Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I’ve mentioned before that I like doing lifting programs. I’ve got a new routine I really like and I just wanted to give a shoutout to these dumbbells from Bowflex, which I’ve had for one or two years. Each one adjusts from 5 to 52.5 lbs., and it’s easy to change them. If you’re gaining strength, it’s great to be able to increase the weight in small increments — 2.5 lbs. at a time for the first 25 lbs. They are a little pricey at $299 (eligible for Prime), but they replace a set of dumbbells, so if you think they would be useful for you I would definitely give them a try. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

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  1. Anonymous :

    where’s a good place to buy Hunter boots? Looking for the medium height ones and not too picky on color, size 10 or 11 depending on how they run. They are so ubiquitous I get the sense I don’t need to pay full price but…is that right?

  2. Alright guys, two embarrassing questions now that the weather is getting cooler.

    1. Now that I’m wearing black sweaters and blazers more, I’m noticing some dandruff on my shoulders. It’s not ever visible in my part or on my scalp, but I have really long, thick hair and it must just get deposited on my clothes over the day. What do I do to get rid of this? Some things I read say to add moisture, others seem to be solutions that would be drying like head and shoulders and tea tree oil. Has anyone actually had anything work?

    2. My shoes smell! I don’t have a huge rotation of shoes so it’s possible that I wear them more frequently than I should. Possibly I should get duplicates of some since I wear them so often (4x a week?) and had to get the sole replaced in one season. Are there liners or something that I should put in the shoes while I wear them? Something I can spray on my feet? Something I put in the shoes after I wear them? Help! I have a small but well loved collection of Chanel ballet flats and Louboutin pumps that I feel great in at work, but I don’t want to ruin them and don’t want to be stinky if I ever go to someones house after work and have to take my shoes off!

    Thanks for helping with these gross little issues!

    • same poster? :

      Is this the same poster who wrote a while back about issues with your sister while you were pregnant? I was dealing with a similar issue and have been wondering how that all played out over time.

    • Anonymous :

      Dandruff can be either dry scalp or oily scalp – so both are true. As for which you have? Dunno. With long, thick hair, I’d suggest cutting down how often you are washing your hair (once every 3-4 days? maybe less), and see if that helps. Unless that’s already what you do, and then I got nothing.

    • 1) Adding an anti-dandruff shampoo like Dove Scalp Care worked for me. I don’t find H&S overly drying either.
      2) Dr. Scholls foot spray is awesome. Also, in the morning thread someone mentioned charcoal inserts to place in your shoes when you aren’t wearing them to absorb moisture and odor

      • Anonymous :

        1) antidandruff also some scalp-care shampoos and masks

        2) let your shoes air out (24 hours) between wearing them. if you’re not wearing them with socks put one of those charcoal ball things in.

    • You need to let the shoes dry out for at least a full day between wears. Try leaving them in the sun for a little while if you can – UV rays kill bacteria.

    • I recommended the charcoal shoe inserts this morning and I’ll recommend them here again! They help dry shoes out faster and keep them from smelling.

    • Dr Scholls or Gold Bond foot powder. I sprinkle this in my shoes before I wear them. It keeps the shoes smelling nice, absorbs any foot moisture, and helps my feet slip around in my shoes so I don’t get blisters (i rarely wear socks or hose)

      I keep shoes for years and years and haven’t had any stinky shoe issues.

    • I use Head & Shoulders religiously and found it helped with dandruff and my hair is perfectly healthy after 10+ years of use. Now that I have psoriasis on my scalp as well as elsewhere (ears, face (sigh), elbows) (and am still recovering from my pregnancy-induced flare up) and it doesn’t help with that (and the things that do I can’t use to treat because then pregnancy and now BFing and hope to be getting pregnant again in a few months once we (hopefully, finally) wean this month). So I tend to wear my hair up a lot (less movement = less flakes) and try to refrain from scratching or itching. I find tea tree oil helps a lot with the itching. I also tend to wear light or patterned tops to hide the inevitable flaking, and if all else fails I just brush the flakes off my shoulders and get on with my day, because life.

      +1 to letting shoes air out for 24 hours. Some shoes are stinkier than others; I once used a peppermint spray on some particularly heinously smelling loafers and my husband complained about the peppermint smell for months (so spray and let air out outside!) but they didn’t smell like feet gunk anymore!

      • T-Gel shampoo may get you some relief for the scalp psoriasis! Sunshine also will help with the face/ears/elbows flares during the time when you can’t use a topical steroid.

    • The only thing that worked for me to stop my flats from smelling (and I tried a ton of things) was just wearing those tiny socks inside of them, but I’ve never had any issues since. The more expensive ones tend to stay on better and show less.

    • 1) Dandruff can be also a sign of SLS allergy. I was using a basic LOreal shampoo back when I worked there and my scalp got dry and itchy after a few months. I also noticed a dry eczema on my hands after I washed dishes by hand. I no longer remember who suggested SLS-free shampoo to me, but it worked and since then, all got back to normal. Now I use SLS-free shampoo and dish liquid.
      2) I always put removable leather insoles in new shoes. This, combined with rotating shoes quite often prolongs their life. When the insoles are getting dirty (I wear ballerinas and flats barefoot) from absorbing humidity, I exchange them for a new pair. My feet do not sweat that much, but you can try Dr Scholl footspray antiperspirant or powder. Basically you need to reduce sweating (antiperspirant, wearing breathable hosiery and shoes) and killing bacteria (antibacterial foot spray, preventing bacteria to form in your shoes, in which having the removable insoles can help). Also, if possible, give your shoes a one day rest before re-wearing. Can you buy 2 pairs of shoes you seem to wear the most often?

    • I can’t go barefoot in shoes, the stickiness and smell is horrific. Knee highs, always. (I wear only pants to work per dress code, but if I was a skirt wearer then full-length hose would be what I’d choose.)

  3. Aloft hotels :

    There is one in my city (never stayed at it; it is a nightlife district although M-TH it probably hosts many business travelers).

    I stayed at one earlier this week in another city (that is generally cooler than my own). It was part bad hotel (lilliputian everything in the rooms, bad lighting, furniture looked like bad knockoffs of Ikea) and part sad millenial fraternity basement in the lounge areas off of the lobby.

    It smelled really nice though.

    What gives?

    • It’s a hotel you didn’t like but some other people might like and there are probably lots of other hotels you wouldn’t like that other people would in the world? Not really sure what kind of answer you’re looking for here . . .

    • It’s the hotel of last resort in my university town for booking rooms for visiting speakers/guests/professors because our local Aloft has pulled every manner of billing shadiness in its short tenure. Most folks would rather not deal with them if at all possible. I’ve never heard any complaints about the rooms. We don’t experience that with any of the other Marriott properties in town.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe it is aimed at younger travelers?

      Mine was almost aimed at bros — shampoo (but no conditioner), no shower caps, pool table. Surprised that there wasn’t cornhole.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re asking about the smell- the one I stayed in had very heavy aerosol perfume. I generally hate that kind of thing (by taste, not physical sensitivity) but remember sort of liking theirs.

    • I mean, you kind of said it. They’re trying to attract Millenials in one of those sad marketing efforts where they think millenials want this and that and cool and hip and all that, when millenials really just want what the rest of us want – a quiet, clean room in a safe area with a comfortable bed.

      I’m an older gen x and all of this marketing to millennials cracks me up because it is just a retread of what they tried to push on my generation, as if we were also a monolith (x games, anyone?)

      • Anonymous :

        I agree that it is silly to treat a generation as a monolith and that Aloft is out of touch, but my millennial nieces and nephews really don’t want a quiet, clean room in a safe area with a comfortable bed. They want low-cost or free (some of them “couch-surf” with total strangers) and do not care much about cleanliness, safety, or comfort. Unless someone else is paying, in which case they want only the best. I have one niece who will stay in the most awful air b n b as long as it’s cheap, but insists on super fancy hotels for business travel.

        • Well, I’m not sure how old your millennial niece is, but I’m an older millennial. When I was in college and early 20s, I traveled with backpacks and stayed in hostels and on the couches of not-quite-total strangers (like, friends of friends, or friends of family members, but strangers to me). I’m sure I was in some less than safe situations. Even then, when I traveled for business, I stayed in typical corporate hotels–never the Ritz, but definitely regular Hiltons and Marriotts when available. There’s a different standard for business travel, and different consequences for not being fully rested. However, I do know several people, including people in their 40s and 50s, who travel for business on their own expense and seem to stay in cheaper places–so, like you said, for all ages, a lot depends on who’s paying.

          Now, in my mid 30s, I want a clean room in a safe area with a comfortable bed, whether for personal travel or business. I usually use credit card points for personal travel, which I wouldn’t have been able to do in my mid 20s.

        • Anonymous :

          Are they millennials or gen z? Millennials are now aged 22-37. I had to look that up… I’m at the oldest end and knew it but didn’t realize it was QUITE that big of a range. My sister just turned 25 and I thought she was at the tail end. 22 seems doable for couch surfing but at 36? No thanks. I have also really disliked my experiences at Aloft hotels.

          • Anonymous :

            Mid-20s, all married with zero student debt, solid jobs, and homes they own. The couch surfers don’t have kids, but the air b n b-ers do.

          • Hmm.. that sounds like a very different millennial than the stereotype. Mid-20s with homes they own and no student debt? Mmmk. Maybe that’s just what happens if you graduated into this economy rather than in 2008-12ish

        • BankrAtty :

          Oh, trust me, many of us want clean, safe, and quiet. But we can’t afford it because we are drowning in student loan debt, paying higher rents than in the past, and spending all of our money on avocado toast.

          • Horse Crazy :

            +1 Just because I prefer a large, immaculate living space doesn’t mean I can afford one.

        • This isn’t a generalization to make based on age, it’s a generalization to make based on income or preferences. You know that the oldest millennials are 37, right? It makes you sound very out of touch to make sweeping generalizations like this, especially when they’re just plain wrong.

          • Anonymous :

            Not generalizing, just giving case studies of 6 millennials in my family who do not want what normal adult travelers want.

          • “Normal adult”

            I think it’s time to stop digging yourself deeper I to this hole.

            gen X

          • Anonymous :

            Do not want or cannot afford?

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Aloft’s entire marketing premise is that they are aimed at young millenials and those are things some marketing person told them millenials like, instead of considering whether millenials might like normal hotel things, like a fully functioning closet instead of the weird single hanger wardrobe thing every aloft i’ve stayed in has. I find the layout of their rooms just very odd, but they do tend to have nicer workout rooms.

    • Worry about yourself :

      Eh, not everything is for you. I’m 29, not wealthy, I like to stay somewhere comfortable when I travel but I’d rather reserve a room in a boutique hotel through Groupon or Expedia to save money. I checked out the Aloft in my city, which I wouldn’t ever need to stay in but I was intrigued, and what baffled me was that all the rooms were small and compact and yet the price wasn’t that much lower than the other hotels in the area. I didn’t get it. Aloft wouldn’t be my first choice, but that doesn’t mean I’m incredulous at its very existence.

    • Anonymous :

      Aloft sounds pretty bad to this older-end-of-range millennial, but I also feel extremely uncomfortable in generic hotels. None of the amenities seem keyed to anything I want or need–a TV with a billion stations but I have to pay extra for WiFi? All I wanted was to stream on my laptop in the first place!

      They smell weird, and the polyester bed covers are depressing. If they’re not the higher end or flagship franchises in hip urban centers, they’re still typically decorated in a way that’s overkill and hard to ignore (maroon, navy, stripes, florals). They would have been better advised to keep things neutral and minimalist (or that is what would make me feel comfortable and relaxed). They don’t really feel safe to me either; I stayed at a ton of usual suspect nice chain hotels with my family as a young teen, and I remember plenty of sketchiness and weird experiences. So I guess if I’m going to have a bad experience that feels somewhat sketchy to me anyway, I’d rather save money or even just spend the same amount of money to stay in a space that feels more spare and less like it’s trying really hard to please someone who isn’t me.

    • early 30s business traveller :

      I adore Aloft and will use it anytime there’s an option, but I have really specific reasons:
      * laundry available on every floor
      * workout rooms that I actually want to use vs a crappy treadmill
      * decent food in the hotel bar (usually)
      I didn’t notice the room being any worse, but the laundry? not having to pay $50-60 for laundry? anytime.

    • Little Red :

      Stayed at the one in Boston, this past summer, since it was walking distance to the convention center. I thought they had a crappy bed and the storage space for me to hang my business clothes for the week was lacking but otherwise it was okay. I’m a Gen Xer BTW.

  4. Interviewing While Pregnant :

    Need your tips and success stories while interviewing in the third trimester! I never thought I’d be in this situation, but here I am. I pushed through some serious awkwardness in the early stages to get to the final round at a very conservative old white man kind of place. Planning to wear a black Isabella Oliver Ivybridge dress and the J Crew black going out blazer. Stockings, pearls, and my most conservative pumps to balance out the stretchiness of the dress. Transitioning from government to industry, and there’s no official position advertised…managed to get here through networking. They obviously know that I’m super pregnant. Please help!

    • Anonymous :

      Sounds great – you got this! Do some serious thinking about how you’ll answer questions about maternity leave and what you really want your maternity leave (to help you feel polished if/when it comes up).

  5. Has anyone found a thin ponte/knit wrap dress they like? Or any thicker fabric wrap dress? every one i have seen is modal/rayon or some other very thin fabric.

    I’m not going to be doing squats in it but would like something that feels substantial.

    • Anonymous :

      lands’ end has some that are probably thicker. there are often cashmere or merino ones too, from brands like DVF or brooks brothers.

    • I just bought at Boden wrap dress, but I sized up to make sure it wrapped all the way around my front. It looks great and is a substantial weight knit (sort of a modal/light ponte).

  6. Would it be better to interview in a slightly too tight suit or wear a black ponte blazer over gray pants instead? My interview suit zips/closes, but I’m about five pounds too heavy now for it to look like a perfect fit. Normally I would never wear something too tight to interview, but it’s my only suit option. I’m in the Bay Area and interviewing for jobs at policy-oriented foundations. I can buy something new if absolutely needed, but money is tight.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I’d wear the clothing that fits better. You may be able to eek by with it, but you won’t feel comfortable.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 I went with a smaller suit once for a big conference and was unpleasantly surprised to find that the zipper on the pants going down by itself. Joy.

    • Don’t buy something new. Contrary to much of what goes on here, that’s not the answer to everything.

      I doubt other people will notice it’s too tight, but you should go with what you’re going to feel most comfortable in. In my experience in the policy world, nobody has ever been *super* formal.

    • I had this situation when I was interviewing a few months post-partum. The cheaper solution I went with was shapewear. I got the Target by Sarah Blakely brand or whatever; I didn’t splurge for name brand Spanx.

      • I could try this for the pants, but no shapewear is going to help with the tight shoulders…

        • Oh, my mistake. I agree with the other commenters, don’t buy anything new. Would it be ridiculously informal in the policy world to take off your jacket once you have ticked the “Look at my interview suit” box?

    • Wear the separates. You need to be comfortable to interview well. No one is going to clutch their pearls that you didn’t wear a cookie cutter suit. Some of the posters on here can be too much with this crap.

      • Anonymous :


      • I had the same thought yesterday when shopping for interview outfits. I’ve lost about 35 lbs and none of my suit pieces fit at all and I had a really hard time finding that when it did fit because I just don’t look good in tailored clothes (small across the shoulders and thick through the middle). I bought outfits that look pulled together and more formal than my usual work wear that fit really well. I’m also interviewing for two full days and flying home at the end of the second day. I figure, if they are clutching their pearls over what I’m wearing, they won’t like me and I won’t want to work there.

    • Anonymous :

      Wear the separates and be confident. I was once in a similar situation and I went with a dark green dress and a gray blazer and still got the offer.

    • I’m a sometime interviewer for a well-known firm. All I care about is that you look presentable. Wear what makes you feel confident, and knock ‘em dead.

  7. fired as a bridesmaid :

    Part vent, part looking for advice: A friend kicked me out of her wedding party after I reached out to her mother privately (we have an existing relationship) and told her that I was hurt that she said during dress try on that I had a few months to lose weight before the wedding. I was firm, but not rude (in my opinion) in my text message to the mom that she not discuss my weight in the future.

    Friend freaked out when she found out, called me to lecture me for thinking that her mom could have possibly meant that in a mean way, and then asked me if I wanted to still be in the wedding. I said yes, of course, you’re my best friend.

    She called me 20 minutes later and said that she didn’t want me to be in the wedding and that she thinks it would be too stressful for me if I was upset about such a small thing.

    She told me she wants to still be friends, but I’m having a hard time getting past this, let alone moving forward/attending the wedding/maintaining a friendship like we had before.

    • Anonymous :

      You texted her mom? I think while you were not out of line, that is a phone call to the mom, not a text. Texts are so hard to interpret.

      • Totally disagree. Calling someone to talk about this sounds like you’re open to a dialogue about this. I think a written communication is fine – conveys that your weight isn’t up for discussion.

      • fired as bridesmaid :

        You’re probably right- I hate talking on the phone and was afraid I’d cry, as I did when the mom called me immediately after I sent the text, so we did talk. The mom seemed fine once we were done talking, she apologized, I thought we moved on.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Back away slowly. Just back away. It doesn’t matter if you were right or wrong, you’re dancing on a minefield when it comes to someone’s wedding. Clearly, there are explosions elsewhere and you’re getting the flack for it. Let her get married, calm down, and come to her senses. Does it suck? Yes. But the only good option here is to let the situation breathe and decide what you’re willing to take in order for the friendship to continue after the wedding. Will she need to apologize? How much so? What will it take to “make it up to you”? It might be, nothing can make me feel like you are willing to go back to a certain level of closeness, and that’s OK if it’s the limit you want to set. Or if it’s just over, done. You can only control how you feel and how you act. Trying to get more out of her now is just going to make everything worse.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to “Trying to get more out of her now is just going to make everything worse.” I have been in at least six weddings and have let friendships fade with several of them because of how they acted while they were getting married. Sure, I can forgive, but am I really going to forget how terrible you were to me? Nope. Does it matter that you were stressed, yes, but not enough, in my book. I expect my friends to treat people with kindness and compassion, even if they are getting married.

    • Your “friend” and her mom are both incredibly immature. You handled this professionally by reaching out to the mom privately and politely to establish a boundary about your own appearance. She chose to tattle to her daughter and get you kicked out of the wedding. I know it’s painful, but maybe you should just say good riddance to them. I don’t really see a good way to come back from this.

      • +1. I’m sorry they hurt you; their behavior is so unacceptable. This happened to my sister once (though it was the bride doing the criticizing, not the mom), and it absolutely killed the friendship, which was already semi-shaky. Wedding stress is not a good excuse for harping on a friend’s physical appearance.

    • Anonymous :

      She sounds awful. Good riddance.

    • Wow. I would have had a friend’s back if my mom criticized her weight, which is totally a thing my mom would do.

      I think I would let yourself take some time to not feel great about how you’ve been treated here (which you have a right to because you’ve been treated poorly!) and give yourself some space before trying to resume the friendship.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you’re all in the wrong here. You friend was obviously wrong to criticize your weight, but you were also wrong to go tattle on her to her mom. But yeah, if someone fires you from her wedding party, I don’t think you’re really going to be close friends going forward.

      • The person doing the criticizing was the mother, as I understood the post.

        • Anonymous :

          Oh yes, you’re right. I misread. In that case, I’m more team OP, although I agree with others that it would have been handled in the moment.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m not the OP, but I think the mom is the one who made the weight comment.

      • fired as a bridesmaid :

        To clarify- the mom made the comment, I texted the mom privately as to not involve my friend at all, as it wasn’t something she said, and it’s not her fault her mom said it. Didn’t want to put a damper on the dress trying on situation.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yikes. I feel for you about not wanting to discuss your weight, but I feel like the better thing would have been to call her on it in the moment: “Hey, I’m happy with my body the way it is, thank you very much!” or similar. It’s super hard to read tone in a text and obviously the mom was taken aback at the very least.

      But your friend is also being way less than awesome, for sure. “Upset about such a small thing” is not a very kind way to put it.

      My advice? I think you’re right that this is going to impact the friendship but too soon to tell how badly. Remember brides can have pre-wedding temporary insanity. Definitely attend the wedding, and beyond that just see how things go.

      I’m sorry this is happening. Friend troubles are hard!

      • Fired bridesmaid :

        Can I just say thank you all so much for your truly kind words and encouragement? It really means a lot to me.

      • I completely agree that perhaps it is *best* to handle these things in the moment, but I am never good at that sort of thing, especially if I’m hurt in a way that plays on the insecurities I already have. I guess I’m just not confident enough (in those kinds of situations) to just come back at someone with just the right words and tone. I need to think about and and prepare what to say. So while I get that it’s best, I would never fault someone for not handling it exactly that way in the moment. OP, you did nothing wrong. Waiting until you can carefully choose your words and dealing with the person who said it were the right thing to do. The bride and her mother are the ones at fault. I hope you can salvage your friendship after this is all over. Yikes, reminds me of those bridesmaid freak shows (of personalities, not the women in the dresses) on SYTTD Atlanta.

    • Anonymous :

      HOORAY you are free from this obligation.

      I’d expect her to change her mind again and be prepared to decline if she does. Definitely use the excuse that you obviously can’t please everyone as much as you’d like too … and you don’t want the pressure of living up to her and her mom’s (unreasonable tho don’t say unreasonable maybe say unachievable and pretend you only wish you could be good enough and thin enough) expectations.

      Also re: the mom, consider it’s best to say something in the moment if you can, or say it in person later. Your text is evidence that you were firm with her mom, while her mom’s words were clearly a mistake … she can deny, deny, deny or claim they were dripping with honey since they’re not recorded.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Yeahhh people freak out about weddings but I’m starting to think it’s just their true personality traits being magnified. Her mom said something to you that you didn’t like; you responded appropriately; your friend freaked out and kicked you out? Eff. Her. (Just a thought — I don’t have any friends whose reaction would be anything other than “oh my gosh my mom is awful about that stuff, I’ll talk to her too!” in that situation, so like…yeah sorry your friend is letting you down here.)

      • Anonymous :

        This. Weddings show the true colors of a lot of people.

        I would decline an invite to the wedding.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m hung up on friend telling you mom didn’t mean her comment about your weight “in a mean way.” Like, is there a nice way to tell someone to lose weight? The answer is no. No there isn’t.

      • Anonymous :

        The only context in which I could see being acceptable is if OP had mentioned wanting to lose weight (doesn’t sound like this was the case) or maaaaybe if she had recently had a baby or something like that, so everyone’s assuming she’ll weigh less in a few months.

      • That stood out to me too. I think the OP was in the right. Mom said something cruel, friend is defending mom, and the OP has been perfectly reasonable. I too would be taking a step back from this friendship.

      • Yeah, I’m hung up on this. I often try to give secondhand accounts some benefit of the doubt but there’s no good way that this comment was appropriate. And worse, it doesn’t seem like OP gave a hostile response and the pushback from bride and mom of bride (who I assume interfered) is excessive given the rudeness of the mom. I’d be very disappointed as a friend and I’d take this as an indication on where the rest of the relationship is heading.

      • Worry about yourself :

        There are women who seem to believe all women are constantly striving to slim down to a size 2 – but not necessarily agreeing that they need to lose weight. I’m not one of these people and I don’t think it’s a good thing at all, but it’s definitely a thing. She probably meant it as an encouraging, “you can do it, I believe in you!” comment, not realizing how insulting that assumption is for some people, or how uncomfortable some people are having others comment on their bodies like that. Someone just needs to tell bride’s mom that some people (like OP) are happy with their bodies and don’t have weight loss on the radar, so to imply that someone is worried about their weight might inadvertently suggest that they should be worried, which is super inappropriate. Impact matters more than intent here.

        But if bride’s mom is acting like this, making those kind of comments and then getting all offended when someone says “hey, that wasn’t cool, please don’t do that,” this is probably not a bridal party you want to be a part of, because you’d probably be in for more toxic drama garbage.

    • The mom was out of line, you stood up for yourself, the mom apparently apologized, but now the bride has a problem with it? You’re better off.

      Sorry it had to come to this, but you’re now seeing who your friend is, which is a self-centered, unsupportive not-friend.

    • Anonymous :

      Never text your friend’s mom. Just why? You made something minor a huge drama.

      • Hi there! Are you also the person who thinks Dr. Ford is a lying wh0re? Or were you yourself a bridezilla trying to justify your own actions? Or both?

        In either case –

        1) it’s not up to you to decide what is minor or major to the OP

        2) the mother made the comment. The text was appropriately addressed to her

    • Oh wow, that’s an overreaction.

      But… it is downright weird how many people get into the Bridezilla thing… evene when the bride isn’t doing it. My MOH was asked by her hairdresser, five months before my wedding, if she (MOH) was supposed to grow out her hair so it would better in an updo.

      I’m like, in what world does anyone change her body for my wedding, let alone one of my very best friends?

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, my MOH actually asked me if she needed to grow out her hair for my wedding. I was stunned. Why would I dictate the length of her hair for my wedding? Also, I had a pixie cut.

      • Anonymous :

        Yay! Thank you for feeling this way as a bride! On behalf of women everywhere, please share loudly with any engaged friends.

    • Anonymous :

      Good for you for standing up for yourself. This sort of thing is exactly why women don’t demand that people treat them better. When we call someone out on their clearly inappropriate behavior, we get this kind of terrible backlash. And from other women! “Who does she think she is trying to tell my mom not to tell her she needs to lose weight I’ll show her!” It’s awful. I’m sorry this happened to you. But please don’t let this dissuade you from sticking up for yourself in the future.

    • So I agree with you that your friend was awful and out of line, but is her mom from another cultural background? Because my mom immigrated here and this is totally something she might have said. Actually she’s said something like this before to me and in our East Asian culture, I think it’s not that weird for an older woman to tell a younger person (male or female) to your face that your face looks chubby or your waist could use some slimming or you need to diet or wow, look at that belly of yours, etc. seriously. I’ve told my mom that’s rude, but she just shrugs and thinks she’s doing someone a favor by pointing something out (as if anyone doesn’t already know they are overweight). In their culture, it is not rude – it is just giving “honest advice” to younger people and not “hiding the truth,” is how she explains it and she thinks it is preferable to people being complimentary to your face while talking behind your back. Anyway just another perspective to consider if it so happens that your friend’s mom happens to come from a similar background as my mom.

  8. Anonymous :

    Any leather cleaning secrets?

    I have a Botkier bag, the east-west trigger if anyone else has it. It’s like an untreated leather? in that it seems absorbent. I treated it with appleguard as well as have tried cleaning it but it’s stained to high he!!. Wondering if there are any secrets or could a cobbler/dry cleaner handle it.

    • I got the majority of a salad dressing stain out of a leather bag but putting cornstarch on it and letting it sit. This took about a month, and I would let the cornstarch sit for about a week at a time. So, not the fastest way, but I did save the bag.

  9. I have a v silly question (please feel free answer anonymously of course!!) – very curious to know how many professional women are partaking in smokeable herbs behind closed doors. I’m a regular reader sometimes poster on here and wondering who else is in my boat, since obviously its not something you can talk about in professional settings (but I suspect its more common than people think). Just wondering! I know this is ridiculous!

    • I do very occasionally (maybe 1-2 times a year), but not right now due to job searching. Most recently, I tried a specialty strain to help an injury, but noticed no improvement. It just isn’t that fun for me otherwise so it’s not something I do on a regular basis. I also gained 15 lbs when I did partake regularly for a few months, so there’s that.

    • Anonymous :

      Not me. I tried it once and hated it.

      Too bad, too, because alcohol has calories.

      • Same. It makes me completely anxious and paranoid. It makes my husband funny and creative. I wish I were like him! For now, I’m sticking to my caloric gin and tonics. (Don’t suggest vodka sodas please. Can’t stand them)

        • Have you ever tried diet tonic? I can barely drink regular tonic any more – tastes too syrupy.

        • Anonymous :

          vodka and diet ginger ale. You might not be able to get it out, but it is such a great at home cocktail!

        • Anonymous :

          Yesssssss on calories. I have a lot of friends (early 40s) who switched to pot for calorie’s sake, especially when they could get a “prescription” online. My boyfriend wants us to switch too but I’ve never felt anything the 3-4 times I’ve tried it.

      • Is it Friday yet? :

        It has no calories… but the food you inevitably eat after partaking in it does!

        • I don’t think that’s necessarily inevitable, though. I haven’t gotten munchies, but I also use low THC strains just to help me sleep.

        • this is what I was going to say! No calories but it definitely lowers my self control, it might come out a wash or close. but never any hangovers!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I do not, but not for any particular reason. Recreational is legal here. I used to live somewhere where it was not legal, and about half the professionals I knew partook regularly.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve never done it, neither has my husband or any of my close friends, but I think it’s just a weird coincidence. I’m sure there are plenty of people who do. When I was in Big Law, the drug of choice was coke and there was pressure to participate, which was a little scary (I never partook, but I didn’t like being around it).

      • I live in a state where its legal for medical but not recreational use, but I suspect it will be decriminalized fairly soon. I’ve noticed that coke is the drug of choice and have never tried it – despite enjoying smoking heavy drugs freak me out, and at this point I have largely stopped drinking and just do this. Being around people on coke is deeply unpleasant IMO.

        • I can’t remember which comedian said coke is the “let’s talk and talk and talk and talk about ME!” drug. Deeply unpleasant indeed.

          And omg molly. Dude, stop touching me. Step back.

        • Anonymous :

          Ugh yes! I hated my friends on coke.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I don’t partake – tried it a couple of times and it’s not my thing.

      It’s not legal here and I do support decriminalization/legalization, but I also REALLY dislike the way it smells. I don’t care what you do in your home, but if you’re smoking in your car EVERYONE around can smell it.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to hate the way it smells

      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        Same. It just smells like roadkill skunk to me.

      • Yup. I’ve never tried it because the smell makes me gag. Smokers love to tell me “Oh, that’s just shwag, you’ve never smelled the good stuff.” Yes, I have. It also reeks, just differently.

      • Full of ideads :

        Vaping, edibles, tinctures… None of these smell, all the benefits. Signed, CBD, CBG, and occasional THC user in place of opiod pain meds for endometriosis

    • Yep, though not that often. Know plenty of other working professionals that do too.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t but can’t wait for October 17th!

    • I live in a state where it’s legal for recreational use. I don’t like smoking, but I do buy edibles at my local dispensary. Don’t do it super frequently, but just because it’s not my preference.

    • I should add just in case some of you don’t know – even if you live in a state where recreational use is legal, even if you live in a medicinal state and have a card – you can be fired for failing a drug test if your employer tests for mj. Employment laws are federal and it’s obviously still not legal at that level, even for medicinal. This has been tried and upheld in Colorado already.

      I think it’s wrong for a variety of reasons, including that there is still no “currently impaired” test as there is for alcohol, but it is what it is. Just be aware of this please.

    • I have enjoyed edibles a few times since college (they are legal in a neighboring state but used pretty regularly in our state). I had a bad experience earlier this year and haven’t used them since. My husband enjoys them every few months, though, and I have several friends who are in quasi-professional jobs who smoke pretty regularly.

    • Anonymous :

      I do occasionally. It does make me anxious and paranoid sometimes, other times sleepy. I know some other professionals that do it. I am a big fan of edibles if I can find them.

    • No, not legal in my state and I practice federally, where it’s definitely illegal. Plus I was never a huge fan but I smoked semi regularly in college. Don’t miss it.

    • Full of ideas :

      I’m at a BigLaw firm, but a fairly relaxed one. I was pleasantly surprised that many of my coworkers “smoke” (although most use edibles or vape, “use” sounds too weird…). I think it is much safer than drinking heavily, which lawyers tend to do as a group.

      On that note, I really hope the Feds take it off the controlled substance list, or at least down grade it. We all know pot is not heroin or meth. Pharma companies don’t want this to happen because they are protecting their market share. With the current opiod crisis, all of this makes me so frustrated! For a good history of Mary Jane in the US, check out The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Down and Dupont played a huge role in the stigmatization and subsequent illegalization back around the turn of the century to protect their companies’ market shares over the wonder crop that is hemp. Really messed up story that many people are totally oblivious to.

  10. What Would You Do? :

    Late 30s, single, no kids, LCOL area, renter. Annual income after taxes past few years has been $43k, which is enough (though more would always be nice)

    I am a speaker/trainer and consultant. I often work for free because my topic is related to a social justice field and I fear people not learning if I turn down offers, even if they don’t pay. However, I am working on how to better rethink that as my goal is to earn my entire living speaking and that can’t happen if I give away the work for free.

    In the meantime, I pay most of my bills as a freelancer. The money is good but it is not always consistent. (Averaging approx. $25/hr. after taxes)

    I got offered a work from home job that would require me to have a set schedule which I could not often deviate from. (Pay is $12/hr. after taxes)

    I am torn about what to do. Do I turn down the work from home job and focus my efforts into building my speaking business and chasing freelancing money even though that is inconsistent or is it bad to turn down consistent work? Do I take the consistent work and hope I can make the freelance stuff and the speaking jobs work around the consistent work, knowing that I’m at risk for having to choose if they conflict?

    The job needs an answer now and for me to set a schedule (which must include M and F, though hours throughout the week can be non-traditional, I just have to pick a schedule and stick to it). I’m afraid to turn consistent money away but I am also afraid of being penny wise and pound foolish.

    What would you do in my position and why? <3 thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom! <3

    • Anonymous :

      As a single person with no kids and no house to sell, you need to fund your retirement in cash. So I would take whichever job will allow you to put more money in retirement accounts.

    • Senior Attorney :

      $12 an hour?

      No. Just, no.

      Build your business!

    • anon a mouse :

      It’s easy for me to advise from here, since I’m not in your shoes, but: I would turn down the job. It’s more stable, but the stability comes at a price – literally, cutting your pay in half.

      You said that your goal is to earn a living speaking, so I’d work towards that, not away from it. Stop giving away your work (or limit it to once per quarter, or only for X organization, etc.). Value your time and knowledge. Work on increasing your client pool to introduce stability. If you need extra income, I’d sooner drive Lyft or bartend or pick up holiday retail to fill a gap.

    • Anonymous :

      Beyond salary, are there any benefits which would make the $12/hr job worthwhile? Healthcare coverage? 401k? paid vacation or sick leave?

      Is the $12/hr job part-time so you could use that as a base for 20 hrs a week and devote 20+ hours to your business or is it full time hours that would involve scaling back your business?

      Do not be afraid to ask your value for your speaking engagements. Sometimes presenters are taken more seriously when they are paid, because it is thought that they have more value if they are expensive – similarly to how some people view public defenders vs private lawyers. To be clear, I think that view is wrong, but that view does exist. You can always offer to rebate part of your fee to the organization as a donation if they say your rate is too high. I would do that over dropping your rate, because you get a tax deduction.

    • 1) Stop working for free. Never work for free.
      2) Don’t take a job that pays $12 an hour. Build your own business instead or find a job that actually pays you enough to maintain and grow your current standard of living.

      Good luck!

      • I agree. You can do better than $12 per hour. I totally understand wanting a stable income and how hard it can be to piece together work as an independent contractor, but this pay will add up so slowly, and there are other better options for you if you keep looking.

        • Anonymous :

          1 – totally agree
          2 – totally agree — work at starbucks for insurance or trader joe’s for flexible hours or start freelancing doing easier things on upwork or fiverr or as a virtual assistant.

          How much research have you done on earning a living as a speaker? Is there a FB group or online class for aspiring speakers that you can take?

    • Anonymous :

      $12 a hour? Thats less than babysitting.

    • Coming from someone who is pretty risk adverse when it comes to my professional life, this is the situation where you turn down the $12/hr job and grow your business. Also, stop working for free. If you want to have a non-profit discount rate, ok, but not free. If you really need extra money, get a bartending gig (you can definitely make $12/hr and the schedule is usually flexible).

    • You can earn more than $12 an hour as a server, which is highly flexible. I don’t see an upside to taking this inflexible poorly-paying job.

  11. Car transport service? :

    Has anyone had experience with a service to transport a car across several states? Thanks for any advice.

    • Depending where you’re trying to move the car, it’s typically significantly cheaper to up your car insurance to full coverage (and gap insurance if necessary) and find someone to drive it for you than to have a service do it. (I’ve driven friends’ cars to move them a few times, I really enjoy the experience, feel free to leave a throwaway email if you want to talk more about this!)

      • Anonymous :

        We got a car shipped for ~1300. I don’t have their contact info. It went fine. It wasn’t a fancy car so we didn’t go for the “enclosed in a box” option.

    • Yes, and it worked fine (we were sending our old car to our son), but it all seemed a little sketchy. Those companies that advertise about transporting cars are brokers, not the people who will actually drive it. It will likely be some one- or two-truck company who will do the transporting. Check the Better Business Bureau ratings for the broker, and if possible the actual trucking company, and ask lots of questions about who will do the actual delivery, insurance, etc. Be there when they load the car to make sure you’re comfortable.

    • I had a car shipped approx. 1200 miles and used Rebel Yell Transport based out of Texas. The whole industry of car shipping is hard to navigate and sketchy. Despite the somewhat questionable name, I was happy with their service which ran about $900.

    • We had a car shipped from CA to MI for $900 I think? Would have been more expensive to drive it myself.

    • I used UShip to move a car from Calif to Seattle and it worked out great. Exactly as expected.

  12. Anon Lawyer :

    Vicarious shopping challenge – I’m going to a conference that has a dinner which has requested “cocktail attire.” I could just forget it and wear my business clothes, but I wouldn’t mind buying something new if I could get it delivered stat. I’m willing to pay rush shipping. I’m not sure what is appropriate for cocktail business attire but am fairly sure it’s nothing I own.

    I’m a size 16, with a large chest (i.e. a lot of stuff ends up being revealing on me).

    • Anonymous :

      In this situation I’ve used my favorite office appropriate dress then added sparkly/fancy shoes and extra jewelry plus an evening bag.

    • Anonymous :

      When my conferences say this, everyone (everyone) just wears whatever they were wearing all day. I’ve never seen anyone change clothes. (If you’re talking about a cocktail hour that’s in Ballroom C and you’ve been in Ballroom A all day, that is.) Maybe wear a black dress that day so you feel a little dressier.

    • I’m the same size/proportion as you describe, and I’d wear something like a black Karen Kane cascade wrap dress during the day, but before this event swap out to fun jewelry and shoes, small clutch.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Same size and shape, and I would wear this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071GF2YSC/ (size 16 has a good price right now!) It’s a workhorse of a dress and packs nicely and makes me feel like a million bucks. I particularly like the not-too-low v-neck.

      If I were attending, I would probably wear the dress all day (though I guess it would depend if there were a long break between the final meeting of the day and the dinner). On the other hand, at the conferences my employer hosts, people definitely change for “cocktail” type dinners.

    • The issue is, all the men are going to be wearing the exact same thing they wore all day (unless they’re wearing khakis during the day and changing to suits? But that seems unlike any male behavior patterns I’m familiar with). You need to be able to do the same thing they do.

    • In this situation (I attend a lot of conferences) I tend to wear the same black or navy dress I wore with a blazer during the day, ditch the blazer and add a wrap, wear sparkly earrings, and use a clutch in place of my giant tote. It’s a fairly efficient way to pack because I also use the wrap/pashmina on the airplane, and my clutch and sparkly earrings don’t take up any room to speak of.

  13. This is a very clueless makeup question. I have very pink skin, and I would like to even that out. When I wear foundation, I feel like I look like a ghost, which I guess means I need to add blush? But that feels like a lot of makeup. Is there something I can do to even out how pink my skin is without taking on a massive makeup routine?

    • I like the Dr. Jart’s tigergrass color correcting cream. It’s green in the bottle and blends to match your skin tone, but the green cancels out redness. I’m very pale and it matches my face perfectly once rubbed in. I don’t wear blush with it unless I’m feeling fancy. It just tones down redness, doesn’t make you look like a ghost. It’s pretty light-weight feeling on your skin, more like wearing sunscreen than foundation.

    • Vicky Austin :

      I have a troublesome red patch on my right cheek where the skin is just very thin for no apparent reason, so all the blood vessels etc stand out. Wearing tinted moisturizer/bb cream was thick enough to make it less pronounced, but not so thick that it disappeared completely. Maybe just adjust the coverage of your foundation or go the tinted moisturizer route?
      FWIW, I am also makeup clueless, so get your grain of salt ready. Lol.

    • I am also pale with very pink skin! I wear BB cream (applied with a Sephora foundation brush, which is key) and that evens out the redness in my cheeks, nose, and chin without covering up my skin and making me look ghostly.

      If I want a little more polish, I’ll stipple on some pressed powder with a Sephora air brush and then add a little blush to the apples of my cheeks. The blush is definitely necessary in that case because I’ve covered enough of the pink that my skin is really pale again…

      Doing BB cream plus powder plus blush honestly takes me all of two minutes, so no need to worry that it’s going to be a big time commitment.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you super fair? I’m ghost colored with warm undertones, and I really have to have the correct foundation color to not look like a candidate for exorcism or someone with dirt on their face. Getting matched at a counter might be your ticket to success. Lots of foundations do not come in a compatible color for me and the undertone has to be correct to really work.

    • I have very pale, pink skin and I really like using a more yellow toned foundation. Clinique Acne Solutions in Fresh Ivory or Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer or Lancome Teint Idole in Ivorie N. It disappears on my pink skin in a way the pinked tone shades do not.

    • I also really like IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Correcting Cream. You just needs a little bit to even out the redness!

    • Try a lighter coverage foundation and then amp up the coverage in spots you need it with concealer. Sephora has a foundation matcher quiz where you can ask for light coverage. A few I like are Mac Face and Body (super sheer and glowy) and the Loreal Pro Glow cushion.

    • Anonymous :

      Foundation looks weird by itself because it’s all one color but your face is naturally different shades. Like your cheeks (and in my case, my nose and chin) are naturally a little more pink than the rest of your face. If you don’t add some color back in, then your face will look a little off to your eye. You could pick up a sheer-ish blush stick/cream instead of a powder – that would blend nicely with a bb cream and wouldn’t look heavy at all.

    • I like Skinceuticals Physical Fusion Mineral Sunblock with SPF. It’s a tinted mineral sunscreen that blends into my moderately fair skin and covers my mild rosacea and spots. Shake very well to mix and apply; dries quickly to a matte finish and lasts more or less all day (which I know because I have to wash to remove it at night).

    • Buy yourself a tube of the maybelline bb cream. I am super pale with neutral undertones and the lightest shade works for me. I would try a cream blush for color, the ELF all over cream is good

  14. Decor help sought :

    My condo building (a brownstone) will be redoing our common front stairwell area for five units. We will keep existing white trim, brass light fixtures, and a touch of medium toned oak wood. We need to pick colors for new carpeting and the walls. What colors are both current and not likely to look dated in the future? My neighbor proposes a medium charcoal gray carpet and very light gray paint. My sense is that gray has been popular for a while but may be on its way out. Still a decent choice? I default to an idea of a bright ivory for the walls and greenish neutral for carpet. Would that look weird in 2018 and beyond? Any input appreciated!

    • Bright ivory walls seem classic, but green carpet does not. I’m not sure I even understand what color “greenish neutral” would be though?

    • I have started to see a shift from gray to a greige shade. Gray isn’t over but it may be overdone. I think hallway colors of ivory would be classic (though of concern – how often are they touched up?) and a gray, black or darker blue carpet with it would be more timeless.

    • Anonymous :

      ivory walls with dark navy carpet would be a good look

      grey isn’t out but it isn’t as fresh anymore. I’m starting to see more uses of blues, especially medium to darker tones.

    • I’d do a warm green. I think that is trending hip right now.

    • Anonymous :

      Green?!?!??! No

    • Decor Help Sought :

      Thanks all! Very helpful.

    • The color combo you suggested sounds very early 2000s dated to me. I’d do the charcoal carpet and a blueish/grey for the walls.

  15. Some friends and I, one a parent, two not, were talking about friendships changing between people who have kids vs. no kids, and somehow we decided to look up the # of American women who have kids. We were shocked that it was 86% of women ages 40-44! I would have guessed 60-70.*

    We’re 37, urban, educated, have well-paying jobs (basically the demographic of this site) and I think at least 25% of the women we know in our age range don’t have kids. Anecdata, I know. But it makes me wonder if either many of these women will end up having a kid after 40, or our circles are already very different from the general population, since this stat would include teen moms and towns where everyone has kids by 24. Thoughts? Does that stat seem high to you?

    *It’s the first link that comes up when you google it: Pew Research.

    • Anonymous :

      I would have guessed higher than 86, honestly. I think you’ll see people having kids in the next few years. I have 3 friends who were childless at 37 and had kids between 38 and 42.

    • Hmm, no it doesn’t seem high to me.

    • Another anon :

      I’m the exact same demographic as you with exactly the same anecdata. I’m actually surprised that only 86% of women ages 40-44 have kids. I understand that’s much higher than my particular circle, but it’s also obvious to me that my particular demographic (urban, late 30s, highly paid professional, no kids) is very very different from the general population. It’s a good reminder of exactly how much of a day-to-day bubble you and me live in.

    • Anonymous :

      High but I believe it.

      Half of my high school cohort of women seems to not have had children, but that is in the NEUS where it is really expensive.

      My family is from poorer ruralish LCOL area where having kids in your early 20s (and maybe going to community college but not 4-year college) is the norm. So if you are functionally an adult at 18, you have maybe 20 years in which to have kids.

      Me, I got married at 38, so barely enough time (and many people don’t even want them b/c it is too life-disrupting then, not to mention expensive).

    • It doesn’t surprise me. We all live in bubbles where most of us hang out with people like ourselves. It’s been shown repeatedly that women with more education delay childbearing, that we have fewer childen, and that fewer of us have children.

      In my own friend group, most of my friends never had kids (and won’t. We are late 40s through 50s). I do have kids and I’m the outlier in the group, but I realize we are by no means average.

    • I’ve found of my high school class, those of us without kids have flocked to the urban areas and those with kids are in the suburbs or the rural areas where I grew up. Most people in my area move out of the city when they have Kid 2 or when Kid 1 reaches pre-K age. Because of this, I think people forget just how many parents there are out there. I would have guessed 70-80% for my age group of 30-35, definitely skewing higher in those who didn’t complete secondary education.

      Also curious on the conclusion your friends group came to on how friendships change. For me, I found I could be friends with friends who had 1 kid but by the time kid 2 came along, my friendship was no longer a priority for them. Once Kid 2 is in school they seem to look at having a life outside kids again but often only with other moms. Just my experience!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      That sounds about right to me, actually, just thinking about people I know. I’m early/mid-30s and at this point, most of my female friends who are married either have a kid or are pregnant or actively trying to get pregnant, but that’s been mostly in the past year or two once people are established in careers/finally done with residencies and fellowships. I don’t have any kids and don’t intend to, and I can think of two other married female friends who don’t (one of which I have reason to suspect might be due to fertility issues, though I don’t want to ask), but at least among married friends, we’re the exception.

  16. Clinique has a yellow pressed powder that you can brush over your face and it tones down the redness. I have a slightly different version from years ago that has lasted forever (you just need a little!) but looks like it’s something they still offer.

  17. Someone needs to buy this :

    If anyone is in need of a white lace dress, the Outnet has a gorgeous Ganni one on sale for $95…


  18. Anonymous :

    We are trying to decide where to have our honeymoon in mid-march! We will have 10-12 days, and we would like to go somewhere warm and beachy. We like to eat and drink :) Any suggestions from the hive?

    • What part of the world?

    • Anonymous :

      Where are you coming from? Do you want to do anything besides the beach? Hawaii is an incredibly popular honeymoon destination, but it’s popular for a reason.

    • Anonymous :

      This is OP. We’re coming from a major midwest city. Down to go anywhere in the world that would have good beach weather in March!

      • What’s your budget / desire to go somewhere far-flung just because it’s your honeymoon and you can? Or do you want to just check out and do the all inclusive thing?

        Caribbean is an easy flight (maybe 2); we loved taking monster long walks on Grace Bay (Turks & Caicos), but if you’re after picturesque mountainous islands, the Virgin Islands or St Lucia may be a better choice.

        If you want a little exploring along with your beaching, consider Mexico/Belize (diving / ruins / rainforest) or Costa Rica.

        Farther afield… you’ve got French Polynesia, Hawaii, Thailand, the Maldives… with ZERO parameters it’s hard to give specific advice!

    • Hmm, what about Costa Rica? My favorite beach trip ever was to Ilha do Mel, Brazil.

  19. I’m an attorney so I should know this, but I’ve been in public service on my life. At a big, private firm, what is the difference between “of counsel,” partner, and associate? And can you come into a firm as a partner?

    • Anonymous :

      Associate is an employee who receives a salary, partner is a co-owner of the firm who gets a part of the profits. Associates generally get work from partners in the firm, whereas partners are (generally) expected to have clients of their own who give them work (although there is such a thing as a “service partner” who has no clients and does work for other partners). Associates spend all their time working, partners spend less time on traditional legal tasks and more time networking with clients.

      Yes, you can move from one firm to another as a partner, but generally you need clients of your own.

      “Of counsel” varies based on firm. Sometimes it’s a stepping stone between partner and associate, although I would say more often that’s called “senior associate” or “senior counsel.” It may also be a way of keeping around senior associates who do good legal work but won’t make partner for whatever reason. In that case it’s not usually a permanent position, although it may be. I’ve also seen it used as a name for people who are with the firm very part time, and spend a lot of their time doing something else, eg. teaching law.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Different firms do it differently. At my last firm, partners had equity in profits and ran the firm, associates were paid by salary, and of counsel were basically “senior associates,” usually more experienced lawyers that came from another firm.

    • Yes, someone might come in as a partner, but ordinarily only if she brought in a sizeable book of business or was a big name otherwise. And “of counsel” might also be someone who is part-time or semi-retired, perhaps a former partner.

    • Anonymous :

      Different firms do it differently. At my last firm, associates were junior attorneys, in the first 10 years of their career, and still in the up-or-out system. In reality, “partner” just expressed a level of seniority and responsibility for business development, but there were income partners, who got paid based on productivity, and equity partners, who shared in profits. There was no way to tell who was income and who was equity to an outsider (or even a relatively new insider). There were some service partners who mainly did work for other partners, but most of them had been named partners who had taken steps back at some point. We didn’t have many “of counsel” or “senior counsel,” but they were used as (a) a stepping stone between associate and partner, (b) for someone who came in without their own clients but was on a path to partnership (for example, coming from government), or (c) for someone who had expertise in a certain niche and did good work but never wanted the business development responsibilities of partnership at that firm.

    • Anonymous :

      IME “Of Counsel” means an attorney who may or may not be responsible for generating their own work, who is paid either a salary or some share of their collections, who may or may not be responsible for some portion of their overhead expenses, and who is not on a partner track of any sort. Generally, Of Counsel attorneys are too old to be associates (10-12 years out of law school+), but not partner material–either because they don’t want to be, or because the firm isn’t interested in having them as such.

      Also, it’s not usually public information but partners can be broken down further into equity partners and income or non-equity partners. Equity partners are true “partners”–they own some part of the business and receive a share of its profits. Income partners are more like Of Counsel, but often paid less because they are still building a book of business, are saving for their buy-in, or paying off the buy-in loan. It is not uncommon for income partners to make less than senior associates.

      • And at my firm there is a third category: attorneys (sometimes as early as 7th years) who are given the title “partner” but are really just senior associates that the firm wants to keep happy by giving them a shiny title with no more money or responsibilities.

        And associates who have been taught that being a “partner” is the end all/be all of their professional lives accept the title despite the lack of any substance behind it even though it makes it much harder to change jobs. It sometimes takes them a few years to realize what they have gotten themselves in to.

      • Thanks everyone. A buy in? You have to contribute money or take out a loan ? This I did not know.

        • Anonymous :

          I think it depends on the firm. When a buy-in is required, it was my understanding that the firm had a special relationship with some certain bank to provide the loans at favorable rates.

    • Firms also use the Of Counsel title to lateral someone in who is maybe a senior associate, but wants to be a partner and a promotion from last firm, so OC title is a step up and firm gets a year or two to decide if that person will be offered an equity position (partner, principal, shareholder – called many things but people usually just say partner)

  20. Just need to vent: DH has plunged into a bought of major depression with OCD. This is the third bought in seven years. We have two young children, one of whom is on the spectrum and is having a challenging time adjusting to the new school year. I am exhausted. Not in the “I need a nap” way (although a nap sounds lovely), but in the “I am bone tired from carrying the weight of all of this for so long” way. I am exhausted from trying to help our son adjust to the school year, from being the one to read the resources and try to apply them to our lives. (We are waiting for services to be available.) I am exhausted from handling 95% of the load of caring for a home and our family and being an attorney. I am exhausted from trying to support DH with very little concern in return. Yes, I am taking care of myself. I run many many miles, have a therapist, eat healthily and *try* to get enough sleep (those golden hours from 9-11 are the only time I get to myself if I’m not working). I’m not sure what I’m looking for, maybe just to tell someone that this feels like a lot, and I’m doing all I can to hold it together at home and at work.

    • Been there :

      You are a rock star and it sounds as if you are holding it together amazingly well. It is so terribly difficult to be the “well” spouse, and nobody really understands exactly how hard it is. If you are the same person who posted on the moms page a couple of weeks ago, know that I’ve been sending good thoughts your way and wondering how you are doing.

      • Yes, I agree with the OP. You are a rock star to be doing all of the work and rowing for the entire family b/c your husband has OCD. I would consult with a local counselor associated with your church or synagogue so that you can get spiritueal support. Often they have the ability to put you into touch with caregivers who can give you a break so that you can take care of yourself. I worry about the day when Grandma Trudy or Grandma Leyeh go bats***it b/c both family histories have this issue from the old country. Dad says he can bankroll 24/7 care, but that is home care, and if either goes into a care facility, it will be rough on all of us. That is why I am banking my salary now, b/c who knows where I will be in 40 years! FOOEY! I want to have kids now with a guy who can have good gene’s that can break the Barshevsky curse. It happens to the best of us, Dad says, so I need to find a guy now who is normal. Thank god I stayed away from Sheketovits and his family, who may be worse off. DOUBEL FOOEY

    • Anonymous :

      All the hugs. Anyone of those things would be huge and overwhelming, you are doing amazing.

      Keep taking care of yourself. Your oxygen mask matters the most right now because you are the glue holding it all together.

      Don’t be afraid to ask for support. If I knew a friend was going through this and I could do anything to help – I would. Meal train, sympathetic phone call, movie night out, whatever.

    • Flats Only :

      Can your husband seek in patient treatment? That would get him care and get you a break. Even if it’s just for a week to get his meds straightened out it would be worthwhile.

      • Anonymous :

        I second this idea. It might be worth looking into, even if it’s not the right choice today. It sometimes helps to know what the next step would be and how it would work so that it’s not so scary.

      • If you do this, do your research on the hospital. Short term in-patient care can run the gamut of good to bad experience. Going private is not necessarily better than public hospital. The actual attention to medical care (i.e. optimizing meds) will also vary greatly between centers. Also make sure you understand how release from care works. Meaning, will you need an outside doctor to come in and declare you competent to leave, even if you voluntarily entered care. He will likely be in a locked ward with all manner of other patients. there will be visiting hours, and you will have to determine how often to visit.
        After going through this experience with a family member, I would only go to this step if there is a suicide attempt. Out-patient treatment or one-on-one therapy in tandem with a psychologist would be my first line of defense.
        Again – this is all based on my family member’s experience. Do your research into the facility, including asking various psychologists around town what their clients’ experience with the facility has been. We found out afterwards that my family member’s psychologist said that she never sends patients to that particular clinic, and that she had worked at it and found it severely lacking. It was a private facility.

        Just some food for thought.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you find any ways for this to be easier on yourself?
      ie – don’t keep the house to the same standard, eat foods which take less preparation, outsource some stuff (cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry etc)

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, this sounds like a ton and you are doing an amazing job. I hope that this is a short season for you both.

    • I’m sorry. That is all so, so difficult. No magic bullets for you, but just positive thoughts headed your way from the west coast.

    • Anonymous :

      You are dealing with a lot right now and you are doing an amazing job of keeping it all together.

    • This is A TON.

      Someday, I hope your DH and your kids are able to thank you. Until then, the rest of us thank you, because we know that you’re making this happen and getting very little in return–except more to handle.

      Also, it sucks and it is not fair. Mental illness isn’t fair and oftentimes marriage and parenting aren’t fair, either. You are awesome for handling all of it, but you are also absolutely entitled to your frustration and exhaustion.

      We are rooting for you. If you post your location, I’m sure someone would buy you a drink or go out with you and the kids to get ice cream. And if you prefer not to be that public, still know that we are rooting for you.

    • Anonymous :


    • Yes, this is much more than anyone should have to carry, and it is really f’g hard. I am dealing with about 1/4 of that load – an SO with depression/anxiety/OCD and a complicated and exhausting medical and domestic situation with a parent, while trying to handle maybe my busiest year in practice – and there are days when I feel like I might burst into tears at any minute. But I don’t have young children, much less one with special needs, and no one living in the house with me so I have much, much less strain than you.

      I agree with the advice to outsource or just let go of as much as you can. (Eat a lot of carry-out, have your groceries delivered or at least pre-picked for you, get a housecleaner, have oatmeal for dinner, buy more underwear and do laundry less often, whatever it takes.)

      You are amazingly strong to be able to handle all of this as gracefully as you are, but with every right to be exhausted by it. Please know that lots of total strangers here are pulling for you.

      • Thinking of you, having done something similar. A cousin in a similar situation said it was like being at the end of a chain that was only one broken link away from disaster.

        Can you take one of the rare 9-11 p.m. slots, whenever it occurs, sit down comfortably with a cup/glass of X (where X is you favorite beverage) a pen and small notebook (not on your laptop, smart phone, etc.) and let your mind wander? Consider what concrete actions would help. Make a list of items, broken down into small steps. Carry the note book in your purse, whatever, add items to the list. Try to delete one item step almost every day. This brought a sense of at least some control to what was an overwhelming life that was being required of me.

    • Anonymous :

      This has been on my mind because I’ve been ill with what looks like it’s going to be a “rare manifestation of a rare disease” (hardest Dx on the Dx bingo card). It’s been keeping me from driving or pulling my weight at home, and after my workplace allowed me to go to a part time schedule with flexible hours, I’ve been putting all my energy into just getting those hours in so I don’t lose my job altogether (which currently feels like the only thread connecting me to a future career that is already a lot less ambitious than the path I was on before all this). DH has been incredible, but he works long hours, and he’s started getting occasional incidents of heart racing, waking up suddenly in the middle of the night, and other symptoms that his doctor says reflect chronic stress. Of course he is chronically stressed! This is really hard! I think outsourcing is the answer for us too, but I don’t know where to start. I am realizing I will need to hire someone to just completely handle a house that’s been building up clutter and dirt over months of 80% neglect, because we are not getting to it any time soon. Can you really hire a person to just handle your own stuff for you that you should have handled long ago? I’ve even thought of hiring someone to help me out on my bad days, so it isn’t a choice between having it fall on him vs. not getting help at all. Our life is just so off script right now, and reading your post about how you feel is really making it sink in for me.

      • At a minimum, hire an organizer to help you with the clutter, and hire a cleaning person or service to come every week. An organizer can definitely help you with all that clutter that you think you should have gotten to. Whatever you’ve let go, they’ve seen worse. Hugs to you and your husband, to the OP, and to all the rest of you who are struggling with too many responsibilities or are in difficult situations.

        • Anonymous :

          Thank you, “organizer” helps, as does “they’ve seen worse”; I will start making calls. Thanks so much.

          • The other suggestion is to hire TaskBullet or some other admin service to actually make the calls for you!

      • Anonymous :

        Hi, I have a chronic health problem that has meant I can’t do as much as I used to. My husband tried to do everything and it was impossible. I started with a housecleaning service that comes every two weeks, and a laundry/dry cleaning service that picks up and delivers. I added a standing grocery delivery and Target order (toiletries) to the mix. That cut down the workload substantially.

      • Anonymous :

        You might look for an organizer who helps people downsize, they tend to work with clients who are older and have medical limitations and are likely to be more experienced in how to help them. If you are in Silicon Valley my SIL does this.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks, I now have a cleaning + decluttering/organization/downsizing service coming this week. They said they exist precisely to dig people out of these kinds of holes, and they were reasonably priced. If it’s a good experience, I’ll keep them on for maintenance.

    • Hang in there! We are all rooting for you. I will keep you in my thoughts because I really relate to how you feel. My partner lost her father this summer in a very traumatic way (he went into cardiac arrest right in front of us). For six weeks we didn’t have a single obligation free or weekend that wasn’t wrapped up in preparations or family occasions. My partner is in the throes of grief and not in a place to be helpful around our household. Carrying the burden is not easy, even when you know it’s imeight and necessary to support your loved one. I so know how you feel about being deep in the bones tired, in a way that no amount of sleep really seems to fix.

    • I’m the one who posed last week about husband with periodic depression who is always out of the game when big things happen. This is so, so hard and I can just tell you how much internet strangers appreciate what you do and empathize with you. You are doing everything and receiving “no concern in return”, as you state – that’s one of the most hurtful parts of SO’s depression and it really wears thin our psychological barriers. Like, is this man really my partner if he seems to give no f^cks about me and seemingly just uses me? It did help me to write down episodes from when things were better and to remember that this is a disease and he doesn’t choose to be a burden; it happens contrary to his will. One thing that helped me was to get connected with my neighbors through a Buy-Nothing or a similarly no-commitment community. It really helped me when I was in the thick of it with new baby and husband was useless (really – worse, he was a burden). I could ask the group – can someone please bring me a pack of granola bars? Or run and buy diapers for me because it turns out kid outgrew the newborn size in the last 24 hours? And someone , magically, always would. In return, I passed on all of the kid stuff on to the same community and now that I have a little more time, I can give my time to other neighbors in the same boat. It honestly saved my sanity. Still working on forgiving husband, however…

  21. Anonymous :

    Hi everyone – I appreciate everyone’s words of wisdom, especially on responding to difficult situations. A favorite relative recently went to the doctor for a lump on her head. Lump is brain cancer, and upon further testing, cancer is everywhere. She hasn’t had the next appt with surgeon/oncologist so next steps/treatment is unknown, but this is clearly really bad news. I’m having a difficult time dealing with it, and I can’t imagine her thoughts. Any suggestions about what to say/what not to say would be very welcome. I feel like I should know what to say but honestly, sometimes I say the wrong thing completely not on purpose, and I don’t want to screw this up.

    • I think you should err on the side of saying *something*, anything at all, rather than being too nervous that you’ll say the wrong thing. Keep it simple: “I love you and I’m thinking of you.”

    • “Friend, I want to help. Tell me what you need. If you just want space right now, I get it, but let me know if I can do anything.”

      Don’t try to comfort her. You probably can’t. This is huge and it sucks. Just try to be there.

    • https://gretchenrubin.com/podcast-episode/happier-140-vse-things-to-say/. You might find this podcast helpful.

      I think the best thing to say is “I love you and this really sucks and please tell me how I can help.” And then help them out with something even if they don’t ask because often its hard to delegate tasks. So just show up. And keep reaching out and saying that you are thinking about the person. Also don’t stay away because you are scared or sad, lots of people actually express “losing” people due to their illness because family and friends don’t know what to say and then feel awkward they haven’t said anything and then just stay away, and thats the worst thing you can do. These people need a community!

      • My mother is going through stage IV ovarian cancer (we’re in year 2 of her battle now). She is very much aware of who has reached out and who hasn’t, and she feels a lot of sadness, and some bitterness (rightfully or wrongfully) toward people she thought she was close with who have not reached out at all. So reach out, often. Just “I’m thinking of you,” “praying for you” (if that’s your thing), or whatever. You can ask how you can help, but she probably won’t have an answer. Once treatment starts (if treatment is something she is going to pursue), I think there are several past threads about how to help someone going through chemo (and how to help their caregivers, which is also appreciated).

    • Anonymous :

      I tend to just come out and say the plain thing: I wish I knew the right words; I don’t. But I want you to know that I care a lot, that I’m thinking of you all the time. You’re one of my favorite people, and that I’m going to be here.”

      And then show up and keep in contact. Instead of asking how you can help, just help, or contact the relative who is coordinating the help. Or become that person.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to being that person if you can. You don’t even need to be very close to them, or take on all of the caregiving or coordinating. I will always be thankful for a not-terribly-close friend who organized a meal chain for me when I had to have major surgery two months after my BF of three years and I had broken up. I needed and SO appreciated the love and support, even from those who weren’t going to be the shoulder I cried on first (or ever).

    • Anonymous :

      Offer something concrete as help, so she knows you really mean it, like driving her to appointments, and that opens the door to her saying what she really needs. She may not yet know, because medical stuff moves in fits and starts.

    • Is it Friday yet? :

      Don’t tell her “everything happens for a reason.” Anyone who says that should be set on fire.

      Otherwise, as others have said, just let her know you’re there, and that you’re happy to support her in whatever ways she wants and needs. Like someone else said, make specific suggestions – tell her you’ll drive her, or bring her groceries, or take her to dinner (if she’s up to it) – don’t make her do the emotional labor of asking for things. “Anything I can do, just ask” is well intentioned, but puts the onus on her to think of what she needs and actually ask for help (which is a difficult emotional task for many).

      • +1 to first pp

        You can start with “I’m so sorry this is happening to you. Do you want to talk about it or do you want to hear a joke?”

        I went through a horrible experience similar to this with my child, and many days would have opted for the joke.

    • Meg March :

      Someone upthread on an unrelated comment recommended Emily McDowell, and I actually really love her empathy cards, depending on your relationship.


  22. Cover letter question :

    I am working on a cover letter for a position in a small legal department. I know the name of the GC from internet research. Should I address the cover letter to the GC or generic “Hiring Manager.” Either way, I plan to submit through company’s recruiting portal.

    • Anonymous :

      I always do generic because what if they’ve had some recent personnel changes? Companies can be slow to update their websites and it would be so awkward to address a Ms Smith as Mr Jones.

      • I disagree. I think it’s always better to use a name than to risk giving the sense that the letter is a canned form letter (“Dear hiring manager” or “To whom it may concern”).

        Use the name you’ve found–or better yet, call the organization’s front desk and confirm the person’s name. All you need to say is that you’re “preparing a mailing” and want to confirm.

        • Your cover letter should be tailored enough to show them that it’s not a canned form letter. Hiring manager is just fine.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 – Ask A Manager recommends using Hiring Manager.

            Honestly, I just use Greetings and skip the need for a name.. Most of the places I apply are big enough (and opaque enough) that it would be really hard/unusual to know the names in the role.

    • GC. If you don’t I think you don’t know how to do basic research (which, you clearly do) and ding you.

  23. I have had some weight loss over the last year, just eating healthier and moving more during the day. While it is nice to fit into smaller clothes, I notice it most in my face. I’m in my 30’s and the under eye area has loose skin, with more wrinkles as well. Wrinkles, loose skin, and faint brown spots from the sun. Getting older. :)
    1. I’d like to use more vitamin c face products. Any recommendations?
    2. I’ve been using PTR 1.5% retinol at night, but wondering if there is something better?
    3. Any recommendations for face products for loose skin under the eye area, and wrinkles around the eye area?
    4. Last- favorite sun glasses? That has been my goal the last few months, to be better about wearing sun glasses outside, and to wear sun screen on my face under makeup.

    Thank you!

    • Skincare junkie :

      1. The best vitamin C money can buy is the Skinceuticals C E Ferulic. It’s crazy expensive though. For the price I like Mae Love Glowmaker, Timeless Vitamin C serum, Paula’s Choice Vitamin C Booster, and Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum.
      2. I would’t waste my time with a retinol product, personally. Get thyself to a dermatologist (or medspa, or even a walk in minute clinic) and get a prescription for tretinoin. Cheaper and actually works.
      3. No skincare product will help with loose skin or eye wrinkles, but dermal fillers, botox, and laser treatments may. Again I’d recommend hitting up a medspa.
      4. Whatever you get, make sure they have UV protection! Most sunglasses don’t. I like Warby Parker.
      5. You didn’t ask for a great sunscreen but my fav is Canmake UV Mermaid Gel (get it on Amazon Prime)

    • Check out: https://peterattiamd.com/brettkotlus/

  24. I have not worn dressier business clothing in years (I work in tech, adjacent to heavy industrial R&D, so dress code is safety-focused) and just found out that I have to dress up for a C-suite-heavy dinner in three weeks. I do not fit in a single one of my suits. Really frustrated that I may have to buy something to schmooze people at one meal that I may never see again in my career. Can you rent a suit?

    • I’ve never used them, but Rent the Runway does have a work wear category. I think it leans more towards sheath dresses than suits.

    • Could you toss one of the jackets over a sheath dress? That might be easier to find.

    • It depends on the industry of course, but in some industries the c suite women don’t wear suits ever, I and I think tech and industrial ones would qualify. Can you get a nice tweed blazer or Chanel-style sweater blazer with a collar and wear it over a sheath dress or nice slacks? My power outfit is a plain charcoal sheath that I can wear to various things with a cardigan or nothing on top, topped with a St. John knit but collared blazer with a single front button (which I keep buttoned during presentations) and in a dark blue texture. More versatile than a suit because i can wear the pieces separately.

    • Or try a good consignment store, which would have higher quality than a thrift store. One store near me used to have lots of St. John, Armani, Calvin Klein, etc.

      • Anonymama :

        In the same vein, thredup or therealreal seem to have a lot of workwear for reasonable prices, if you have an idea of what brands and sizes fit you.

  25. Going with flow..... :

    Anyone been retained as top performer through layoff/reorg of team with your direct and next level leaders fired? While I appreciate being retained, the new team I have been assigned to is low performing, less skilled and passive. I am going with the flow as a team player while looking for new job. I am struggling a bit with mental muscle memory from old leaders who required much more from me (we worked very hard) vs. changing all of the behaviors that made me successful in order to ‘fit in’ and not make waves. Any advice on how to handle this situation in the interim until I find the next role?

    • – Use any slack you have to learn new thigs that would help you get prpeared for the next job.
      – Volunteer for any cross-department projects or social work events
      – Focus on coaching yourself to learn new behaviours or improv old ones – the “Coach yourself” episode on Career Tools/Manager Tools podcast has excellent advice on how to do this.
      All of the above would help you feel prductive and be moving towards a goal, without neglecting your work or being detrimental to your new team.

      • Going with flow..... :

        Thank you so much for your reply – this is very helpful and gives me a lot of encouragement – I am not used to having any ‘slack time’ so I want to be as productive as possible and this makes a lot of sense. I have struggled a bit with how and where to invest my energy when 100%+ was previously invested in building business/exceeding sales goals. Taking a step back to invest time in me and my future now – I know this is necessary. I will definitely check out the “Coach yourself” episode.

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