesn’t see that paperwork, and it was after I had an offer.

      If he has lots of contacts and gets pursued by recruiters, I would say he should not worry quite so much. He should leverage his network, make sure he has an awesome resume, good interview skills, and go for it. Applicant Tracking Systems will be a barrier, so he shouldn’t rely too much on applying online, but seriously, ATS are barriers for everyone. In technical fields, a college degree isn’t as important as skills and experience. A good friend of mine recently got a good job at a major software company (we use its software everyday) and he does not have a college degree.

      Please tell your friend that yes, checking the degree box is helpful, but it’s not everything. Looking for a job is challenging, I have three degrees and got lots of rejections! You have to have a thick skin when looking for work, but need to keep reminding yourself you are interviewing them too. If he has great skills and a strong network, he’s really in a good spot.

    • He should get his GED anyway, and he should talk openly with a recruiter about whatever other issues he might have.

      • FacialFail :

        I went to a new spa this week and got a facial… and now my skin is breaking out. I have two giant pimples that have formed since the facial and I’m so self-conscious about them! (I had zero pimples pre-facial).
        What do I do?

        • Anonymous :

          Ugh! Sorry! I would try an anti-acne mask a couple of times a day (I like GlamGlow Supermud). Then depending on how much your skin can take, after the mask I apply either an anti-acne product (my current favorite is isClinical Active) or a retinol product (current favorite is SkinBetter AlphaRet overnight). If you have sensitive skin, skip one step or wait a long time in between, because the combo can dry you out too much. I do that routine a couple of times a day until it’s gone.

        • Anonymous :

          Not ask this guy about it :)

    • Jobs for all :

      If your friend does not have a legal right to work in the United States, he should definitely contact an attorney that can help him so he understands what his own rights and responsibilities are.

      To be clear, I am rooting for your friend and want him to be safe.

  15. I have a professional event coming up that requires formal business attire. Is it weird to wear sheer nude hose with a beige (nude for me) sling back pump?

    • I don’t think that’s weird at all, but to me, business formal would rule out slingbacks. I’d stick to plain jane pumps (or flats).

    • Tessa Karlov :

      I’m a bit biased because I hate slingbacks with a passion, but I’d try and see if there’s another shoe you can wear.

    • I think it’s weird to have the back of your foot showing while wearing hose. Slightly less weird than the toes showing while wearing hose (PLEASE don’t do this) but still weird. I’d wear full pumps if you’re going with hose, or bare legs with the sling backs.

    • This sounds perfect. You have more important things to worry about.

  16. Sunglasses :

    I’ve recently gone back to contact lenses after wearing glasses for many years. Where do people buy non-prescription sunglasses? Amazon? The last time I shopped for them, people were still going to Sunglass Huts in the mall.

    • Anonymous :

      TJ Maxx

    • I think people still go to sunglasses stores because they are an item you really have to try on.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I’m very rough on my glasses so I buy the brand ZeroUV on am a zon. They’re usually in the $10 range, and fun.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1 to ZeroUV. I’m sad I lost my pair of wayfarers in the ocean … but since they were $10, I’m not TOO sad.

    • I still go to Sunglass Hut but I’m loyal to Maui Jim and can get $50 off pretty often. Either there or a sunglass boutique at the beach.

  17. My (awesome) intern is going back to school in a couple weeks. We’re giving her a full-time offer for when she graduates! Would it be appropriate to get her a small present, like a Target or Starbucks gift card? Or is a signed card from everyone and a “can’t wait to have you back” note enough?

    • Tessa Karlov :

      The note would mean a lot more to me than a GC. I still have copies of letters of recommendation that my high school teachers wrote me, and I look at them often!

  18. I’ve been invited to a 50 year anniversary party for a high ranking jurist and his wife. It will be held at his son’s house. Do I take a gift? If so, what is appropriate? I’ve never been to a 50 year anniversary party before.

    • Okay, I’m a lawyer but what on earth is a high ranking jurist?
      On gifts, I’d bring champagne. They’ll probably get a lot of it but it’s appropriate.

  19. I really need some advice.

    I’m a relatively new attorney and joined a company as in-house counsel a year ago. During the interview process, the recruiter let slip that the company would pay “much more” than what I said my salary expectation was. Well of course the offer letter was for the lower number I gave to the recruiter. I tried negotiating a higher salary but the GC was adamant he believed that figure was fair. I conceded and accepted the offer because I really wanted an in-house position.

    I figured if I worked super hard my first year (which I did), it would be rewarded during the annual review process, which recently took place. Well, it wasn’t. At least not in any meaningful way – I received a 1% raise.

    A day ago, I found out on air-tight, intra-company authority that the other associate attorney with one more year of experience than me makes $15k more per year than I do.

    I have no idea what to do. This information confirms what I’ve already suspected, that I’m being taken advantage of and undervalued, but what do I do with that information? Especially considering I have a boss that doesn’t believe in negotiating and that asking for more money is distasteful. But also considering I’m a new attorney and need experience.

    I’m at such a loss. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  20. I really need some advice.

    I’m a relatively new attorney and joined a company as in-house counsel a year ago. During the interview process, the recruiter let slip that the company would pay “much more” than what I said my salary expectation was. Well of course the offer letter was for the lower number I gave to the recruiter. I tried negotiating a higher salary but the GC was adamant he believed that figure was fair. I conceded and accepted the offer because I really wanted an in-house position.

    I figured if I worked super hard my first year (which I did), it would be rewarded during the annual review process, which recently took place. Well, it wasn’t. At least not in any meaningful way – I received a 1% raise.

    A day ago, I found out on air-tight, intra-company authority that the other associate attorney with one more year of experience than me makes $15k more per year than I do.

    I have no idea what to do. This information confirms what I’ve already suspected, that I’m being taken advantage of and undervalued, but what do I do with that information? Especially considering I have a boss that doesn’t believe in negotiating and that asking for more money is distasteful. But also considering I’m a new attorney and need experience.

    I’m at such a loss. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  21. I really need some advice.

    I’m a relatively new attorney and joined a company as in-house counsel a year ago. During the interview process, the recruiter let slip that the company would pay “much more” than what I said my salary expectation was. Well of course the offer letter was for the lower number I gave to the recruiter. I tried negotiating a higher salary but the GC was adamant he believed that figure was fair. I conceded and accepted the offer because I really wanted an in-house position.

    I figured if I worked super hard my first year (which I did), it would be rewarded during the annual review process, which recently took place. Well, it wasn’t. At least not in any meaningful way – I received a 1% raise.

    A day ago, I found out on air-tight, intra-company authority that the other associate attorney with one more year of experience than me makes $15k more per year than I do.

    I have no idea what to do. This information confirms what I’ve already suspected, that I’m being taken advantage of and undervalued, but what do I do with that information? Especially considering I have a boss that doesn’t believe in negotiating and that asking for more money is distasteful. But also considering I’m a new attorney and need experience.

    I’m at such a loss. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    • You don’t think one more year of experience is worth 15k in salary differential?

    • Anonymous :

      What’s the market rate for your position/experience? If you’re being underpaid and they won’t give you a raise, then the obvious answer is to go work somewhere else.

    • First, try to find out what difference that one year makes in other businesses where you might also be hired as in-house counsel. I don’t know if one year makes that much difference, but I would imagine in big law firms, it does.

      Second, is the other one year more advanced male or female?

      Third, did you have any conversation when hired about what to expect in annual raises, etc.? One percent sounds very minimal to me (3 percent would be normal cost of living).

      Fourth, regardless of what you find out, it is doubtful that you are ever going to feel fairly treated at this job, and I would begin developing an exit plan for two or three years down the road. Get some experience and then find a company that will treat you fairly. In my experience, if this is how the job begins, it will not get any better with time.

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