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Workwear sales of note for 6.02.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
- Ann Taylor – $50 off $150; $100 off $250+; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything + extra 25% off purchase
- Boden – Sale, up to 50% off
- Cole Haan – Up to 50% off select styles; extra 20% off sandals & sneakers
- Eloquii – 60% off all tops
- Express – 30% off all dresses, tops, shorts & more; extra 50% off clearance
- H&M – Up to 60% off online and in-store.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!); extra 50% off select sale
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 60% off everything; 60% off 100s of summer faves; extra 60% off clearance
- J.McLaughlin – The Sale Event: extra 30% off
- Loft – 40% off tops; 30% off full-price styles
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Up to 60% off sale
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – 25-40% off select styles
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 40% off; pop-up sale up to 30% off
- Joss & Main – Up to 60% off, plus an extra 20% off with code
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses (Reader-favorite brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Up to 25% off in-stock furniture; up to 60% off clearance
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- Favorite comfy pants for an overnight plane ride?
- I’ve got a nasty case of tech neck…
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What’s the best commuter backpack?
- I’m early 40s and worry my career arc is ending…
- I canNOT figure out the proportions in this current season of fashion…
- How is everyone wearing scarves in 2023?
- What shoes are people wearing to work between boot and sandal season?
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What are some of your go-to outfits that feel current?
- I need more activities that are social, easy to learn and don’t involve extreme running/jumping/etc.
SF Bay Associate
Kat, I hope you share the stats from the survey when it’s over. I’m curious!
Agreed! I’m so curious to see the overall results!
I think those earrings are beautiful, but $920 is a little steep for something I’m likely to lose in less than a year. Either that or I’d be so nervous about losing them that I’d never wear them.
Runnin' for it
I have spent that much on more timeless pieces (watches, diamond stud earrings), but wouldn’t spend this much on something trendy like druzy agate.
With the exception of diamond stud earrings, I would submit that nothing is truly timeless. But spend away–boosting the economy!
Runnin' for it
Thanks for showing your jealousy.
Huh? I hate how snarky things have become in the comments lately. Ballerina Girl’s comment came across as lighthearted to me and was just stating her opinion that diamond studs are the only thing that are timeless. Didn’t seem jealous to me.
Anonymous: That’s the difference in how things can be read. To me, Ballerina Girl sounded extremely snarky and kind of judgmental.
Alanna of Trebond
I think perhaps we should err on the side of thinking that our fellow commenter is commenting with the best intentions. If something can be read in a more charitable way, that might be the way to take it. I really like this community and I don’t want to require that everyone step so cautiously.
It never even crossed my mind that it could be considered snarky.
I guess this is partly because of the huge chunk of interpersonal communication that missed with this type of communication!
I didn’t take the comment as envious. I thought it was a variation on “different strokes…”
I must confess that I am not an admirer of those earrings, either. Especially for that price.
Ladies, let’s all chill out.
Pearls, tennis bracelet, small cross/star of David/religious symbol of choice pendant…
Always a NYer
Agreed. Those will never go out of style.
Ha, just checked this thread and see that I’m apparently a jealous and snarky lady. All I meant was that I think styles change with the times and that there are few things that one will actually wear a lifetime. I just questioned the idea of something being timeless–not whether one should buy it. I couldn’t care less what other people buy.
But I feel the need to add that just because someone doesn’t think it’s worthwhile to buy the stuff that you buy doesn’t mean they’re jealous. It could mean that think you’re an idiot. But that wasn’t what I was saying…at least not originally.
Ha ha. I didn’t read snarkiness in your comment and agree with you. Maybe I’d add pearls to diamond studs.
I agree with pearls. Really, I was originally just thinking about watches–how I’ve bought watches over the years thinking I’d wear them forever and now I see them as a bit dated. I think it’s interesting to think about what things we consider innocuous or stable fashion-wise now that will one day appear very dated to us. Just watch 90210 reruns (the original, that is) and you’ll see what I mean!
Can anyone recommend a jeweler in NYC (preferably Manhattan or the Bronx)? I need to have sizing beads put into my wedding ring, and I don’t want to just pick a name out of the phone book. I’m very nervous about having anything done to my ring, but it’s gotten to the point where I’m constantly worried that it’s going to slip off, and my husband and I have decided to hold off on buying new rings for a while.
This is a very classic New York answer, but S.O.’s family has been going to a guy named Eddie Cantor at 72 Bowery for years. It’s an indoor complex of jewelry stalls near Chinatown and the Brooklyn Bridge. He does the work on-site and could probably do sizing beads while you wait. Full disclosure that the environment is more like a Middle Eastern bazaar than a Tiffany’s. But you can get good dim sum nearby while you’re down there…
Thanks! That’s actually the kind of place I’m looking for. Somewhere that people have been going for ages. Unfortunately, my own extended family has moved out of the City, so their recommendations have all dried up.
I bought my wedding band from Michael C. Fina (on 5th Ave. & 46th-ish). Great customer service. Not sure if they can do something like that on-site/while you wait, but they have great relationships with a number of jewelers, etc.
anon in Texas
I need to get my wedding ring resized as well… I know nothing about jewlery, what are sizing beads?
They are little beads of metal that they weld onto the inside of the ring, effectively reducing its diameter. For some rings you can’t just make the diameter smaller by taking metal out of the ring itself, e.g., I had to get the beads put into a ring that was way too big for me and had pave diamonds that would have come out if they had tried to resize it the usual way.
Got my vintage engagement ring re-sized at Gelber and Mundy (also at 74 Bowery). They were recommended by a friend who has used them for years. Whenever her parents need watches they come down from Connecticut to go there.
They were amazing. Super efficient and they did amazing work. They took a vintage family heirloom that had been re-sized up to an 8 and made it a 4.5. It’s white gold and you can’t see where it was cut or repaired. And they didn’t malform the setting or anything.
The Manhattan User’s Guide has recommended Rissin’s for years.
Jeweler in NYC
Blauweiss & Berkowitz in the jewelry district on 47th street. They have created many of my family’s engagement and wedding rings. Very trustworthy. Beautiful work.
Many thanks to everyone for your responses!
The earrings are pretty.
I second the request for stats from the survey. It would be interesting.
I am probably the last person on earth to discover ivorytrunk.com but I just signed up a few weeks ago and I’m in love. I go on every day to covet the items and today I finally cracked and got this watch. So excited!
I’m starting to get sample sale overload. Can’t keep them all straight.
Yeah I finally ditched all my daily emails because I was getting annoyed. I like ivorytrunk because there’s no email at all, you just sign in every day and see if there’s anything you want.
What is ivory trunk? Is that something through amazon?
I haven’t heard of this one either and agree that there are too many sample sites now. I can’t keep up!
Have there been any updates on the young lady who threw a tantrum when she didn’t get the job she coveted?
Research, not Law
I’ve been thinking about that all week! I hope we can get an update.
Glad to know I’m not the only one thinking about this….
I would like a NEW Job! Does anyone have a lead on any good jobs for someone like me, with a JD degree and 5 years of LEGAL experience in HEALTH and Security law?
I was thinking I would like mabye I could work in the Attorney General Office doing some kinda Outreach for OLDER people, or else maybe get some kind of government legal work for the NYCity Health Department, doing work for hospitals. I did some work on a debenture offer and the manageing partner thought I did a good job.
I am looking for another job b/c I do not think I am going to be made a partner. Their is only 6 partners here and the youngest one is about 60 years old, so I figure the writing is on the wall.
I seem to remember seeing a posting (on higheredjobs.com?) for something health law related at a D.C. law school (American University?) in the last month.
Thanks for asking, I was seriously going to go back through all the comments this week to see if I missed it!
Same here. Do tell!
Wait, I think I missed this. What happened?
Research, not Law
It’s on last week’s open thread. In a nutshell: A promising, young employee threw a tantrum when she was turned down for a position she wanted. She was likely going to be let go because of her immature and unprofessional reaction.
A young lady in the forum? Or in the news?
As a young lady who has not gotten coveted positions in the past, I want to see someone who reacted worse than me.
My theory is that the young woman was in fact fired on Monday, and she probably made a scene of some kind, probably including some threats. The OP and her team were likely warned very strongly by HR and legal every step of the way not to discuss the matter in any way shape or form to anyone or on any forum as there’s probably an elevated risk (based on the young woman’s prior actions) of some sort of adverse action.
I’m guessing the OP has read all our pleas for the scoop and is dying to let us know but simply cannot. I wish she could do the internet equivalent of “blink twice if I’m on the right track.” Perhaps after the statute of limitations runs or there’s a settlement she’ll update us…
I think Janet’s right. I was a little bit surprised how much detail the OP gave in the original post. What if the tantrum-thrower reads this blog? Wouldn’t be too hard to figure out it was about her. Of course it’s possible the OP tweaked the facts to make sure to keep it anonymous, but still, a manager posting a very sensitive HR issue like whether to fire someone … What if the employee marched in on Monday morning with that thread printed out? Could be the OP who doesn’t have a job anymore. (I’m an employment lawyer, btw).
Thanks for the input. Good luck to everyone involved in this learning experience if you’re reading this.
This is why I always post ANON-ly! Too few of us out there so we’re easy to identify.
Thanks for your concern, but number one, I didn’t give as much detail as I could have; number two, some details were changed to protect the innocent, and not so innocent; and number three, I’m not an idiot. And A. isn’t my real first initial. But like I said, thanks for your concern.
Hi, sorry I haven’t been able to update, things have been a little crazy in work and home life.
So, in case you are just tuning in – a girl in my dept. that I liked and thought had excellent potential had a temper tantrum after she was turned down for a promotion. My boss wanted to fire her; soft-hearted me did not want to but wanted to counsel her instead. Boss, me and our HR person had a conf. call the Saturday after the girl’s Friday temper tantrum and decided to fire her Monday (this past Monday).
The young lady in question took her termination better than I thought she would. I think she was chagrined at her behavior but did fortunately realize that it was too late for apologies. When I asked her if she knew why the HR rep and I had called her in, she said “yes” and then asked if she could say something, which we did allow her to do. She did kind of a non-apology apology and then I cut her off and explained that she was being terminated. She then became VERY apologetic but, to her credit, kept her composure and accepted the termination letter gracefully.
The one thing I do feel bad about is that as she was leaving, she asked me if she could list me as a reference and I said I didn’t think it would be a good idea…but I am one of those people who doesn’t give glossy references when the truth is otherwise.
Thanks for reminding me to follow up, sorry I didn’t do so before now.
It is good of you to be honest and decline to serve as a reference. I’ve been in the situation where a person who agreed to serve as a reference gave me a bad one; it felt like getting stabbed in the back, and it took some sleuthing to figure out which of my references was responsible. Much better to be honest about it.
Research, not Law
I’d appreciate advice on telling work about my (second) pregnancy.
I have a direct manager and three project managers. Ordinarily, I’d just tell them all within a day or two at the end of my first trimester. BUT one of my project managers is temporarily moving out of the country sooner than I’d like to announce. He will be working remotely until he returns *two months before my due date*. I am a critical member on his team.
So should I: (a) Tell everyone a couple of weeks earlier than I’d like (11 wks) so that I can tell him in person; (b) Tell just him now and wait 2-3 weeks to tell everyone else (I trust his discretion); or (c) Tell everyone at the same time, when I’m comfortable, even though that means telling him via email when he’s abroad.
I had been leaning towards (b), since I didn’t like the idea of emailing him as soon as he got established abroad. But he’s so stressed out about moving his family overseas that I’m beginning to think (c) is a better option. I’m not generally concerned about negative responses to my pregnancy, but I’m a little worried he may have an atypical freak-out if I tell him now. I’m also realizing that it would just confuse from his preparation for working remotely, since he’ll be back before I would go on leave.
I’d go with (c). I think it is perfectly understandable to keep this information to yourself until you are out of 1st tri even under the current circumstances. Congratulations on your pregnancy.
Agree. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with telling your manager via email.
In the same boat
Thirded. I don’t see the problem with telling him over email at the time you would normally tell him. Or phone call/ Skype, if you want some visual interaction? (I may face this same issue in a couple weeks, when I’ll be working out of state and need to reveal to my dept. head back home. I’m thinking a phone call.)
Agreed. Go with option (c). Congrats!
I’d go with B if you’re friendly with him; it is always nice to hear this sort of news in person. However, if you think it would cause a freak out, then C.
Research, not Law
Excellent point. I should have mentioned that I am not close with this person. We have a respectful working relationship, and that is all.
Sounds like (c) it is going to be a winner. Thanks so much for the input, everyone!
Congratulations on the good news, whenever you share it. Hooray!
Anon job seeker
I’m trying to lateral between big firms for geographical reasons. I have a screening interview at one firm on Tuesday. What does a screening interview for a lateral candidate entail? I haven’t done a screening interview since OCI and I assume that next week’s interview will significantly differ from an OCI interview. I know I will be meeting with three attorneys for less than an hour but have not been given any other information.
Usually, they are brief– no more than an hour. Your’s is a little unusual in meeting with three people. OCI they don’t expect you to have much on point experience in the practice area. They look for intellectual engagement in your current legal academics/internship/clinic stuff. Now, they look for you to be engaged in your current work. You should prepare for one as you would prepare for a “full round.” Know your resume. Have reasons for wanting the job, for leaving your current job. The general point is that they have a glob of work that they want you to do and you need, throughout the process, convey that you can do the gob of work enthusiastically. Don’t say you want better training because, by inference, you are less well trained than their current associates. Never badmouth your current employer. Good luck!
Anon job seeker
Mike N Ike
Not sure how it works for other firms but at my firm, screening interviews are conducted to determine whether to send a candidate to a full round of interviews with attorneys from across the firm (rather than just those would be working with that candidate). For example, we had a candidate for a specific practice group that did not exactly meet our normal requirements school wise but was incredibly impressive for that particular area. Most of the attorneys (all of the partners) in that practice group interviewed the candidate and then made a recommendation as to whether to bring the candidate back for a full round of interviews firm-wide. I realize this may be very different from other firms because my entire firm votes on whether to give a candidate an offer.
I also have to disagree with the commentor below who suggests that you should discuss that you may be looking for more experience. This isn’t necessarily bad depending on what kind of firm you’re moving from… If you’re coming from a big sweatshop and you’re interviewing at a firm that is known for giving young associates lots of opportunities, then I think it’s perfectly acceptable to state that you don’t get as much experience as you would like at Sweatshop but you’re excited at the possibility of taking on more responsibility at New Firm. Of course, you don’t want to go in there and say, I have zero experience doing what you do, and you’ll have to teach me everything —yay! just what you wanted right?
Anon job seeker
Thanks– it’s always good to hear about the varying practices of different firms .
I don’t see anything wrong with emailing him the information when you tell everyone else in person. If he can still work and you can still be a “critical part of his team” from different countries, you will probably be delivering lots of information and news through email, and it will just replace face to face conversations for awhile, including this one. Plus, by then he will have had a chance to settle into his situation and hopefully won’t be as stressed/busy. Face to face is nice when you can, but people in far away places know they will get get news over phone or email, and that’s just kind of the way it is.
Can anyone recommend a good work bag for everyday use? I’ve been on a weight loss kick and so I can’t buy new clothes right now, which means I’m going to have to redirect my shopping to accessories. I’ve always carried cheapo bags from target (which get destroyed after a few months so I buy 2-4 a year) and now I want to upgrade to a high quality tote to carry all my work stuff. I need something sturdy with lots of pockets, tote or briefcase is fine, relatively lightweight. Any recommendations? I’m trying not to spend over $250.
Always a NYer
I love the leather messenger bag from Levenger. I think it’s $200 but it sometimes goes on sale for less. They also have a lot of other great bags of very good quality. I have another purse from them and quite a few wallets, card cases, coin purses as well. If you check out their site look at the outlet tab for their sales.
and so anon
I bookmarked this post this a.m. I tried to look at some of the links for prices, but my computer kept freezing. If the prices are out of your range, you might ask about sales or slight irregulars.
I like Cole Haan leather bags for work — they’re made well, not to heavy, many classic designs. 6pm dot com has a bunch on sale in your price range that look appealing.
Actually on second look, not too much there right now (they sell out fast!) but check there & elsewhere as they frequently get new stuff and I’ve seen great CH bags there for $200 and under.
NM also has a few cute totes on sale in the price range, and has free shipping as well:
Or — what about something like this (its 40% off at the moment)
I’d spend some time going to an outlet mall and trying things out. Dooney and Burke and Kate Spade have really nice selections at their outlet locations.
Especially Dooney and Bourke- I’ve gotten several non-outlet-only purses there on major discount (and there’s one in Orlando that has a few “Disney Dooney” pieces on sale!)
Kaye Spade has some great sales on its site as well.
I bought the Lo & Sons bag Kat featured a few weeks ago. I got the larger, overnight bag. Absolutely love it. The only (very minor) downside is that it attracts my dog’s very short hair, though it brushes right off just with your hand. I think the sleeve pocket that goes in from the side to hold shoes or a wet umbrella will come in very handy. Note there seem to be discount codes fairly often – I finally bought it (had been thinking about it since Kat’s posting) when someone posted a 30% discount code here. Maybe google for a code?
Ooh! I was thinking of getting the larger Lo bag as my next large black everyday tote, and was hoping it wasn’t too large for that purpose. Glad to hear the good review! Do you always carry a laptop in it, or use the space for other purposes (files)?
Nancy — anon 65 here. It’s pretty big, but it’s super light and flexible. I don’t need the full size of it every day, but it’s great to have the capacity when you need it. I don’t have to lug my laptop around every day, thank goodness. I also think it will be perfect as a carryon on flights.
I have been coveting one of these so badly since Kat first posted about them. Glad to hear you’re loving yours!
I bought this one too, and I’m loving it on my extended weekend right now!
I did see on their Facebook page that they just received new samples for fall with more colors and styles, so if you don’t need it immediately, it may be worth holding off. Even if you love the basic black, it might go on discount when the new fall stuff comes out.
Yea to all of this!
and so anon
Sensitive survey questions should always have a “Prefer not to Answer” option. I don’t complete surveys that ask for intrusive information.
What was intrusive about this survey?
I would guess that and so anon was referencing salary or race.
or clothing size
Yeah but I think the point is for Kat to get the sensitive survey questions. The prefer not to answer option is not to take the survey
This!! OMG, this times a million!
I hear ya.
I need vacation planning help! SO & I are thinking of taking a week off in early October. We would love to go somewhere where the weather is still nice, that’s not too crazy expensive, but with lots of fun things to do (i.e., not just a sit on the beach kind-of-deal, I like to save that for deep winter when I really need it). We would like to leave the US, but ideally wouldn’t go somewhere that requires a visa. We’re thinking maybe Italy? Would love to hear any other suggestions for where is good to go that time of year. We’d be leaving from NYC, if that matters. Thanks :)
Look into staying in the Cinque Terre- 5 villages along the Italian Riviera. You can make a day hike along the rugged coastline and walk through each of the villages. Some have rocky cliffs, others have sandy beaches. It’s one of the most beautiful and romantic places I’ve ever been.
I vote for the Amalfi Coast or Tuscany, but I haven’t been to Cinque Terre.
Have you considered Chile? I haven’t been, but I’ve heard great things.
For outdoorsy stuff, Costa Rica is amazing. October is towards the latter part of their rainy season, but it still might be a bit wet.
Interlaken, Switzerland is gorgeous, and there are a lot of outdoorsy things to do there.
For more cultural options, Paris or Barcelona would be good bets.
The Amalfi coast in Italy is lovely. When I went to Italy, we stayed in Sorrento and drove down the Amalfi coast for a day or two–the town I remember most is Ravello. And the island of Capri is close, of course.
Also, I’ve only been in the summer, not October, but I love, love, love Turkey. Istanbul is the greatest city. The weather should still be good in October, I would imagine. And prices are decent (yay non-euro countries)
Venice? Florence? South of Spain?
These are great ideas, everyone, thank you (I look forward to hearing more :))
How is the weather in Italy during October?
Weather in Italy in October is really nice– not sweltering hot like summer, but still sunny (in the 70s). There might be some days where it is overcast/light rain though.
I know you are asking about international destinations, but if you like mountains, Aspen is GORGEOUS that time of year, and super super cheap. The leaves are turning, it’s in the mid 60s and sunny during the day, you can hike in the mountains, get a fancy spa treatment, eat at any restaurant in town. The accomodations are super cheap — I think we got a lovely 1 bedroom condo at The Gant (which is walking distance to everything) for under 150/night. Flights directly to Aspen aren’t too terrible either.
Ditto Whistler! Great hiking, canoeing, Swedish spa etc., and yummy yummy restaurants. You can also take advantage of all the fantastic eating in Vancouver before or after.
You should go to Turkey!
You seem to have been listing European destinations, but have you considered Turkey? There are several direct flights from JFK, and its not too much farther than Italy. I went two years ago in early fall, sort of on a lark, and it was one of my best trips ever. Beautiful sightseeing, lots of historical interest sights. If you are into sporty/out door stuff, there’s plenty of that too. October is a fantastic time to go. Still nice weather but not too hot. If I were you, I’d spend 3-4 days in Istanbul and 3-4 days in Cappadocia.
I hadn’t considered Turkey. Thanks for the suggestion, I’m going to look into it.
Thanks, everyone!! I am going to look at ticket prices tomorrow morning and these are all very helpful ideas!
Turkey is PHENOMENAL. Can’t recommend it highly enough. Istanbul has phenomenal historical sightseeing, great food, trendy bars, everything you could want. Down the coast, there are beautiful beach resorts. I haven’t been to Cappadocia but I’ve heard it’s fantastic.
Former IL Bar Studier
Hi all – I’m heading to Playa del Carmen tomorrow morning for vacation. Does anyone have any must-do recommendations? TIA!!!
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a bus about 15 min to cenotes nearby. There’s a rundown park and you’ll walk long, dusty paths, but the cenotes are really pretty! Nice change from the beach.
Also, you should snorkel! You can head to Cozumel on a quick enough ferry but I don’t think it’s a must-do at all. Maybe a day trip, depending on the length of your stay.
If you want a day trip, you could go hike to the top of a Mayan pyramid. It will be hot, with a lot of walking, but it was really neat.
No recommendations, but – lucky, lucky you! I am SO jealous. Have a great time!
H is applying for B school and has to write an essay about the four people (dead or alive) with whom he would most like to have dinner. He already has them picked out, but it got me to thinking and I could only come up with two. Alice Lee (Harper Lee’s sister, she has an incredible legal career, still going into the office even though she’s 100 years old) and Alexander Hamilton. Who would you pick?
Always a NYer
Queen Rania of Jordan – I think the work she does for women’s and children’s rights in the Middle East is amazing not to mention she a modern working-mother with an amazing fashion sense.
Angelina Jolie – I’ve always been fascinated by her and think she’s an amazing actress in addition to being a UNHCR ambassador. She may be a little wacky in her personal life but her “I don’t give a f*ck what you think about me” attitude makes me love her even more. I also love how she is able to rock a skintight leather dress at a premier and then dress with respect for the countries she visits for her humanitarian work.
Michael Collins – He’s somewhat of a family hero because he was a key figure in Ireland’s battle for freedom in the 1910s-1920s. The British didn’t know what he looked like until he was chosen to go to London for the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations. Even with a bounty on his head, he was able to cycle past the Brits in Dublin, wave to them, and not have them be any wiser to who he was.
My grandpa – He passed away two years ago so I’d love to talk with him one more time. Also, with the other three it would be hysterical where he’d take the conversation.
As you can tell, I’ve put quite a bit of thought into this and can’t wait to read who others would choose.
Brilliant conversationalist and writer. Would ask him if he was sorry he disregarded his lawyer’s advice.
Brilliant writer. Fascinating, self-made woman.
Brilliant writer; probably great conversationalist. Would expect her to have many wry aperçus.
Very complex person. I’d love to hear what she has to say about negotiating the world as a woman and how she deals with all the idiotic attacks leveled at her.
Research, not Law
Theodore Roosevelt: A source of long-time fascination. He’s part crazy, part progressive visionary. I would love to be able to spend time with him.
Abigail Adams: She was arguably the top advisor to one of the US’s most influential men, while following the duties of a late 18th century woman. She saw a revolution, lost children, managed farms, lived among royalty, and closely followed – and likely influenced – the political development of our nascent country.
I’m torn on the last two:
Roald Dahl, Agatha Christie, Jane Austin, or Samuel Clements (Mark Twain): All authors who were observers of human nature and/or had interesting lives of their own.
Hilary Clinton or Michelle Obama: I would love to hear about the experience of a first lady. They are professionals in their own right, but spend years primarily following their husband’s career. And I imagine it’s hard to raise a family and have a satisfying marriage under the conditions. I’d think it isn’t easy to watch your husband work long hours only to be attacked publicly, either.
Fun quesdtion! Are we talking all at the table together? I think the combinations offer some fascinating possibilities… Off the top of my head:
– Galileo (imprisoned for advocating that the earth goes around the sun) & Neil Armstrong (orbited the earth, walked on the moon). Maybe invite Newton and Einstein to round out the nerdy crowd.
– Henri VIII & 3 of the wives he divorced or beheaded. (yes, I’ve been watching the Tudors recently)
– Leonardo da Vinci, MC Escher, and Salvador Dali. Maybe invite Jackson Pollock too. We’d come out with one awesome surreal mural in my dining room, and possibly some melting stairs that go nowhere.
I love your answers! I hadn’t thought about it that way, but you’re right that the combos are what make your groups so interesting.
anon for this
I guess I’d pick the people that I’m most fascinated by, which changes from month to month, but would currently be:
-The emperor Justinian
Of course, only Tallis and James would have a language in common and even that would be a bit of a stretch!
Hillary Clinton, Prince William, Valentino, and Andre Agassi.
Jane austen, Anne Boleyn, Thomas hardy, Gandhi.
Introvert here. These types of questions always baffle me. Dinner with a famous stranger? Eh, no thanks.
Steve Jobs, John Maynard Keynes, Felicia Day, Zelda Fitzgerald.
I’m really curious to know if anyone has recommendations for stores or websites where I can find cool-yet-school-appropriate clothes for my pre-teen daughter. She’s still too small for the adult chains (e.g. Abercrombie, BR) but she cares enough about what she wears that Target isn’t really an option any more. Of course, there’s always Old Navy, but I’m looking for stores that carry things that are a bit nicer that she can wear to school (i.e. no rhinestones, writing, big graphics – Justice, I’m looking at you!). Talbots Kids used to have some good stuff, but sadly, they’re gone now. Nordstrom’s and Dillards are where we’ll probably head this weekend, but I was hoping that the stylish folks I look up to on Corporette would have some other ideas. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
Always a NYer
Are you near a Macy’s or Lord and Taylor? Those were my favorite stores when I was in middle school and high school. Now that I think about it, I think that’s where my mom bought my clothes when I was in elementary school as well. The quality is very good and I always liked the styles they had.
Is she too old for Hanna Andersson (sp?) or Boden Kids? I know my sister finds clothing there for my nieces that is fairly classic but reasonably priced.
Research, not Law
Boy, that is a challenging phase.
— I was also going to suggest Boden’s teen line.
— Delia’s was all the rage a few years ago. Not sure about now. They had fun but not skanky clothes.
— Nordstrom’s BP section.
— American Apparel?
I second Nordstrom’s BP section. Lots of friends shop there for cute cardigans, long-sleeve ts, cute jeans b/c they are cheaper but still cover. I think you will find things that please you and your daughter. And seriously, good luck. That’s not an easy time!
I don’t know what happened, this site ate my comment, which had links. I suggested:
The site didn’t take my comment AGAIN. I added the links. To heck with this.
What about GapKids? Boden has a line aimed at pre-teens – I think it’s called Johnnie B.
Delia’s or Aeropostale
I second the Delia’s and Boden’s Jonnie B line. Also, JCrew’s Crewcuts line goes up to age 12/14 I think (though 14 might be pushing it).
Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! Please keep ’em coming, if you have other ideas…
I saw an ad for H & M today.
Wow, the system is ridiculous in the way it’s killing comments today. I included links, but here are the names I recall:
Some of the lines recommended are pricey. You could always try looking up brands you like on eBay; there might be some deals.
Law Student 2L
Someone already said this but Jcrew’s kid line Crewcuts is great. I’m a petite adult and it still fits (although I REALLY try to refrain from shopping there haha).
Whenever I see the Crewcuts site I wish I were an affluent 10-year-old.
My mom used to put me in Talbots before there was a Kids, and after… sometimes girly-girled up the classic togs with little girl accessories, sometimes not… depends on her physical size, of course, but I transitioned from petite adult sizes to my regular adult size and have always worn. Could be applicable at other shops w aesthetics you both love.
Swimming with the Turtles
Yay — open thread!
I am planning a surprise b-day trip for my husband and really want to go to the Galapagos. Has anyone been? Has anyone done a National Geographic Expedition? They are pricey and geared towards a slightly older audience (probably because they are expensive), but their Galapagos trip looks amazing. I appreciate any recommendations.
I haven’t but this sounds amazing and I can’t wait to hear other people’s answers.
I’ve been to the Galapagos Islands, and it’s a wonderful trip. Pretty much any trip is going to be relatively pricey, but there are different levels. I’d look for a small boat, rather than one of the big cruise line size boats. Since the number of people on an island at any time is limited, if you’re on a big boat, you’ll spend time waiting for other people to come back from their trip. Lindblad does have an excellent reputation for providing great naturalist guides, though. I went a few years ago with a tour company called GAP. It was a very small boat (about 12 passengers), but the guide was lacking. It was still an amazing trip. However you plan to go, go!
I went a few years ago, and it is an amazing, amazing trip. Any boat you take will have an official park ranger/guide as part of the crew I believe, it’s the only way you’re permitted on the islands.
However, I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say we could have died our last night — the weather was so bad that I think every one of us got sick from the boat tossing and turning, and we literally tied ourselves to poles on the deck so we could be above board and not be tossed overboard.
Our boat had 16 passengers and 8 crew. While bigger would’ve been better for comfort, I definitely would not do one of the massive cruises –being on a small boat we got to the islands early and could explore, and by the time we were moving on there was usually a massive Celebrity Cruises or other pulling up and offloading hundreds of people, and you just really don’t want to experience nature like that, if you can avoid it, in my opinion. I think that if you could spring for a slightly larger boat, you might have a more pleasant journey overall. (The trip was great, but quarters were extremely cramped, it smelled a bit like gasoline down below, and the crew were a bit, shall we say, amorous, once they learned that although we had guys and gals in our group, we were not all couples…)
I went in 2009. We had an amazing time.
1) Link to our touring group, below. Boat was very comfortable and the right size (big enough for comfort, small enough to avoid crowds). 16 passengers. See more at http://www.galapagosodyssey.com
It got kind of tippy at night .. if you’re going for maximum comfort, look for a catamaran type boat (2 hulls instead of 1). They are more stable.
2) If you are at all prone to seasickness, get a prescription for ear patches or bring pills with you, something like that. Not worth it to go all the way there and feel ill the whole time.
3) It is not a ‘relaxing’ trip in that you’re up early each day to see the animals in the early morning, and you’ll be on expeditions, snorkeling, touring, through the day. There are short breaks here and there for naps but this is not a sleep-in/breakfast in bed kind of experience.
4) Bring the best camera you have, and if that’s not very good, get or borrow a new one. You will see incredible things that are worth capturing properly.
5) National Geographic Expedition tours are wonderful (my dad does them) but I don’t think you need to spend quite that much. They come with deluxe accommodations, internationally recognized experts in the field, fine food, etc. etc. My advice is to buy a book, stay in reasonable but not crazy accommodations, lower your expectations about food and save the $6K trip for when the kids are done with college. MHO.
6) We went in September and weather was perfect. 70s, dry, sunny.
Swimming with the Turtles
Thanks everyone — great info! Keep it coming.
GAPAdventures dot com
Done many of their trips, including Galapagos. Highly, highly recommend.
The Galapagos is a fantastic trip!
I also went several years ago with Linblad. I have a large family so we chose to stay on one of the larger cruise type ships and I thought it was perfect. I don’t recall waiting for other passengers, we didn’t have any motion sickness problems, and it was nice to get to know some other people. Of course, if you’re looking for a more intimate experience a smaller boat would probably fit the bill.
Regardless every single member of my family had an amazing time. Make sure to bring a good camera and a raincoat or a windbreaker.
Apologies if this posts twice but my first attempt didn’t appear to go through.
I am looking for recommendations from Chicago ‘rettes, especially NU law grads and students. A friend is starting law school there in the fall and I’d like to buy her some gift certificates to businesses near the law school campus, in Streeterville, so she can treat herself. Any suggestions for good mani-pedi spots, spas, coffeehouses, casual restaurants, etc.?
Thanks so much!
A BYOB Chicago guidebook and a gift certificate to a wine shop. I don’t have a favorite wine shop in the area(anyone?). Binny’s will do the job; I’m a fan of Howard’s Wine Cellar in Lakeview.
Intelligentsia coffee. Depending on her schedule, you might even be able to get her a ticket to the public tour of their roasting facility. Really cool, lots of different coffees to taste, and I learned a ton.
Kiva day spa is about 1.5 blocks from the law school. They have really nice massages (all different styles for her to try). My favorite mani/pedi place is actually the Nordstrom spa (same building as the Nordstrom on Michigan Ave), which is about 5-6 blocks away from the law school. If she lives close to law school and cooks, a gift certificate to Whole Foods would probably be appreciated too.
Graduated recently. Within three blocks of the law school is a starbucks, chipotle, and potbelly so those are all good lunch options during the school day, but not very exciting.
If she is going to be living in Streeterville there is a completely wonderful brunch place called West Egg that all the students like.
A little bit further – maybe a 10 min walk from NU on Chicago Avenue is a soup place called the Soupbox. They do 10-12 soups each day and make combos. Its amazing in the winter. Another good winter option is Ghirardelli’s shop on Michigan Ave that does great hot chocolate.
Hmm apparently all I did in Chicago was eat …
Kiva is good, but I have come to like the services at Exhale spa a lot more (at Oak and Rush). Great massages/facials and she can go to a core fusion class too if she wants. Sarah’s Bakery is really cute and just down Oak St from Exhale, and is a good stop-in for a spa/shopping day.
Argo Tea – a local chain that’s just started expanding outside of Chicago. There are several around Chicago. Their coffee and espresso are better than Starbucks or Intelligentsia, and they have a great selection of teas and pastries. There always seem to be study groups of college/grad students in the locations downtown.
I second the Soupbox, though the only location I’m familiar with is in Lakeview.
Binny’s is the best place to go for wine or any kind of alcohol. Great selection and super low prices. They also give a good discount on wine if you buy a case at a time (and you can mix bottles of anything, just buy 12 at once).
Maybe something cultural to take her mind off occasionally school. Hubbard Street Dance and the Joffrey Ballet are great, and I also enjoy Chicago Shakespeare.
These are great suggestions! Thanks again—
Another thread has me wondering…do you ladies know of any good primers on wine? I know NOTHING about wine, and am constantly teased by my husband about it (he’s got like a master’s degree in all things alcohol because he bartended his way through university). Primers on other types of alcoholic beverages (like beer, scotch, etc.) also appreciated!
I believe someone gave me the earlier edition of this Oz Clarke book many years ago. I never had a chance to read it.
In big cities, many liquor stores have free wine tastings once a week, as do nice stores like Whole Foods. There are also frequent classes of varying prices.
I learned the most from visiting wineries and breweries. It’s really neat seeing how it all gets made, and the tour guides are usually great with questions. Check out the book Wine for Dummies. My friend used this as a textbook for her college wine tasting class; she said it was a good primer.
Google wine schools or wine tastings to see if there are any in your local city. Sometimes community colleges will have one-day, non-credit classes on tasting.
There might be some good podcasts out there too. I tried listening to 3 Wine Guys, but I just couldn’t get that into wine.
try Windows on the World by Zraly. I used it in the course I took in college and still use it as a reference.
Research, not Law
You should look into wine bars and shops in your area. Some offer classes. I took a great one a few years ago.
There’s no substitution for experience, though. If your partner’s knowledge is intimidating or squelching, then go out with a friend. Try different varietals and log what you think. Wine is so much less intimidating if you focus simply on discovering what you enjoy. Being able to talk the talk is nice, but you don’t need to be able to discuss the details of a wine’s legs, brix, acidity, tannin levels to appreciate wine. The only time I’ve found that truly helpful is to determine if a tasting host is spouting BS.
Same for beer, and I’d imagine, spirits.
Yes! The Wall Street Journal Wine book, believe it or not, is absolutely great and a really good place to start if you know absolutely nothing about wine. Dottie and John are very down to earth and not snobby at all about wine, which is refreshing.
My favorite thing they ever said was in answer to a question – “I tried a $25 and a $10 wine and I like the $10 wine better. Do I have bad taste?” Their answer was, “What you have is not bad taste. What you have is a bargain.”
If you find a wine you like using their book, then you can read more from other writers about that particular style of wine – I like Hugh Grant and Robert Parker, but those are not good “starter” books.
Oh, look. There’s a new and improved
Andrea Immer’s “Great Wine Made Simple” is quite good.
I think classes, tastings, and just buying random bottles is the way to go. On the off-chance you’re in Denver, I’d really recommend Cook Street’s wine classes. Having the ability to taste a bunch of wines within some unified category, based on grape, region, style, or whatever, is really helpful in determining what you like. Be openminded and curious, but remember that you are drinking wine for yourself- don’t get too wrapped up in what other people think you should like. And just buy a random bottle sometimes- there are great finds under $15, (I find better values tend to come from places like Spain or South America) and it can be great fun to explore.
I second just going to classes and wine tastings, but a friend gave me this book and I leave it on my coffee table. A big part of wine is knowing when to drink what! This book is pretty approachable and really handy. I use it all the time as a reference
Longtime lurker with a question I probably already know the answer to, but here it goes:
DH and I are about to purchase our first home. I am in graduate school but we have been saving for several years and are lucky to have a good sized down payment for our first place. The problem is that 1/3 of DH’s salary is bonuses, and he hasn’t been in this job long enough for the bonus to count, so we don’t qualify for what we can really “afford”.
House A: Townhouse style condo (we prefer this), better location, better neighborhood, more space (big enough we are planning on renting a bedroom to a friend, at least while I finish school, to give ourselves a cushion)
House B: Apartment style condo (but still less than 20 units), smaller (probably too small to let anyone live with us), still a good area, on a main road (biggest drawback)
We could comfortably afford the mortgage payments on House A, but because I have no income and we can’t count his bonuses, we cannot get a mortgage for enough. This means we are going to need to borrow about 40k from our parents (who are generously willing to do this). Obviously they are giving it to us as a gift so we can get the mortgage, but at some point we have to pay it back. If things go as they are now, we could reasonably do this in about 4 years. We LOVE House A (if that wasn’t obvious). It has almost everything we want.
Because of the higher condo fees on House B, our payments will be very close to what they are on House A (within $100 a month), except we are not going to have to borrow much (likely less than 10k, if any) from our parents.
Either way, we are keeping some rainy day money aside, in case anyone was thinking we were putting everything we had in the house. Neither of us has any other debt, and we are definitely buying something in the next 3 months. The interest rates and prices where we live are too good to pass up.
We have been looking for about 6 months, intensely for the last 2 months, and this is the best we can do. What would you do? Are there any other things we should be considering?
Research, not Law
Ugh, house buying! Why can’t the perfect home just present itself when you need it!
If you, your husband, and your parents are comfortable with the 40k loan, then I don’t see a reason to not do house A. You like it more and feel you can afford it. Plus, as someone whose “maybe a 5 year house” quickly turned to a “in it for the long haul house” for unanticipated reasons, you could be thankful for the extra space someday.
I would wait until he’s been at his job long enough for his bonuses to “count” so that you can qualify for what you really want. I’m not sure what would be worse – buying your 2nd choice because you couldn’t qualify for your first choice, or having a 40k family loan hanging over your heads (even if his parents rock and you have a healthy relationship with them – money complicates things).
Why the rush?
The rush is that we are really, really tired of living in apartments and we feel like we are throwing away money by paying rent that is the same as our mortgage payments are going to end up being. Add to that low housing prices and good interest rates and it is the right time for us to buy.
And most of all I am just over it. We are very unhappy with our current living situation.
You are not throwing away money by living in an apartment! Keep in mind that while your mortgage payments will be the same as the apartment rent, you’ll also be paying taxes, insurance, and possibly homeowners maintenance fees. The most important thing to consider at the moment is that you’ll also be paying for any repairs/upgrades that you’ll need to make. Those can end up being extremely expensive depending on what you need. If you want more space, you can always rent a home using the same amount of money you’d spend on the mortgage and extra fees, but you still won’t end up in a situation where you’ll be on the hook for the big repairs.
We have already figured those costs into our monthly payment, and it still works out to the same or less as rent would be. Hopefully there won’t be a lot of maintenance because it is new construction (1 year warranty in the state where we live), and we plan to sell within 5 years. If anything comes up, I have family in the construction industry so any repairs would be at cost.
It doesn’t sound like you’re rushing to me – it seems like you’ve put a lot of thought into the decision.
Wrong. A family loan is a business transaction that can benefit everyone in the end. Draft a promissory note, py interest to the parents, and buy house A!
I’d go for House A, since you love it and the actual monthly cost to you would be less than $100 more than House B. Plus, you’ll have the cushion from the rented room for a while. It sounds like a great option. Congratulations!
Is his bonus guaranteed or performance based (his and/or company’s)? I know mine is performances based and despite receiving it every year, the bank would not consider it for mortgage purposes. Will you need the bonus income to pay for monthly expenses, ie, would you be able to pay your parents on with the post tax bonus payment? If so, I’d go with house A and pay your parents back at year end, or spring, when you get the bonus. If you need the bonus to stretch through your monthly bills, or you can’t pay it back in a short period of time, I’d wait until I could meet the above or buy the smaller place.
The bank told us if we could show he had been making the bonus for two years they would consider it (though it is performance based), but he hasn’t, so it is moot.
We can afford all of the monthly bills on just his base salary. The plan, if we go with that one, is to use part of his bonus and the money we get from the renter to pay back about 10k a year for 4 years. We are thinking if we had to we could pay it back in 3 years, but would prefer to stretch it out a little to have some wiggle room.
No matter which one we buy, we are going to have to live pretty frugally for the next two years until I’m out of school and have a full time job, but we will be able to pay the bills.
If you haven’t already, you probably should look into the tax implications of a low-interest or no-interest loan from your parents. A quick google search will bring up a few articles. My parents were considering a loan to my sister for medical school and they were surprised to find out that the IRS does regulate this type of transaction.
Thanks for this info. I have looked into this briefly, and because they are going to give it to us as a “gift” I think they have to report it on their taxes but as long as they have not reached a certain threshold on gift giving (which apparently most people never do), they will not be taxed. We will be paying them back in amounts less than the 12k per year that requires even reporting a gift. This is what was recommended to me by someone, but I could be way off base. I plan on speaking with an accountant before doing anything, but if anyone else knows if this would work I would be interested in hearing.
My gift tax knowledge may be a bit rusty, but I think this is the situation:
(1) Giver’s annual exemption: $13K per recipient.
(2) Giver’s lifetime exemption: $1 million total.
So each of your parents could give each of you $26K in one year ($52K total), not owe gift tax, and not have to eat into the lifetime exemption.
If it matters, my DH bought an apartment before we married. In doing so, he borrowed about $50K from his dad for the down payment, and managed to repay him within two years, no harm done to their relationship. Not sure whether this was reported by either side, tax-wise, but relationship-wise, it worked out fine. He sent his dad a check for a fixed amount every time he received a paycheck (i.e., twice monthly).
My only concern about House A is familial more than anything else. If the worst happened (say your husband lost his job, or your career started slowly), and it look you two a veeeery long time to pay your parents back, would that hurt your relationship with your parents in a big way? I think that’s a lot of money to borrow from family on your end, when you’re just starting out in a career. Just something it might be worth thinking about (and in particular, talking to your husband about).
I don’t want to say “don’t buy the house!” because my husband and I were in a similar situation a few years ago. We were just so tired of renting, and when my husband got a new job that required moving, we decided to buy a condo instead of rent. But then, two years later, we moved AGAIN (completely unplanned at the time of house purchase) out of state, and tried so sell (after buying at the top of the market…) and now we’re renting instead. We love our renters and we feel very lucky to have them, but we would definitely rather have been able to pick up and move without having house selling/renting to think about. We do feel that we did this too soon, but we didn’t feel that at the time of course :) Just some food for thought…I’m sure you will make the right decision for you.
We borrowed the same amount from my in-laws for the down payment on our first place. We lived in the place for five years and made a huge profit, and paid them back when we sold the place. Since you are buying at the bottom of the market, I think you have a very good shot of being in the same position. I guess the determinative question is how important the money is to your parents, if they aren’t in any hurry for repayment, you should definitely go for it as you have definitely thought through the whole process pretty carefully.
I agree. $40k means different things to different people. For my parents, that would be a huge favor and they’d be itching to get it back, and things could be a bit awkward if we needed to stretch our repayment schedule. For my boyfriend’s parents, who spend about $60k/yr on vacations (plus more when they invite us along!) it would not be a big deal at all (in fact, knowing his mom, she might not even take repayment money when the time came). How much of a hardship would it be in your case for the individual people providing the loan?
No hardship at all. They have already said we can pay it back “whenever we have the extra money”. I don’t think I would even be considering it if the money was coming from someone who would *feel* if they were missing it.
We put in an offer- we’ll see if they accept! Thanks again for all of the advice!
Thanks so much for all of the thoughtful replies. None of them were anything that hadn’t crossed my mind, so I at least feel a little better that we aren’t leaving something huge out. DH really, really wants house A, and while I hate debt, I think that is our best move given the two choices.
Even asking this question is making me feel like a dunce, but I need help!
I have pics on my phone’s microSD card. I need to figure out a way to get these pictures on my computer. The syncing software for the phone is super lame. It sometimes works and often doesn’t. Is there an easier way to get this done? My laptop does not have a microSD card reader unfortunately.
I was thinking of maybe finding out if the photo places like Walgreens or Costco have microSD card readers at their kiosks.
Photo kiosks probably do have a reader & you could then burn it to a CD.
You can also buy a card reader at a place like best buy that will connect to your computer (not sure what they’re called but I bought a universal card reader before to get photos off an old sd card).
Or, if your phone is e-mail capable, you can email them to yourself (this will be cumbersome if you have a lot of pics, though).
I have the same situation, thanks!
One of my micro-SD cards came with an SD adapter, where you could put the micro SD card into a full sized SD-shaped sleeve and insert it into an SD drive. My printer at home has an SD slot so we used this method for some time, but then the SD slot stopped working.
Think I’ll take my micro-SD to Walgreens and have them burn a CD for me.
I can send a picture message my phone to my email. I just put in the email address instead of a phone number to send the message to. I have T-Mobile.
I have an external card reader that connects to my computer via USB port that I use. I don’t think it was that expensive (it’s been a while), and you can use it with a bunch of different types of cards (SD, micro SD, XD, whatever else is out there)
Buy a SD adaptor for the micro card and then transfer to your computer via a card reader. Most card readers don’t have a slot for the micro SD as it’s too small.
What is the general consensus on keeping pungent foods in the communal fridge? There has been a bit of a debate about it on my floor. Some think it’s offensive to tell people not to bring their very strongly-scented ethnic food to the office, but it really does have a lingering smell. It’s been hotly discussed the last few days!
I think it’s offensive. Would people object to microwave popcorn? If not, then you can’t single out people who eat “ethnic” foods.
On that note, I wish that I could stage auditions for who can make popcorn in my office. I feel like every day there is someone scorching the hell out of a bag of microwave popcorn. It makes me insane because my office is right there!
Hee! This is our office too. Once? Maybe. But how do you not learn to pull out the bag sooner, people??? :)
I think this is where the problem arises since this is the national dish of a particular country.
You just really can’t do anything here. Even if your workplace adopted a blanket “no smelly foods” policy, it’d be obvious to everyone you were doing it because of this one particular food.
It sounds like the problem is that the smell permeates the fridge, right? It’s not that it smells after s/he microwaves the food? It sounds to me like s/he isn’t using a good container. If you know the person, I’d just pull her aside quietly and ask if she can use a tightly sealed container (I like the Ziploc Twist n Loc containers).
If the problem is after s/he microwaves it, is there a way to close off the kitchen area so the smell stays in the kitchen and doesn’t spread through the office? Our kitchen has doors that are always propped open, but sometimes if it gets smelly the people who sit nearby will close them.
Honestly though, this might be one of those things you just have to live with. Everyone has little habits that, unbeknownst to them, annoy the hell out of the other people in their workspace. Learning to deal with it (and their learning to deal with your habits) is just part of being collegial.
Good advice but I am staying out of the office debate on it!
Hee. I worked for a company where one woman claimed that she was allergic to microwave popcorn so there were signs everywhere saying you couldn’t make it. About once every 2 weeks, she’d say she could smell it from the other side of the building and she’d just go home.
I vote no, although I am not sure you can actually smell food in the fridge, assuming it’s fresh & kept in a sealed container. I think the problem comes up when you go to microwave it & the smell circulates through the whole office. I love Indian food or tuna fish as much as anyone, but my thinking is my lunch should not cause anyone any discomfort. A former co-worker used to bring in salmon in curry sauce about once a week, and it was, honestly, impossible to use the microwave after her because whatever you brought would smell like her salmon.
To clarify, I feel this way about any strongly scented food, not about “ethnic” food specifically.
As a big fan of “ethnic” food, I would be kind of annoyed and offended if someone told me that I couldn’t bring it to work. I spend a LOT of time in the office, and I like being able to eat what I enjoy while there. I would also object to it being limited to “ethnic” food, as there are some foods that would not generally be characterized as “ethnic” that I can’t stand smelling (canned tuna fish, for example). BUT, having said that, I do think that people should make sure that if they put something in the communal fridge, it is tightly sealed so that it doesn’t stinkify the whole fridge. Someone at my office brought in some extremely garlicky homemade salsa this week, and it has been sitting in the fridge all week in a bowl that is only closed with tinfoil. I love garlic, but I am sick of getting an overwhelming whiff of it whenever I open the fridge.
Totally irrelevant, but do people still do canned tuna when there’s those packets? I know they are a little more $$, but that’s one of those things, I think is totally worth the price. No draining!
Because my cats would be so, so angry if there was no drained water for them to wake up! As it is I can barely take the yowling for the time it takes me to drain the water from the can into their dishes.
Uh… wake up = lap up. I need to wake up, apparently.
Haha, do your cats also come running over when you open other cans, only to look at you like “Owner, wtf?” when it turns out to be canned peas, soup, etc.?
@Oneanon – yes, and they yowl until I let them see inside the can. Then they make the exact same face a toddler would make if he thought he was getting cake, but got yucky veggies instead.
That’s so cute.
I think people need to be careful with this. I work in an office with Filipino and Southeast Asian co-workers who regularly bring in left-overs from home. One day, one of my “non-ethnic” co-workers loudly stated that “they should learn to cook American food, so we don’t have to smell their stinky food.” His comment cleared out the room faster than any pungently scented dish ever could. Whether it’s someone who is just a fan of ethnic food, or someone who is bringing in food that reflects their culture, I don’t think we have the right to tell someone what they can or cannot bring in. And seriously, we cannot expect to live in a scent or odor free world.
“And seriously, we cannot expect to live in a scent or odor free world.”
This. Exactly. I was trying to figure out how to say it.
And look at it this way–coffee has a strong aroma. Has any one worked in an office where someone tried to get the coffee maker banned from the office because they didn’t like the smell of coffee?
We arrived at a solution where it was in the office of one of the people who drinks coffee, and we rotated it out as needed so no one got stuck making it/cleaning it up/hosting the coffee pot all the time.
When that guy’s contract didn’t get renewed, we moved it back out into common space.
This! This this this this this.
I’ve been staying out of the debate, honestly. My culture has some rather strong-smelling food so I guess I can see one side of it; but on the other hand I don’t bring those dishes to work. Although with these hours, I could totally go for some comfort food from home!
doo doo do doo...
At my old law firm we had like 6 or 7 floors in the building — and only one of them had a microwave on it. Every floor had a kitchenette (ice, fridge, vending machines, water, crackers/cookies) but no microwave. Rumor had it that one of the partners specifically didn’t like the smell of “ethnic food.”
I’m not terribly ethnic (white girl from the Midwest) but I used to delight in heating up smelly food at home and bringing it in a thermos to work, or buying the smelliest ethnic food I could on the rare day I went out for takeout.
Hated that firm.
Research, not Law
I am very sensitive to food smells (even when I’m not pregnant, lol), which has often lead to me keep a cooler at my desk rather than use the break room. But I have never once complained or asked that certain items not be allowed in the microwave or fridge. What people bring for lunch is their business – and everything bothers someone, so if you start kicking out foods, you’ll soon only be able to have individual yogurt cups and white bread. I’ve worked in offices where people have tried to get microwave popcorn banned, and it was not pretty. Going after one particular ethnic food would be even worse.
Instead, I’d argue for better ventilation in the break area (or moving the break area) and perhaps a second microwave for stronger scented items. A second microwave worked wonders in my old office.
Go to the nearest drugstore or supermarket and buy a box of baking soda, and take off half the lid. If these aren’t moldy rotten food smells, that should eliminate most fridge smells. Seems like a far better solution than offending someone’s culture.
I do this with ground coffee. I take the smallest ground coffee pacj and leave it half open in the fridge. Sucks all the smells.
Personally I hate the smell of microwave popcorn.
A bit late to the table, but a trick I learned was to cover the dish with a damp (as in soaked and wrung out) paper towel. It very nearly eliminates all the pungent smells from escaping the break room when you microwave food. This even work for fish in my experience :)
I like the earrings a lot, but as a PSA I’ll just say Lori Bonn does a lot of druzy jewelry in sterling silver at a much more reasonable price.
Earlier this week there was someone who was looking for some plus-size fashion blogs. Thought I’d share this one http://girlwithcurves.tumblr.com/
She does fall on the more casual end of the spectrum, but she always looks great. And her curly hair is to die for.
DROOL! This woman is gorgeous. Loving her clothes and her look.
She is gorgeous. And, although I am not plus-sized, I am quite “curvy,” small wasit, large chest, hips and this is great fashion inspiration. Lots of things that look great on other people do not look good on someone with a substantial chest.
Thank you for this! She is beautiful, and I love how she pairs her clothing.
Wow — is this woman stunning or what?! Thanks for introducing us to her blog.
My newest girl-crush. She is so pretty!!!
So, here’s a situation I was in yesterday that I’d like some feedback on –
I had lunch with three male colleagues. It was a business lunch, and we were talking business. At the next table there was a group of people which included a strikingly beautiful woman who was probably in her twenties. I noticed her initially and then didn’t think more about it (except to wonder where she got her necklace.)
Two of my male colleagues spent much of our lunch very obviously staring at her. One of them lost his train of thought in the middle of a sentence while he was speaking to me because this woman got up to go to the ladies room.
I just felt kind of grossed out by the whole thing.
I found it embarrassing that they were acting like such idiots, particularly when I know and like all of their wives. Additionally, because I was the only woman at the table, I felt uncomfortable, like they would have discussed her if I wasn’t sitting there. Third, it has at least temporarily colored my opinion of these guys, both of whom I have known and respected for a very long time.
What would you have done? I didn’t say anything. I thought of breaking the awkwardness with something like, “yes, she’s very pretty, isn’t she?” and then moving on, but for some reason I thought it would have sounded petty.
For what it’s worth, the woman wasn’t scantily clad, just noticeably pretty.
I definitely would have gone with a “Yes, she’s very pretty, isn’t she?” in response to their behavior. I don’t think it sounds petty. If they are going to act like idiots, then they can deal with you noticing.
This has happened to me a couple times. I think it’s disrespectful to me and I usually just ignore the situation. Honestly, it hurts my self-esteem too, as I then just feel like they see me as one of the guys.
I would also watched the woman go to the restroom and said “what a beautiful lady!” and then carried on. That puts them on notice without making the situation even more awkward. That being said, where were their manners??
Thanks, ladies. You are making me feel better. I think I needed some validation for feeling weird/uncomfortable about the situation.
Where were their manners, indeed?
P.S. At least is has bettered my opinion of the one male colleague who managed to remain calm and collected in the face of such beauty!
Ugh. I hate these situations. I would probably have said something like “god, she’s gorgeous” and then moved on.
FWIW though, I don’t think guys would act any differently if you were plain jane from the office or if you were just as pretty or prettier than the woman in question. Men like variety and a new gorgeous woman is going to catch their eye. So, don’t take it personally or infer that they think you are just one of the guys.
The part about these situations that annoys me is the feeling of putting a damper on the conversation the guys would want to be having if I wasn’t around. But hey, that’s life and it happens all of the time in my male-dominated work place, no matter what the circumstances.
oh men. Most of my friends are guys, and this is not an infrequent occurrence. Honestly, I usually just mock them about their inability to focus on two things at once because I can both carry on a conversation and stare at the hot guy across the room. I read an article one time about how men actually are less capable of multitasking when attractive women are around. Obviously, blatant mocking really only works when you’re friends with the guys…
Also, in regards to it making you uncomfortable b/c you know their wives, I remember at one point my dad commenting on some attractive woman (my mother was with us) and I said something like ‘eww, gross’ (because he’s my dad. I don’t want to think about that). His response was “I’m old and married, but I’m not dead!” My mother laughed. Guys are going to look. Doesn’t mean they don’t love their wives. (Of course, this goes for women, too).
I recommend developing a sense of humor about these things. As others have said, it really has nothing to do with you – it’s not about that woman vs. you, or what they would say in your presence vs. not – it’s just human nature. People get distracted and act silly. No need to say anything, in my opinion. What if you were having lunch with your girlfriends and a George Clooney lookalike sat down at the next table, or if LeBron James had walked in during your business lunch instead of the ‘strikingly beautiful woman’? Might be annoying, in that your lunch conversation is interrupted, but I wouldn’t see it as something to get offended, embarrassed, disgusted or otherwise worked up about.
I think the difference is that this appears to have been a business lunch, not a lunch with friends so the behaviour seems to have been unprofessional
I agree. Why in the world is it okay to excuse this kind of behavior with a “oh, they’re just boys and can’t help it, tsk tsk”? It is unprofessional, and I think this blog shows that we, as women, generally hold ourselves (and each other) to higher professional standards. Why aren’t we just as hard on the guys?
Or, innocently, “Guys?”, like, “can you hear me, are you here?”, sweetly.
If you’re trying to connect with the colleague or mentor located in a different city for a sit down meeting or preferably lunch/dinner to discuss your professional issues/goals (ie. you have to plan on being in town for them so you’d like more than 10 min), how do you handle it? Do you do the casual — hey I’m in your city, let me know if you have time. Or do you do the more formal ‘I’ll be here on x dates and want an hr with you’ which makes it sound like something important is going on. This is complicated by the fact that I keep hearing this colleague is pregnant, and I have no idea how far along. I don’t want to directly ask (or ask anyone in her office who may tell her), but I also don’t want to ask to meet up a few months from now and find that she’s 8.5 months pregnant and in no mood to mentor. Would you even pursue this right now – I can’t imagine she feels up to doing anything besides the work that she has to do – even though she has been a great resource to me and was my direct manager for 2+ yrs.
How about, “I’m going to be in City on Thursday and Friday, and I’d really like to see you if you have some time. I have dinner plans Thursday and a meeting Friday morning but can otherwise stop by at whatever time might be convenient for you. I’m eager to hear how you are and to see you.”
Ladies, please help me. I am fortunate enough to be in biglaw and make the standard six-figure salary. My would-be fiance is underemployed, after a long period of unemployment (don’t go to law school, kids), thanks to our crappy economy. We’ve discussed and he can afford at most, $2-3k on an engagement ring, and even that is a serious stretch for him, which concerns me a lot. Unfortunately for both of us, I seem to have some magpies in my family tree, because I’m drawn to the sparkle of diamonds. I know: unethical, environmentally destructive, price fixing, manipulative ad campaigns, total waste of money, etc. My brain knows these things, but my heart says “pretty!” And many of you know what a “typical” engagement ring looks like in biglaw… $3k (or $10k) it is not. I’ve tried to attract myself to something much less expensive, but it hasn’t worked. I so wish it had.
So it seems either 1) I get a ring he can afford that frankly I won’t be satisfied with, and I feel terrible for being unsatisfied, though I wish I was satisfied, or 2) I help pay for (most of) a ring I want, which he says will make him embarrassed and ashamed forever, or 3) we put off getting engaged until he can buy a ring that I actually want. I feel like such a shallow bitch, yet I can’t help how I feel… Any words of wisdom? Advice? A better perspective?
How about no engagement ring and a beautiful wedding band when you marry?
I like this. Especially since you two can share costs of wedding bands (it’s so appropriate), so you can get a beautiful wedding band guilt-free.
Get yourself a big old honking right hand ring. And let him propose with anything he feels like. My mom got a guitar. (And still has it!)
If you feel so strongly about having a ring that you will be satisfied with, could you afford to chip in? I understand that tradition has the man buying the ring, but it will be on your hand, so I don’t really see the big deal, especially if you feel very strongly about wanting something on the more expensive side.
My husband and I discussed this when we got engaged years ago (I make significantly more than he does, and also work in biglaw). At the time, I also thought I might want a larger ring than he could afford. We ultimately decided that I didn’t care *that* much, and he bought what he could afford. After five years of marriage, I absolutely love my ring and wouldn’t have it any other way. It seemed like such a big deal at the time, and doesn’t seem remotely important now — regardless of whether my ring is smaller than some of my colleagues’ rings.
I wouldn’t put off getting engaged. If you to put this in perspective, then it might help you to think about how much he wants this ring to be a gift from him to you. That might help to think about the ring in a more sentimental light…and leave you free to use your money to buy a gorgeous diamond necklace or diamond earrings.
I’m sure you’ve already looked into all the “budget” options, but I LOVE my $2k wedding/engagement ring (dual-purpose) that has eight small-ish stones in a sort of eternity-band setting. I think there’s a lot less focus on the size of the stones when there’s no solitaire. I’m not a jewelery person at all, though.
And I’m sure you’ve already heard this, too, but don’t think you’re doomed to wear this ring forever. My mom received a huge upgrade on her 10th wedding anniversary.
why not go for a stone other than a diamond? lots of gorgeous semi-precious rings out there that have pretty bling/a wedding look to them.
Don’t put off getting engaged. Either agree that you’ll pitch in for it, get a lab created diamond or befriend a jeweler.
Lab created diamonds much cheaper and nobody can tell the difference. Later in life you can spend the money to get the real thing and just place it in your ring setting. Nobody will be any wiser to the difference.
Another option is to befriend a local jeweler. My now husband checked all jewelry stores in town for the right ring and we found a locally owned business that specialized in estate jewelry. We let him know what we were looking for and a couple of months later he called to let us know he had an estate diamond for sale matching our specs. I picked the setting for the ring from another jeweler and we put the estate diamond in. We got a great deal and I love my ring!
I think you should help pay for the ring you want. I don’t see why you can’t just buy something together. Marriage is about sharing a life together so isn’t sharing the expense of the engagement ring the first step to that? I think to buy it together would be symbolic of taking that first step together. Then again, maybe I’m totally rationalizing this b/c I work in biglaw, make waaaaay more than guys I date, love diamonds and come from a family of women who also love bling bling so I do plan on chipping in for a ring I love when the time comes. I also like the idea of the eternity rings. He could buy one and you could by 2 of them. One of my female partners has 3 bands and that’s all she wears and I think it looks beautiful, elegant and simple. And her hubby definitely makes a lot of money so it wasn’t about finances.
What about no or small ring now, and a larger ring on a significant anniversary when he can afford it…assuming that he can one day. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine putting off getting married a few years for a piece of jewelry…you have a lifetime to buy each other gifts.
But, and I hope this doesn’t come across judgmental, but from your post it sounds like maybe there are larger financial issues you need to work out. Unless you know his employment situation will change soon, you may be supporting him for a while. I can understand that he doesnt want you to pay for your e-ring, but “ashamed forever” would leave me concerned that he’s going to have significant concerns with your salary disparity. Please talk about this now, before engagement or marriage! It only gets harder later.
Ditto! Ashamed forever is so worrisome, because I feel like one of the things you need to be able to do as married people is think of yourselves as a team, and in the end does it really matter who pays for the ring?
Thanks so much for all these thoughtful, outside-the-box responses. It’s really helping me to start see this issue in different lights, so please keep them coming.
Re: helping pay for the ring – I’m open to it, but he isn’t. He’s fine with me making more money (he wants to do Good Deeds like public interest, which I think balances out my biglaw karma nicely), but says that in this one instance, he’s supposed to pay for it himself, because that’s a Thing That A Man Does. I don’t really understand it, but Duckie hit it right on the head (as usual).
I’m intrigued by the moissanite idea… this magpie loves the sparkle, which is why an alternative stone doesn’t do it for me. Sapphires, while lovely, don’t sparkle. Sparkle at non-diamond prices?? Is it possible?
I have a friend who got a moissanite ring and it is very sparkly indeed. I’m not particularly educated about diamonds, but I certainly can’t tell the difference between her ring and a “real” diamond.
Why do you need a ring now? Why not wait until afer you’re married, at whatever time he can afford one? Then you can get a gorgeous one and exactly what you want. You don’t need a ring to be engaged. If you run into any snobby types who ask about it, just tell them you didn’t want one and your fiance respected your wishes. I don’t think anyone will question you on that; in fact, I know a lot of women who didn’t have engagement rings and didn’t want one.
I don’t see a problem with your paying for the ring, since after the wedding your money will be his, and vice versa. But if he’d feel emasculated, don’t even think about it. There are several men I know who are unemployed and feel like they are losers who can’t support their families; it’d be a slap in the face if the woman they thought they should be supporting went out and bought her own engagement ring.
You also could see if someone in his family or yours is holding on to a relative’s ring that you could have. Using a family heirloom as an engagement ring is beautiful and sentimental; even the snobbiest snob isn’t going to care if it’s tiny.
I commented above on the wedding band only because that’s what I did, though it wasn’t strictly about money.
My husband and I together chose an estate ring in platium, from around the turn of the 20th century. It was more affordable than a big diamond solitaire and was more my personal style. Also, the diamonds were mined long ago so I was less worried about the ethics.
It’s very obviously a very old ring and no one questions the carat size. Because it is more band style than solitaire style, it is also my wedding band. I just have the one ring.
Another friend who was engaged her senior year of undergrad never had an engagement ring but rather just a platinum band. Then her grandmother died and willed her her own engagement ring (perhaps because my friend was her only granddaughter without one – well played!) It is a gorgeous engagement ring and she wears it every day now, and it doesn’t offend her husband given its origin.
I did the exact same thing. Got engaged without a ring and found a gorgeous vintage wedding band that we loved. It was not a money issue for us. I just didn’t want to buy into all of the social pressures for a big ring and the marketing BS. What matters is that you’ve found a great guy you want to spend your life with–not the size of the ring you wear.
Magpie, you’ve found a wonderful man to spend the rest of your life with. Please celebrate that and be grateful (I’m sure you are). Remind yourself that a ring is nothing but a piece of jewelry. Graciously accept whatever he can comfortably afford to give you.
After all the wedding activity is over, if you find that you’re still bothered by the ring, go out and by yourself whatever you want and wear it on your other hand.
Congratulations and best wishes.
I work in biglaw, as do all my friends, and while there are expensive rings out there plenty of associates have rings in the $2-$3k range.
This! Heck to the this.
“Magpie, you’ve found a wonderful man to spend the rest of your life with. Please celebrate that and be grateful (I’m sure you are). Remind yourself that a ring is nothing but a piece of jewelry. Graciously accept whatever he can comfortably afford to give you.”
This. This. This. If the ring is more important than the man, you’re with the wrong man, Magpie. Do you know how many women out there will NEVER be offered a ring, by anyone? Do you know how many of them would be more than happy to accept whatever “sub-standard” ring your fiance would offer? If you can’t get your head around accepting what he can offer, you should cut him loose so he can find someone more appreciative of who is is and what he can bring to the marriage.
Been married 11 years, my engagement ring was a family heirloom with two tiny, almost-can’t-see-em diamonds. Years later I got a big honkin’ ring from my husband and I don’t even wear it. It’s not the ring, honeybunch, it’s what the ring means. If you’re more concerned about getting a sufficiently “sparkly” ring you can show off to your friends and gloat over than you are about building a solid foundation of respect and appreciation for your marriage, PLEASE DO NOT GET MARRIED! Because in less than five years you’ll be divorced. Believe me, I’ve seen it.
If I had to guess, I’d say that most of the “typical” engagement rings were not bought when the couple got engaged. The reality is that most people get engaged at the beginning of their careers, when a $10K+ engagement isn’t a realistic purchase at all. This is something more likely to happen at a significant anniversary when the couple is in a place financially to be able to afford the larger ring. If it bothers you too much to have a small one, just tell your husband you’ve thought about it and decided against a ring for now. Then when he’s employed at a more appropriate level, he can get you a better ring, or you’ll have moved past the ring and have decided it is not necessary after all.
I have some european friends who received nice watches for their engagement ($1000 can get you a pretty watch, though it won’t be a Rolex!). Suggest something along those lines? Then once you’ve establihed a joint savings account, you can have him buy you a nice ring out of it for your 1-year (or 5-year, or whatever) anniversary?
Personally I think big expensive diamond rings are an enormous waste and am a huge fan of Moissanite. If you’re not familiar with it, take a look and see if that might be acceptable to you (for now or forever). :-)
Alanna of Trebond
I am in the nice watch camp for engagements! You can actually get a nice cartier tank for $3000. Plus you can reciprocate, instead of the woman getting a ring in exchange for becoming a piece of property…
1. Don’t get an engagement ring at all and get a huge diamond wedding ring (which you can pay for).
2. Don’t get an engagement ring at all. Get a standard wedding ring. Let him buy you a fancy engagement-type anniversary diamond ring when he can afford it.
3. Let him stretch beyond what he can afford to buy your ring, since that’s important to him, if and only if he allows you to make an extravagant gift to him such as paying off his car or paying the year’s work of rent he can no longer afford because he spent money on your ring instead.
4. He buys the ring for you on his credit card. You pay off his credit card.
5. Get an engagement ring, but not a standard diamond. Instead, look at other (less expensive) stones or some type of band or fun design that doesn’t include a big showy stone. Buy yourself your own non-engagement diamond ring (right-hand ring?) or a pendant or earrings or a watch, i.e. something shiny with diamonds but not an engagement ring.
6. You buy the engagement ring and he does something else “manly” to make himself feel better for not being able to afford what you want.
7. Were you going to share the costs of the wedding itself? If so, you pay for all of the wedding so that he can allocate his share of wedding expenses all towards the engagement ring.
Are you Jewish?
If you are Jewish, there might be an easy answer. In Judaism, the husband is supposed to pay for the ring himself and he is supposed to pay for it without going into debt. The potential harshness of this rule is mitigated by the fact that there is no engagement ring, and the wedding ring is supposed to be a plain gold band. (I have heard two explanations for this: (1) it is easier to tell the true value of a plain band than it is to tell the value of stones, which may or may not be real, and (2) a plain band is a symbol of eternity, the circle of life etc.) So if you are Jewish, you have the perfect excuse to have him buy you a plain gold band, which he should be able to afford, while you buy yourself whatever diamond(s) you want and can afford without making him feel unmanly.
PS: Yes, I know many Jewish women have big, diamond engagement rings. I did, too. But technically, this is the rule, and you could use it to your advantage here.
This whole conversation is making me sad. I have a beautiful solitare but it was ten years before we could afford a wrap. It is not that important. If people in big law will judge the size of the ring (when the husband is not the one in big law) then I am so glad I am not there.
I just asked my boyfriend about this. I earn about twice as much as him, just for reference. His suggestions:
1. He’ll get the big bucks one day, just go with a starter ring and upgrade when that day comes.
2. He buys the setting, OP buys the rock.
My own thoughts, and please take this in the nicest possible way, as I am merely offering a new perspective: an engagement ring is a very special gift. I for one would be quite offended if I was offering to buy someone a gift as a show of my love, and my beloved told me that it wasn’t good enough, and why don’t they just buy what they want for themselves. Kind of ruins the nice feeling that comes from bestowing a lovely gift unto someone.
Its the thought that counts...
This is such an important point. If the fiance wants to buy you a gift to celebrate your engagement, it should be something that he can comfortably purchase, within the realm of your taste. If that means a small ring, so be it, as long as the style is suitable. Then, as many have suggested, you can buy whatever other diamond baubles you like.
Marriage is filled with events and decisions. It sounds like a big flashy ring is part of your expectations to fit into biglaw culture. Will this dictate many of your future decisions? What if, for ex., your hubby wants to go fishing for a vacation and your biglaw standard is two weeks in Greece? What if for Christmas, your hubby gives you a garage door opener and biglaw standard is a gold bauble?
I think this matter speaks of some possible future discontent. If you cannot be happy with a ring he buys, then how will you be happy with this guy for the rest of your life? for richer, for poorer, etc.???
I would just like to throw my two cents in and say I’d b e devastated and would refuse a proposal if my boyfriend proposed with a cheap out ring.
If I end up marrying someone earning less than me I’d still expect a beautiful ring- afterall I’d be supporting him after the marriage.
I don’t think it’s fair to make her feel bad formliking what she likes. We are talking about a gift she can stash in the closet out of sight. People like what they like and so long as it isn’t illegal, it’s okay. If you want a bigger ring, determine what you can contribute to fiancé ‘s budget and get the ring you want. You don’t have to explain wanting it, or the source of the funds paying for it.
Diva: I do not mean to make anyone feel bad for liking what they like; but I see this as a red flag because of the way it was worded, as though the $2-3K ring will not fit in with her employer’s culture. Imagine all of the decisions and lifestyle issues that one has to make, and then try to make them to fit in with biglaw or any employment culture. If she is not content with what her future husband can give her for a ring, at the moment, then maybe she needs to re-think this guy and look for one who can give her a $25K ring.
It really isn’t about what she “likes” because she can buy herself as many diamond earrings as she wants. This is about her being influenced about what people at her job think about her husband being a good provider. That is a problem for any marriage.
How about cubic zircona? Big and sparkly and not too expensive….
I’ve been married 10+ years now. My husband and I paid for the ring together. We were poor college students and neither of us could really afford it. We went with something simple but nice in the $2K range. I’ve been completely happy with it and now it has great sentimental value so I wouldn’t change it, BUT, if I could do it over again I’d go back and get a cubic zirconia. It looks exactly the same, fraction of the price, and no ethical concerns that go along with diamonds.
This is a little late to the discussion, but I wanted to add the solution H and I came up with:
H and I looked at stones and picked out the stone together. We paid for it together. We chose to buy a diamond that was laser-enhanced. All the sparkle, at about half the cost. I think it’s a great option to consider!
He took the stone and picked out the setting for the ring, which he paid for himself.
I loved this compromise. I was surprised by the proposal and the setting and still got the “size” of stone that I wanted.
As a side note: I bought H an “engagement chair”. He wanted a big leather chair for TV watching in our new home and I was happy to buy it for him.
Also as a suggestion, if you think it’s socially okay you can get a 1 or 1.5 carot ring with a ruby for a fraction of what a diamond would cost. I have seen stunning 1c ruby solitaire rings for under 3k. If anyone asks say the ruby is from the Tanzanian women’s mining association certification or another worthy NGO. Better for the environment, pocket and the world and you’ll still get a decently sized gem.
Really random question for you all. My therapist of almost three years is retiring next week. She’s been wonderful and I would like to get her a something as a thank you, but I have absolutely no idea what would be appropriate. She’s moving to a smaller town shortly after retiring so I’m not certain what stores would be available for a gift card. Anyone done this before? Any thoughts? Is it totally weird of me to give her something? TIA!
Never done this, but I’d imagine a thoughtfully worded card/letter would mean more than a gift card.
You should get her a nice bottle of Scotch whiskey, maybe Cutty Sark or Black Label. My ex-boyfriend, Alan, has become a big Scotch drinker, but someone like a therapist can always use a drink or two after dealing with people like us all day. She will love it, and if she doesn’t drink, she will save the bottle and re-gift it to someone who does. Also, it’s not to expensive; maybe $25-30 give or take.
Wait- an Ellen with no MISPELLINGS and capitol letters? I am not sure how to handle THIS.
Fear not- there’s a small one in the last sentence ;)
Although I wouldn’t call Cutty a “nice” scotch- it’s okay, I guess- I can’t fault Ellen/Vera/Tina for Johnnie’s Black Label. (Except to note that’s it’s a little pricier than mentioned).
I was a therapist before becoming a lawyer. Based on the code of ethics in my field, we actually weren’t allowed to accept gifts. So this might be the case for her as well (there are many therapy fields, psychology, social work, mental health counseling, etc…so I don’t know if they all have the same ethical rules). So I would say a nice card that expresses how much she has done for you would be best. That would probably mean more to her anyway!
Maybe she has a hobby or like to collect things (that you have seen scattered in her office). My therapist has different kinds of African masks and statuettes. If he were to retire, I would get him a little statuette or mask for his collection
I have a couple of super cute unlined A line skirts. Is it possible for a tailor to add a lining to them? I don’t care much for slips and can’t seem to find ones short or comfortable enough. I have had ‘bad expereinces’ wearing said skirts on windy days so hence the need to add a lining of some kind.
I would say a tailor could absolutely do this, but how big of a job/how expensive it will be will depend on the construction of the skirt and how you want the inside to look, i.e., if the tailor has to deconstruct the skirt in order to add the lining so that it is incorporated into the waistband as if it were originally made that way, it will be a lot more expensive (and hazardous) than just adding a layer and not incorporating it into waistband and seams of the skirt. (I realize that is an inarticulate description, but I hope you get the gist of what I’m saying).
As a side note though, I’m a little confused about how windy day mishaps would be eliminated or alleviated by having a lining? On windy days my skirts fly up, or are plastered to/between my legs, lining and all. A possibility might be to have a stretchy (maybe mesh?), but less A-line lining added, enough fabric so that you can still move, but fitted enough that it wouldn’t fly up if the rest of the skirt did (much like an attached slip). I don’t know if that would work, be comfortable, or end up looking weird…
I’ve already been long-winded, so one more comment can’t hurt — I find shorts-slips to be far more comfortable, and they don’t fly up. (They’re also not that attractive, so you’ll still be embarrassed, but at least strangers won’t be seeing as much skin or your underpants). They’re hard to find, but I think JC Penneys carries them online, and you can google “pettipants.”
I love the look of full skirts, but hated having to hold them down when it got windy outside because the lining would come up with them. I had little jewelry claw-clasp-things sewn around the bottom of the lining of each full skirt, and got 8 little fishing weights to attach to them. Now the skirt stays full and the lining always stays down.
A tailor could definitely do this, although you would have to go to a dressmaker, not a regular tailor (or, at least, in my experience, my regular tailor doesn’t have extra fabric, buttons, etc lying around; when I’ve asked for things like this they tell me I have to bring my own fabric. My tailor is the wife of the man who owns my dry cleaner and she works out of the dry cleaning store. So YMMV but I checked ad a couple other dry cleaner/tailors and they said the same). It might be prohibitively expensive.
I just wear 4″ compression shorts under dresses and skirts. I like the ones from UnderArmour. They’re slippery, so it has the same effect as a slip and makes the skirt hang nicely. I’ve also tried pettipants, but I don’t find them comfortable in hot weather, and it’s hard to find ones that are short enough for me.
I was just looking at Gap Body, where they have nice looking full and half slips. Not sure if this is a new product, but a half slip would serve the same function as a lining.
I was beyond delighted to stumble into gap body and find these yesterday! They are great quality and very reasonably priced.
Thoughts on Hoboken? Looking for a place close to the Path, gym in building or nearby, preferably not full of drunken frat boys. Any tips?
Anon for this
Frequent poster, but anon for this. I’m in my late 20’s and practice litigation for a small firm in the Midwest. I work closely with the managing partner and his secretary, who is considerably older than me (50’s or 60’s). She’s been with the partner for many many years, so even when she drives me crazy I try to suck it up and smile. Every once in a while though she addresses me like a child. For example, last week she told me “You be a good girl now!” before leaving for the day. Am I overly sensitive to the above comment or not? It seems like kind-hearted sexism to me and I don’t like it one bit. What does the hive mind think?
I actually ended up jokingly telling her that I’m no longer a girl and that the “boys” may be jealous because she doesn’t tell them to be “good.” I hope she gets the hint.
Your response sounds perfect. I really don’t think you can do more than jokingly respond in a way that shows that you didn’t love her comments. I is just not worth angering her, unfortunately.
It’s obnoxios and it’s sexist and I don’t like it either. Don’t do anything. She is who she is and she’s been there a lot longer than you. As long as her sexist comments stay in the personal (i.e. non-work-related) range, just ignore them. As long as she’s not interfering in your work with her sexist remarks, just ignore her. You don’t have to like everyone you work with, and you’re not going to turn her into someone you do like by calling her out. Find some way to like or tolerate her, or minimize your contact with her, or avoid any personal interactions, or view at her as an amusing anachronism, and if you just can’t find a way to co-exist with her, then find a new job. But don’t think you can change her. You’ll just end up frustrated, unsuccessful, and the only impact your attempts will have is to further strain your relationship with her (and possibly start effecting others in the office). Expect to run into someone you dislike as much or more for the same or different reasons at most every job you ever have.
I think she means it in an endearing way. It would annoy me too, but I think it’s harmless and you should let it go. She obviously likes you, and being liked by the managing partner’s secretary could be invaluable. Next time you want to say something back to her, just bite your tongue and smile. She’s an old woman and she is just trying to be friendly.
Can anyone tell me how the sizing is on Brooks Brothers suits? More like Ann Taylor, or Banana Republic (which seems to run a little smaller)? I’m a solid 10 at Ann Taylor, at Banana Republic I’m kind of between a 10 and 12, depends on how its made. I’m thinking of ordering a black wool pantsuit from Brooks Brothers, we don’t have a b&m store in my city, so have never bought from them.
More like Ann Taylor, although I usually wear the same size in all three (except I size up one size in certain cuts of BR pants).
My experience has been that the sizing is more like Ann Taylor.
I can’t speak to Ann Taylor, but I can tell you that at BR I wear a 2 jacket and 4 skirt, and at BB I wear a 0 jacket and either a 2 or 4 skirt, so I’d probably go for the 10 at BB.
Hey all—Can anyone recommend a pair of flats that are professional-looking and that also have decent arch support? I love the look of ballet-type flats, but lately when I wear them to walk around for more than a short while, my feet get sore and tired. Thanks in advance!
I just got Michael Kors Fulton mocs. They are ballet- type I guess, but I think the cushioning and support on the bottom is excellent and helps keep them comfortable for . I have them in black leather.
I have a pair of b.o.c. by Born flats that I got at DSW for dirt cheap and have been really happy with the support and comfort factor. They’ve also never given me blisters and are super cute.
Prada is my great love – mine have lasted forever. Also you could try French Soles like Kate Middleton.
anyone else working today? Working from home but still. =(
Yes :( And not even from home!
I need reasurence I’m not the only one who’s ever stuck their foot in their mouth. I was told something in confidence about a former employee ( let’s call her Mary). Mary, former employee also told several other people about it. One of those people (Jane) told me should catch up with Mary because something was going on and she might tell me.
Jane later asked me if I had caught up with Mary, I thought shed asked me something else and nodded. Jane then asked if she had told me what was going on and instead of denying I knew anything, I admitted someone had told me. I don’t know what I was thinking and normally am really good at keeping things in confidence, my only excuse is that i was suffering from a horrible migraine while this was going on and wasn’t thinking clearly.
I really care about Mary and wouldn’t want to have her or anyone else think I was gossiping about her. I feel awful!
I did this once and I have never forgotten it; I was so ashamed. I went immediately to the person who had told me the secret and confessed and told her how upset I was about my transgression. I was lucky in that I was forgiven. I think it’s best if you come clean immediately, as it makes you somewhat more trustworthy than having her find out from another source that you breeched her confidence.
I don’t think you were really gossiping. You just acknowledged that you knew whatever it is. You didn’t share the info with Jane, right?
Styling suggestions? I’m in my early 20s, and I think the model looks a little less stylish than I would like, especially since the shirt is actually gorgeous. I want to wear it to an independent theatre festival, or out for drink with friends.
I’m thinking grey cigarette pants or even leggings, large hoop earrings, and a large bangle in bright blue or orange.
The tunic looks quite nice – but the way they’ve styled it lacks the bright color I think it needs.
dark skinny jeans and brown boots (for fall)
I think what would also look nice is a cardigan in a really saturated color / jewel tone, like a rich deep red or turquoise. Like everyone else said, I would keep the pants/shoes pretty simple (skinny jeans, pumps, riding boots, etc.)
I already asked a few weeks ago, but I am going to New Orleans on August 11. I would appreciate any advice, restaurant suggestions, etc. I know it will be very hot and muggy, but as long as there are no storms I’ll be happy! TIA.
I think that there was recently a thread on this– maybe last weekend’s open thread. Barrister in the Bayou had a bunch of suggestions.
Check out Trip Advisor. I have used them for years for advice on all of my vacations and found them to be on target about 99% of the time.
Have any of the fabulous corporettes here ever tried the Stiletto Stick by Butter? It’s a British brand but a store on ACK sells it and it looks promising but I don’t want to cough up the 34 dollars if it’s a dud.
My feet, particularly my heels are beyond destroyed, when I get pedicures they usually come with horrified looks at how bad they are. This is what 6 years of running 3 seasons a year in New England
I do know it’s cheaper to get eucerin or aquaphor lotion for my cracked destroyed heels but I never want to put that amount of effort in- I would rather get something easy that works for the extra money since I will actually use it.
If anyone has any other reccomendations I would love them!!!
thank you so much! Happy Weekend!
I’ve never used it, but the description reminds me of bliss’s problem salved. Stuff from bliss usually smells great, and it’s half off on blissworldDOTcom right now so it’s $9 instead of something that’s $34.
My heels used to look like a Hobbit’s, but I found a solution. Use a moisturizing cream (not lotion), the thicker the better. Eucerin is very good, but I’ve also used the cheaper Walmart brand successfully. Within 2-3 minutes of stepping out of the shower every day, really slather the cream on your (towel-dried) heels. Be careful about walking on slick surfaces for a few minutes while it soaks into your feet. Heels should be noticeably softer within 7-10 days of daily treatment. I would certainly try this before spending $34.
I second Nita47’s suggestion and add: slather cocoa butter on feet before bed, then put on cotton socks. Feet are usually healed up by the morning!
Lovely earrings, but do have a look at our on-line boutique which has similar styles at more affordable prices, and nearly all are designed by designers in the Med ;-)
Hi I’ve been reading the comments on this site for years now without commenting and am at the point where I could really use some unbiased/objective advice.
Here’s the deal. I’ve been w/ my SO for three years – living together for over a year – have a dog together. We have a beautiful relationship and I honestly believe he is the most wonderful man I have/will ever meet. He is such a “good” person and a solid man. There has never been any game playing and he fulfills me emotionally. He is wonderful and I truly love him.
I’ll be 30 in a couple months, he is 31. I’m at the point where I am ready to take it to the next level. I want to get engaged, married and start planning for a family. He is not ready. For any of that. He’ll say over and over, until he is blue in the face, that he is fully committed to me, that I’m it and that one day we will have that family but he is not ready for that right now and doesn’t know when he will be. He says that it has nothing to do with me, but rather his own issues of wanting to be settled on a career (he has an amazing job and is financially set but would like to make a career change in the future) so that he can be sure of what type of life he can provide/contribute to.
We’ve been dealing with this for the past few months and it is starting to have a negative impact on our relationship. I feel like I am starting to resent him and find myself unable to be the fun loving girl that he fell in love with.
What’s a girl to do? I’ve had plenty of friends do the ultimatum thing and never wanted to be in that situation, but I feel like I have no other choice at this point. Do I walk away from him, a man I truly love?
Many thanks in advance for any insight or advice! It’s been a tear filled weekend.
I’m very sorry that you’re going through this. It must very difficult. I know that there was a similar thread on this subject matter, but I don’t know how you would go about searching the threads.
I have seen this situation happen way too many times with many friends, and it’s never a happy ending. I suggest that you cut your losses while you’re still young and move out of the house and on with your life. He may be wonderful, such a good person, etc. but he has made it very clear that he does not want to marry you. That’s a terrible thing to hear, but it’s the truth. He is doing you a favor by being so brutally honest. If he really loved you and wanted to be with you, he would give you an engagement ring after 3 years of being together.
I have a friend who has been waiting for a ring for 9 years, and she is no closer to marriage than she was several years ago. I know that she feels like she has wasted her life and her prime dating years on a man who is just not ready to commit. Please don’t be like her!
I wish you the best of luck. It is devastating to move on in the relationship, but you deserve to be with someone who wants to marry you.
I think it turns on the question of why you want to get married so badly. Is it because you want a big commitment from him, or because you want kids in the next year or two? Since he says he is so committed, can you get engaged and have a long engagement? Would you be happy to have an engagement ring and the public commitment that it entails, and wait two years for the actual wedding? And in those two years, you can set concrete steps that he will take in his career so he’ll feel ready for marriage.
I’m the same age as you, and I can’t imagine being in a hurry to get married. I don’t feel like it gets urgent, if you absolutely want kids, until you’re in your mid-30s.
Well, to give a bit of perspective, think about it this way. The OP is 30. If she ends this relationship, she needs some time to recover from the breakup, date, and develop another relationship that leads to marriage and children. That doesn’t happen overnight. She could easily be looking at 4-5 years before she’s at that point, and fertility would be a significant concern then. If she sticks with this guy, then she could be facing that calculus again a few years down the line, when the fertility issue will be even more pressing.
I have a friend who was in the same situation as you. Her husband wanted to start his own business and get it off the ground before getting engaged, while she was ready to get married much sooner. She ended up waiting and was very happy with her decision. I don’t think his desire to wait until he makes his career change is any indication he has no desire to marry you. I think he’s just worried that if you start a family while he’s going through the career change, both of you will end up struggling financially and will not be able to spend as much time with your new family as you’d like.
It sounds like you may be edging to the point of an ultimatum, but if you do that you really have to be 100% committed to walking away if you throw down that ultimatum.
I think for a lot of guys, there’s a deep almost instinctual desire to have all the other stuff taken care of before they start a family, as though they don’t want to be responsible until all of their ducks are in a row. For instance, not to overshare, my husband and I are in the contemplation phase of having another child. He feels as though we need to be in our own house (we’re currently renting) while I’m a little more laissez faire.
If you sat down with your boyfriend and in a loving manner told him that those issues aren’t as important to you, and that you feel as though he’s putting that financial stuff ahead of you and your relationship, how do you think he’d respond?
At this point, it’s hard to tease out whether he’s focused on external benchmarks that aren’t as important to you, or whether he’s uninterested or unwilling to commit. An ultimatum may clarify that issue, but it’s a high stakes move and you have to be willing to walk away if he’s unwilling to give you what you want.
“I think for a lot of guys, there’s a deep almost instinctual desire to have all the other stuff taken care of before they start a family, as though they don’t want to be responsible until all of their ducks are in a row.”
Completely agree. My fiance has told me explicitly that he wanted to marry me within a year of meeting me, but didn’t feel ready to actually propose until he had his degree and had been promoted to a better, higher-paying position. He was promoted last year, graduated this June and proposed within a month of graduation. I was getting very insecure and sick of hearing “So, when will you two be next?” at every family wedding (we’ll have our 4th dating anniversary this fall), but I’m so glad I was patient – he’s totally worth the wait.
Ouch, this is tough.
If you really feel like he’s the right guy for you and your relationship is as beautiful as you say it is, I think it’s worth it to try and work out some kind of plan. He needs to establish more concrete steps toward his as-of-yet undefined career change, and you need to sort out your as-of-now conflicting feelings about wanting to be with him but not wanting more of the kind of life you’re enjoying together (i.e. together, unmarried, no kids).
I would give yourself another 6-12 months to really try and make it work (which means he makes a concerted effort to sort out his career issues, and you make concerted efforts to be patient and realize that you have plenty of years of fertility left and that he is worth waiting for). It does not mean you spend another 6-12 months crying and thinking about issuing empty ultimatums – which, IMO, are ineffective unless you both really know what you want. After that period, hopefully you have more clarity about what you both want and by when, and hopefully the twain shall meet.
If you can’t work things out by then, you probably need to move on. But I wouldn’t do so until you give this a real shot. Relationships such as the one you describe are not easy to come by. And speaking pragmatically, if you break up now and start dating again, there is obviously no guarantee that you’ll be able to find an equally wonderful person who will marry you and give you what you want, any sooner than your current boyfriend would.
Maybe go for counseling? This whole idea that we must be successful in our careers before having kids is insane. It is insane to take birth control for twenty years and then worry about Downs-syndrome or having to IVF when we are finally ready. I am NOT attacking the personal decision that anyone makes as I did not have my son until I was 33 years old. I am proposing that, as a culture, we need a shift in perception regarding when to have kids.
Agreed – but, kids are really freaking expensive and rely on their parents to provide them everything. If you are potentially going to lose health insurance or the ability to make rent or provide food, etc. then you might be smart to wait.
That’s absolutely not what we are talking about here, though. We’re talking about a financially secure couple who cannot proceed with a family because the man is unwilling to make any kind of commitment. Anonymous at 4:15’s comments are spot-on.
I have a dear friend who recently went through the same thing. Her then BF told her that he wanted her to be the mother of his children but that he wasn’t ready. He kept telling her he would be ready soon for several years. Recently he got a promotion that involved them moving far away. She (understandably) wanted a proposal before she committed to giving up her career and moving halfway around the world to be with him. She never got it, and they broke up. Now she tells me she wish she would have just listened to what he was telling her all along.
Your BF not wanting to have children, etc., before making a major career switch is totally understandable. However, I fail to see how the two of you getting engaged and/or married now would affect his career change at all. The fact that you live together compounds this, because let’s be honest, not much changes when you get married if you already live together. It sounds to me like he is telling you he does not want to be married, but maybe you’re not quite hearing it.
Anon for this
I agree with the Anoymous above (at 4:29) whose friend broke up before moving overseas.
His desire not to have kids before being settled – that I can understand. But if you’re living together, getting engaged is a very small step and his reluctance is a red flag. What you’re hearing him say is “You’re the one…just wait” but with no real timetable or reason. What he may be saying is “I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready or if I’ll ever be ready for marriage with you.”
I think someone mentioned this on a previous weekend thread about a guy who didn’t want to get married, broke up and six months later was engaged and a year later was married and starting a family: This is more common than you’d expect, because when it’s really right, it is obvious even to some previously cold-footed men.
In my case (small sample n=1), I issued the ultimatum and it resulted in two immature people getting married who are now quite unhappy. His immaturity has carried over to career and life issues and my immaturity caused me to make a hasty decision that I now regret. I wanted a visible sign of commitment. Bad reason to get married.
wow. thanks for sharing this perspective, which I think is so important to hear. Best of luck to you and i hope things get better for you and your husband.
My perspective is that getting engaged, married and *planning* for a family doesn’t have mean having children tomorrow. Personally, I do think that this is a red flag – if he wants to have children with you some day, then why does he balk at making the commitment now? Many people are married for years before having kids (my parents were married for almost ten before they started).
In the end, you sell only yourself short if you aren’t honest with him about what you want and need. Just remember that if you give the ultimatum, you have to be actually willing to walk away, and that the walk away has to be a real one.
Many people really don’t see a distinction between living together and getting married in terms of commitment. I know I don’t, and I certainly don’t think of any of my friends who are living with their SOs as being less committed than those who are married. My guess is that the SO in this case may have the same feeling about marriage and sees it as something you do to provide stability for starting a family. For that reason, he may not want to get married until he’s ready to start a family. I don’t see anything wrong with that, but this is clearly not the view shared by the OP and will likely cause problems in the relationship.
anon in CA
I think the hardest part of this is his not knowing when he’ll be ready. My BF and I are a bit older than you, but we’re also three years in and living together for almost a year.
For us, we have a date when we can talk about this in the future. We each have one more career hurdle that we would like to clear first. After that, we’re going to see where we are. If we didn’t have that, I think I’d ask for a him to help set a date when we could discuss this again (3 or 6 months out).
For me, I realized that nothing would change if we married. Not really, anyways. Since I’m happy with our lives as is, I’m content to wait. I’m also content to never marry him. But depending on how long you’ve been having this conversation and your own feelings about marriage, it might be time to consider walking away.
This is all really hard, and I’m sorry that you found out that you’re not on the same timeline.
anon for this
Honesty, I hear where your boyfriend is coming from — in a perfect world there are so many ducks to get in a row before you get married and have kids.
But from the woman’s point of view (and, I might add, from a “life has a way of passing you by” point of view) you kind of just need to make the jump. When I met my boyfriend (now hubs) he was 28 and I was 32, and we had to have a conversation about my eggs and how I really wanted children with him — and how if he wanted children with me then we needed to throw any “life readiness” stuff out the window and just go for “relationship ready.” Like, forget if we’re in the house or the apartment or the careers that we want to be in — do you love me? do I love you? I hate to sound like a Bon Jovi song or something but people do this EVERY DAY — teenagers have kids, poor people have kids, LOTS AND LOTS Of people who are in far worse situations than you guys are have kids. Rent the movie “Idiocracy;” they make this point far better than I could.
I guess what I’m saying is that if he TRULY loves you and wants to have a family with you some day then he needs to understand that a) ducks won’t be in a row and b) your biological clock is ticking, not because you’re so eager and ready for kids either necessarily but just because over 35 is too late for a lot of women to have kids. It’ll take you at least 9 months to plan the wedding, add another year or two of “enjoying newlywed life,” and you’re bumping up against 35 before you know it.
And if he doesn’t understand that (or doesn’t care) then maybe he doesn’t truly love you. Ultimately he’s acting in a selfish way — it’s in what he thinks is his own best interest, not that of the partnership or of you — and be glad you recognized it now and move on.
I’d move out. If it’s meant to be, that will snap him back into reality. But you can’t do it as a form of reverse psychology. You have to mean it. Cut off communication, start dating, etc. I suggest this because it’s what I did when my boyfriend (mid-30s) started giving me the run-around about a real commitment. A few months later, he happened to call about some “stuff” I’d left at his place. We got together, sparks flew, I tortured him by continuing to date someone else and kept a huge wall up. (He had been dating other people too, one woman in particular that all his friends hated.) Eventually, I let him back into my life, he proposed, and we’ve been married now for 4 years. And I truly, truly thought he was “the one” when I walked away. It turns out I was right – but it just took him a while to figure it out. And he knew I wasn’t playing games. When I left, I left. It was horrible, but it was the right thing to do at the time, and I’m glad things worked out the way they did.
No unkindness, sarcasm, judgement, or sadness intended here: he’s not fully committed to you until he is fully committed to you. Facts.
Bummer to be facing but you sound amazing, if commitment is what you want, either he will give it to you or someone else will, waiting and going without wastes your time and happiness-to-be.
I’ve given this advice before on Corporette, but I’ll give it again. Three years is more than enough time for him to decide whether or not he can move forward with at least an engagement. If he can’t, I would put the odds on him ever doing so at less than 10 percent. This may be painful to hear, but I can almost guarantee that if you break up with him, he will be married to someone else in less than five years. It’s not that he doesn’t want to get married. It’s that he doesn’t want to marry you. That is not your fault, and it’s not anything you have done or haven’t done to “close the deal” with him. He just can’t commit to you. Waiting will not make it any better.
Please take the advice offered by the twenty- and early thirty-somethings above with a huge grain of salt. There is absolutely a reason to “be in a hurry to get married” if you want children, which you should try to conceive before your mid-thirties. Also, younger girls have not had the experience of nursing their friends through painful breakups with men who couldn’t commit to them, and then doing a second round of nursing when those same men had babies with or married other women within two years of the breakup. That has happened to at least five women I know, and many of them waited way too long – into their early forties when they are remaindered goods in the dating market (harsh but true) and babies are only possible through adoption or egg donation.
You are in the very ripest years of your life right now. Don’t waste those years on the wrong man. And any man who absolutely cannot or will not talk about the future with you is the wrong man. He should be able to make some kind of tentative plan or commitment to you at this point – that he can’t/won’t says to me, very clearly, that You Are Not The One. Unfortunately, what ends up happening in nine out of ten cases is that the man is able to move on at 40 very easily and find a new, younger partner. For the woman, it’s much harder – what’s out there for single, 40-year-old women are pretty much the unmarriageable dregs, the bitter divorcees with tons o’ baggage, or the terminally unable to commit. I am generalizing but I have experience to back up my generalizing. There are notable exceptions, but it will be SO much harder to find Mr. Right at 42 than it will be at 32. And I guarantee you, that’s what you’ll be facing.
There’s no need for an ultimatum. You need to act from a place of strength, move out, and break up with him. If the breakup changes his mind, he’ll come to you. My feeling is that you will see very quickly that by cutting the cord you saved yourself, and him, a lot of prolonged agony. Take some time to heal, and then get back out there.
Very best of luck to you. I know this is painful. It’s a lot more painful, from what I have seen, to be 43 and coping with a bitter breakup where your commitment-phobic partner has left you to have a baby with a 29-year-old. I am helping a friend through that very situation right now. 12 of the best years of her life, wasted. Don’t waste your life waiting around for the wrong person.