Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: The Work Pant

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

I know readers constantly sing the praises of their ponte pants and comfort-waist, pull-on styles, and I love my pair of Eileen Fisher pants as much as everyone else does who raves about them — but still, sometimes you want a pant that feels distinctly different from pajamas, particularly for work. I recently bought a pair of Everlane’s uber popular “work pant” and was thoroughly impressed, particularly for $50 — they look like leggings in the picture but the fabric is crisp and substantial, but comfortable. The ankle pants are very close-fitting, as pictured — so know your office. The pants seem to be constantly out of stock, but if you put your name on the waitlist (and act fast when the email comes to tell you they’re back in stock) you should be good. (I live in their U-neck t-shirts for the weekend, and have heard great things about their loafer as well. Ah yes, and this week they launched a $100 wrap dress that looks like it could be great.) Pictured: The Work Pant (ankle length) (they also come in full length)

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  1. Anonymous :

    So I’m 38 and single and not panicked about finding someone. If it happens it does but I’m planning for life as a single. Part of this is I don’t HAVE to have kids — if I somehow met the love of my life and conceived next year, fine; if not, also fine. Lately upon hearing that I’m single and not dating desperately, I’ve had near strangers (like friends of friends of friends at a party say) — well what about kids?? Uh – what about them? How do you shut down these discussions with a nosy stranger without saying something like “I don’t want to discuss it” — because whenever women say that it often comes across as feeling hurt/sad which I’m not, I just don’t want to discuss personal things like that and justify my life/have my life critiqued by someone I met 10 min ago.

    • Also 38, single and not panicked about finding someone. I’m in a slightly different place as I know I don’t want kids at all, so I shut it down by saying that. For near strangers, it wouldn’t matter to me what reaction my response elicited, so I would be very frank about it and probably say exactly what you noted above, what about kids?? Or add something like, my life is very full and I like it fine just the way it is.

      At the end of the day, people are never going to stop being rude and invasive about things like this, so I have taken the blunt and frank approach as it usually makes them stop and kind of stare at me. I’m completely fine with that, I don’t care what they think about my choice, you know?

    • I would sway back and forth on something completely curt and true, “I am fairly certain this is none of your business” and something funny, but maybe still cutting, “Unless you plan on being the father of my children, I guess there will be none!” Sorry you’re dealing with this, that would be really frustrating to encounter on a regular basis (even just once).

      • Anonymous :

        I mean, as satisfying as it would be to say something like this, and as much as these people have it coming… I think there’s something to be said for being gracious when people mess up. If you’re at someone’s house, for example, you don’t want to be rude to your host’s guests even if they were rude to you first.

        I also think there’s rude and then there’s rude. If someone calls you a c word, you can be rude to them back. If someone puts their foot in their mouth, maybe you smooth over the situation and move on rather than try to embarrass them more than they’ve already embarrassed themselves.

        • I began to see the advantage of this approach when I started listening to the Awesome Etiquette podcast. My natural inclination is to let the person squirm as long as possible, but their sample scripts are just so amazing for delivering grace and then feeling smug and righteous, leaving the other party with absolutely no one to blame but themselves. Example I remember: “yes, I have gained weight. But I would just love to hear about your vacation.”

        • Meh. I’m of the opinion that intruding into people’s lives with nosey and insensitive comments doesn’t require me to make them feel good about their mistakes. If I’m feeling gracious, fine. But if it makes me angry, I get to respond that way. It’s not my job to make them feel better.

    • First of all these people asking about kids are a-holes. I would want to just be a jerk back to them. I would tell them I don’t want to discuss the status of my s*x life and uterus with them. Or I would make them feel really bad and tell them I had a horrible accident and I’m unable to have kids. I know this is awful, but people asking why don’t have kids makes me ragey.

      Or maybe just don’t mention anything about dating. Just leave it at you’re currently single. But I don’t know if it that would work with these jerks.

      Sorry, no good advice. Just anger on your part that you have to deal with these d-bags.

      • I never wanted to have kids. When people ask, I usually say, “Just not my thing,” and change the subject. Anytime I’m in a situation where someone is asking too-personal questions, I just say something like that to shut down the subject (but with a nice smile), and ask them a polite question about their most recent vacation or some interesting item she’s wearing. People are curious about other people’s choices. Doesn’t seem like there’s a need to be rude.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in my mid-30s and single. I get these kinds of rude questions/comments all the time. I don’t think these comments are malicious, it’s sort of a knee jerk diarrhea of the mouth, and when people realize what they just said they’re (hopefully) at least a little embarrassed. At the very least, anyone who overheard that comment is embarrassed by it. Don’t contribute to the awkwardness. Just say something light like, oh I’m not really concerned about that, and change the subject.

      • +1

        This is what I do.

        As someone who is socially a bit awkward, and sometimes may say things I regret out of nervousness, I try not to make a big deal about it.

        When it is essentially a stranger it’s one thing. When it is your relative, accosting you repeatedly, well…. that is a different situation.

    • Anonymous :

      You: “Why do you ask?”
      Them: presumably stutter over a reply
      Then: 1.) “Huh.” (change subject)
      2.) “Well, it’s just such a personal question I wanted to know why you thought that was appropriate!”

    • You are alot like me. But I want to get MARRIED and have kid’s ASAP! When people try to tell me to get with it, I tell them I am trying and am doeing everything possible to find a guy to impregnate me and marry me NOW, but it is not happening b/c men want to have s-x, but NOT impregnate me and certainley not to marry me. Dad says that I should do what I can to get a guy NOW, and in the worse case, once he gets me impregnated, he does NOT even care if I marry the guy, but I need a guy to marry me, even if Dad is willing to pay for me goeing forward. FOOEY b/c I need to have a husband to help me with the kid’s. Good luck dealing with this issue.

    • (feigns surprise, channels Kristin Wiig)

      oh my goodness, kids! I haven’t thought about that!

      (wanders away from nosy stranger to get another drink)

      • Ha! I like this response.

        I’m early 30’s, engaged, and the questions about kids have increased since I put on a ring. I don’t want them, and I find the question irritating. I haven’t really developed a good way of dealing with the rudeness. I tend to be medium snarky in response (“When are you having kids?” “Why on earth would we do that?”) just because that’s my personality, but people who think it’s appropriate to ask aren’t the kind of people to whom you can say, “none of your business” and they won’t be offended. So I just don’t worry about offending them overmuch.

      • Senior Attorney :

        People can’t resist asking engaged people about having children.

        Swear to God, I am not making this up, when we got engaged we were 57 and 68 and people STILL asked us if we were planning to have kids! (Our answer? “We have two 90-year-olds and a 30-year-old and that’s plenty for us!”)

        • Wow that’s incredible. “No, I’m not actually interested in paying college tuition until I’m 90.” What is wrong with people?

    • I would just respond with a breezy “Que sera sera!”

    • In-House in Houston :

      I’m in a similar boat, but am married for 15+ years and no kids. When people find out we don’t have kids, I struggle with the response. I’ve said to some people “I”m barren….thanks for asking!” but to other’s I’ve said “what makes you think my reproductive choices are any of your business?” But for the most part, I just say “kids just weren’t in the cards for us” and move on to another topic. You can usually tell when someone asks if they’re asking from a good, non-judgmental place vs. someone who is just an a-hole and I tailor my response to that.

      • I have tried “not in the cards” but it implies disappointment that conception hasn’t occurred, which I’m not. I tried it a few times as opposed to “don’t want any” because I thought it was too harsh but I usually use a crisp “no” or “don’t have any” and let them read it how they will.

        • Could you deflect and add something positive like, “I don’t have any. I really enjoy being the cool aunt to my nieces/nephews/friends’ kids?” Or if that’s not true, “I don’t have any. Right now, I love being able to devote time to X.”

          If that doesn’t work for you, you could add something neutral like, “I don’t have any. I’m taking it one day at a time.”

          • My DH and I have been using “our family is as big as it’ll ever be [change subject, move on]” with an objective, confident tone. No disappointment, no pity, no sneaky subtext. We don’t want kids, we’re not having them, we have taken steps to make ‘changing our minds’ not possible.

          • The “cool aunt” thing gets under my skin sometimes. I LOVE being an aunt. I don’t want my own kids at all. I don’t like when people treat my aunthood as a consolation prize or expect me to announce my love for my niece/friends’ kids just so they know that I don’t actually hate children. Because think about it– why is my cool aunt-status relevant to whether I have my own kids? It’s not.

            The “I’m taking it one day at a time” line sounds like you’re deeply unhappy about not having kids…

          • (ETA: this obviously works in *our* situation. YMMV, of course! find a script and stick with it.)

          • ooh, i’m totally stealing this. Thanks Pompom!

    • I’m you, though I don’t think I’ve gotten the question as much. Mostly I get “Do you have any kids?” To which I answer no and the conversation moves on.

      In your scenario, I would probably shrug and say “hasn’t happen yet” and then would try to change the subject. Or ask about their kids or something to move the subject along. I don’t think it’s my job to correct their etiquette, so I use etiquette to steer the conversation elsewhere. My reaction also helps (I hope) normalize the idea that not everyone plans to have kids.

      • It isn’t rude to ask if someone has kids.

        • I’m not saying it is a rude question. I’m saying, that’s the kids-related question I get (vs why don’t you have kids or when are you having kids). And when I answer it, people generally move on.

    • How about taking a wider perspective? Something like “Well, with the earth being on track for 8 billion people, kids are everywhere, and as a population, we have that well in hand, so don’t worry about me. I, like you, will have children in my life as an active choice, it’s not all about reproduction.”

    • I really like to use “Oh that won’t be happening today!” or “Not today!” to make light of an otherwise awkward question. And then if the person has the wherewithal to ask again, I will respond with an open and inquisitive “why do you ask?” I really think people need polite reminding that these questions have a range of answers and are just so personal. I have one child. I can’t have anymore. These questions make me sad, so I’ve found being funny makes me feel better when I remember the conversation much later. Being rude just makes me re-live the conversation with regret, if that makes sense.

  2. Anonymous :

    Were you easily “spoiled” by telework? I work for a government agency where after 2 years you can work from home at least 1 day per week and in most groups, 2 days per week. Most people do it as soon as they’re eligible etc. Everyone acts shocked that I don’t despite being eligible, yet all I can think is — if I get so comfortable, it’s going to be a shock to return to a law firm where routinely working from home because it’s Wed isn’t done and/or I’ll get so attached to this benefit that I’ll end up being a lifer because I won’t be able to get a private sector job in my industry where this is offered. I feel like I see it in my colleagues – within a month of teleworking, they get so “protective” of their work from hone day and balk at the idea that they’d have to come in for a half day 2 Friday’s from now. What’s your experience been?

    • Veronica Mars :

      Eh, I use the attitude I saw in a museum, “Celebrate your ability to use the stairs!” I’m celebrating my ability to telework while I can, and if there’s an adjustment later, so be it.

    • I am an academic and can work from home pretty extensively but I don’t. I think I would if I lived in a neighbourhood where I could break up my day with a walk or some reading / grading in a cafe AND if I had a better office set-up at home. I lost my tiny desk when baby moved into his own room so now have the dining room table.

      I don’t mind working from home if I’m just doing grading but anything more intensive, I prefer to be in my office with my two monitors, big desk, etc.

    • I was totally spoiled by telework but only because I have a small child and life would be pretty untenable if one parent isn’t around for random school half days/sick days/snow days/etc. I do look forward to going back into an office once my child is out of the house, and yes, it has definitely kept me from taking job offers that require a loooong commute either via train/car.

    • Yes. Very much so. I work from home 3 days each week and it is amazing. I first started teleworking 3 years ago at a bad job (first once each week, then twice each week for the last 6 months). The job was bad enough that I would have left to go to a company that required in-office work 5 days each week,but I landed a unicorn in-house job at a F50 company that allows me to work from home 3 days each week. I fully intend to stay at this company until I retire in 30 years. If, however, I did decide to change jobs at some point, the ability to WFH would be a big factor.

    • Working for the government has a few amazing benefits, and telework is one of them. (It’s part of the tradeoff for a lower salary than industry.) My telework days are the days that I get to go to the gym instead of navigating my long commute.

      It’s not the reason to keep the job, but it’s something that I will definitely consider when I am ready to move on. It’s all part of the package — like you probably have much cheaper health insurance with the government than in the private sector, do you feel spoiled by that?

    • At my BigLaw job I work from home every Wednesday (adjusted for meetings, etc. as needed, e.g., this Wednesday I will be home during the day but head to a summer associate event at 5PM, other weeks I bump my day to a Tuesday or Thursday if there is a big meeting it would be helpful to attend in person). So you might be surprised what you can find in the private sector.

    • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

      I work from home every day (unless I have to go to court etc.). I am really interested in moving to government, but the idea of having to get dressed and commute every day keeps me from doing it even more so than the enormous pay cut. So yeah, I’d say I am spoiled in the sense you are thinking, but I love it because it really frees up time for me to do other things besides commute.

    • I take advantage of telework when I can. The peace and quiet makes me incredibly productive, it saves me money, and it gives me more chances to prove that I’m trustworthy and self-sufficient in my role.

  3. Anonymous :

    Have you been to meet ups? What’s the vibe like? Is it fairly normal people that you’d meet anywhere like work etc or did it feel like it was obvious to you that it was antisocial, friendless types who needed to do things like this to get out? I’m considering one – topic is investing and I’m in a non NYC east coast city; it seems like a HH rather than a lecture. It’s tough to meet people to discuss markets/stocks with (and also awkward to talk with friends because while I have an interest, it’s not like I’m warren buffet yet when you talk stocks it sounds like you’re implying you’re rich).

    • Anonymous :

      Wow. No. It’s was great. Full of good people. Like what? You realize you can’t judge whole groups of people like this?

      • If I were writing that, it would be exactly because I am antisocial and friendless. However, because of that I don’t feel the need to go to meet ups. YMMV!

    • Anonymous :

      It depends on the group. Some have been great, and I made real friends. Some, not so much. It really varies.

    • Glad you asked. Really solid, well thought-out question. I’m a representative of Meet Up and I’m here to tell you that we vet ALL members to ensure that they are socially awkward losers who can’t make friends on their own. There’s a lengthy application process which includes an essay where you have to describe all the trouble you had making friends in high school. If we are inclined to laugh at you but also feel a bit sorry for you, you’re in. Now, bear in mind that there are thousands and thousands of meet up groups all across the country, spanning hundreds of different interests. That makes quality control and ensuring uniformity of thought and action a little challenging, but we do our best!

    • I’ve been to running and board game meetups and had a good time. (I met my husband at one.) I moved to my current city 5 years out of college knowing no one. I had to do something to get out of the house! There are a lot of people in that situation (or even folks who have hobbies their friends don’t share).

      • And, honestly, what is the worst case scenario. You go, don’t like it and leave early. It seems like a a small risk for a potentially high reward.

    • It’s tricky to find, or create, your tribe, but Meetup is one way to at least connect with people who have similar interests. Will you click with everyone? No. But when you are able to geek out with at least a few others about something you enjoy…that is what makes taking the risk worth it.

      I found my Toastmasters group through Meetup, and have company on a few social hikes. YMMV, but it’s worth a try.

    • I have been to alot of meetups–the one’s with just professional women are the best. We can network and gossip and no one cares if our hair is mussed! On the other hand, I have been to WC meetups that are co-ed, and let me tell you, I learn nothing other then to dress conservativeley b/c the men are on the hunt for a woman they can take to bed that day! Guys are pigs and are not afraid to say/do what they want to get you to get in a cab with them, and their hands are all over you before you get to the traffic light! I had a guy last month offer to share a cab home. I was geoing to get out first, but he said he needed to get money from his house to pay the cab, so we went there first, and as soon as we went in, he pulled me to him and grabbed my tuchus, all in the front of the building with the cabbie sitting there waiting for his fare! I told him to get his money or I would just go w/o him and pay the full bill. He came back out, gave me $10, and grabbed my tuchus again and told me to call him. Can you imagine the nerve of that schmoe? For $10, he grabbed my tuchus twice, and probably told his freinds it was a bargan. FOOEY on him!

    • I went to a dinner party Meet-up once and it was full of sad, terribly awkward people. I’ve heard from others about a whole range of experience with Meet-ups. Not surprising given that anyone can come. I think you’re most likely to have a good time at a Meet-up that is focused on a particular interest. And I would definitely be more inclined to go to something like a happy hour where it’s low commitment and you can bail if it’s lame.

    • sheep jump death match :

      I’ve been to and ran meetups and I would say the mix is something like:
      -a majority made up of normal, socially competent people who want more friends to do a particular hobby with OR whose social group has dwindled for a normal course-of-life reason (just moved to a new place, friends all have kids and they don’t, recently retired or went freelance, etc);
      -a smaller minority of normal, kind people who are clearly shy or lonely but making a genuine effort to connect in appropriate ways
      -one or two people (usually men) who are either aggressively hitting on women or socially incompetent in some other annoying but not dangerous way

      I would expect in a money/business-themed group that the second category will be replaced by people who are clearly well-intentioned but somewhat reluctant networkers.

      My goal for social meetups was always “have a pleasant two hours and whatever happens happens.” I found that to be the right level of expectation.

  4. I posted a while ago about my interest in think tanks, specifically the Council on Foreign Relations. I have my eye on a Research Associate position (only requires undergrad). This would be a slight career change for me and would probably precede my plans to attend grad school for a master’s in an international affairs program. My question is that I can’t figure out how much these positions are paid – I would be walking away from $70k in my MCOL area. Glassdoor says $39k but Paysa (hadn’t heard of it until now) says this position averages $75k. What gives? Does anyone have any info about this industry? The though of moving to DC for $39k scares me a little

    • I would say closer to $40k. Research associate positions aren’t well paid, but it’s interesting work.

      World Bank, government jobs pay better in general.

    • Anonymous :

      Depends on their organization structure (i.e., do they also have a research assistant? etc.) but in general I’d expect that kind of role to pay $35-$50k. $75k feels way out of the ball park.

      I lived in DC on $37k from 2012-2014 and it’s not easy, but I guess it depends on your tolerance for pain. Is there any chance you could get in to a part-time graduate program and do this concurrently? I had an easier time justifying my low pay because I was doing grad school in a public policy field related to my nonprofit job at the time (so instead of taking time off totally from the work force, I was just partly subsidizing my school/living costs by working.)

    • It depends on what “research associate” means. At my org, it’s the entry-level Ph.D. position and pays in the $65K range to start. The master’s level position is called “research analyst” and is more in the $40-45 K range. With just a bachelor’s degree, you are not a researcher but support staff also making $40-45K.

    • Salaries sound about right. I compare it to doing post-doc position in the science world. Great learning opportunity, as you work your way up the ladder. At least you don’t have to already have a PhD to get those jobs!. And honestly, that salary isn’t bad for only undergrad degree. Roommates….

    • Salaries for entry level program associate (similar to research associate) positions at my old policy research company (private sector) were 52k in 2014 in the Boston area.

    • Colleges are spending an absolute ton on admin and departments that didn’t used to exist. UC Berkeley employs over 100 people in its diversity and inclusion office (or so I heard). I have no idea why they have so many people or what they do all day – it seems like a lot.

    • Anecdata that Glassdoor was much more accurate for my (similar to a think tank) org compared to Paysa.

    • Anonymous :

      I worked at CFR about 10 yrs ago as a research associate in NYC and the pay was a whopping $35k. It was my post-college gig prior to law school and I was able to live at home and commute so I could live on that salary. But a lot of my coworkers who were research associates were managing either b/c they lived in Bklyn with 4 other roommates or had mommy/daddy paying rent. Great experience though!

  5. I have the freedom to work from home whenever I want, so maybe since it’s not such a precious thing I’m not really spoiled by it. I work from home occasionally on slow days or for some kind of service appointment, but I actually prefer being in the office. Being home and working all the time would trigger my depression. I need to get out of the house on a consistent basis.

    Overall my job has tremendous flexibility. I have work standard-ish hours like 8-5, but if I need to take an extra long lunch for an appointment or need to leave early I can do so very easily. People also take vacation without being made to feel guilty. I’ll be honest these are the things that keep me at my company. I’ve been here 17 years so I’ve gotten used to the flexible lifestyle. It would be an adjustment going to be a more rigid schedule, but it would be doable.

  6. I’m pretty alarmed by this recent CNBC article about the cost of college tuition doubling. I’ve read about the history of tuition’s rise so it makes sense but I still don’t want to believe it. Posting link in comment to avoid mod

    • But what’s driving this rise in tuition? It certainly seems to be outpacing inflation and any increases in salary. We’ve got a decade before we have to worry about college tuition, but it’s worrying. We were extremely fortunate in that we both had a lot of family financial support for school. I’d like to give that same support to my own child, but I don’t know if that’s going to be possible with these trends.

      • KateMiddletown :

        Administrative expenses, for the most part, plus the constant one-upping-ness of new dorms/food halls/additional capital expenditures to market the school. If you attended college in the 00’s you probably received $10K+ in mailed marketing materials during junior and senior year of high school from schools you weren’t even considering. (second part of my argument is anecdata but capex/mktg could be counted as administration expenses.)

      • Anxious upper-middle-class parents are willing to pay the exorbitant prices, and kids are willing to take on massive amounts of debt, because of the perception that you have to have a name-brand degree just to get a job that isn’t waiting tables. I’m not sure that perception is so wrong, at least for a person’s highest degree. A bachelor’s from a lesser-ranked institution can still get you into a fancy graduate or professional school if you really distinguish yourself as an undergrad. But woe to the top student who accepts a scholarship to a middling law school instead of paying full freight for H/Y/S (that would be me).

        • I knew someone who paid to go to NYU (not HYS but v good and also v expensive. He and a HYS guy wound up working in suburban NJ and having nice lives. I cannot imagine that it didn’t chafe somehow that the wound up solid citizens with a house and yard instead of being masters of the universe. [I went to a T25 law school so I was very happy to be a co-worker with them, but for me that job was a catch and for them I feel it just had to be a let down.]

          • Pretty unfair perception of HYS, no? You go to a school like that to have options. Your degree opens doors. What ultimately makes you happy is up to you – and maybe that’s a nice house in the burbs and time to do things you love rather than being a master of the universe.

            I also wonder how much those doors remain open to you for life. If you want to take a few years off work to raise your kids, are you going to have an easier time reentering the work force if you have a HYS degree behind you? I would assume so but idk the numbers.

          • I paid to go to NYU and feel like the ROI was fantastic. It’s opened doors for me throughout my career, was a nationally marketable degree, and helped me get jobs that let me pay off my debit within 7 years of graduation. (And I graduated in the financial crisis, so that was by no means a given.)

            NYU’s 1L class is 400 students. Harvard’s is north of 500. Trust me, there are a myriad of different dreams and goals in a group that big.

          • counterpoint: I went to HYS (law) and while I still have student loan payments more than a decade later (primarily b/c i have spent most of my career in public service), I firmly believe it was the best decision i ever made. It has opened countless doors, helped me get my clerkships, and gives me instant credibility with colleagues/supervisors. It’s obviously not necessary to be a successful attorney (not by a long shot), but I am grateful every day that I had the opportunity to attend and graduate from my alma mater.

        • Eh, I accepted a scholarship at a middling law school and work with people who went to H/Y/S. Their student loan payments are similar to my mortgage payments, and they rent. Perhaps there are other benefits to H/Y/S law, but since none of us here are supreme court clerks, the main difference seems to me to be that I’m in a better financial position.

          If tuition keeps going up like this, I’m going to advise my kid to go to a state school or wherever she gets a scholarship.

        • It depends on what you want. I went to HYS and it helped me get my unique job in a desirable industry (entertainment/sports), where the jobs are few and far between. If I wanted to stay in biglaw, it would’ve made much more financial sense to go to a school lower in the T14 with a scholarship (or a strong local school in the market I’d want to stay in). The issue with the latter route is that its hard to ensure you’ll be at the top of your class at a lower ranked school (and then getting a job can be a challenge).

    • Read Sarah Kendzior’s book The View From Flyover Country. The cost of college doubled from 2000 to 2011, and it continues to go up, and the financial rewards of a college education are less certain all the time. Something has to give.

      • Veronica Mars :

        I agree. I think in 18 yrs, parents who have experienced the burden of student loans first hand will be more able to advise their children on the true impact of debt like that. And private schools only gets to charge that amount if people are willing to pay it. I doubt smaller, less prestigious private schools are going to find kids lining up for that kind of debt. So they’ll either have to shutter their doors or cut costs to make it affordable.

        • KateMiddletown :

          +1 My husband didn’t have to pay for his education, and was afforded the opportunity to transfer schools 3x. I took out loans for 1/2 of the cost of my in-state, scholarship-offset tuition (my parents generously financed the other 1/2.) Now my stepdaughter is going to college in the fall and husband and I have very different attitudes about cost-benefit because I had loans.

          I will say that Harvard is among the list of no-loan schools, and many “poor kids” find it cheaper to attend if accepted than a similar in-state alternative due to scholarships/endowment funds available. We’re sending my stepdaughter to a GREAT private college which makes a great effort to aid in no-loan financing for those who are admitted.

          • I know there are several schools now that aid in towards “no loans” now a days, but if the school you’re sending her to is a small school just north of Charlotte, that is an incredible place and she will have a beyond fantastic experience.(I’m an alum of that school)

          • 10:56: but if you lived in CLT, I kind of think you shouldn’t go local (unless you go for free)

          • KateMiddletown :

            Thanks, 10:56. I’m not sure if you’re talking about the one in W-S or the one with the better basketball team, but we’re v excited. (WF happens to be my husband’s alma mater, but we’re very proud of her for getting in period, and hope it’s a great environment for her.)

          • to Anon at 11:31, just curious – why shouldn’t you go local in CLT?

          • I’m 10:56 and to KateMiddletown – I went to the tiny school with the better basketball team :-). However, I was in W-S for law school and I think it would be a great place to go for undergrad. I have friend who went to WF for undergrad and love it as much as I love my school. Congrats to your stepdaughter on getting accepted – it’s no easy feat these days.

      • anon a mouse :

        That book is so good, and parts of it have really stuck with me.

      • But what’s going to give? Are you really going to tell your kids NOT to go to college? Every company still requires a degree for any sort of professional job. A trade is good in theory, but it’s hard to get a good job unless you have connections.

        I’m just not sure how something is going to give. People will still go to college, regardless of cost, as long as loans are still available. There’s not a lot of incentive for colleges to reduce tuition here, without some kind of systematic change. And that’s not even remotely likely in our partisan world.

        • You’re going to see more kids going to state schools or community colleges. I think you’ll also see more lower-cost options crop up because there’s such a demand for it.

          • What? Tuition is going up for state schools, too. Also, state schools and community colleges are not really in the same category of alternative options. There’s a big, huge difference between State University and Northwest Central Middle Community College, and most students aren’t torn between those. They’re on a path to one or the other; they’re not deciding between the two. The attitude on this board towards state schools has always been a little condescending… but I’ve never seen them equated with community college until now.

          • Anonymous :

            I mean, your alma mater is where you graduate from, so I see more people doing 2 years of community college then 2 years of State U and then have a State U degree that was less expensive for them to get.

            Pennsylvania has this big branch campus thing where lots of kids go local Penn State campus for two years and then Penn State State College for 2 years. My state isn’t like that, but the idea seems to be is you save $ living at home for 2 years and the tuition is less expensive and they have transfer people who make sure you take classes that transfer to the 2 year school. It isn’t apples and apples but just a way to get a State U diploma for a bit less.

          • Anonymous :

            Defensive much, Eh? Nothing about the comment you’re responding to was condescending.

        • What the book emphasizes, or at least what it made me think about a lot since reading it, is that college costs keep rising, but a bachelor’s degree alone isn’t enough to gain entry into a profession. If a new graduate comes from a place of privilege, she can afford unpaid internships or low-paid work, likely in a HCOL city. But if she is not able to live on a small or non-existent salary, especially with possibly 6-figure loans to repay, then education is no longer a pathway to the middle class.

          I don’t know what, exactly, will give. But it has to. The rich have too much, and keep taking a larger share. The middle is shrinking fast. I think we’re in for massive social change in the next decade, and young people who can’t pay their student loans will lead it.

          I have very little skin in this game. I’m middle-aged and have no children to send to college. I don’t know how parents, especially those paying off their own loans, even think about all this.

        • My MCOL city in the SEUS has a branch of our state U that is pretty good and high school programs co-located there where you can fit in an associates degree while still in high school and having the $ savings of living at home. Those kids can finish up their 4-year degrees there if they want (or transfer to Flagship State U) or just go anywhere they want. But they are pretty far ahead of the pack, especially since $ is a limiting factor for many of these kids (often first generation college students for their family).

          My friends in BigLaw wouldn’t send their kids there (yet, perhaps), but things like this are good options for the other 99%.

          Also, we have a very good community college system and its biggest growth area in the recession was for kids in families that make 100K a year. Often, for parents of boys, I hear of parents making them come home after they have paid for basically a semester of partying and bad grades and the kids can only earn their way back to their former 4-year school by working and continuing to take community college credits that will transfer.

          With AP credits, I’m surprised that kids even get to spend 4 years in school. It seems to me that they should be able to finish up in 3 years and ought to be encouraged to do so and that alone would save $.

          • AP is not offered in many schools. It’s concentrated in wealthier city/suburban areas, with some “outreach” in diverse neighborhoods, but most middle class don’t have access. In addition, it costs money in high school, when those kids are working jobs to try to pay for college and can’t afford the extra tuition and test fees.

            I’m not sure where you are, but most kids who are first gen college are working a good 20 hours a week during the school year and are very hard-pressed to also fit in an associate’s degree on top of high school course work and their job.

            And State U and community college tuitions are rising as well. They’re not this affordable option that you’re making them out to be, particularly not for middle class.

          • Disagree — the comparison is for 4-year residential colleges vs living at home and going to community college. 4-year residential state U is wildly more expensive than doing the first two years of college at home. It all may be cost prohibitive for the poorest but many middle class families can pay for 2 years away especially if their kid can do 2 years locally first (esp. for any iffy kids — those who may be at academic risk or not mature enough, where you might be better off not sending them or letting them mature a bit first).

          • In my city, AP is generally offered. Some schools have fewer (even far fewer), so BC calc is just at a few as many students will not even reach AB calc levels. But even 3 AP classes if you get 3-5s on them can put you ahead and save you $ (esp. if you can take summer / online courses to) by at least a semester.

            I truly do not understand people who fund their kids’ 5th (etc.) year of college. I will budget for 4 and tell my kids that it’s a fixed pot of $ and see if they can treat that wisely.

          • Well, some majors can take 5 years because the university over-enrolls and then the required courses aren’t available in the required sequence in a 4 year time frame for every student. Some kids are just drawing the short straw.

          • this was me. I had more than a year’s worth of credits from AP/IB and graduated a full year early from my private university. Saved a ton of money and was very happy to finish early for a multitude of reasons.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          There’s part of me that really hopes my kid goes into a skilled trade. My impression is that the the education is more affordable and more related to the work you’ll do. It seems like the demand for plumbers/whatever isn’t going away any time soon.

          On the other hand, I was definitely well suited to the liberal arts education I got and my life is richer for my (‘useless’) undergrad degree. I’d love my kid to access that if she wants it. But if the price is a lifetime of debt… maybe not.

          • Have her start getting to know local plumbers in high school. Plumbing takes a vocational degree, a couple years of apprenticeship, and then passing your license test. You have to know someone who is willing to take you under their wing for the apprenticeship and help you learn the local codes so you can pass the exam. And then you’ll make $40-50K for life.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            :) I work with plumbers/plumbing engineers/plumbing inspectors/people who do things related to plumbing day in and day out, so if she goes that way, I think I’ll be able to give her a great introduction to the industry! That’s part of why it’s so appealing to me, tbh.

          • Senior Attorney :

            But you don’t make $40-50K for life. You open your own shop and have people working for you and you can do much better than that. My son went to school with a kid whose parents owned a plumbing business and they did very well indeed.

          • KateMiddletown :

            40-50K is what many people with advanced degrees end up making (see librarians, teachers, etc) and votech students don’t have the same loan obligations to repay afterward. It’s not a career path that everyone is suited for (I have terrible small motor and spatial reasoning skills but respect those that do!)

          • Senior Attorney :

            Good point. My son is making in the low 40s in his first job as a masters-level psychotherapist.

          • Anonymous :

            Plus, even without opening your own shop, you make significantly more than 50k. I have family that are plumbers in the Dakotas, a very low cost of living area, and they make over 100k.

      • Is it still the case in computer-related professions that experience and certifications are more important than a 4-year degree? I would imagine in professions that center around quickly-changing technology, it’s going to be more important to have education throughout your career than whatever some prof taught you 10 years ago that was starting to become obsolete by the time it hit the classroom.

    • I also think part of it is that schools are offering more and more aid. To fund it, they raise tuition overall. In other words, someone who is paying 100% tuition is paying 100% of their own cost plus subsidizing students of lesser financial means. It’s like the sticker price at a place like BR or AT, where there are sales multiple times a week. I’d be curious to see the financial aid figures over time, by flat amount and by percentage of total tuition.

      • This is not a big part of it at most schools. For some not-wealthy private schools, yes. But elite schools are funding aid from endowments, while state schools (which serve the vast majority of students) don’t actually give that much aid.

        Even for those schools, though, it’s less that aid has gone up, and more that tuition has gone way up but the school selectively exempts some students (based on family income, poverty, sports talent, whatever) from those increases. There are still other factors driving the underlying tuition increase.

      • I agree — at the university where I teach, this is definitely a thing. the average student only pays something like half the sticker price. Some of this aid is merit based, and/or used to lure the students the college deems more desirable. I’ve even heard “full pay” used in a derogatory (by faculty and staff, to refer to bad students who aren’t academically invested).

    • There are options besides expensive private college. Our local State U has kept in-state tuition steady for the last 10 years. And I think the top tier schools will just keep expanding their aide. I think Stanford is free if your parents make less than $125k. In 2020 years that will probably be $200k or whatever.

      • Yep as inflation grows, salaries grow. 125k is not low income yet you can go for free; in 20 years it’ll be like 250k or under to go for free. When I was growing up in the 90s, 100,000 was considered a BIG salary. Now not so much — it’s more like 200 or 250k are big in east coast metro areas. Those numbers will just keep expanding. *Cue all the do gooders who’ll tell me I’m “privileged” if I think we’ll educated east coast people are making 100k now and how they work for their mission for 40k/year despite their law degree.

        • Actually salaries, in real dollars, not just the nominal value, have been stagnant for most industries for more or less two decades. So thanks for your opinion, but unless salaries keep pace with school tuition (or shoot even catch up) and other key expenses, this only makes sense for a very very small percentage of people in certain fields or from certain backgrounds. If you actually think a normal adult will spend a year’s salary every year for every kid’s college, you clearly are out of touch – people won’t starve to send their kids to school.

          • +1
            Anon10:53 100k is a BIG salary for me now, that I will probably never make in my lifetime. It seems you are a little out of touch.

      • Which State U has kept tuition flat for 10 years? My alma mater state u in the midwest was $5/yr for in state tuition in 2000, it’s now at $15K. That’s way out of line with any kind of wage or cost inflation. Even community colleges are raising tuition beyond any sort of reasonable inflation metric.

        For people at all ends of the wage spectrum, college costs are rising significantly more than their salaries.

        • Not the OP but I live in Indiana and Purdue hasn’t raised tuition in a long time. I would believe it’s gone up since 2000 but not by a factor of 3.


          • Purdue froze in state tuition 7 years ago because they were so completely out of whack with other options in Indiana – they’ve been frozen at $10K/year since 2012, so they’re just now in line with IU. (IU has gone from $4k/year to $10K/year since 2000. ) Look at Purdue’s out of state – they’re something like 50% out of staters, who pay almost $30K/year.

          • Purdue Alumna :

            Responding to Anon @ 11:33 – If you’re just comparing Purdue with IU, then you can take the match point. But Purdue is competing with the Big 10. So I’m not sure your analysis captures the entire picture. What other Indiana options you’re thinking of? Notre Dame? Ball State? Butler? Valpo? All great institutions but I feel like apples to oranges.

      • I wonder what colleges will do with so many older parents. My husband will be old enough to retire when our daughters are in college and I could probably early retire then (will probably be elder-caregiving and just burned out and some ongoing health challenges of my own that have popped up). I can see working 40-ish parents with many kids at home getting scholarships with 100K incomes but not so much for retirees with the same income and grown kids (and a paid-off house). I have assumed that for college alone I couldn’t quit working.

        • You’d be surprised – a paid off house (primary residence) and 401ks usually don’t count in the college financial aid decision. Unless you have significant assets beyond your house and retirement accounts, they will pretty much just use your income. I actually know someone whose wife quit her job so their kid could get more aid. With her income they were at ~$200k, she quit and they were at $140k and they got a huge amount of aid from an Ivy League school. (I think she was pretty much ready to retire anyway – obviously the math doesn’t make sense if she’d planned to keep working for another 15 years). But I wouldn’t assume retired parents get stung at all, if anything I think they’d do better than working parents.

    • I’m very curious to see where the tumbling point is. I went to college in the mid 2000s and walked away with an exorbitant amount of loans for a school that cost almost double average household income, but there wasn’t nearly as much attention to loan and debt burden then. I think there will reach a peak of school costs where people simply say “no, I can’t do and won’t do it” and a huge generation of kids will be uneducated at the college level. We’re at a pain point now. School costs simply can’t double again in the next ten years with stagnant incomes and debt load the way they are. Even an upper middle class family won’t stoop to pay almost half a million dollars for 4 yrs at Harvard, or a quarter million for four years at a good state school.

      • To echo comments above, I think the tidal shift will occur when a generation of millennials who paid student loans start sending children to college (and haven’t saved for their 529s b/c of their own student loans).

        • Anonymous :

          +1. My husband and I have a HHI around $100K. We haven’t started saving for our 3-year-old’s college. After taxes, our take-home is around $6K a month. We pay our loans, fund our retirement, pay for health insurance and OOP costs, and pay for daycare…and we basically have about $1200/month for groceries and gas and spending money. We don’t even have car payments or housing costs.

          I’d like to think our income will increase over time, and we’ll be able to start saving for college when we’re done paying for daycare. But I also think our child will have to get scholarships and/or financial aid and/or work. My husband and I have liberal arts degrees from a private school, which my parents and his grandparents paid for, but I don’t expect to be in the same position. (I have loans because I went to law school.)

    • Am I the only one not worried about this – and I fully intend for my kids to go to top privates if admitted. To me college pricing even now is like cars – there’s a sticker price which 3/4 of people do not pay as schools work out all kinds of no loan packages, grants for people under 60k or 100k etc. The only people I know paying 100% costs even now are hedge fund PMs and the like. So if college costs go from 250k for 4 years to 475k, I imagine even fewer people paying sticker price because there will be even more “deals” out there.

      • I’m not terribly worried either. We live in a LCOL area so our incomes are low for our wealth level. I think our kids would get a lot of aid at Harvard and comparable schools. And if they’re not good enough for those schools, our local state school (Purdue) is decent and affordable. If they want to go somewhere that’s private but not all that academically much better than Purdue then we’ll contribute what we can and they can take out some loans.

      • A professor at my elite private college explicitly told us this when he was involved in the process of raising sticker-price in the early 00s. They did not raise costs until they had a plan to raise aid proportionally.

        • So it’s just cross-subsidizing?

          • Bing bing bing! Essentially, those punished are/will be middling students of upper-middle class families that make too much for most need-based aid equations and don’t receive merit-based scholarships.

          • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

            “Essentially, those punished are/will be middling students of upper-middle class families that make too much for most need-based aid equations and don’t receive merit-based scholarships.”

            This is exactly why I feel uneasy about it. They will never qualify for need based aid. I hope my kids can get into “elite” public schools in my state so even if we get stuck with sticker, we may be able to actually pay for all or a good part of it without depleting our retirement savings and they can get solid degrees. But graduate school at public schools is expensive now too, so I worry they will be stuck with massive loans if they decide to be doctors, lawyers, etc.

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        I am not too worried only because my child is enrolled in our state’s version of a 529 college prepaid plan. These numbers are staggering, though, and definitely cause for concern. Sheesh!

        • This is smart for you and your family, but unfortunately, these programs are for sure going away within a generation because they don’t make economic sense for states who guarantee those tuition payments. (Hi, unfunded pension plans.)

    • For state colleges, where the vast majority of students attend, declining state funding is a huge part of the story. Almost every state cut funding to their university systems during the recession, and in many places, that funding never came back.

      Increased administration is another big part of it. Some of it is necessary to comply with mandates for federal funding (Title IX officer, offices for students with disabilities, record-keeping of student attendance). Some of it is just a good idea (better mental health services. And some of it is BS, which colleges do to keep up with their peer institutions (deans of assessment, centers for teaching and learning that regurgitate bad pedagogical strategies).

      • Anonymous :

        This is definitely true in my state. The worst part is, they cut funding to some of the smaller state universities and community colleges that are so often touted as good alternatives to Big State U. (To be clear, I think these schools would be good alternative options for many students, but the lack of funding means the schools have cut a lot of degree programs and support services and have raised tuition.) They’ve also cut funding to publicly funded scholarship programs. In my state, at least, I think many of the people who will be “dinged” will be poor and middle class students.

    • Higher ed employee here – I work in the business side of the house. Other factors also contributing to increased administrative costs are: increasingly intense compliance burden, increasing expectations from students/faculty/staff regarding technology resources.

      • Not that one the other :

        The rising cost of Medicaid, increases in K-12 spending, and – whomp whomp – the rise of prisons and increase in the prison population has pulled money away from higher education.At private institutions deferred maintenance for those lovely old buildings that make up our collective nostalgia is a dark shadow on the budget. Public and private institutions suffer from the same challenges, with differences in how much flexibility they have to rectify them.

        Also, the cost of health insurance has increased dramatically. At most institutions the largest part of the budget goes to benefits for staff and faculty. And believe me, we’re not handing out Teslas with tenure.

        • And then you find that colleges use a lot of adjuncts to teach your kid and you know how poorly they are paid (and no benefits) and that feels like a crime (or at least bait-and-switch) when you look at what you pay for and what you get.

          • And the reason the adjuncts are willing to take the job is that there are so many more qualified PhDs than there are teaching positions–even though students are fighting each other for every admissions slot.

    • My BA was in Classics, and it has served me well. It’s a good major for first-gen students. But Classics programs haven’t changed that much over the years. I sometimes wonder what all the extra tens of thousands of dollars were really for. And while my professors seemed rich to me at the time, they were really living quite modestly compared to other middle class professionals (including many other university employees).

    • And just think….. who would be able to afford to become a doctor? Spend a few hundred thousand to go to college, and then spend at least 500k to go to med school. And doctors still have years of training and small salaries before they can afford to start paying back their loans, and will never make enough income to pay them back. Doctor’s incomes will only be falling more as we are trying to reign in health care costs.

      Already, my friends from wealthy families who wanted to have high income avoided medicine because the incomes were not worth the years of pain. Pretty soon, no one will be able to afford to become a doctor even if they wanted to unless you are wealthy…. never mind become a primary care doctor in the cities that are screaming for more care (ex. deep south, flyover states, smaller cities/rural areas). I suspect the majority of doctors will rush in from overseas to fill the holes even more, willingly. Doctors from eastern europe, india, china, africa etc… who went to school in their home countries and then came to the US and re-trained here.

      • KateMiddletown :

        Aren’t those who were “schooled” overseas required to re-take most of medical school? I am not super familiar with the process but from what I understand to pass the boards you have to have a specific knowledge of the US medicine process. In any event, it seems like only the very wealthy from overseas will be able to become doctors in U.S.

        • No, they do not have to take medical school. They need to study very very hard and pass all of the US Medical Board exams (National Board exams ) – there are 3. You need to know the science of medicine to pass the boards, which these days is pretty universal worldwide. And to pass TOEFL (English exam). And then to get accepted and train in a medical internship and residency. That is post medical school, and you get paid but at a very modest level since you are still considered a “trainee” for 3-7 years depending on your speciality + 1-3 years for fellowship if you subspecialize. So it is still a long road, but for the many many bright and motivated doctors from many countries around the world it is worth it.

          So no, it is in general NOT the very wealthy from overseas who become doctors in the US. It is often folks from modest backgrounds who are driven and bright.

      • Anonymous :

        This doesn’t address your whole point, but there are some programs in place to address shortages in underserviced areas. A friend of a friend went to a state med school in the midwest and agreed to come back and work in the state for 4 years post-residency in exchange for free tuition. I imagine more of those types of programs will pop up (but may not fully address the need).

        • Yes, you are right – those programs are very important and some do exist already. Unfortunately, those programs are few and far between already, so we already hire tons of foreign trained doctors. And to expand that program would then cost the US government millions and millions of dollars to forgive all of those loans as the cost of medical school skyrockets.

          In Europe, medical school is free.

          I wonder how many of us would take out 500-750k in loans to become a doctor, not knowing for sure how much you would be forgiven or where you will have to work? You can see the problem…. I would never do it, after coming from a modest upbringing and knowing that being a doctor is the right job for me. But I would be too terrified.

      • Anonymous :

        In the U.S., specialists’ income is still very high and not falling anytime soon. It still makes sense to go to medical school, incur $300K in loans ($500K seems high–that’s $125K per year of medical school), train as a specialist, and finish with a $250K-$450K job.

        The problem will be family practice and primary care doctors, even in areas that are not traditionally under-served. Unless your medical school is paid, that makes absolutely no sense. The irony is that good primary care drives down health care costs overall.

    • I just want to say that this thread is why I come to this site! So much intelligent dialogue here, despite the unfortunate topic. I miss having these types of conversations IRL!


    • The numbers here are alarming but partly because I believe the effects of inflation are not discounted. I mean, a $1 coffee will cost $1.43 in 18 years, due only to inflation.

      • And our salaries should all be 43% higher as well, even without any kind of promotion or merit raise.

      • Inflation is real. It’s a bit of a misleading article because it’s basically an ad for 529 savings plans. However, you’re not factoring in the changing price of coffee beans or scarcity of water which will increase the price, or the use of technology to provide faster and cheaper service which will likely lower the cost. So the forecasting is extremely difficult.

  8. Anonymous :

    I need a pair of pants like this that sucks in my tummy! Are these them? I feel so trim in my jeans becuase they have substantial front part (three kids!!!). But when I’ve tried side zip, I feel like it emphasizes it so much. Anyone have a solution? I need black slim ankle pants for work.

    • Your style may vary, but you might be able to find a winner in the Chico’s so slimming line.

      I’ve not tried them, btw, just see them advertised.

    • White House Black Market- the ultra slimming pant is your answer

      • Want to call out WHBM for pants in general for pear shaped women – and not just their curvy line.

        I wandered in there recently after striking out at BR, JCrew (why do I bother going in there) Ann Taylor, Loft, etc. Don’t think I have ever bought a thing there. Left with two pants that have already become workhorses in the wardrobe. They are ponte, but a heavy ponte that has and keeps a shape. The crepe pants from Eileen are too thin and insubstantial for my taste.

  9. Lana Del Raygun :

    These pants have a really interesting definition of “full-length.”

    • KateMiddletown :

      I like the look, but I worry that my calves are of a circumference that they would look like leggings on me. (I think that the extra fabric around the ankle is what keeps stretchy pants from looking TOO legging-y for work, right?)

    • I was excited about them until I saw the zipper, which I hate. It ruins the line of the pants.

  10. Does anyone else have the inability to reply to comments on mobile? It’s been this way for a week for me now. It’s like the reply button just doesn’t work

    • It doesn’t work for me either, so I switched it to desktop mode. I am able to comment that way.

    • Doesn’t work for me either, but it does now that I switched to desktop mode. Thanks CountC!

  11. NYC meetup :

    I missed the post about a meet up in NYC… can someone add me to the email list? Bowdlerized at gma1l should work. thanks!

  12. Everlane for petites? :

    Have any petites in the crowd try Everlane? For reference, I usually wear 0P or 00P in BR, jcrew, AT for pants. I tried MMLF and it was horrendously bad on me.

    • I’m a 4P and not quite 5’2″. Yes, MMLF was horrendous – I’m sort of glad to have validation on that. Everlane generally doesn’t work for me either. I’ve tried these pants and the ponte pants and the rise is quite high – not fashionably high, but in my ribcage area. Their tees are also quite long in the length. I do have two of their boxy sweaters that work well because of the cropped style. I took a small in those, which is what I would normally get in non-petite sizes.

    • I’m a little bigger than what most think of as petite, but I have a really short torso. The v-neck tee was way too long for me. I was so disappointed because I’m searching for the affordable unicorn tee and I was hoping this would be it.

      Can’t speak to the pants, but I can’t do high wasted so most of their’s are out for me.

  13. For those who attended a grad school program that was only offered full time, how did you make the decision to pull the plug on your full time job and go back to school? Specifically pointing to competitive programs that typically require several years of work experience (meaning nearly everyone in the program has a professional background). Also, it’s not an MBA program.

    • I only took one year between undergrad and grad, but I think there’s something to be said about not waiting too long and “forgetting” how to be a student. It takes a while to apply and start a program– I wouldn’t wait too long.

      • I think I more so meant pulling the plug on my salary and going back to nothing. I want to attend the program and it aligns with my professional goals but the thought of no salary is daunting

        • I went full time. It was hard, but it allows you to fully focus, and it’ll allow you to earn a higher salary down the line (it has for me). If you know you’d like to get the degree, I’d pull the plug, suffer for a year/two, and jump back into the job market. It’ll make a big difference in the long run!

          • I went full-time after a 5-year gap. The salary adjustment was rough, and I am married, so it was going from 2-income to 1.1-income household– if I was single it would have been harder, but most people were actually single and did things like room together, show up to the meetings where you get free pizza, what have you. I actually felt a bit culturally left out because a lot of them were going straight through, and the difference between my interests at 28-and-married were different than 22-and-continuing-school.

            I will say I only went back full-time because I was getting paid a stipend. Under no situation would I have taken out loans for my particular program (PhD, social sciences). It was bad enough not putting away retirement money for a few years. Loans would have been madness.

    • I’m 40 and starting a full-time MSW program next month which is a significant career change for me. I’ve been planning this for a few years, but now that it is here, the salary adjustment is feeling a lot more real. I’m currently in an executive position in our family-owned business with a decent salary and perks, and I will never make this kind of money again so I don’t have future earning potential as motivation. However, my future career is better aligned with my abilities and interests, and I am looking forward to mostly stepping away from the family business drama. I don’t think the motivation needs to be financial, but there needs to be a reward that is significant to you to enable you to make the adjustment.

      • Wow, good for you for taking that leap! If you don’t mind me asking, did you save up the money to cash flow tuition and fund living expenses during this period or did you take out loans? I’m still laying my undergrad and really don’t want to take out loans for my master’s, but I’m having a hard time seeing how I will pay for it if I’m not working

        • I am in a dual income home, so we’re going from 2x income to 1.3x income, which is enough to cover basic living expenses. I have more than half my tuition set aside in savings, and I should get substantial tuition assistance the last 2 semesters because of my focus area, so we can cash flow the remainder. That’s dependent on us being able to live without luxuries we enjoy :) That part is only temporary though.

          One thing about grad school is that a lot of programs have graduate or preprofessional assistantships available that cover tuition plus a stipend. I did not do that because I’m staying part-time at our company until I finish school, but a lot of grad students do. Some programs have more options than others, but it’s worth looking into.

  14. Anonymous :

    Does anyone get anxiety over getting weighed at the doctor? I gain and lose the same 3 or 4 pounds over the course of the year. If I weigh a bit more than the previous visit I get so anxious days in advance. I realize it’s lame and neurotic even as I write it.Does anyone have any mental tips to get over this? I realize I can just decline to get weighed but I’d rather try to overcome it. Thanks.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Just ask if you can step on the scale backwards or that you don’t want to know. Your weight is an important health indicator for your doctor, so I’d try to let them weigh you if you can push through. My office has a post-it note over the readout display that’s angled so only the nurse can see and record the weight. I guess they’ve gotten enough requests that it’s standard.

      • This is what I do, too. Occasionally it’s earned me some funny looks but I just say I have a history of eating disorders (true) and they knock it off.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you figure out what is driving the anxiety, since you know this isn’t a rational response? Are you nervous about visiting the doctor that they may find something? That they’ll be judging you for something? Have you had a bad experience in the past with one or a nurse that you’ve been suppressing?

    • I think there is some benefit to being weighted so that the doctor can see changes over time, but that doesn’t mean you need to know the number. Every doctor I’ve ever visited will let you step on the scale backwards, and then just write down the number.

      But I also think this is not concerning at all. I can gain or lose 4/5 pounds in a day. Over the course of the year, this is nothing to worry about.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Agree with Veronica Mars about being weighed backwards. The practice I go to also has their scale set in kilograms, which might also work if they can reset it easily.

      Would it help to remind yourself that 3 or 4 lb is basically noise? Your weight can fluctuate that much just in a *day* from how much water you’ve drunk, how long it’s been since you ate, or how long it’s been since you went to the bathroom. When you add in fluctuations based on where you are in your cycle, for all intents and purposes you’re maintaining a constant weight.

    • Then just don’t? I’ve skipped it for years at a time with no issue.

      • Veronica Mars :

        One thing about anxiety, it prompts you to want to avoid the activity that causes you anxiety. When you avoid, your anxiety can amplify because you’re telling yourself that you can’t handle the stressor. So the next time, it’s even more pronounced.

        • Yep. This. Better to figure out what’s driving the anxiety. I’d bet money that it’s not the weight changes, per se, but something related to it tangentially that you’ve avoiding.

          – Lifelong person with GAD who can manage her anxiety now

      • So the nurse asks you to get on the scale and you say no? In both my recent PCP offices the scales are in the exam room and the dr does the weight. If you tell either of them no, it will lead to a discussion about why, anxiety/therapy etc – they wouldn’t just shrug and say ok. Easier to just get weighed.

        • Lol no the doctor isn’t going to lecture you about getting therapy for your anxiety issues because you don’t want to weigh in. This is a very common thing.

          You just say, it’s about the same no need for that this time, and they shrug and say ok cool. Maayyyyybe they’ll tell you, well you’ll have to next time! But then next year comes around and the same thing happens.

          • Might be your dr – mine are very thorough so the flip side of that is EVERYTHING turns into a discussion.

          • I’m a doctor. If you were unable to weigh yourself (a very useful data point for your doctor to gather once a year for many reasons), your doctor absolutely should talk to you about that. It would be negligent not too.

            At for the OP, I agree that this is concerning and not typical anxiety. It would be wonderful for you to bring it up in your appointment, if your doctor is too distracted to notice.

            My doctor is awful, btw, about addressing mental health issues. I flat out told her that my anxiety was getting quite bad, and she literally laughed it off and said “we all have anxiety… that’s normal” and quickly changed the subject. I have been negligent about looking for a new doctor and/or pursuing a psychiatry appointment on my own, and this thread was a good reminder for that!.

    • This isn’t just a “mental tip” thing. If you’re getting anxious for DAYS about a few lbs, then this is speaking to a deeper issue with your relationship to your weight and body. I’m not saying that to condescendingly imply that you have unresolved secret issues, but just because anxiety is a symptom. I’m a small person so 5 actual lbs can make a visible difference on me. My weight can change 3-4 lbs in a week, or a day, depending on what I’ve eaten, what time of day it is, etc. Lana Del Raygun is right– it’s noise. I don’t keep a scale in the house, but when I am around one, I’ll play a game where I watch my weight fluctuate based on nothing. Ie- wake up, it’s x. Go have a small cup of coffee, magically, it’s x+2. HOW?!?!??!

      • This. It really says a lot to me that on a women’s chat board, most of the people responding jump to discussing how they too avoid being weighed (or point out that it’s common) instead of saying, days of anxiety is just not normal; why don’t you try to figure that out?

        • I mean OP asked if other people felt the same, so those are the people that responded. I’m in the other camp and wasn’t going to say anything, but…

          No – I don’t think/stress about getting weighed at the doctor. I have a scale in my home and get on it before getting in the shower (most of the time). I know my weight will fluctuate (it always goes up during my period). I try to think about my weight on a more geologic timeframe – it’s doesn’t matter so much day to day (or even month to month), but what is it doing year to year, which is what your doctor is looking at. 3-4 pounds is nothing.

    • I try to prepare for the visit by not overeating (maybe even cutting calories/bloat food) that week and eating similar meals and wearing similar clothing the day of. Yes, sounds crazy, but it works for me.

  15. Fly in the lemonade :

    I finally get to present on a topic I love- it’s literally the reason I changed fields. But…the iternal client who requested happens to be a man who DH has prosecuted, and who wrote legendaryily batsh!t letters to the paper about the case. (Case was dismiled after a civil settlement). I have a hyphenated version of DH’s name.

    So, despite trying to assume the guy has changed, bears no grudge, etc, I decided maybe I’d rather not be alone with him for hours. I threw a hail-Mary invitation to some other folks I thought might be interested in the presentation. Amazingly, they were both willing to travel from the sattelite office to come! So now I just have to make a darn good use of this opportunity…plan to spend the morning writing it.

  16. Boston obgyn and fertility docs :

    Cross-posted from moms site-

    Recommendations for Boston ob-gyns and fertility docs? Need a new ob-gyn before my sept annual (current one is meh), and we are on month 5 of TTC and i’m 38, so want to be prepared for next steps.

    • I’m also looking for a GYN in Boston – would be especially interested in recs for doctors with extended hours (particularly weekend appts) as I travel extensively for work. Yes, I realize this is a unicorn.

    • Dr. Alison Swift Packard at MGH was great for an initial, thorough appointment recently. I’m in my 40s and had kind of an opposite fertility question (when reasonably may I stop birth control if I’m not trying to get pregnant?). She commented that if I were wanting to get pregnant, she would refer me immediately to a fertility specialist she works with. I liked her. I’m not sure whether she has weekend appointments.

  17. Anyone tried these pants? I assume this isn’t a line for pear shapes?

    • I’m a pear-shaped 5’6″, curvy fit size 4 at Ann Taylor, and got size 6 in these. I actually think they work really well for my shape. They are high-waisted and cut with quite a large hip-to-waist differential, so when I tuck shirts into them, they stay tucked and show off my waist. Try them, you might like them!

      • Thank you!

        My current favorites are Loft Julie fit skinny ankle pants, but I would love a pair with a flat panel tummy which is more flattering. All of my other pear friendly pants have bulky zippers and too much fabric there which is never a good look.

  18. Interview Follow Up Help :

    Yesterday, I interviewed with a company I very much want to work for, but for a position that my education makes me overqualified for as means of getting my foot in the door and working my way up. The position is still a good fit for my skills and I’m totally okay with starting a little lower and earning my way up. At one point, the VP asked where I see myself in the future (I asked if he meant six months, two years, five, twenty, etc. and he didn’t really specify.) I said that I would like to eventually move into X department (which this position has a lot of face time with!) And the hiring manager commented that this concerned her, because she doesn’t want to have refill the position in 6 months. I quickly replied that I was thinking that this move would happen in two years, not six months.

    So, here’s my question: In my follow-up/thank you email (they both usually work remotely, so email not a card definitely feels like the way to go) should I mention where I see myself in six months in this role? (Taking on additional responsibilities in line with my education and interests.)

  19. An 8 year old kid in my family has been diagnosed with a rare cancer. His parents are working with doctors with figure out the type and stage, but chemo for a year will be a part of the treatment. I live across the country, but my mind and heart is with them constantly. I cannot visit with the frequency that I would like (i have two kids of my own), but how can I support them? They have all meals and home help covered. Also, this kid is really into school, esp math and reading. Are there tutoring or home schooling services? Are there state provided support services? I just wish I could pop over every afternoon to cheer him up. He has limited mobility and will be in bed for about 6 -12 months.

    • Can you set up video chats with him, and with his parents too? Going through this kind of thing is incredibly lonely and boring much of the time. Company, even if it’s by video, is so helpful.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I’m not sure what you mean by “tutoring or homeschooling services,” but there are both tutoring chains and private tutors (when I was in undergrad, local parents would connect with student tutors through the department office) and there are also a dizzying variety of homeschooling curriculums for sale, including some that are basically distance-learning programs with teachers who give and grade assignments and lead skype discussions with other students in the same program. Is that the kind of thing you’re thinking of?

    • He can get what is known as a “Home and Hospital IEP” or “Intermittent Interim Services” IEP to get “homeschooled” through his county. It is a special education service

    • I have a relative who teaches full-time at a hospital, so there are definitely educational resources available. The parents can probably get pointed in the right direction by asking the child’s school and/or the child life specialist at the hospital.

    • Gift him a Kindle or the equivalent, with info on how to download books from his local library (often described online) and/or a gift card to some place online to buy books?

      A fun game/puzzle book with a math side to it.

      I’m thinking of things to take to chemo that can be fun for him to pass the time.

  20. Has anyone started watching 13 Reasons Why season 2? I’m trying to decide if it’s worth watching or if it’s just going to p ! s s me off. I devoured the first season because I really empathized with Hannah’s struggles with depression and how it was exacerbated by people being awful. But I didn’t like that Hannah’s mental health issues seemed to be downplayed… it was like her suicide was the result of the bad things that happened and not her mental health and the failure of the system/adults to provide mental health services to teens. I really don’t want to watch season 2 if it’s all about revenge against the wrongdoers rather than addressing the mental health issues. Any insights from those who’ve started watching?

    • I watched the first season due to its hype, then decided to forego the second because 1) the show itself romanticizes suicide to a degree I am uncomfortable with, 2) the only possible topics of the second season are a) another suicide /repeat of the first season or b) revenge or boring introspection about the dead protagonist.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I am genuinely curious as to how you think the first season romanticized suicide? To me, the actual scene of Hannah’s death was the exact opposite and I thought that the writers chose her method in order to depict how it was not just a “take these pills and fall asleep” choice but one that was painful and awful.

        • Not the person you’re responding to – but if you’ve ever experienced suicide ideation, some of the things you think about is how people will react after the fact. They’ll realize how much they wronged me! things will change! is a pretty common thought. The whole premise of the show really played into that – people were rethinking their actions toward Hannah because she killed herself. I think it would’ve been helpful put more emphasis on how people actually react to a suicide – oh they were just troubled it’s nothing you did now let’s post a picture in the yearbook and have one vigil and then get on with our lives like this never happened.

      • Agree with IHHtown

    • I haven’t started watching, but I read that they hired several mental health specialists to consult on this season, in large part to address the criticism about how mental health was addressed in Season 1. FWIW, I plan to watch the second season.

    • I didn’t watch the show because it looked like it might be a disguised wish fulfillment fantasy. It sounds like it was more edifying than I was imagining, but may still have been trying to have its cake and eat it too?

      As far as I know, it’s a fact that not everyone who commits suicide is mentally ill. I guess it follows that it’s theoretically possible that not every mentally ill person who commits suicide does so as a result of the mental illness, but that seems like a really dicey narrative for a show like this.

    • Public School stance :

      Our local public school system just sent a communication about this to all parents from grades 7-12, basically to caution parents on the way the series romanticizes suicide. It is pretty clear that they are HORRIFIED by this series. I have not had time to watch it but brought it up with my 15 year old last year. She was completely dismissive of our conversation. I honestly believe that parents who are fairly engaged with successful children can find themselves in devastating situations that they truly did not see coming. It is completely heartbreaking.

  21. Prescription Sunglasses Shopping :

    I’m looking to buy affordable prescription sunglasses — any tips from the hive? Has anyone used Warby Parker or another online option for sunglasses? My prescription is pretty light.

    • Dealtwiththis :

      Zenni has been fantastic for this. Good quality and pretty cheap too.

    • I got the transitions sunglasses lenses from Costco in a frame I picked out at Costco about 5 years ago and love them. They go from lightly shaded to darkly shaded (not like the clear to sunglasses that I think of as so weird in brightly lit offices). The polarization was key (the previous regular Costco pair wasn’t polarized enough, so I was back to putting my RayBans on top of my glasses, which was just a terrible, terrible way to live). Before dropping several hundred dollars on RayBan prescription glasses, I’m glad the eye doctor convinced me to try these first!

    • No idea where my comment went after I posted it, but try Costco with the transitions sunglasses lenses (so light dark to dark, not clear to dark). 5 years later and I still love them. The polarization (key for my personal comfort) is great. I think my frames plus lenses was sub $200.

    • I have Warby Parker sunglasses and love them. There is a WP store in my city, though, so I went to the store to try them on and get them adjusted. The ones I got were large for my face so they took quite a bit of adjusting.

    • If you have one near you, For Eyes. My prescription sunglasses were under $100 I think – they’re always having a sale.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I prefer buying the frames separately and then going to Lens Factory (USA based– KY) and having them replace the lenses with my Rx. That gives me some time to really pick a pair of sunglasses that I enjoy wearing (non Rx) before I take the plunge with the Rx version. I’ve also found that it’s a bit cheaper because I get the frames on eBay and then just pay the actual lens fee later. This time around I got a Tiffany’s frame for $40 and the lenses will be about $150-$200 for a super strong Rx.

      • Veronica Mars :

        Also, I should say the ones I get online are polarized, not sure if that makes a difference for comparing prices to brick and mortar.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I buy @ Sears or Target Optical (both Luxottica/same brands as many pricier stores) they often have a 2nd pair discount and I just get them then. I rarely replace my prescription sunnies, but I get new glasses every 12 or 24 mos.

  22. Fiance and I bought a house. I had been renting an apartment about 10 minutes away, and my lease goes until January 2019. According to my lease terms, breaking it early requires a fee of $500 and I have to pay rent until it’s re-rented. Fine.
    I emailed the leasing agent in early March once we had made it through most of the home-buying hurdles, telling them the the situation and that the apartment would be vacated by May 15. She responded back that they would “actively market” the unit and they’d be in touch.
    I checked in in mid-April and she said they hadn’t found a renter but rest assured they were being very diligent. I was suspicious because the apartment website did not list my unit as available.
    I have moved out pretty much everything, with the exception of some cleaning supplies, two pieces of furniture that will go to the dumpster, and a box of winter gloves and hats. I haven’t exactly been in a rush to move everything out because AFAIK, no one is interested in it yet. I get a call from the leasing office today demanding my keys back, as my “move-out date” was May 15.
    The apartment complex is demanding that I turn over my keys, as they claim they can’t show the unit if I have them. Umm, you have master keys and I know this because maintenance has entered on their own. My position is that as long as I’m paying rent, I’m entitled to access to the apartment as well as the amenities in the complex, like the pool, gym, and dog park. They’re saying that I need to turn in my parking pass and keys and that because I’m not living there (even though I’m paying rent), I’m not entitled to any of that. Nothing about turning over keys was ever mentioned in our email correspondence in March and April. Who’s in the right here?

    • Does it matter who is right? If they won’t rent the unit out until you give the keys back, and you have to pay rent until they rent it out to someone else, just give the keys back.

    • They are. Move out already.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I see their point but I think you’re in the right here. My husband and I bought and closed on a place when we still had months left on our lease. Our landlords agreed to let us out of our lease if/when they found someone else. It took longer than expected (and we paid rent during that time), but eventually they did find someone. But during that period of time we retained a copy of the keys. Our view was that we were paying for rent / responsible for the apartment so if something happened, we wanted to be aware of it.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Oh, sorry – I meant, you were right to keep a set of the keys. I do think you should move everything out though.

    • Move your stuff out. Make it as easy as possible for them to get this property to market. They may still need to paint, clean the carpets or whatever they need to do to turn over the place for a new tenant. I feel like this is one of those situations where you can be right (in your mind) or you can be done.

    • It sounds like it depends on whether you have actually broken your lease, meaning there is nothing that entitles you to use of the property but requires you to pay them for time vacant, or whether your lease is in effect until they find a renter, at which point your lease becomes void.

      You’d have to refer to your lease terms to figure out where you are in this process. Have you signed anything, or are you just required to give them some form of written notice?

    • Did you already ask if you turn in your keys can you stop paying rent? Or offer to make them a copy of the keys if they need an extra for whatever reason?

      If they stick to their guns then you have a choice. Give up the keys and trust them that they’re actively trying to rent your place (which it sounds like they’re not). Or keep the keys until your lease is up and accept that you’re going to be paying rent until next year.

      Oh and also – I’m confused about the $500 fee. If you pay the entire lease then you’re not breaking it, so why do you owe a fee?

      • My lease is active until a new renter is found. I don’t want to give up the keys, because I’m actively searching for tenants myself. I have someone coming tomorrow to look at the property. I’ll have everything out tonight so it will in fact be totally vacant.

        They are not actively renting my apartment, despite their assertions. It’s not listed on the apartment website under available apartments. I’m concerned that if I give up keys, I give up my ability to privately show the apartment to prospective renters. And as a PP mentioned, if something happens to the apartment, I’m on the hook. I’ve been going back weekly to check on things, and I’ve had maintenance issues in the past that warrant my concern.

        The $500 fee is for the time and effort they spend marketing the apartment. It’s silly because they’re not actually doing that, but I’m going to let that one go. I think I’ll copy the keys and give a set back, and then hope they don’t change the locks. They already told me that they need the keys to “take possession” but that won’t absolve me of having to pay rent.

    • Some apartment companies won’t bother to list apartments as available until the previous tenant has vacated. If I’m understanding you correctly, you didn’t move out until May 15, so it makes sense that in mid-April that your apartment was unlisted. The apartment wasn’t available.

      For what it’s worth, I think they are in the right here. You aren’t renting the unit any longer. What you are paying isn’t rent, it is compensation for terminating your lease early. If you wanted to keep access to the apartment and keep your things there while showing it to prospective tenants, the move would’ve been to keep the lease and search for sublettors rather than terminating the lease. But I agree with the above commenter that “right” doesn’t really matter, either you want the apartment rented or you don’t.

    • you are, but I would just give them the keys & stop paying rent.

    • I would just move out and stop paying rent. They aren’t going to come after you for more money. And on the off chance they did, you’d have a screen shot of the apt building website with no unit listed, etc.

      They might try and withhold your security deposit but it’s illegal to withhold a security deposit for anything other than damage to the apt and you can often get treble damages in small claims court or something along those lines if they try to jerk you around.

  23. I’m staying at the Hay Adams in D.C. for one night next week. Where should I go to dinner with my colleague? We don’t have to entertain a client and would love something in walking distance that is really great. Thanks!

    • What kind of food/any budget?

    • I would suggest Georgia Brown’s (haven’t eaten there myself, but heard good things), Woodward Table or The Hamilton. A bit further of a walk, but Tosca is fantastic Italian.

    • anon a mouse :

      Rasika in the West End for Indian (1 mile walk, absolutely worth it) or Woodward Table.

      • +1 Rasika West End. The plates are mostly for sharing, keep in mind– though you don’t have to.

    • Mirabelle or Joe’s Stone Crab!

    • Go to off the record in the hotel! It’s the coolest old-school restaurant in DC.

    • DC restaurants :

      +1 to Rasika West End, or closer to the hotel I would go to Siroc which is about a five minute walk. Georgia Brown’s is really not very good and Joe’s Stone Crab is a chain. Mirabelle is supposed to be good but it can get very pricy.

    • Definitely have a drink at Off the Record in the basement of the hotel. And then it’s about a 15 minute walk to Estadio, which has the best tapas in the city IMO.

      Also, I know Joe’s is technically a chain but they have the best happy hour ever. An amazing list of wine by the glass, all half price, and small seafood bites that are delicious.

  24. I would really like to learn Indian dancing/Bollywood/subcategories of dance. Would they mind Anglo ladies taking classes? Any recs for a studio in the north Dallas suburbs?

    • It seems a little cultural appropriation-y to me, especially if you are going by yourself or with other white friends.

      • Why is it cultural appropriation to have a genuine curiosity about another culture and want to learn about it in an appropriate educational venue from people who actually know the culture? Or think about it this way–would it be cultural appropriation for a person not of white European origin to study ballet?

        Overblown concerns about cultural appropriation are only going to increase divisiveness and intolerance in our society.

      • I think my white male friend who’s a member of an Indian dance troupe, might beg to differ. As would my Indian friend who was very excited when we were in college and I wanted to learn more about the dancing she did.

        I know nothing about Dallas, but there are dance studios in my neck of the woods that offer all kinds of dance (ballet, modern, hip hop, Indian), taken by all different colors of people, so I’d just look for a relatively large studio and see what they have.

      • I don’t understand this. By this logic, you should never learn and speak a foreign language either.

    • Anonymous :

      It does risk appropriation. But, “they” are not a monolith. For example, my college boyfriend, from india, always wanted me to learn (but I don’t dance, or dress up in costumes, in public–I’m a fuddy-duddy). The best way to avoid appropriation is to treat people as people (obviously), but also to treat cultural practices as part of a whole culture that can’t be extracted from the context.
      So, I guess, look for a studio, get to know some Indian people who do that kind of dance, and ask them if you would be welcome? And ask to what extent–maybe to learn but not to perform? To be in secular contexts but not religious? I’m sure there is nuance. I would be wary of an all-white setting based on videos, though.

      • Anonymous :

        Or you could try a zumba/fitness bollywood class taught by a person of South Asian origin, maybe Doonya.

    • Anonymous :

      As an Indian woman I say go for it. Sometimes cultures offer things that are fun and if you want to partake, do it.

    • I think cultural appropriation isn’t really applicable to a physical fitness class of a particular style, especially if taught by a member of a subgroup. Now if you want to start an all anglo Indian dance group with faux sari costumes, is a different ball game.

    • Cookbooks :

      A little late, but I’m Indian, and I took classical Indian dance lessons for 10+ years. In that time, I saw several white people take classes, including a 65 year old man. So long as you’re respectful, I don’t think anyone will care. Go for it and have fun!

    • Metallica :

      Yeah, the honest desire to learn more about another culture does not constitute cultural appropriation.

    • I’m Indian. They welcome you. We don’t have the usual “cultural appropriation” stuff going on.
      Most Indians won’t even know what it means, and in general we’re pretty welcoming of outsiders.


      PS: I learn piano and I’m sure Europeans don’t think I’m appropriating their culture!

  25. Horse newb question :

    After all of the inspiring posts I finally took the plunge and had my first (uncounted) horse riding lesson yesterday. I got so dirty! How do all of you horse folk keep your cars clean? Change and shower? Seat protector? Give up? I thought I had read through enough “getting started” articles but this never came up.

    • The only answer I’ve got is, you don’t: welcome to your new life. The horse is now it control. You just live here.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Second pair of shoes. Riding boots go into reusable grocery bag and I slip into the new shoes before they touch my car mats. That keeps the majority of the manure/mud out of my car and I suck it up with the rest.

      • This, with the boots/chaps that get muddy/manure-y. Maybe consider a seat cover if you’re in a climate that gets you really sweaty and your seats aren’t leather. I’m in the south- summer is brutal. Maybe keep some baby wipes with you to wipe your hands/forearm off so you feel a bit cleaner?

        And yes welcome. Next to nothing you can do :)

    • Congrats!! My method . . . give up.

      I have leatherette seats, so it’s easy to brush off, but the floormats are a mess (doesn’t help that I trail run also). The cheapest/easiest way is probably to put a towel down on your car seat and then vacuum on the weekends.

    • Horse newb question :

      Thanks everyone–it sounds like it’s time for a big dose of acceptance.

    • Horse Crazy :

      Yay!! Welcome to the addiction :)

      Yep, you just give up. I have completely given up the trunk of my car to my riding stuff. I don’t drive in my boots – I change into them when I get to the barn and out of them before I get in the car. I just try my best to keep riding stuff only in the trunk. I have accepted that anything I put in my trunk will smell like horses, but this doesn’t bother me because it’s the best smell in the world :) but I do try to tell other people that if they’re going to put something back there, that it will smell like horses.

    • I have a separate barn vehicle. My car doesn’t smell like horses because it pretty much never goes to the barn.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t ride, so I can’t speak about the seats or whatever, but I do have the Weathertech floor mats, and they’re great. They catch absolutely everything, and then every now and then I just hose them off and I’m back in a clean car.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Get a big hairy muddy dog, and the dog hair/dirt will compete with the horse hair/dirt to form one wonderful mess. That’s what I did at least.

  26. Law/HR to non-law academia? :

    Has anyone had success transitioning from a law-adjacent career to academia? I practiced law for a few years before transitioning to human resources (now at the exec level in a nonprofit). While I care a lot about the subject matter I work often get to work with (advancing equity at work, developing leaders, dismantling workplace systems of oppression) and enjoy counseling and training employees, I realize that what I truly want to do is spend my days teaching, researching, and writing about these subjects.

    I’m not thinking about trying to become a law professor–I didn’t follow that path academically–but more along the lines of community college or undergraduate programs in organizational development and related areas. FWIW, I went to a good regional law school, law review editor, good grades, etc. but certainly didn’t focus on publishing or anything. I’ve got the JD but no PhD.

    I’d love to hear stories about folks who made the transition; thanks in advance!

    • Anonymous :

      Non-law academia is tough without a PhD…as someone noted above in the thread about college costs, there are many PhDs graduated each year for each full-time professor slot at a four year college or university. This means that many PhDs end up as adjuncts or at community colleges, which doesn’t leave a lot of room at those places for non-PhDs.

    • anon a mouse :

      A friend did this but for a non-tenure-track job. She had worked in corporate litigation for years and stepped off the partner track when she moved back to her hometown. Got a job at her alma mater teaching business law in the business school, I think to undergrad business and economics majors. She’s still publishing but doesn’t expect to ever get a TT job.

  27. Executive MBA for Lawyers :

    Have any in-house lawyers on this site gotten (or considered getting) an Executive MBA? I’m trying to figure out how I could better position myself for a GC gig and based on all the pressure now on legal departments to add value, be business partners, think more strategically, etc., I’m wondering whether an EMBA is worth the time and money. Plus it might also allow me to be a GC+ (i.e., take on certain operational and management roles outside of the legal department). Any thoughts or advice would be welcome!

  28. Splatter Queen :

    Hi all,
    What do you do to prevent your clothes from getting splattered on in the kitchen? I try to change out of nice clothes but it’s not always do-able. I think it’s time to buy myself an apron.

    Checking to see if anyone has a favorite apron/brand, general apron tips or other recommendations for me. Links would be appreciated as well.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Anthro has super cute ones. I got one with champagne bottles all over it.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      No specific recs, but my desiderata in an apron:
      * wide bib (I use aprons mostly for baking, so I need this to hold mixing bowls against my chest neatly)
      * fabric absorbent enough that I can wipe my sticky hands on it, but also
      * fabric thick enough that splatters don’t soak through onto my clothes (this is more important if you have to pick)
      * a big pocket (I hardly ever use it but for some reason it seems important)

    • Anonymous :

      Hahaha I love that you have to ask a message board if you should buy an apron.

    • I love my williams sonoma stripe adult aprons. Some are 10+ years old and have stood up to many splatters. They also fit some of my larger male guests when carving birds at the holidays, so very versatile.

      • anon a mouse :

        I have an ancient W-S apron (probably close to 20 years old) in denim (not chambray), which it looks like they don’t make anymore. It still works great.

        I use the pocket for my cell phone.

    • An additional excellent tool to an apron is a splatter lid thing for your pans. I’ve taken to a very messy way of cooking chicken that tastes amazing, but splatters like you wouldn’t believe. The splatter lid has, like, a screen on it, so the foot still cooks and doesn’t steam instead like it would with a regular lid.

    • I use a men’s flannel shirt as a ‘cover up’ when I’m cooking – I prefer to have my arms covered, too, both to protect my clothes more fully and so if there are grease splatters I don’t burn my arms.

  29. Personal trainer :

    I’m interested in hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions to show me how to safely use gym equipment (without embarrassing myself) and to learn how to lift weights. My workplace has a free gym but personal trainers aren’t allowed. Is it possible to use a gym for a few sessions without committing to a subscription? Any recs in the MD/DC area?

    • Anonymous :

      Raul Carrion at Vida Fitness in Chinatown for personal training – it will depend on the facility, but I assume you could pay a drop-in fee at a gym for 3 or 4 sessions (probably at $20-$30 a pop) (or maybe join for a month) without signing up for a whole contract. I’d be clear with them that you’re not planning to join long term.

      If this isn’t weird, I’ve been weight/powerlifting for 6+ years, and teach beginner’s group weightlifting classes in the area, and I’d be happy to get together and lift sometime if you’re just looking for somebody to show you the basics!

    • Anonymous :

      Yes just call around. Some trainers have their own small gyms too, which I prefer because you’re not competing for weights and equipment with all the regular gym goers. No recs in your area, sorry.

    • Anonymous :

      Try Bodymass Gym in Arlington. A college friend of mine opened it, and she offers personal training.

  30. I have to attend conferences for work several times a year and need to schlep my laptop and assorted work paraphernalia around while I’m there. I found that a shoulder bag/tote was too hard on my shoulders and back, so I switched to a backpack. It works well for transporting my stuff, but rubs against my clothes and causes snags/pilling. Any suggestions? I would prefer not to drag one of those wheelie bags around because it will be difficult to maneuver on the crowded exhibit hall floor.

  31. Anonymous :

    Pet peeve of the day: Associate you’ve been trying to schedule a non-urgent 10 minute meeting with says they’ll come by your office “in just a minute, just have to drop something off at my desk”. You don’t start your next matter because you don’t want to get interrupted. Fifteen minutes later they still haven’t come by… and you know as soon as you start on something they’re going to pop their head in your door. Like if you don’t have time that’s cool we can chat Monday but don’t tell me you’re coming rn and then not come!

    • Anonymous :

      How do you know that something legit did not come up?

      • Anonymous :

        Then you shoot the person an email. Just like you would if you had something on the calendar and needed to push it back because something else came up.

        • Anonymous :

          Yep. I would not shoot you an email if a partner walked into my office or some other thing that’s more important than you took my attention away. I would apologize, but it would be after the fact.

    • lawsuited :

      Maybe as she was dropping the thing off her office, her phone rang or another partner walked into her office?

  32. I am in a dual income home, so we’re going from 2x income to 1.3x income, which is enough to cover basic living expenses. I have more than half my tuition set aside in savings, and I should get substantial tuition assistance the last 2 semesters because of my focus area, so we can cash flow the remainder. That’s dependent on us being able to live without luxuries we enjoy :) That part is only temporary though.

    One thing about grad school is that a lot of programs have graduate or preprofessional assistantships available that cover tuition plus a stipend. I did not do that because I’m staying part-time at our company until I finish school, but a lot of grad students do. Some programs have more options than others, but it’s worth looking into.

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