Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Wrap-Front Top

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

This top from Banana Republic is $68, but they’re always having sales, so keep an eye out — and I’ve seen blouses like this at much higher price points (for example). We’re featuring it in the “wide stripe,” but there’s also a “shadow stripe” (white on black) as well as basic black and navy. It’s getting great reviews, and it’s machine washable. The top comes in regular (XXS–XXL) and petite (XXS–L) sizes, although the petite is currently only available in the black-on-white stripe. Wrap-Front Top

Lands’ End and Eileen Fisher have plus-size options.

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  1. Hotel fun :

    Just for fun:
    1) what’s the best hotel you’ve ever stayed in and why?
    2) what’s the best hotel room service meal you’ve had?

    These questions came to mind when I was on business travel recently and took a bubble bath in the largest bathtub I’ve ever seen. It was awesome.

    • Best hotel I stayed at was the Fairmont Royal Palm around Marrakesh. They thought of everything from the guy with an endless tea supply every time I walked passed the hallway, to a walk-in wardrobe, and electric golf carts that offered to give you a lift any time to anywhere within the hotel. Heaven. The price matched the service sadly.
      Best room service surprisingly was from a low cost hotel (think Ibis) in France. They had amazing soup and the simple food tasted amazing. It was for a billed project, so even though I stayed at a historical 5 star for most of the project, that 1 week in the 3 star hotel was amazing food wise.

      • Veligandu Resort in the Maledives! We went there for our honeymoon and it was amazing! The resort is its own island with over the water villas. Dinner and Lunch were set up on a patio right on the beach and the scenery couldn’t have been more postcard perfect. My favorite memory is a massage we got at the spa on the island, best and most relaxing, in an over the water hut. If you need to disconnect and relax-go!

    • Anonymous :

      Fun! Best hotel: Cambria in Chicago. Cute room, great location.
      Best room service meal: Whiskey and fries.

    • 1) Grand Wailea in Maui. I was a kid, and I LOVED their pool, slides, pool elevator, beach, virgin pina coladas, gardens, and the Botero statues in the open lobby. Also, their bathroom was larger than my bedroom at home.
      I’m positive I’d like it just fine as an adult. (I’ve liked others as an adult, but they have been less about the hotel?)

      2) A late night burger and fries with tiny hotel ketchup gets me every time.

      • That sounds amazing. My dad and I crashed my mom’s business trip when I was about 6 and I was obsessed with the fact that I could order a scoop of ice cream on room service. My mom was less amused when she checked out and got the bill.

    • I stayed at a boutique hotel in Edinburgh the night before I got married. When the taxi came to collect me for the wedding, everyone came out and lined up on the stairs to see me off. I felt like I was in Downton Abbey and deeply regret not having a photo of this.

      Also, I once made a mistake when booking a hotel in Oslo (booked a single room when there were two of us so had to do a pricey upgrade). It was horrifically expensive but the breakfast was amazing. I think I recouped some of my money by eating the caviar and smoked salmon.

    • Anonymous :

      For both, strogili traditional houses in Santorini.

    • I don’t know if this is cheating but it’s a traditional Japanese ryokan. They treat you like royalty! They bring tea and snacks while you wait to be checked in and out. They serve your ten course (exaggeration) meals in your room. And then you go take dips in your personal hot spring tubs with real hot spring water.

    • Most beautiful hotel stay- Fairmont Banff Springs over Christmas was absolutely gorgeous. The hotel is huge with all sorts of hidden nooks to explore and the whole feel was magical.
      Favorite room service meal- Sanctuary at Kiawah the morning after my wedding.

    • Anonymous :

      hotel Kepler
      We had the penthouse suite and could see the Eiffel Tower….till then I didn’t realise it has these lights flashing every hour on the hour at night….awesome!

    • Best food was the Sheraton Bangkok. Their room service food was the level of an amazing Thai place in the US, and you could have breakfast in their landscaped patio by the pool where “breakfast” could be a giant thing of Thai fried rice with egg. Yum.

    • Not sure on best hotel, but best room service was when I was traveling on the other side of the country and came down with step throat…and had ice cream delivered three times over the course of the night.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        +1 I was sick as a dog last time I was in DC and Omni Shoreham delivered milkshakes and pizza to me as if it was a royal meal.

    • The Grand Hotel in Amsterdam. It’s a very old building with a super interesting history (used to be the City Hall and a bunch of other important things) and had maybe the most comfortable bed I ever slept in. When I came home i ended up having to upgrade my blankets and pillows. It was honestly a problem because I didn’t want to wake up in the morning and yet they also had a fantastic breakfast buffet downstairs so it was really a conflict.

    • Interesting question! My favorite hotel of all time is the Lark in Bozeman, Montana. Beautiful building, interesting design, food trucks in the parking lot…heaven.

      On the other hand, the hotel experience that I’m the most grateful for was at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott in Hawaii. I’m more naturally inclined towards the hostel/AirBnB side of the equation, so had booked something near Volcanoes National Park. I’m not a fussy or finicky traveler and have stayed in a lot of hostels, but that place was horrible: filthy, bugs everywhere, sketchy AF location, broken lock on the door. It was high season and the only place I could find with openings on such short notice was the Marriott. It was absolute heaven to walk into their giant, immaculate open-air lobby, and then to get a clean, pleasant room with a balcony and a door that locked (the Mai Tais didn’t hurt). I was pretty broke at the time so it was a huge expense, but it was worth every single penny.

      My idea of “the best room service” is getting a selection of cheese, olives, and charcuterie, along with a giant bottle of wine, at a market in southern Europe. I don’t think I’ve ever ordered real room service.

    • Best hotel was the Sooke Harbor House on Victoria Island. The room had is own fireplace (with a fire set and ready to go), a balcony, and a two person double deep outdoor hot tub overlooking the water.

      I have yet to have room service that impresses me, but the Savoy Hotel in Kansas City (recently closed) used to do a full English breakfast every day as part of the room rate. You ordered the night before from this huge menu; you got a basket of your choice of breads and pastries and then your choice of three menu items including lobster bisque, smoked salmon and caviar with traditional garnishes, oysters Rockefeller, lamb or veal chops, crab meat crepes, lamb with artichokes, etc. It was divine. The rooms also came with complementary coffee brewers and Bailey’s, so double bonus!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      The best hotel I ever stayed in was when my family won a trip when I was in third grade. I don’t even remember what kind of hotel it was, only that it had multiple huge pools, including a partly-indoor-partly-outdoor number that was heated outside (it was winter), a wave pool, a hot tub, and three or four enormous multi-story waterslides. It was colder than we packed for and sleeting off and on, so my parents didn’t make us go look at boring old houses like they’d planned to for part of the time. I basically spent an entire long weekend playing in a massive pool complex. It was great.

    • The Ritz at Half Moon Bay! My boyfriend had just broken up with me and I was devastated. I had to travel to Half Moon Bay for a client’s photoshoot and my boss told me to stay an extra few days “in case of fog”, but really, he just knew I needed a little time away because of the break-up. It was an amazing thing for him to do, and the room and surroundings were just gorgeous. My own personal fire pit overlooking the water with a s’mores kit for room service were the bright spot of a really sad time. I vow one day to go back with someone I love to bring it full circle!

      • We went on our baby moon here and loved it – it’s gorgeous!

        • One summer when my husband was ill and we could not go hiking in the Alps as usual we stayed here. The complete opposite of our usual stay – but it was perfect for what we wanted. Such happy memories!

    • The 4 Seasons in Budapest. Because, 4 Seasons. It was so luxurious. Fresh flowers everywhere, soft carpets, just amazing!

      • The 4 Seasons in Buenos Aires – beautiful modern decor, amazing pool, great service, and a super-fantastic restaurant with a bountiful, tasty included breakfast.

        Room service meals never really blow me away, TBH, but I stayed at a great B&B in the San Juan Islands (now closed, sadly) that brought a little basket of pastries to your door as a pre-breakfast before the included morning kayaking tours and I still remember how wonderfully tasty they were.

    • Villa d’Este on Lake Como in Italy. A little piece of heaven.

    • The Starwood Luxury Collection hotel in Cuzco, Peru. We stayed for free, got upgraded to an beautiful suite because of status, our balcony had an amazing view, and the breakfast buffet was to die for. I have honestly never had amazing room service – it’s all been fine but unexciting at big hotel chains.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      Best in terms of most memorable was the Beijing Grand Metropark Yuantong. To understand why, please do a Google Image Search and note the pink room decor.

      Best in terms of little luxuries is any Omni, since they deliver my morning beverage to me as part of their loyalty program.

      I have never ordered room service.

      • The Omni loyalty program is so under-appreciated. I love the random treats you get as a loyalty member – I got this amazing fruit basket in Austin, delicious local candy in New York, and a cheese, cracker, and sparkling cider basket at the Homestead.

    • I don’t usually do room service but 2 hotels tie for best:

      1) The Omni Bedford Spring, Bedford PA. Nice spa, beautiful rooms and common spaces, incredible grounds – long porches packed with rocking chairs, good restaurants. The place is just beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

      2) The Ritz Carlton Kapalua. One of the most sprawling and open feeling resorts I have visited in HI. Very clean, nice rooms, pineapple scented lobby. Attentive service to the point of feeling undeserving of the attention but not annoying or uncomfortable. Lots of great beaches nearby, good shuttle service to other parts of Kapalua. Great location, not crowded or lots of kids, but good restaurants in the immediate area. Went somewhere else last time and was disappointed.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I don’t know that I have a favorite hotel, but favorite room service is EASY. I added a night to a business trip in Milwaukee and one of my besties drove up from Chicago and we painted the town (so many speakeasies! so many cocktails! such mediocre improv!) and got back to the room giggling and silly and we ordered chicken fingers and fries and beers, and ate them in our PJs with our makeup on and it was the best. To my mind, exactly what room service should be. <3

    • The Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, North Carolina. The hotel is luxurious and the little amenities are incredible. Highlands is a little remote to get to, but the setting is beautiful and quiet. And, any time of day they have people at the front desk who will provide you with a bottle of water, a piece of fresh fruit, or a dove ice cream bar.

    • Best hotel is really hard to narrow down, but if I had to pick, it would be the St. Regis Bora Bora. We stayed there during the second half of our honeymoon. It’s a beautiful hotel in an insane location, but I just remember being so blissfully happy and that’s what makes it my favorite.

      My favorite room service would have to be at the Westin in Montreal, only because I spent my entire per diem on a giant pasta and a salad after my cross country flight was delayed for hours and I was STARVING. I was never so happy to see food show up.

    • Best hotel: Sheraton Brussels Airport. I had to catch an early flight home and I was still jet-lagged from going to Europe in the first place. I got a wheel of brie, a loaf of bread, and a beer at the airport, took them back to my hotel room, ate, bathed, and crashed. Bliss.

      Best room service: I was a kid and my mom ordered strawberries and cream for dinner.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Best hotel: Sofitel Legende Metropole Hotel in Hanoi. So beautiful, luxurious, historic, amazing food and service. Plus my mind was just blown by being in Vietnam for the first time.

      Best room service meal: Breakfast the morning after my wedding in 2016. We stayed at the Langham in Pasadena and they upgraded us to this amazing cottage. We had room service breakfast on the beautiful patio and it was sunny and warm and just perfect. Don’t remember what we ate but that wasn’t the point.

    • Best hotel was definitely a Japanese ryokan in Hakone. I stayed there by myself for one night on my bar trip, and it was basically: check in, eat snack and drink tea, soak in hot tub #1, eat 10 course gourmet dinner, soak in hot tub #2, sleep on traditional futon, soak in hot tub #3, eat 6 course gourmet breakfast, soak in hot tub #4, check out.

      Best room service: for a few years after college my roommates and I would all get a hotel room for New Years Eve, go out dancing, and then order room service mac and cheese when we got back. It always hit the spot, but the think it tasted the best at the W in DC.

    • Best hotel: Hotel St George on Parnell Square in Dublin. At least partly because I’d just spent a week travelling with friends staying at a budget hotel in England, and i was finally alone! In a not-twin bed! In a room with a real bathroom! Also, stellar full Irish in in the morning.

      Best room service meal: Morning coffee at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, on the first weekend away with my now-husband.

    • New to NoVA :

      Hotel: The St Regis in Atlanta, just gorgeous. I stayed there solo for a few nights during my “funemployment” between jobs, and since it was mid-week, had the stunning pool (and pool bar!) basically to myself all day. Heaven.

      Room service: Definitely the comped chicken fingers and fries my husband and I ordered at some absurdly late hour after our wedding.

    • biglawanon :

      St. Regis in Abu Dhabi

    • (1) The Audubon Cottages in New Orleans. A quiet oasis in the French Quarter, with excellent service, lovely antiques and art, and a small but charming pool that has become my holy grail pool.
      (2) oddly enough, an all inclusive resort – The Valentin Imperial Maya. The room service menu has some depth to it and is nicely executed, but what makes it “above and beyond” is that they will make whatever you ask for, if they have the ingredients.

  2. I’m turning 26 soon and I realized 25 has been an incredibly important year – I started creating better boundaries, much healthier relationship choices, more clear about my career interests, etc. I talked to a few older friends about this and they said the same thing about 25 being a defining year. Was it for any of you guys? If so, what changed and what did you learn from it?

    • I’m about to turn 25 and I am dreading it. My old roommate once told me that turning 25 was harder for her than turning 30. I’m just not at all in the place in my career that I thought I would be by the time I reached 25 and have way more credit card debt than a person my age should reasonably have. Obviously working on those things (the debt and my career), but I can’t help but feel disheartened that my plans haven’t exactly turned out close to the way I thought they would. I’m encouraged though by your positive points about the past year you’ve experienced!

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely, 25 was huge. You’ve been out of school for long enough to realize that there is no “path” anymore. Friends are starting to build families with marriage and kids. 40 was also kind of huge.

      • Anonymous :

        The way you describe 25 was what 30 was like for me. Like, wow people are having babies ON PURPOSE??? When did that become a thing? Plus realizing that people had real savings and could buy houses and such. I felt really far behind (thanks, law school loans!).

        • Yeah, this definitely depends on whether you went to grad school. This was 30 for me.

        • I love this comment. I’m about to be 32 and I still am on the fence about having a baby on purpose. One of my good friends from college has 3 kids now, and while I see her and the kids and love them all, I am pretty sure I’m still in denial about the whole thing.

        • Anonymous :

          Ha! This was me too. I remember the first in our group to announce a pregnancy and internally I was thinking, “WHY?”

    • I’m only 29, so take with as many grains of salt as you would like, but 25 was the year I decided to buckle down on my career. I had the chance to spend another year teaching abroad. In some ways that would have been career development for my chosen field, but honestly it was mostly going to be a chance to continue improving my ordering-wine-in-Spanish and spending-money-at-Zara skills. I decided to come home and go to grad school instead, since it was a necessary step in my career progression. I regret not taking the year sometimes, but it was the right choice: I wanted to be more settled and stop having to move every year or so.

    • 25 was a big year for me. I remember distinctly that 25 was the year I started taking adulthood in stride and started to shed some of the identities that I had built in college that were no longer working for me. I started thinking more critically about what was right for me, which was huge for a people-pleaser like me. I also became an avid NPR listener and started caring much more about politics,. (That seems quaint, now, but 2005 was a much different time.) I was married at this point, and DH and I started focusing on building our finances in a long-term sustainable way.

    • JuniorMinion :

      So it was a little different for me as I worked in ibanking right after college so the career building stuff was already in the works but 25 was the year I stopped caring what other people, specifically my mother thought of my choices. I always tell my husband that that was the year I hit zero f*cks given.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’m 25 and finding the same thing.

      • Sloan, you seem so much more mature then 25! I am over 10 year’s older then you and I listen to your advise! You like me BOTH need to find a man, but you have so much more time to do so, especialy if you expect to get married, have children and leave the work place, like I hope to. At the present time, I see no sign on the horizon that this is in the card’s for me, but you should be able to do better by starting out earlier on your path to conubbial bliss. If I were you, I would focus on finding the RIGHT guy, not for a week or 2, but for life, and pursue that guy like my Grandma Leyeh suggests. These days, men have so much choices that you have to distinguish yourself from the masses by being innovative in your approach, she says. I am NOT sure what all of that means, but it should NOT mean you flash your body to attract that guy. FOOEY on that! I think we need to be more cerebrial in our approach to men. If you are in NYC, I think we can find a place suitable to meet decent guys. Either down by NYU, Wall Street, or on the Upper East Side, on a Friday evening. We can do it b/c we have the power of the HIVE behind us! YAY!!!!!!!

    • Now that I think about it, 25 was a big year for me, too. I finished my second grad degree (went straight through, probably a mistake) and moved here from PA, which was a big step and was the first time living completely on my own without any kind of safety net. Also my first academic job and the first time I moved to a new city without knowing anyone or to have classmates or family to fall back on. That first summer was really rough, but by the fall, I was doing really well, had met friends, had figured out how to live on a budget, started dating someone. I was mostly terrified the first few months!

    • 25 was a big year for me too! I got married and we bought our first home- it felt like my first true “adult” year after finishing grad school.

  3. What about the navy? :

    I’ve come to realize that during the winter I don’t wear any of my navy skirts. I have a solid, striped and small patterned navy-based skirt. I tend to wear tights throughout the winter. Nylons aren’t a thing in my office. Would you wear navy tights with these skirts or do I just wait until the weather warms and wear them bear-legged as I’ve been doing in the past? Is there some other option that I’m missing?

    • I wait for the warm weather. I don’t like the look of navy tights (or any other color of tights besides black). Then I feel happy when it’s spring again and I can bring out the colored skirts.

    • I hesitate to wear navy tights because navy comes in slightly different shades and is difficult to match. Also, shoes are a problem. If you try navy shoes, it’s a third shade to match. Burgundy or cognac might work.

      I don’t have navy skirts for basically this reason. I do have navy tops though, and I wear them with black skirts sometimes. I think the patterned navy skirts might be OK with black tights and shoes.

    • I wear navy tights. I have a few shoe options. Cognac almond toe heels, cognac booties (korkease), and some navy suede mary jane style heels. I love navy and its a wintertime staple for me.

    • I throw on a black shirt, black tights, black shoes, and embrace the blavy.

    • Anonymous :

      There aren’t any great options. Navy or black tights work best.

    • Yes, I wear navy tights. I agree that it can be hard to match navy, so I am careful and try to purchase deep navys that work together. I love the column of color look, so a navy skirt and tights works well. My favorite is to pair with my navy heels or my wine or grey suede heels for a pop of contrasting color.

      I don’t wear much brown with my palette.

    • I wear charcoal tights with navy dresses in the winter, but I am not sure that would work with the skirts you are describing.

    • I wear grey tights with navy. I know some people don’t like grey tights, but I do.

    • Textured navy tights will you give you a little more leeway on not exactly matching than solid ones. Textured tights are my go-to.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I also avoid navy in winter unless I have a handy pair of flesh-toned fishnets. They are incredibly hard to find in plus size for reasons passing understanding.

      I cannot embrace navy and black together – to my eye it always looks like an accident.

    • My office is not a “nylons” office. But I am comfortable in them and wear them anyway. To be honest, I’m not sure anyone notices or cares, and I feel more “put together” and comfortable. Also wear tights–with navy–I love colors–burgundy, cognac, grey…all work.

    • In the winter I wear my navy skirts with knee-high greyish brownish boots and no tights. There’s an inch or two of bare legs, but it’s probably overall even warmer than the usual skirt/tights/heels combo.

  4. Lately I’ve been having a hard time letting setbacks at work roll off me and instead I find I’m getting bogged down in very negative moods at the office. Often I feel this way about things that take place at my company that are way above my level/outside of my control. Any tips for letting things go?

    If I felt this way in my personal life, I’d see a therapist (have in the past) but things outside of work are great. Like many here, work is a central part of my identity and I suspect I’m having a hard time separating myself from my work.

    • One thing to add, I tried taking a vacation in January to get away from this feeling and it didn’t have any long-term benefits.

    • Your second paragraph indicates you should seek therapy. If work is a central part of your identity, then it doesn’t matter that your issues are “only” at work and not your personal life– your identity is your personal life! You don’t become a totally different person once you step into the office. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what setting your issues arise in– they’re still issues that arise from and/or can be ameliorated by the way you perceive and interact with the world. In my experience, the same thought patterns that caused me issues in my personal life caused issues in my professional life. (ie, people pleasing, intense aversion to vulnerability, desperate need for certainty, catastrophizing.) Therapy can also help you separate your work life from your personal life/identity, which can be helpful. (Not that there’s anything wrong with having your work be a big part of your identity, but there are risks involved with that.)

    • Anonymous :

      Sounds like anxiety. Therapy can help, as can exercise, self-care, recognizing defeatist, unproductive thoughts.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I’ve largely worked through / got a grip on a lot of my personal (non-work) issues through therapy, and now, tbh, work is almost all of what I talk about. How to deal with setbacks, how to talk back to that “you are a faaaailure” voice in my head, that constant fear that they’re about to fire me, etc. Work is a big part of our lives, and you are completely entitled to help feeling better at work!

  5. For those of you who have cheated on your spouses, why do you think you did it?

    • Anon, come on. :

      Not a spouse, but a long term SO – 5 years, cohabitated for 2. Thinking back, I think I did it because I fell out of love with him. We were long distance for a year and there would be 2 more years before we could be in the same place again. It was over and I was not brave enough to do the thing he deserved and break up with him.

    • Anonymous :

      Because I was done with my marriage and wanted a divorce but was too scared to admit that, even to myself. I then realized that this was the reason. He never found out, we got divorced, everyone is much happier. So even though it was super shitty of me, I’m glad I did it.

    • Because I wanted to…because it was fun and exciting. It’s cliche, but there were problems in the marriage. There were times my husband acted like a real jerk and was borderline verbally abusive. I got married young and didn’t have much experience with relationships so I just shut down instead of talking to him or saying I was unhappy. I like the thrill of meeting someone new and flirting and the excitement of a new relationship.

    • Same as the above- Knew my marriage was over, should have ended it.

    • I have come close before. I’m extremely happy with my husband, but we garden way way less than I’d like and the prospect of hot gardening was hard to turn down. The only thing that’s stopped me is thinking about how awful it would be if he ever found out.

      • Nameless today :

        I struggle with this and I am not even unhappy with my home gardening situation. The idea of a new body to explore though, it is very enticing at times. I have been married for a long time and still have a lot of years left to garden, sometimes monogamy feels crushing.

        • Anon, come on. :

          Yeah I get this. I would not be surprised if we had discussions about this in my current relationship. The idea of a new body to explore is just exciting to us, maybe it’s both of us and we can open up the relationship in a way that works? I don’t know though, I guess it’s such a mental hurdle to not see it as betrayal, even if you both agree to it and admit that yes, it would be exciting and fun sometimes to garden with someone else, and that doesn’t take away from the love, committment and life you’ve built together.

        • Anonymous :

          Yep. I love my husband and our gardening life is better than average, but I miss the thrill of the chase and the rush of discovering a new person. I also know that an open marriage is not for me – I don’t think I’d be able to keep things on a completely casual level if I met someone I was really into – so I try to embrace the tension of my situation as some kind of growth experience. It sort of works.

      • I’m one of the anons above – this is what made me come to the realization that my marriage was over, that I didn’t have that thought, and knew that I should have. I went through a period of being really sad that my marriage wasn’t the way I wanted it to be, and then ended it.

      • If you haven’t listened to it, you might want to give this week’s Hidden Brain a try. It’s titled, “When did marriage become so hard?” It’s the Feb. 12, 2018 episode and is really interesting. It has brought up some new topics in our discussions at home…

    • Anonymous :

      Never a spouse, but did cheat on a long-term ex in my 20s. he was a great guy but there was zero physical chemistry and I just couldn’t feel it for him no matter how hard I tried. I also think I just wasn’t ready to be in a committed relationship at that point in my life. the relationship dragged out for almost 3.5 years but I finally ended it. I will always regret what I did and how I treated him because he was/is an amazing person. He’s happily married with two kids so I know it was for the best.

    • Anonymous :

      Because he was verbally and emotionally abusive and I was not yet strong enough to leave, but I enjoyed receiving positive attention.

  6. Parking at JFK? :

    Any recs for parking at JFK? I usually fly out of LGA and use Parking Spot and used to use that when occasionally flying out of JFK, but they no longer operate at JFK. (public transportation is not an option :)

    • I also prefer Parking Spot and was sad to learn they’ve ceased JFK operations. I used long term parking JFK (a private operation despite the name) earlier this month given the positive Yelp reviews, but was underwhelmed. It was fine but seemed shoddier than Parking Spot

  7. Anonymous :

    Guys, if any of you has struggled with back-ne, please help.
    I’ve got almost flawless skin on my face but my back has acne. I shower twice a day and make sure to soap my entire back. I don’t sit around in gym clothes after I’ve cooled down…I shower immediately.

    What can I do?

    • I can’t speak to whether you’re drying your skin out and maybe making it worse, but when I had bac-ne the only thing that worked was a body acne spray. Looks like Neutrogena discontinued the one I used, but Amazon shows quite a few.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Spiro cleared up all my acne – hormonal acne on my face and the big cysts on my back. It is a dang miracle.

    • Does your hair rest on your shoulders/upper back when you have conditioner in it? That is what caused it for me. When my hair is long, I keep a clip in the shower and clip my hair up off of my back while the conditioner is working is magic and then once I have rinsed it out, I make sure to rinse my shoulders/back off holding my hair up and off my skin.

      • +1. I comb my conditioner through and then twist it up into a bun while I soap, shave, etc. and then comb and rinse it out and hold the hair up until I get out where it gets wrapped in a towel.

    • I have hormonal acne that responds to testosterone blockers (spironolactone). That acne pattern includes upper back, chest, jawline. All gone with spironolactone. For awhile I tried benzoyl peroxide or sulfur washes (prescriptions at the time) that helped too.

    • Wash your back AFTER you use shampoo and conditioner. The conditioner especially slides down your back as you rinse and if not fully rinsed off, can definitely clog your pores. Wash your back with a body wash that has salicylic acid (Neutrogena has one), and make sure you wash whatever you use to wash your back (loofa, washcloth, etc) every few days.

      • This is what I did – also started pulling my hair forward to rinse it off – and the issue slowly resolved.

    • Oddly, I started to get acne on my neck (but my face was totally clear- go figure), and I use stridex pads every other day and it have worked to control it.

      A few other options- do you think that any shirt materials may be irritating your back skin? too much swet, irritation from another source?

    • It’s probably your conditioner or shampoo. Using Dial soap – either the gold bar or gold liquid soap (the basic one with no oils, etc.) solved the problem for me. Also, my teenaged daughter sometimes uses rubbing alcohol on her shoulders and chest if she cannot shower soon after running. This can be drying but doing it once may “cut” any residue that is now on your back.

    • I had this issue and had great success with Neutrogena’s Acne Body wash, a loofa with a long handle, and using the Neutrogena Acne Body Spray on my back religiously.

    • Maybe try a spray like the Murad Clarifying Body Acne Spray?

    • Pen and Pencil :

      I have 2 things I did:

      1. Switch to a dye free-fragrance free laundry detergent. This was super super important, and I saw an immediate difference in a week or two. Fragrance is a huge irritant and I actually saw my face acne calm down too from this switch, which I assume is because of my pillowcases. I recommend All Free and Clear!

      2. Wash hair first in the shower. This way all of the conditioner and hair junk gets cleaned off of your body.

    • biglawanon :

      Retin A works for me.

    • Anonymous :

      I had this happen in college and I did microderm-abrasion at my dermatologist’s office and it cleared up and didn’t come back.

    • Min Donner :

      I had back and chest acne in the past, and the most effective treatment was washing with regular/original head and shoulders shampoo (after I had conditioned and rinsed my hair, I would tie my hair up loosely and lather up with the H&S and let it sit for a minute if I had the time). The medication in it (zinc something) works well for acne, and this worked way better than all the expensive sprays and scrubs and body serums I had tried.

  8. Anonymous :

    If you could live in any city, which would you choose and why?

    • Good question. I like but don’t love the city I live in but struggle to imagine where else I’d live. I’m from the SF Bay Area and miss being near my parents but moving back to the US wouldn’t be a practical decision career-wise.
      Maybe a Scandinavian city with good biking infrastructure and quality of life? There is also a small city in Northern Italy where I’ve spent some time and I think we’d be tempted if we could make the job / finances work.

    • Am I rich too?

      Then NYC. No question.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Yes, if we’re assuming I’m rich, NYC in the spring and fall, LA in winter/summer.

      • For the food, the energy, the opera, Bargemusic, theaters, little cafes open all night with live music, the Jazz, the diversity, the public transportation, the art scene, the potential, and the people.

      • Anon for this! :

        Yasss NYC, particularly if you’re rich. With a house in the Berkshires, North Fork or the Hamptons so you can go on “vacation” when everyone flees the city when it smells like vomit for three months in the summer.

        • Yup. If money was no object, DH and I would move back to NYC in a heartbeat. I love a lot of European cities too, but they would be very far from our family and friends

    • Small city in Europe, probably Germany, with access to skiing and great bike infrastructure and cafes.

    • Assuming money is no issue: London for spring and summer then Namibia ( no specific city, I’d probably roam around since I am rich right? probably do the occasional stop by Zanzibar) when it’s cold in Europe

      • +1 London, but not in the winter. Also +1 to being just a fabulous bohemian nomad, because I’m rich.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I know it sounds kind of self-congratulatory, but I cannot think of anywhere I would want to live more than Toronto. It is a big urban centre with lots of diversity, amazing food in different little neighbourhoods, every musical act comes here on tour, we have art and theatre scenes, plus hot summer, real winter, and for a large city, it is super safe,

      I have lived in other places, so I do have a sense of what is out there.

    • Some of you will laugh, but Philadelphia. Amazing food and BYO, center city is beautiful, so much history, you can get so much for your money, and I personally found everyone to be so friendly. I especially loved how all of my friends lived in center city and the area is so small that you could literally walk to anyone’s house.

      • Housecounsel :

        Napa. I’d dine, sip fine cabernet and garden. I mean actual gardening, with dirt and plants.

      • I live in DC but have visited Philadelphia many times, and I tend to agree with you.

        Plus, I’d have fabulous parties at the Mutter Museum, assuming I’m rich.

      • Triangle Pose :

        Yeah, we get a terrible reputation but I kind of love the rough around the edges feel of the city. Sure if I had millions I’d live in Bali, Amsterdam, Genevan or NYC but I’m too realistic for that and I love that I can get so much for my money.

    • Hamburg, Germany. Breathtakingly beautiful architecture, amazing food, on the water, amazing intimate neighbourhoods on Mediterranean-style cliffs hanging over the water, British vibe and good airport. I so miss that place.

    • Ok, I started to type out that I haven’t come across my ideal locale with mountains, smaller city but still has amenities, etc. Then it came to me. Santa Fe, NM. Beautiful scenery, tons of outdoors stuff to do, tons of cultural stuff to do, good food, shopping. It would be perfect. Too bad I can’t find a job there.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        And now I cannot stop singing…we’ll open up a restaurant in Santa Fe!

      • I’m from New Mexico and love Santa Fe! The job market is slow, though since it is the state capitol there are some government attorney jobs though they don’t pay well. What kind of work do you want to do?

    • Money no object? Barcelona, political issues and all. I love that place so much.

    • biglawanon :


    • Belle Boyd :

      Nashville. Was there on vacation two summers ago and fell in love. Of course, I’d have to have some kind of job in the music industry to go with living there, too.

    • Florence, Italy. Except I have a U.S. law degree and only know English, so probably Washington D.C. if I’m being more realistic.

    • St. Simons, GA! Small town with a lot of southern charm, right on the beach, close enough to bigger cities. Would love that! Unfortunately no big companies/good jobs right near there. And being near family matters even more to me.

  9. I’ve been wearing VS cotton underwear since high school but in the last year or two they discontinued the only style I’ve ever worn – the lace-waist brief cut underwear. All of their other cuts are too low rise, or the leg openings aren’t high enough, or they intentionally don’t cover your entire behind. Any suggestions for a replacement? I’m looking for something higher waist (not actually high waist), with a waistband that doesn’t cut into you, that stays put when you exercise, and that comes in fun colors or prints. Any suggestions?

    • Anonymous :

      Aerie cotton underwear ftw!

    • I love Soma’s hipster – not too low, full coverage behind.

    • Eager Beaver :

      I think I wore the same VS panties you’re talking about. I love these briefs from Soma:

      • Eager Beaver :

        There’s also a high-leg style:

      • I wear the Embraceable super soft from Soma as well. LOVE IT. I know a lot of people recommend the Vanishing Edge from Soma, but it has lines of silicone at the leg openings to keep it from riding up. Great if that’s what you’re looking for, but that sort of thing inevitably gives me welts.

    • I also upgraded from VS to Soma based on recs from this site. I like the vanishing edge series. During a sale, I ordered a bunch of different vanishing edge styles and sizes, so now I know the best for me.

      Turns out I was wearing the wrong size, which I also realized from recs on this site. It is possible to be pear shaped and wear size 2-4 pants, and large in underwear.

    • Natori bliss french cut or briefs!

  10. Fifthyear biglaw associate :

    I’m feeling really demoralized as a mid level/senior associate in biglaw. I have been working on two matters. On one, there is a junior partner and a senior partner. The senior partner seems to expect the junior partner to supervise my work, but the junior partner is always MIA, or delays reviewing my work because he is too busy. At first the senior partner really liked me, but the more he praised me the more the junior partner seemed to dislike me. No matter how I hard I try to please him, the junior partner never says thanks, repeats my ideas back to me as his own, and actively tries to ask me hard questions in front of the senior partner, which I’ve handled well so far. He also put a first year associate who is his “mentee” and who went to his alma mator on my matter. This junior associate has been sub-par in terms of research and writing skills. This junior associate seems to have picked up on this junior partner’s dislike of me. Ever since a call where the partner questioned one of my answers, he has started questioning all of my research requests. Every research task i have given him, he will tell me that the opposite is true, so I’d have to do the same research and show him that he is wrong.

    I’m a lateral at the firm and just started last fall. I went to a Harvard/Yale/Stanford law school, just finished clerking on the Second Circuit, and have been getting glowing reviews prior to working on this matter. However, I’m a minority woman, first generation immigrant, non-native English speaker, so I know I need to work extra hard on my oral communications and presentation skills to overcome stereotypes that I am not smart enough. But I am just so sick of being constantly devalued and challenged by both this junior partner and his protege.

    What can I do? Maybe I’m just not cut out for biglaw.

    • Anonymous :

      That SUCKS. Keep a record of everything.

      • IANAL and if I were, I certainly wouldn’t be in Biglaw, but yeah…I would document everything, because there’s no way that your identity statuses aren’t playing a role in the horrible, unacceptable treatment that you are experiencing. Do you have a mentor at your firm that you can reach out to? Would it be an option to raise some of the more concrete issues with the senior partner, framing them in a developmental, looking-for-guidance-as-I-grow-in-this-firm kind of way?

        I’m sorry that you’re experiencing this. Again, IANAL, but my guess is that it’s not that you aren’t cut out for biglaw: it’s that you’re working with misogynistic jack*sses who are threatened by your intellect and competence.

    • Do you have a mentor at the firm you can talk to about this? My firm is admittedly more hands on and progressive than most, but they take diversity and mentorship of women and minority associates very very seriously. If certain of the powers that be got wind that a junior partner and especially a junior associate were treating a woman of color this way… there would be serious career consequences for them.

    • Can you get on other matters? Do you have a work assignment coordinator or something like this at your firm to help you find other matters, or increase your role on your one other project? That’s what I always recommend to people (and to myself) in my firm (also biglaw).

      • Fifth year biglaw associate :

        I was almost able to take on a leadership role on another matter, but this junior partner called the partners on my other partner to ask them to replace me because he wanted me to devote more time to his matter. So now it seems that has had negatively affected my reputation with the partners on my other matter as well.

        It sounds like there is not much I can do at this point aside from trying my best, and starting to look for other options outside this firm. I will probably be stuck with this guy for the rest of this year, which does not bode well for my performance evaluation next year.

    • biglawanon :

      I feel you. I am a sixth year, minority woman, first generation immigrant, non-native English speaker, and went to a top school. I actively avoid cases where I am not the second most senior attorney, unless I have worked a lot with any junior partner or senior associate before and like working with them. My problem is that I get talked to in a condescending way and/or I am treated like a slave/robot.

      Second whoever said to talk to your mentor. My (while, male) partner mentor gave me advice on the active avoidance, and he helped me strategically exit a case where I was facing some fairly bad mistreatment. He also gave me advice that it is OK to draw certain lines when asked to do absurd things (i.e., no I will not stay up for 72 hours straight because I am a human being; you need to staff up). No, you shouldn’t have to use these strategies, but if you want to be able to stay in it for the long haul, you have to do something for your own sanity.

  11. Anonymous :

    Please tell me if I’m being unreasonable; sorry in advance for the novel. Six friends and I had planned to rent a cabin together for a long weekend in a few weeks. I booked the cabin and paid the deposit; no one else has paid yet, if that matters (not sure it does). A seventh, newish-to-me, friend, who I have a huge crush on, expressed interest in joining us. Friend 7 said she was happy to sleep on a sleeping pad on the floor if there was space. There’s also a nearby hotel where we’re referring anyone else who wants to join; the cabin can’t comfortably sleep any more people.

    Much to my disappointment, Friend 7 just started dating someone. A friend who’s staying at the cabin, let’s call her Friend 1, wants to invite Friend 7 and her new gf. I said I’m not comfortable with that. I’m glad that Friend 7 is happy but I just met new gf the other day and it was like a punch to the gut to see them together. I’m not ready to spend 3 days in a cabin with them. Hanging out, fine, waking up in the morning and walking into the kitchen/living room to see them in bed together on the air mattress… I need a minute.

    I suggested telling Friend 7 that there’s not space to sleep 2 people but they can stay in the hotel – which is what we’ve been doing with all the other (straight) couples. Friend 1 says that’s mean and rude and I’m being high maintenance. She also denies that she knew I had a crush on Friend 7… but I’ve told her about it many many times. I get the feeling she doesn’t take it seriously because it’s a same s e x thing, which is hurtful in its own way. I also wonder if Friend 1 already invited New GF and that’s why she’s giving me so much pushback. Friend 1 wants to have another talk with me about the situation. Am I being unreasonable here? How should I handle the talk?

    • Anonymous :

      Keeping the crush part out of it, if you’ve been telling everyone else who has asked to stay in the cabin to stay in the hotel, I don’t see why it would be any different for Friend 7 and guest. The cabin is full, everyone else stays in the hotel. Keep the crush part out of it when you discuss this with Friend 1.

      • Yeah I think the other couples will be mad. I don’t think anyone expects a single woman to get a hotel room by herself when she’s perfectly content to sleep on her camping pad on the floor. But if she can split a room with someone then she should do that just like everyone else.

    • It seems like if there was room for Friend 7 on an air mattress, wouldn’t there be room for her new GF and the only reason you are saying no now is that you are jealous of the relationship? Did you previously tell Friend 7 ok when you thought she was solo? If so, it does seem mean to now tell her no although perhaps the other couples who are staying elsewhere would be upset that this couple got to stay in the cabin and they did not. I get that this would be painful for you but it doesn’t seem fair to make decisions about this based on your romantic chances with the person.

      • Friend 7 was going to bring the sleeping pad she uses for camping, not a full air mattress. The sleeping pad doesn’t take up as much space and it’s easier to move out of the way. She also never got a definitive yes – it was more like, well we’re not sure how much space there will be but it’s not that hard to make room for just 1 more person so it’s probably fine.

        • In that case, it seems fair to ask her and GF to stay in a hotel with the rest of the couples. I agree with Anonymous to keep conversations with Friend 1 and Friend 7 objective, focused on how there is not enough room for couples, rather than your crush.

    • Yeah, I’m sorry this reads like a middle school drama. You should be making these decisions based on space and comfort, not based on an unrequited crush. Is this a crappy romance novel? You’re an adult, this is not an ex, you were not in a relationship with this person, so manage your behavior accordingly. And honestly, if you can’t school your feelings and behavior and you’re so uncomfortable maybe you should sit this vacation out.

      I’ve been on a vacation with a “you” – someone unnecessarily sour at a third party relationship that didn’t involve them – and the mood brought down the entire trip.

  12. Anonforthis :

    (TW – fertility)

    Eee what a morning! Sharing here because I can’t tell anyone in real life, I’m pregnant!!

    I just went off the pill a month ago and hadn’t even gotten a period yet. We were TTC but figured it would take a little while! I randomly had a pregnancy test from days of yore in the cabinet. The line was soo faint that my husband thought I was crazy. I ran and got some more (better) tests, and I am definitely without a doubt knocked up!!

    My sister also got pregnant immediately coming off the pill. Twice. And both times had twins! A little nervous that I might hyper-ovulate like her, but the chances are low.

    Kind of overwhelmed in a good way! What do I do now??

    • congrats!!! it was actually suggested to me by my doctor not to get pregnant until i got my period bc it can make dating hard, so if you know the night you conceived or have a guess be ready to provide that information. it is not a big deal bc as you progress they will use the size of the baby to guesstimate dating. now you call your doctor to schedule an appointment, which won’t be for a few weeks and if you haven’t already start taking prenatal vitamins, stop drinking wine, eating deli meat, etc. so exciting!

      • Anonforthis :

        Thank you!! I also heard that about dating (oops!) but it’s only been 29 days since I stopped the pill so that gives a relatively small window?

        Does anyone know if OBs will take you for pregnancy if you’re not their normal patient? I hate my OBGYN and want to find someone new. Suggestions for Midtown Manhattan? Thanks!!

        • Yeah it’s very common to start with a new doctor for OB so don’t think twice. No suggestions though.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Not in midtown, but call Wenhui Jin. She’s with Weill Cornell on 78th (I think) & York. Loved her. Her style is not for everyone, but there are a few other doctors in her practice that are also great (someone else was there when I delivered and she was also great). I’ve heard nothing but good things about the other doctors in that practice.

    • Breathe. Get a confirming appointment with your gyn; figure out who you will use as your ob (it may not be your gyn). Start taking folic acid if you have not done so already and a multivitamin if you do not already take one. Figure out your views on CVS, amnio, etc. if you do not already know them. Buy the Baby Bargains Book.

      And sleep. Lots of sleep. Because in nine months you will miss it so . . .

      • +1 to all of this and be prepared that as excited as you are they generally make you wait until 8 weeks to see you at the OB. I hated the wait time. Congrats

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Congratulations!!! That’s so exciting!

    • Anon in NYC :

      Congrats! Start taking a prenatal, call your OB to make an appointment (typically at around the 8 week mark), and keep doing your thing. Only nutrition advice I’d give you at this point is to continue to eat as healthy as you can now just in case you get hit with aversions in a few weeks (starting at around week 10 I couldn’t eat meat or vegetables, so I just ate pizza for weeks).

    • That’s fantastic! Congratulations to you and your husband. Definitely try to find a new OB – they’re used to taking new patients during pregnancy. No suggestions for midtown specifically, but consider whether you want an OB connected to a certain type of practice (such as one who works at a birthing center that uses doulas, for example). The Moms site might have more info on that score.

      Gentle suggestion, drop the TW when you share this news via email when family and friends eventually. Trigger warnings are appropriate for people who might have PTSD triggered by certain stimuli, such as loud gunshots, not for people who may find it hard to hear news at a particular time. If I were struggling with infertility and a friend wrote “TW, I’m pregnant” to me, I would feel infantilized/selfish and like she assumed I couldn’t possibly be happy for her without thinking of myself.

      • And consider which hospital the OB delivers at, if you have preferences on that.

      • Anon for this :

        I so very much appreciated this trigger warning. I’m waiting on blood test results to see if my IUI worked. It prepared me for this post and I could have kept scrolling if I didn’t think I could handle it. I’m hanging on by a thread. Stories like OPs can be the most triggering because the pregnancy came so easily. I’m really happy for you and thank you for the warning.

      • Anonforthis :

        Thanks so much for this advice. I know a lot of people here have struggled TTC so just wanted to be sensitive to that, but it’s useful to know “TW” is not an appropriate way to do so!

        • For sure – and it’s good of you to be sensitive. My advice is mostly for friends and family you know personally. Congratulations again!

        • I am struggling TTC and I honestly really appreciated the warning.

      • I’ve seen “cw” (content warning) in place of TW which always strikes me as more appropriate. Like, instead of saying this might trigger someone (which it might, but people have strong reactions to the word) it’s just a little heads up about what is being discussed.

    • Anon for this! :


    • Rainbow Hair :

      YAY!!! I remember that thing too, of like, “wait?! what?! already!?!” Hilariously my husband was like “uh what did you think would happen?” … fine, fair point.

      Enjoy! Take those vitamins and take care of yourself!

  13. I had one and had it removed about 2 months ago. I think maybe a new one has grown up in its place. And I have had something that I counted as a first period but then times when I can’t go without a panty liner (nothing like an actual flow though). Does this resolve at some point? Or am I on the road to an ablation?

    40s / done having kids.

    Will f/u with my OB but she’s younger than me and feel like more annecdata would be helpful. Maybe I need a menopausal OB just so she has been down the road ahead of me :)

    • Mineallmine :

      I can’t tell if you have a polyp or are just perimenopausal with its nonstop flow, but I finally had an ablation and LOVE it. It was so easy (RF, done under GA) and even though my periods didn’t completely go away like I’d hoped, it’s so much easier.

  14. Any tips for a Niagara Falls trip with a 1 and 4 year old? We’re going this summer for a wedding and I am trying to figure out if it would be worth spending a couple of extra days to explore.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Definitely go to the Canadian side rather than the New York side. Niagara-on-the-Lake is beautiful and nearby, can’t speak to kid activities though.

      • +1 to Canada > NY side
        Also see if the weather is nice to walk across the pedestrian bridge.

        • The view from the American side is nice too, although I agree that the Canadian side is better. Great Wolf Lodge (Canada) is lots of fun! My son loves it. I would go to the Niagara Whirlpool (right near GWL), which is really pretty and has an Aero Car you can ride over it ( I would also recommend Koutouki (Canada) for Greek food ( Another option is a quick trip up to Toronto!

          • Never too many shoes... :

            If you want a waterpark, there is a complex right in Niagara Falls that has one that is way cheaper than Great Wolf and would allow you to walk to whatever you want.

    • NOTL is nicer, quieter. There are a few wineries there that are interesting (think malivoire.. not peller) and can be fairly baby friendly. There are a few outdoor parks around to visit too.

      That said, I bet one day doing all the cheesy Niagara stuff will be a hit with your little ones- Ripley museum, maybe a short version of the Falls boatride etc.

    • I think a day extra is enough. Other than crossing into Canada, seeing the falls, and doing the Lady of the Mist boat ride, there’s not much else to do. Its chock full of cheesy tourist traps like a wax museum and Ripley’s believe it or not. There are also a lot of gentlemen’s clubs and motels advertising heart shaped jacuzzis.

  15. Following up on yesterday’s post, has anyone taken any Coursera or similar free online classes that they found to be either valuable for their career or just personally enriching?

    • Not free but there is a free trial. I’ve really liked Lynda courses on soft skills (accountability, communication, career planning). It’s geared to professionals so there was a lot that resonated.

    • No B-School MLM courses?! Kat would love it…

    • I got really good at Excel just through watching a variety of YouTube tutorials and videos. It has probably been the best investment of my professional life – $0 tuition and maybe 10-20 hours watching videos over the course of a few months, and it has saved me countless hours and been responsible for being able to do some really impressive work.

      On a personal note, I also learned to do calligraphy almost entirely through YouTube videos and Instagram videos. I did take a one-time in-person class to solidify my foundational skills but most of what I’ve learned has just been through online tutorials.

      So I would say you can make a significant improvement in specific skills through free online resources; I haven’t had much experience with actual courses, especially ones that are more theoretical.

    • Not exactly what you asked, but earlier in my career when my job wasn’t completely satisfying intellecutally, I loved The Great Courses, especially history ones. I learned all about Roman History and Greek History and WWI and WWII and medieval history, all through audio-only courses that I listened to in the car on CD. Nowadays, they have a super-great app. I really enjoyed filling in gaps in my knowledge and the courses are almost always on sale.

      My favorite professors were Harl, Alitt and Fagan. Highly recommend if you’re a history buff and like bite-sized learning. Most lectures were 30 mins and most courses were 18 or 24 or 36 lectures, so I could finish every course in a month or so of 2 x 15 mins a day of commuting. Just a fun little highlight of my day that made going to (and coming from) work more enjoyable.

  16. Totes Anon :

    Does anyone have any experience with TMS therapy for depression? Either your own or someone you know?

    • A colleague in my office just did it. She went in with high hopes. It is hard to tell how much it has helped since her expectations were high. The scheduling was hard for me (as the only other person in the office) since she was out for a couple hours every day for a month. Sorry I don’t have anything more concrete!

      • This is a good point. With limited blind trials so far, the placebo effect cannot be underestimated.

        But hey, I love placebos. As long as they don’t cost thousands of dollars out of pocket….

    • Cousin considered it. He had severe, severe depression that hadn’t responded to many meds, was out of work for years due to depression and was also considering ECT. We understood that TMS is still fairly experimental, long term effects poorly understood,and not covered by insurance.

      In the end a medication change finally worked, combined with an intense outpatient multi-faceted treatment program (therapy, group therapy, meditation, exercise etc…). He did well.

  17. Anon for this! :

    Does anyone feel like being the breadwinner has harmed your gardening party life?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Like with a steady partner or out in the dating world?

      For me, long-married, totally not. My husband new my job when we met. He also has a professional career so there is not a dramatic disparity in our incomes but I definitely earn more and have more earning potential over the future.

      My single women friends who are lawyers though? They often put something else as their job on dating profiles for this exact reason. Apparently, teacher is the #1 choice for getting swiped without any other changes to their profiles.

      • And what do they do once they start talking with someone, or go out on a date? Maintain an act of being a teacher, or admit that it isn’t true?

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I think they will admit it if there is a second date in the offing, like once they determine this is a person that would not actually really care.

    • Well, it harmed my dating life.

      Most of the time when I mention what I do (highly trained, highly respected, intense, interesting, pretty good $), they stare at me, look a little awkward, and get away as soon as possible.

      So that has hurt my gardening life…

    • Definitely ruining my dating life. I work at a life style law firm, but it’s still private practice. Most men who aren’t also lawyers/consultants/doctors/in similarly demanding jobs don’t get why I can’t be spontaneous and join them for a happy hour at 5:00, or why I need to work on the weekends sometimes, or why it’s really just not appealing for me to go out until 11:30 on a week night. Or text no-stop in the middle of the day. I feel like such a square always saying no.

      Not to mention the intimidation factor. That said, when I find a guy who gets it, they generally report loving how engaged I am intellectually and how much I care about my career. Who knows if that’s the whole story, though.

      • +1. I can see the argument for dating a guy who is less ambitious, but to overgeneralize, I’ve had similar experiences with men in less demanding fields. Although I should add that some of my lawyer friends have had success dating male teachers, in part, I think, because the teachers are busy during the day.

    • biglawanon :

      No. I specifically wanted someone who was actually into the fact I am professional. I am married to someone like that. The only way it harms it is that I am often tired and sleepy.

  18. Triglycerides :

    My husband just got a lipid panel done and his total cholesterol is 220, but triglycerides are off the chart (and more than doubled from last year) at about 450. That seems crazy to me since his lifestyle hasn’t changed and he’s gained maybe 5 lbs or less since that time He’s 5’11” and 205-210 pounds. Is there such thing as a false positive for high triglycerides? Or if you didn’t fast long enough (I think he did, but just asking), could your dinner the night before influence the results?

    • Anon in NYC :

      My dad has always had high cholesterol/triglycerides and he’s thin. I’d have your husband talk to his doctor about false positives.

    • A spike in triglycerides can be caused by many things beyond the lifestyle stuff – pancreatitis, certain medications, thyroid or kidney problems, etc. Your husband should probably follow up on this test with his doctor. They may do a re-test, but I wouldn’t just start with the assumption that it’s a false positive.

      • Triglycerides :

        The only medication he takes is Wellbutrin for depression, but he’s been on that for two years now and a quick review of the evidence suggests it isn’t known for spiking cholesterol. Hopefully it’s not a thyroid or kidney problem!

    • Talk with the Doctor. They may do a re-check to make sure it is real. But a lot of this is just genetic. Meaning no matter how healthy you are, sometimes your genes win out. So It definitely could be real. But very treatable.

    • It could be hereditary or alcohol consumption related.

  19. DumpingOnKat :

    I thought the dumping on Kat yesterday was ridiculous and uncalled for. We all know that she makes money off this blog, and the things she posts. She also offers us a ton of content, from clothes to books to beauty… And frankly a place to come and gossip, vent, or burn a few minutes when we’d rather not be working. Everything she posts is not always going to be the right style, size, whatever. But is it truly necessary to excoriate her for that? Take what you like, leave the rest, and be grateful that we have this place to commune.

    Ultimately, as several folks have noted, the comments section seems to be getting a little tougher lately. Would it be so hard if we all were a little more patient with our unknown friends here? And with Kat?

    • You can’t have a blog for educated professional women and then be surprised when they call you out. Ironically the community that comments here exceeds the quality of the s * i * t* e that created it.

      • AlexisFaye :

        She is also educated and professional. She also built this site. Using resources like that. Just because it doesn’t fit into your concept of what qualifies as “quality” does not mean it isn’t a good resource and hugely valuable. Fortune 500 companies often start as solo businesses built because somebody took a course like this.

        Making a dig at the “quality” because it isn’t to your taste just sounds condescending. And narrow-minded.

      • “Calling people out” isn’t something I really associate with professional, educated women, to be honest.

        • AlexisFaye :

          Yes. This. Perfect. Thank you.

        • No one used any curse words or anything! I wasn’t in the discussion but read it later. I don’t see how pointed criticism (“calling out,” in this context) conflicts with being professional and educated.

    • nasty woman :


      I’ve been reading here for many years. We’re getting a space to hang out for the day and community, for better and for worse, at zero cost to us. We used to have a joke here where we’d say “Hi, I’d like to introduce you to the scroll button” when posters would whine about seeing lots of comments on topics that did not interest them but came up a lot. (See e.g., FLEECE TIGHTS or something something TTC.) I’d like to re-introduce everyone to the scroll button. I will say that the banner ads are annoying and there are issues with moderation, but other than that, I’m don’t think it’s worth piling on.

      I guess we do have other options. I hear there’s some space available on reddit or 4chan. See you guys there? Yeah, no.

    • I was pretty surprised by the vitriol as well. I have no interest in that course (just the name, B-school, sounds silly) but it seems easy enough to ignore and carry on with life. I also disagree with some of the comments that she doesn’t offer substantive content. Her one month workwear challenge was awesome, I like her posts on finances, and her new feature on the moms page about the day in the life of a “partner at a law firm/federal gov’t attorney/solo practitioner/accountant” is fantastic.

      Why does Kat needs to list ALL of the online courses and then mention the one she took as part of it?

      • Because it would have been a useful post to list the major (free) online resources – especially well respected ones like Harvard’s – and would have been in line with other researched posts she has done, which I agree are sometimes quite good. But a random plug for a very expensive course that no one has heard of that makes her $1000 per purchase was just….. too much. I almost didn’t believe she had taken it, or wondered if they had let her take it for free so she could plug it.

        And to post this so soon after adding all the new annoying ads was just …. The straw….

    • I posted yesterday with some suggestions, but I noted (and I think it’s important to note) that Kat definitely does produce real content and always has. I like the financial features and some of the more in-depth parenting/life decision/career decision posts. I think that if she took those and some of the recurring suggestions that haven’t been dealt with over the years, she could have a totally killer site with a vibrant commenting community.

      • Totally agree. I wasn’t a fan of yesterday’s post, but it’s easy to just skip (and let’s be honest, most of the draw of the site is the comments anyway, so it’s VERY low impact if you don’t want to read the main post…).

    • Ironically Kat can control how “tough” the comments section is through careful and fair m0deration as other s!tes do. M0deration does not mean not banning words that have “e t t e”. For years she has allowed truly offensive comments and commenters to attack other commenters via handle and the lack of overs!ght has attracted people looking for that “freedom”. Instead valid comments languish for hours while 3ll3n gets through with her nonsense.

    • Ha I have a comment about m0d in m0d

    • I don’t think most of the comments were “dumping.” Many people have acknowledged that Kat makes her living off the blog, but that the means she’s using to do so (such as more and more intrusive advertising) are driving longtime readers batty, along with a frustrating mod policy.

      Yesterday’s hastily-composed post (as Kat admitted in the comments) was just a catalyst for lots of people to chime in. It seems to take a critical mass to get Kat to respond so I’m glad that happened. Hopefully Kat is willing to let the comments sink in a bit, rather than have a knee jerk defensive reaction.

    • Oh M0d how you infuriate me.

    • My question is why we are focusing on yesterday’s post among other things that have been written here. In my opinion, last week’s post about using RBF to prevent h******ment while on the road are much more harmful to this community.

    • My response, which disagrees with your view, is obviously in moderation.

    • I posted a response earlier that wasn’t incendiary in any way, but was somewhat critical of promoting that course. It went to moderation, and then never went up. Which I guess means it wasn’t approved? I really, really hope that thoughtful feedback about this community isn’t being filtered out here.

      • it definitely is- my response to this post is being blocked- as is one I posted yesterday that talked about that womans book

    • Great post. I agree.

  20. In a similar vein to the cheating thread above, I have been dealing with guilt over being “the other woman” for years. I was young (affair occurred during senior year of undergrad and one year post undergrad with a man almost 10 years my senior) and the whole thing was both physical but also very much emotional for me. Fast forward to my late twenties and my current SO is talking engagement and I feel incredibly guilty that he does not know that side of me. He does not know what an awful person I was and what an awful thing I did to another woman. I worry that it will cause strife later on, that I may have trust issues because I know that these things happen – I was on the other side of it once, after all. I’ve been debating whether I should tell him to get it off of my shoulders but I also don’t know how he will react. I don’t know if it’s necessary to tell him or if it will just open a can of worms that was buried long ago. Do you all think this is something he should know about me before proposing something as serious as marriage? Or should I keep it to myself and move on?

    • I would not tell him and instead talk to a therapist about it. It sounds like you have deep regret and guilt about it and have not been able to move on from it.

    • I think you need therapy. You were very young, he was older and married. You are not a horrible person. You made a mistake. You don’t need to tell your fiancé but you do need to forgive yourself and move on.

    • i would tell your SO. if it was the reverse and i later found this out about my SO I would be mad.

      • I disagree. If I was the SO in this situation, I would realize that your history has nothing to do with me. You didn’t cheat, the other person did. We all make mistakes when we are young, I am sure your SO made mistakes too. I wouldn’t care and would wonder why you were telling me at all, but I realize that I view these things differently than others.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Sorry, does your partner not know you had a two-year relationship previously? Or just not that it was with someone married?

      Gently, I think that you have waited too long to tell your partner if you have reached discussing marriage. I do not think that you did anything that wrong (you were young and he was the one who was married and broke his commitments, not you) BUT if I was with someone who waited until we were really committed before telling me something so significant to them that they possibly required therapy, I would end the relationship. Not because of what they did, but because they did not tell me something that clearly affected them deeply.

      • The reason he doesn’t know about previous relationships is because we agreed to not ever have a discussion about exes

        • Then don’t. But also actually move on.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          Well, that makes things a little more awkward. I would start with something like “I know we said we weren’t going to talk about exes, but this is something that’s bothering me and I want to get it off my chest” to get over the bump.

          But can you explain why/how you came to this agreement? It seems oddly rigid to me (vs just “ehh, I don’t care about your exes”). Apart from this, how do you feel about this agreement? Do you think he’s hiding something himself?

          • I think we both just decided early on that we didn’t want to invite anything from “the outside” into our relationship. There is no temptation to look up an ex or encounter them on social media and compare. There is no thinking about the other person having been with anyone else. No worries about whether parents, family or friends may have “liked the ex better.” Our entire relationship has been about just us. I don’t think he is hiding anything.

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            Um, okay. I personally think that’s kind of weird. You, as an individual, have been shaped by other people and experiences in your life (including friends and family as well as exes); there’s no wall between “inside” and “outside” this relationship because you yourself bring those experiences and those people’s effects “inside” (and so does he). So it won’t work, and I think making that a goal sets up bad expectations for both of you.

            The fact that you’re having these worries is proof that the wall is an illusion:
            you “incredibly guilty that he does not know that side of [you]”; you “worry … that [you] may have trust issues because” of it. This “outside” thing is *already* affecting your relationship, only he doesn’t know it and can’t address it.

          • What’s up with the “um, okay.”? That sort of language is condescending and rude. As for me, I never had the ex conversation either and know several couples in my boat and we’ve all been married for years with no issues stemming from that. The relationship is about the two of you. There’s no reason the dwell on the specifics of the past. OP, it sounds like you need to talk to someone about this IRL so I second the comments about therapy but you also don’t need to feel as guilty as you seem. As the commenter above said, young people make mistakes.

        • What are you trying to accomplish by never having a discussion about exes? Previous relationships affect us, for better or worse, and I can’t imagine this topic *never* coming up. The ex-factor definitely shouldn’t rule the current relationship, but it makes me wonder if he has skeletons in his closet, too. What kind of intimacy/vulnerability are you guys avoiding by not being upfront with each other?

        • I would really re-evaluate this position. It’s one thing to not get into exactly what gardening moves an ex enjoyed but to not discuss prior relationships is cutting off discussion of a lot of important issues. I couldn’t imagine marrying someone I couldn’t share my past with. This is a far bigger flag to me about the future of your relationship than any past behavior. (FWIW, I had a similar affair to yours, told my now DH early on as we discuss everything and it was NBD.)

        • Never talking about exes is so strange. I might not want to have an in-depth conversation about it, but it’s a part of your life. How does it not come up organically? Like, yes I’ve been to Fabulous Location! Who did you go with? Oh um no one important.

          • Anonymous :

            It is not “so strange” to refrain from discussing exes when you are in a LTR or marriage. What may work for you may not work for others.

        • Anonattorney :

          OP – my husband and I don’t discuss our exes. We’ve been together for 11 years. We just don’t talk about it. He’s still my best friend and I share everything with him (my thoughts on things, feelings, frustrations, etc.); but I don’t really see the point in going over past relationships.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I can kind of understand not discussing the exes on a personal level, for sure. Or even not disclosing how many random hookups you had because who cares really. But not at least saying that you were involved in a two-year relationship is really strange to me.

        • Anonymous :

          So, my husband and I had a similar agreement when we got together about talking about past relationships and really past bad experiences in general. It was kind of like, here’s the bare bones facts of the situation so you know it happened, but let’s not spend time dissecting it and let’s just move on with our new life together and leave the past in the past. Well, 20 years later we are now in couples therapy and it turns out, it would have been good to dissect some of those experiences because – who woulda thunk it! – those experiences actually shaped our individual expectations and behaviors in a way that affected our marriage. For 20 years. Stuff is coming out in therapy that I would have loved to have heard about 20 years ago; it would have explained so much. So just be careful what you hold back from your partner, is all I’m gonna say.

          • Mineallmine :

            +1 to all of this. Pretending a prior life doesn’t exist doesn’t mean that prior life will cease to exist.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      As a general rule of thumb, if you feel like you’re keeping it from him, you should tell him. If you describe telling him as “getting it off your shoulders,” you should tell him.

      But it also sounds to me like you’re hanging on to too much guilt–not that what you did was right, but that at some point you should forgive yourself–and some kind of therapy or counseling might help with that.

    • Anon for this :

      I can’t say whether or not you should tell your SO. I just wanted to share some of my experience in case it’s helpful to you. I was in almost your exact situation. He was 7 years older. We were coworkers but he was not senior to me. For years and years I have beat myself up about my role in this. I never told most of my friends. I did choose to tell my subsequent SOs. I framed it as something I deeply regret, but also something that I’ve learned so much from that will help me not start that slippery slope. I’ve never cheated on anyone again.

      I’ve been married for years now and I have to tell you- I can’t imagine doing to my husband what that guy did to his wife. With hindsight and the wisdom that comes from age, I see now that the guy was predatory with me. He declared his feelings for me and made the first move. He told his wife that he fell for me only a few weeks after his declaration. I kept saying I like you but I don’t want a relationship with you this way. I told him I don’t want you to leave your wife. But he kept showing up at my door. Eventually he used the disintegration of his relationship with his wife to make me feel complicit. And boy did I. He threatened to kill himself. And now, over ten years later, he still emails/stalks me. Good times!

      Obviously this isn’t your story, but I wanted to share that I understand your guilt. Since you can’t go back and change the past, you have to move forward. And you have to learn from it. Choose to make it a part of your story that helps you make different choices now. Therapy sounds good.

      • Thank you for sharing. This person was predatory with me as well, not in the stalking way that you described, but in a manipulative way. I feared being attacked if I said that on the original post though. Now that time has passed, can you say whether you would have been okay with not telling your SO? Do you think your marriage would have been any different?

        • You’ve posted about this before right? If you still can’t move past it please get professional help.

        • Anon for this :

          Glad it was helpful for you. I also couldn’t see that he was manipulative. He was literally using my guilt over being attracted to a married man to continue the affair. As in, you owe me sort of way. He didn’t start out stalking, that’s just what happened after I went zero contact much later.

          I did tell my current husband about it when we were dating. He didn’t care at all. And he had even been cheated on in the past. But I’ve reframed it as something that will help me avoid the slippery slope of cheating because I know the signs.

          Now that I read some of your other responses about trying to keep the past out of your current relationship, I will offer a little more of my experience. Those feelings you mention- feeling jealous of an ex, worrying about whether his family liked her better. Been there! I even met the ex I was jealous of, and you know what? It’s ok. My husband and I both felt these feelings and we talked about them and it was totally fine. For me, it was a sign that we were going to have a healthy relationship because we could talk about tricky feelings and emotions. It’s totally normal to be curious and even a little jealous about SO’s previous relationships. I don’t think trying to block it out will help you feel connected in the long run.

          • Anon for this :

            I see that I didn’t answer your actual question. Would I have been ok *not* telling my husband about it? No. It would have felt strange to withhold that part of my life. Plus, since the guy still reaches out over email and appears to have developed mental illness (he’s now accusing me of being a government spy) it’s been crucial to have my husband to lean on and make a plan with.

    • Hi! I hear so much of my own story in yours. Please see a therapist. It will help you frame this story as what it is: a time you were victimized. That’s not to say you can’t also learn from it, and decide not to take the same actions. But this man took advantage of your youth and naivete.

      As for your boyfriend, tell him! But tell him you’re seeking therapy as well for the guilt you hold. A good man will see the hurt that happened to you. And eventually, you’ll be able to share this time with people without the worry they’ll think less of you. I promise. It seems impossible now, but just recently that became true for me. It’s freeing, and you deserve to be free of the guilt and shame you feel.

      • Um, no. Having a consensual relationship with someone older when you are of age is not being victimized.

        • Also, it’s okay to have made a bad decision in the past that you are not proud of. It doesn’t make you a bad person. You can make peace with it without needing to take away your own agency and recast yourself as a victim.

          • I agree, and maybe I was too unclear in my response. But it based on my life, so please be kind in your own response to me.

            I hear a lot of guilt and shame from the OP, and being an undergrad often puts you in a position where you can be victimized. Doesn’t mean you didn’t have agency or can’t make different decisions or consider your mistakes (which you will do in therapy!!) … just means it can be helpful to know that the odds were stacked against you, on purpose, by someone.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m the “um, no” anon but will be gentler – but what is it about being an undergrad that inherently would often put you in position to be a victim?

          • The OP does not mention this but like I said, the post took me back to my background. As an undergrad, you are in a lot of mentorship situations, both formal and informal, that have inherent power dynamics. It’s also a time when you may feel like an adult but probably aren’t, and everyone but you knows you aren’t.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          OP used the word “predatory” and “manipulative” and she was just out of college and the dude was from the sounds of it definitely more powerful than her so… I doubt this guy was a peach.

          And like, 11:21 here is saying “I hear so much of my story in yours” and talking about her own experiences (which she gets to frame however she d*mn well pleases), and now you’re dismissing them both with “um, no” and accusing anon of “taking away her own agency.” Sigh, I dunno… These can be sensitive topics for people and I think there are kinder ways to disagree.

          Typical RH comment.

        • Bullsh*t…. I had a s*xual relationship at 19, my first, with a man 10 years older than me that was 100% predatory and had I been 2 or 3 or 5 years younger, would have been textbook pedo-creep.

          After years of life, I did learn that wrong =/= illegal. It took a long time.

      • When I broke up with my ex, Sheketovits, I actually felt alot better, b/c I never felt right with him associated with me, particularly when he was drinkeing. I felt so much older when I was with him, but NOT in a good sense, b/c I felt more like his mother then his girlfreind. Who needed that? Not me, no way! So when I did lose him, I lost a looser and that was a good thing! I recommend that all of us get rid of boyfreinds if they are NOT providing an overall benefit to us. There is no sense having an anchor dragging us down!

    • Therapy could also be useful. I would not tell your SO before talking this through well with a therapist.

      Because what worries me is when people want to get things “off their chest” so THEY feel better, but when the admission will likely make the other person feel worse because they need to carry your emotional baggage now. Maybe he will start questioning you and your relationship stability? Or maybe he will feel bad you feel so guilty about this and this will color things?

      I would work through it with a therapist first, and then talk with your partner about it when you are in a better place.

    • I might be an outlier here but I don’t see why you should feel guilty about this and I certainly don’t see why you would need to admit this to an SO. You didn’t break marriage vows to anyone. You didn’t cheat. You didn’t have a relationship with the wife that you breached. You had zero obligation to her.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        This is an unpopular position that I completely agree with. He had the obligation, not the OP.

        • Another Anon. :


        • I also agree with this. I do understand why you feel guilty, but would encourage you to seek therapy if you’re still beating yourself up about this. Try and reframe it as something that the younger version of you did. Try and be compassionate to your younger self. Think of how you’d talk to a younger sister who was in your place.

          Also, you have no obligation to tell your SO, although, if you think he’d react poorly then maybe that would be good to know before you marry him. IMO, a SO should not react badly to hearing a story like this. I would instead feel honored that my partner felt safe enough to share something that’s obviously a painful memory.

      • I 50% agree with this, and I 50% disagree. You did not break marriage vows. You did not cheat. You did have a relationship with someone you knew was cheating. He broke vows and cheated, which is objectively worse than what you did. But what you did was have a relationship with someone who was breaking vows and cheating. That said, I think your guilt is better suited for a therapist, not your SO.

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        I hate this opinion, but many people have it. Perhaps she didn’t take the vows, but what of respect for marriage in general?

    • Anonymous :

      Everyone makes judgement errors in their youth. Don’t beat yourself up. You weren’t cheating. He was. Plus how do you know his wife wasn’t cheating too? Forget it and tell no one. It never happened. And if you can’t do that you should speak to a therapist.

  21. I took my family on a fabulous beach vacation using recs from here, so I’m back for more!

    I’m taking my family to Arizona & Las Vegas for a week in March and looking for suggestions (2 parents, 2 kids high school aged – we are moderate hikers that appreciate beautiful scenery, but probably don’t have the skill for super steep inclines). We are flying into Vegas and staying there for 2 days, and then renting a car for 5 days before flying out of Phoenix. There are so many parks and places to hike in AZ that I’m overwhelmed planning this trip! So far, I am planning to get Blue Man Group tickets for us in Vegas, hike through the train tunnels to Hoover Dam, and *something* at the Grand Canyon (though not sure what exactly and how long to stay there). Any suggestions on must hike trails or must see parks would be appreciated! Affordable hotel suggestions near the Grand Canyon and while road tripped across AZ also appreciated, as well as suggestions for must-see/do things in Vegas itself as the kids are too young for casinos and that seems to be the main thing there.

    • No specific suggestions (I’ve always stayed st whatever nice hotel in Vegas had a deal and I’m partial to ones without a casino to navigate through on my way to the room), but watch your timing in March as I think March Madness is a big deal in Vegas and it might be really crowded. (Maybe not more than usual, though?)

    • If it makes sense for you, I would stop in Sedona on the way from the Grand Canyon to Phoenix. There are some really lovely, scenic views there, and not all of them require hiking.

    • Inside the Venetian hotel is a little hamburger restaurant that has the most over-the-top milkshakes! It is called Black Tap. I took my teenager and she loved it. We also enjoyed walking down the strip and looking at the different casinos and riding some of the rides. The Cirque du Solei show was amazing.

    • There is a blog called Hi Sugarplum and she recently did the exact same trip with her family and wrote a very detailed trip report.

    • For Vegas, go to the Pinball Museum (on Tropicana and Eastern(?)). G oo gle it. It is full of vintage pinball machine games that you can play for a quarter each. My 9 yr old loves it (as do I!)

      Also in Vegas, the atomic bomb museum. Good displays and historical context. It was a little much for the 9 yr old, but HS age kids should be fine (and should know about it!).

      For PHX, Camelback Mountain as a hike? Despite the fact that I live there, I do *not* hike. For food — Cowboy Ciao in Oldtown Scottsdale.

    • Thanks – I”ll check out Black Tap, Sedona, and Hi Sugarplum!
      @Scarlett we’re all set for Vegas lodging, but that was what we did – just went with a clean nice place that had a good price.

    • Does kayaking interest you? If so, I had an amazing time kayaking Black Canyon directly below the Hoover Dam.

      • We did it for the first time at the beach last summer and loved it, so I’ll look into it!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      It’s a little bit out of the way but I have such fond memories of Bisbee when we did a similar family trip. Old mining town. You can stop in Tombstone on your way! And Saguaro National Park!!!

  22. Looking for any input on furniture shopping: I’m looking for a dining room table. I want an extendable, rectangular one that is either 72″ or 84″ when closed. Target budget is under 3K.

    I’m not well versed in interior design styles, but I think I tend to like farmhouse style, reclaimed wood, coastal/beachy vibes, etc (but I live in NYC). I’m also looking for something durable – I have kids, this will be our everyday table, etc.

    So far, I like the Restoration Hardware Salvaged Wood Trestle Table and the Pottery Barn Stafford Table.

    Are these types of tables not durable/going to get scratched up right away (I’ve read online that you can pre-treat the RH one with oil, which seems to help)?
    Are other table styles going to be more durable? Or should I just accept that an everyday table with rough kids is going to show its wear quickly?
    Any specific suggestions for other dining room tables or stores to consider?


    • So my biggest complaint with my trestle dining room table is that the trestle part gets in the way when the extension leaf is in and you can’t push the chairs in all the way. It’s something to think about if you are regularly seating more than 4 at your table. I’d suggest sitting at these tables if possible and seeing how they feel.

    • Unsealed wood sounds like a terrible idea to me – every spill is going to leave a watermark. I mean, I think that is kind of the idea – that is the patina of age you are creating. But I would not pay $2000 for a pine table. (Pine is a soft wood, prone to dents and dings). If you have that much money to spend, I would consider a refinished antique or something made locally – quality is likely to be better. Have you looked on Etsy? I personally would want something sealed with polyurethane rather than just some kind of shellac or oil finish. If it isn’t, you could do that yourself or hire a handyman to. Either of the two tables you linked could probably be coated with an oil-based polyurethane. (Polyurethane = waterproofish; I’m suggesting oil-based since the Pottery Barn table at least already has a wax on it, which is likely to repell a water-based poly). We just bought a refinished danish teak table we love at MidCentury Warehouse in Philadelphia for $1800 – well worth the trip down from NYC. But their stuff is midcentury so maybe not your cup of tea.

      • So I want to revise my comment, which I realized may seem really negative – sorry, I do want to be helpful. I think the 2 tables you suggested are meant to look distressed and old, so the soft wood and lack of sealant makes sense. If you like that look, they may be great options. Just don’t expect them to stay looking the way they do when you bring them home long – they are going to wear and age for sure.

      • Not negative – this is helpful! I’m a furniture buying novice generally – have been mostly using handme down furniture, and having lived in small apartments forever, we’ve never really used a dining table! But our kids are now at the age where we should. So I appreciate all the input – good stuff to think about and look into.

    • Check out Craigslist for a local furniture maker. If you’re in the Bay Area I found a really reasonable guy who makes dining tables that look like the style you’re talking about for a fraction of the price at the big box stores. I think woodworking/ table making is popular today so you might have luck with that.

    • Does your budget include chairs? Because they are at least $200 a pop, likely more at RH. With a table that large, you probably want 6 or 8. Just something to keep in mind.

    • Check out Vermont Farm Table. Small business, US made, and they definitely have the aesthetic that you’re looking for, within your price range.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I don’t know how their prices run, but check Nadeau. That’s pretty much their aesthetic.

    • I would also try Aarhus. Their stuff is great.

      I have a beautiful antique table with a leaf that seats six without the leaf, 8-100 with the leaf. I got it and six chairs on craigslist. You just gotta be persistent, but older quality wood furniture is so beautiful. They don’t make ’em like they used to.

      Another think you might try–my parents had an older pine table with great legs. They worked with the people who did their kitchen counters to get first a polished aluminum top for it, and when they got tired of that, a granite slab. It’s heavy but really elegant and really easy to clean.

    • table idea :

      We have the World Market knock-off of the RH table. It’s on year 3 with a family of 4 and looks like new.

    • Take a look at Flexsteel. Our dining room table is from Flexsteel and sounds like what you are describing- higher end but farmhouse look, great quality. I believe it cost between $1-2K.

    • Out of the Box :

      Ethan Allen has some dining tables that were made in the U.S., and I’ve found them of reasonable quality. There are a couple of farmhouse styles.

  23. Just wanted to say I really like the blouse featured today. Good pick.

  24. How in the world did my short comment about liking today’s pick get sent to mod?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      It seems to be a thing today. I have had several really innocuous posts in mod.

  25. Patty Mayonnaise :

    Thanks again for all of the support for me and my kitty earlier this week. Wanted to give an update – she spent 2 nights at the hospital and got a blood transfusion to help with severe anemia. We opted to start treatment rather than do an u/s which may have been inconclusive. When they released her yesterday, they seemed to be encouraged by her red blood cell count and blood pressure holding steady. It’s so good to have her home, although she’s still not herself – she’s very subdued – and doesn’t have any appetite. But they said even best case scenario, it would be a while before we really see improvement. She has a check-up on Monday, so fingers crossed she continues to improve.

    Again, thanks so much for the warm wishes. Having to deal with the difficult decisions and heartache of a sick pet is one of those things I wish NO ONE had to go through.

    • fingers and paws crossed

    • So glad to hear this! Thanks for the update.

      And, yeah, having a sick pet is so hard – you’re making all the decisions, you can’t explain anything to them (or ask them anything), and it feels a little weird to explain to people why you’re so distracted/upset. It’s just emotionally wrenching.

  26. In-House in Houston :

    Ladies, I need some advice. I manage 1 guy and he’s not a great employee; does just what he needs to get buy, but he makes $150K and just got a $30K bonus. We have 9/80s but he doesn’t put in the extra time to take off every other Friday. Our previous manager never made him put in the extra hours and let him take his every other Friday off, but I always did put in the time. I was promoted over him and now I feel like he needs to put in the extra time, period. If he doesn’t want to put in the extra time, that’s perfectly fine with me, but he shouldn’t get every other Friday off. Am I being petty? If he was a hard worker and occasionally had a doc appt or something where he fell short of his hours, I would be fine with that. But he comes in around 8:45 and rolls out at about 4:30 and then wants to take every other Friday off. He’s obviously not busy enough and I’m working on that. It’s obviously awkward because we were coworkers, now I’m his manager. TIA!

    • If he is not putting in 40 hours a week, that is a problem. That is what he gets paid for. If he doesn’t put in the extra hours then he doesn’t get the day off. It’s a math equation.

    • 9/80’s?

      • Anonymous :

        Nine hours a day for nine days (five days one week; four the next), so it’s basically 80 hours over nine working days.

    • May I ask what kind of job has this lifestyle and pays these bucks? ;)

      • Triangle Pose :

        I’m guessing lawyer bc “In-House,” but I could be wrong!

        We have 9/80 or summer Friday option and similar compensation.

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        And is your orgnization hiring? And can you hire me? lol

      • Anonymous :

        this schedule isn’t uncommon at companies in the energy industry. Pretty common around here (Houston also).

    • you sound petty and like this would not be a great way to start off the employment relationship. I would bring it up in his annual review rather than exercising your limited power in your tiny little fiefdom to make life miserable for someone who clearly doesn’t have enough work to do in the first place.

      • I’m guessing someone messed with your sweet not working a full week and getting paid for a full week situation and now you’re taking it personally?

        Petty? fiefdom? Seriously chill, it’s about maintaining a fair workplace for everyone that participates in the 9/80 program and having your workers available for the time you pay them to work.

        • I work well over 80 hours a week, so no. But thanks anyway. Yes, petty. Fiefdom. I mean really. It’s not like he’s taking anything away from her. If she had more work for him to do and he was underperforming it would be a different conversation, but that would obviously obviously have been stated in the above if it was the case. She wouldn’t have had to ask the question if that was the case.

    • First, what is this magical job with 40 hour weeks and $180k compensation?

      To your question– you are not being petty. He needs to put in his hours full stop.

    • The entire deal of a 9/80 is to work longer hours on other days to get that Friday off, period. It doesn’t have to be controversial, just tell him “I expect everyone to be in at least these hours everyday / at least X working hours (excluding lunches), or I cannot approve your 9/80s anymore”. It’s a standard rule.

      • Triangle Pose :


      • Anonymous :

        This. I work in a company where we have 9/80s and leaving early while still taking your Friday off is just.not.done. people have been fired over it. This needs to be addressed by the OP or she may have to answer uncomfortable questions about why she’s allowed that behavior to continue.

    • Do you have a job where “butt in chair” hours matter? Instead of picking a fight over facetime, give him more work, and judge him based on output/productivity

      • This. I think the focus on hours is silly. Does he have good judgment? Do good work even if it’s fast? That’s where your focus should be, especially for an exempt employee. If he has more bandwidth assign some more work, but don’t expect that it will necessarily take him an extra day. Some people work fast and well.

      • Agree. I would just focus on getting him more work, which should solve your problem. Either he handles it or he doesn’t, and you can take action on that. Yeah, he’s not following the rules right now, and you could technically do something about it, but I think you come out looking better if you can call him on his performance vs call him on leaving early (when he gets all his work done). I do think you should have a conversation with him about the hours though – to set your expectation. I just don’t think you should make that the focus of your discipline/action.

      • Yes, this.

      • Then you have to allow all of your employees to do this. She can’t make an exception for one guy. If the policy for 9 / 80 is that you work extra hours M – Th so that you can take off every other Friday, then you can’t make an exception for one person. He needs to put his 40 hours in a week like everyone else or you’re going to kill morale and set a precedent and then it’s even harder to get everyone back in line without a major moral hit and attitudes around the office.

        I don’t understand why it’s so hard to come to work for 40 hours a week. Do I have weeks where I don’t have enough work to do the full 40? Sure, but I get paid well, so I sit here and research things that help me in my job or post on C r e t t e. If the office policy is X, then everyone needs to follow X or find a new job where butt in seat hours don’t matter.

    • Sound alike he needs to be managed. What are his goals? Is he meeting them? If not, focus on that.

      This isn’t a comp problem, it is a performance problem. If you think having him in every other Friday will improve performance, tell him what he needs to be doing to improve performance. If he does it, he keeps the priveledge.

      IME, someone at that ballpark paygrade works beyond the butt-in-seat hours, so try not to focus on the hours so much as the output. Decide what is expected and manage your report.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I would write to Ask a Manager and provide more context about his performance and the rules aroudn 9/80 at your office. She gives great work advice.

    • Of Counsel :

      I am going to raise a slightly different issue – who at your company decided to give him a $30K bonus? Was that standard or performance-based? If it was performance based and the person who made the decision is still there, then consider the possibility that he has a booster who could make your life difficult if you make waves.

      And in any event, is he not completing his tasks? Your post definitely sounds more like you resent him for not putting in his time when you did rather than you having an issue with the quality or quantity of his work. If he is not doing his job, then lead with that. If he is doing his job and you just resent his slacking off, then I would suggest leaving it alone, particularly if you just took over the position.

  27. Does anyone here have experiences with a midwife-led homebirth?

    My partner and I are both very pro-science and pro-medicine, with lots of experience between us–both personally and professionally–in medical settings. That said, neither of us finds hospitals to be especially inviting, for lack of a better word, and we’re interested in what other options are available for a healthy, non-high-risk pregnancy. We live very near a major hospital and could easily transfer there if intervention were necessary, and we know a midwife who comes highly recommended by several acquaintances.

    • I used the local midwife center, so not a homebirth, but happy to talk about a non-hospital setting if that would help! (I’m in the US)

      First time birth for me, age 36 at the time so AMA.

    • Yes. A dear friend lost their baby birthing at home with a midwife. You can’t get to a hospital fast enough when there is a complication with the cord or something that causes breathing difficulties that requires more intervention. The husband was a scientist. Mom was young and healthy.

      Why not look into a midwife…. in a hospital setting. Best of both world’s?

      I would never, ever risk it.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Agreed on the risk. I know someone who had a safe and healthy home birth. But honestly, I think that people who have successful home births are very, very lucky. Not sure where the OP is, but there are “birthing centers” at hospitals in NYC that are less hospital-y, but you still have ready and immediate access to all of the hospital resources.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        My sister had a hospital birth with a midwife (the kind of midwife who is a real, actual nurse) and she said it was great! She had the midwives for all her prenatal care and for the birth, but she was so much more relaxed knowing she also had surgeons on hand if things went sideways (and she did end up needing a surgeon to stitch her up, and almost needed blood, so she was really glad of it).

        • I am super crunchy and distrust hospitals and the medical profession because a close relative died of medical malpractice, and I still chose to give birth at a hospital. I’m glad I did, because even though I had a short, easy, drug-free labor, and the baby needed to see a doctor immediately because there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. I hired a doula who was also a registered nurse to help guard against unwanted interventions.

        • so did I. highly recommend that approach.

        • Patty Mayonnaise :

          Highly recommend the book “natural hospital birth” – I did not use a midwife – I had an OB and a doula, but being well-informed about my choices and having a good advocate helped me to get the natural birth experience I wanted in a hospital that is known for a high rate of interventions.

    • A colleague of mine had one. She has unexpected complications and nearly died on her way to the hospital. She had injuries in the area where the baby comes out (trying to avoid mod) for months afterward and had to go on medical leave for some of it. The hospital doesn’t have to be “inviting” – it has to be safe and sterile and a place where the doctors are competent.

      With my own experience, I gave birth in a hospital but unexpectedly had an emergency c because my son’s heart rate started plummeting. I’ms so, so so thankful that they could just wheel me into the OR for my c, as opposed to the stress of having to drive to a nearby hospital.

      Too many things can go wrong in childbirth for you to have your kid at home.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Even if you call 911 and go in in an ambulance, it can take a loooong time to get into a hospital, let alone into the OR. And you can’t vet EMTs the way you can choose your midwife or doctor. I know someone who had an accidental homebirth and then went in an ambulance and the EMTs were pretty incompetent. >:-|

    • makes me so angry :

      I get so frustrated by women who do this and are considering this. Childbirth is so, so risky. Babies die. Mothers die.

      You must be an upper middle class white woman. This is the only segment of women in the US I know doing this. Women around the world would LOVE to deliver their babies in a hospital if they only have access to one. You have access to one and want to give birth at home because it’s “woo” and inviting? Please. Think of your child and stop being so selfish.

      • Harsh but true :

        + 1

        Only crazies I know doing this are rich white women.

      • and 1/3 of the population of the Netherlands.

      • Do you have to be so mean about this? And yea, my extended family is super poor and one of them was looking into a home birth. She ended up in what I consider a really shady birthing center, which didn’t seem much better. I wouldn’t do it, but do you have to belittle the consideration of this as something only silly rich white women do?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Ok, I am sure the OP can understand the risks.

      My best friend had three midwife births, one in a hospital and two at home and it was all fine. Another friend had two hospital births with a midwife but laboured at home for quite a significant chunk of time. All fine.

      My neighbour had a home birth with a birthing tub, the baby got stuck and they were calling for an ambulance when the baby finally arrived. It was all fine, but she was a bit traumatized and said never again.

      Is there a birth centre that you could try as a compromise? They are set up for exactly the experience that you are looking for but they are also equipped for emergencies and prepared for hospital transfers.

    • Give birth in a hospital or a midwife birthing center attached to a hospital.

    • Please don't. :

      I would never risk it. Women all over the world (and in the US) die or have serious complications, even in a hospital setting. Didn’t Serena Williams, millionaire and world’s healthiest person, just write something on this?

      A couple I know lost a child in a home birth. Granted, they were idiots and chose not to have ANY medical professionals attend, but it was devastating because it was entirely preventable – they didn’t have the knowledge to recognize when things started to go wrong, and once they figured it out, they didn’t get to the hospital in time.

      • Serena Williams might be the world’s fittest person, but not necessarily the healthiest. She has a history of blood clots, which is a major risk factor for pregnancy complications. No reputable midwife would ever have let her have a home birth.

        • Relevant to the post above that made some assumptions about my race: her narrative about her post-partum experience was less about the inevitability of complications during/after birth and more about the many ways that women of color, even millionaires, are dismissed or ignored by medical professionals.

    • Even healthy, low-risk pregnancies can go sideways during the actual birthing process. Planning to transfer to a hospital at the moment a medical emergency is taking place is a foolish chance to take, IMO. Minutes can literally mean the difference between life and death for both mom and baby.

      Who cares that the hospital environment isn’t inviting? That isn’t its purpose. You will be there all of 48 hours anyway (if you’re lucky). I understand the appeal of having this calm, zen-like birth experience, but IME, some of the providers of these alternative services present so many false hopes about how things are going to go. It does women a disservice at a time when they’re pretty darn vulnerable, IMO.

      Bringing a doula or midwife into the hospital environment would be a good compromise, I would think.

      • Cornellian :

        I think a lot of uncertainty arises because the term “midwife” can mean anything from woo-woo untrained woman to CNM or CM with a graduate degree in nursing who can admit folks to the hospital and prescribe medicine. I delivered with the latter, and she admitted me to the hospital, prescribed drugs, and stitched me up. You can go your whole birth without seeing a doctor (assuming everything stays low risk and you’re okay with no epidural, obviously).

      • Yes, in real life there is no such thing as a calm and zenlike birth experience. It may be transporting or transformative, but it will inevitably be loud and messy and uncomfortable in some way or another.

        • I am not sure how my original post was interpreted to indicate a desire for a birth that was calm or zenlike or transporting. (Though in fairness, I guess all birth is transformative one way or another.) Definitely on board for loud, messy, and uncomfortable . . . that seems a pretty inherent part of parenting, regardless of how the baby arrives!

          • You said yourself that a hospital isn’t very inviting. Put that with the push from crunchy folks for “better birth experiences,” and it’s not hard to extrapolate that.

            When I said transporting, I’m literally talking about transporting you to the hospital in case of a medical emergency. Not a “woo” transformational experience during birth.

    • Cornellian :

      I considered it and ended up going with natural midwife birth in a “birthing center” that was part of a hospital. I don’t know how far along you are, but I would sign up for a real bradley-style birthing class (not a smushed weekend version, but a full 8 classes) and learn more about the process of birth. I was shocked at how little I knew. I think that might help you figure out what your risk tolerance is. If you end up going birthing center or hospital birth, those classes will make you a MILLION times more able to anticipate what questions/interventions the hospital will have, and get the birth that you want.

      Get on natural birth or homebirth list serves and read the emails that come across with real peoples’ experiences.

      I will say, I am pretty middle of the road on home birth and would consider it for a second child, but not for any of the reasons I considered it the first time around. For me, at least, the birthing center was plenty inviting, and environment ended up mattering a LOT less than I anticipated. I think first time moms often overestimate how important the environment in which they give birth will matter to them when, haha, push comes to shove.

      • Thanks, Cornellian! This is really helpful. I appreciate hearing about your experiences.

        I’m a bit wary of getting on those listservs, though–most people on the internet talking about non-hospital birth seem also subscribe to a lot of anti-science notions, or are like Please don’t’s acquaintance above who didn’t want any professional support at the birth.

        • Cornellian :

          Honestly, the fact that more than half of the home birth folks I met were also anti-vaccers probably played in to my decision to go birthing center.

          Another reason that I am glad I went birthing center is that, honestly, newborns are TERRIFYING and I had no idea what to do with one. The labor part is one thing, and I handled that fine. But at the end of it I had this tiny little newborn I was supposed to care for. When they discharged me (less than 24 hours later) I really wanted to just bring one of the nurses home with me. Having an IBCLC and nurses around to help was amazing. Birthing centers generally let husbands room with you (they had a queen bed), which is great. Shipping the partner away at night seems cruel.

          If you do go with home birth, I would find an aggressive midwife who is not going to wait until the last moment to transfer you. Talk to the midwife and maybe previous clients to get a feel for her approach and risk tolerance.

          One more thought: If the pain/anxiety aspect of childbirth scares you at all, know that some US hospitals and birthing centers are (finally) rolling out nitrous oxide, and that you can still deliver with a midwife and have access to nitrous oxide. As you probably know, it’s more of an anti-anxiety drug than an anti-pain drug, but it’s a great option, I think. You control the dosing (by holding the mask to your face), you can’t overdose, there is no effect on baby, the half-life in your system is SUPER short if it disagrees with you, and you don’t need an IV or anything.

          A third quick and dirty tip is: avoid an IV port at all costs if you are going for a natural low-risk birth. Once it’s up and running there is evidence that it makes interventions more common, presumably because it’s easy to start pumping drugs or saline in.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Do not under any circumstances read Those women are completely insane.

      • +1 on not caring about the environment in active labor. I just remember my doula trying to make some kind of white noise machine work and all I could think was I cannot imagine white noise making this any better. I really couldn’t tell you what my room looked like. What does make a difference is the people. My midwife had a great relationship with the nurses at the hospital I delivered at, and she knew how to work their system. Some of the nurses were incredible. I think a midwife with a hospital birth is a good compromise. I wanted more pain control options than the birthing center offered, and since I ended up having to be induced — I hit 42 weeks with no labor — I would have had to deliver at the hospital anyway. My son inhaled meconium at birth and had to stay in the NICU for a week. In hindsight he probably would have been healthier had my midwife induced me earlier. But hindsight is 20/20!

        • This is awesome. Thank you!

          Honestly, I agree that the during-labor environment probably won’t matter. I’ve been thinking more about the post-birth experience, both in terms of home support (the midwife we know does every-other-day visits in the first week after the birth; sounds like some birth centers also provide those check-ins) and actually being able to rest and heal (which has been hard for me in previous non-birth-related hospital experiences, just given how loud/busy they tend to be).

    • I research women’s health issues for a living, including maternal mortality. I would recommend finding a birthing center attached to a hospital. Complications can happen so quickly and deaths are far too common in the US. Plus, I have heard good things from women who went the birthing center route.

      • This sounds more like what we might be interested in. Thanks.

        • Cornellian :

          I know you probably read my comment already and that I’m an internet stranger, but I highly recommend a Bradley-style birthing class if you want to go natural in a hospital or birthing center. It helps you and your partner know what interventions folks are likely to propose and when, and helps you prepare on how to resist.

          Two quick and dirty tips that my friends have found useful (I ended up really not needing to push back on anything with my midwife birthing center experience): if you’re feeling rushed in to a decision on something, ask for time to pray (even if you’re not religious). No one will push back on that (unless it truly is an emergency, of course).

          Have your partner stationed facing the door, so that their face is the first one new doctors/nurses/etc see. A well-informed partner can be a great advocate for you, as you will probably be too tied up to interact properly with healthcare professionals and communicate your wishes. Make him your agent and ally.

          • HA that is hilarious about time to pray. I’m an atheist, so I just take it as a funny and smart tactic. :)

      • I would strongly recommend that if you go for a birthing center, go to one that is physically attached to a hospital. A close friend used a non-hospital based, very well-regarded midwife birthing center and, when, after an extremely long and treacherous labor, needed an emergency C-section, had to then travel to the hospital. Luckily she and her baby survived but it was dangerous and traumatic enough to require extensive therapy.

    • I had an accidental homebirth. My entire labor (with my first) lasted only 4 hours and my contractions never satisfied the “rules” I’d been given for going to the hospital. I spoke to my ob on the phone several times, and was advised to stay home, but then the baby decided he was just coming out at one point, while I was standing, with no pushing.

      This was at 4am in a major city. First responders took 10min to arrive – literally a bunch of firefighters with some first aid training. They did nothing when they saw the baby was breathing. Another 8min later, proper EMTs arrived and we cut the cord in my bedroom. On our elevator ride down to the ambulance, they were Googling “APGAR score,” as they’d been asked for one (I assume by the hospital we were being sent to). They were perfectly nice, but obviously not well versed in new babies.

      We rode to the hospital (no traffic, but still took another 10-15min) and I delivered the placenta in the ER.

      While I know a midwife is better trained, I’d never have another home birth even though everything was completely fine. I’m pregnant with #2 now and planning for a hospital birthing center this time.

      • Oh, wow. How scary for you to have had it all unfold unpredictably. I’m really glad that you and your baby were fine!

        • Thanks, yeah, it was not what I was expecting at all! While certainly a few parts could and would have been sped up if anyone were near death (presumably the firemen could have taken me in their fire vehicles? Not sure), I was shocked at how long it felt from 911 call to arrival inside the ER, and the competency of the people I encountered on the way.

          Good luck with whatever you decide!

          Oh, and to the point below about cleanup, answer: my MIL is a saint and could definitely have a second career clearing homicide scenes. We lost a lot of bedding and towels though.

      • biglawanon :

        I had an unplanned birth outside of a hospital too. I was getting ready to get into a public pool and started to have contractions. A college-aged male lifeguard called 911, and put me on a chaise lounge and sat with me, held me hand, and encouraging me everything would be alright and he was CPR trained. I was not reassured. My labor was very very short – I was pregnant with twins, and gave birth to one on the chaise lounge. I was holding him, cord attached, when the ambulance arrived – luckily he was breathing. They cut the cord right after they loaded me in the ambulance, and I gave birth to his brother on the way to the hospital. If there would have been any complications, either me or my kids could have been DOA.

    • I had a textbook pregnancy, but ended up needing a c-section. It was never a consideration not to be in a hospital, but I’m so so glad that I was there. Yes, staying there for a few days afterwards was no fun and it was so much better when we got home, but I would never ever not want to be at a hospital. You just never know what could happen.

    • Where do you live? I have friends with similar feelings but who wanted the safety of a hospital who delivered with the Georgetown Hospital Midwives and loved it. They work with the OBs so if you need to transfer care during the pregnancy or delivery they are right there. One friend ultimately needed a c section and it was easy to do it because everyone and everything is set up to make that happen when necessary.

      I delivered at Holy Cross in Silver Spring (both kids) and it was great. I get that hospitals are not the most welcoming places to be and you probably won’t need it and the ambulance is only 10 minutes, but as my pediatrician friend says “Do you know how much blood you can lose in 10 minutes? ALL of it.” #1’s cord was around his neck and I lost quite a lot of blood – I wasn’t transfused, but I was right at the cutoff. No problem at the hospital. At home, we likely both would have died.

      • Thank you, nuqotw! I am so glad that you and #1 (and presumably, #2!) were safe.

        I am not near Georgetown but I hope someone else can use that great recommendation.

    • I had my two youngest children at a birthing center with a midwife that was on the first-floor of a hospital. It really felt like the best of both worlds. We were right there, at the hospital with an ER, OR, NICU, etc., in case something happened but the birthing center felt miles away. I was able to have a water birth in a birthing tub, my husband actually delivered our daughter by pulling her out of the water, the room had a queen-size bed so we could sleep together, they did everything for the baby in the room. There is also a free-standing birth center in my city that is run by midwifes and nurses that I have heard great things about from a few women I know who have given birth there. I also know one of the nurses there. They are not all that close to a hospital, but do take a very pro-active approach to transferring women to the hospital and thankfully (or luckily?) have never lost a baby or a mother.

    • it is obviously your choice, but i would strongly suggest looking into birthing centers attached to hospitals. it is all about what level of risk you are comfortable with. i’m currently pregnant and would personally never forgive myself if i had a home birth, something went wrong and the extra few minutes it took to get me or my child to the hospital had an impact on my or their life.

    • I’ve never understood the appeal of a home birth. Who cleans up afterward?

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I also want to know this!

        • Cornellian :

          Helped watch a friend’s kid while she had a home birth and for the main, uh, area, they had a large plastic sheet that the midwife rolled up and took away. I assume it’s medical waste?

      • Yeah, my understanding from folks who have done this is that there’s a big plastic sheet that just gets balled up, and usually one plans to sacrifice a couple old towels or sheets. The midwife cleaned it all up.

    • Also, no matter what approach you use, you need to become your own best advocate, especially if something doesn’t feel right to you. Check out the ProPublica and NPR stories from the past year about maternal mortality; they have great advice on symptoms other women have experienced and ways they needed to advocate for themselves to get medical professionals to take it seriously. Unfortunately, we live in a country that pays far more attention to the health of the newborn than to the health of the mother, so whether you birth at home or in a hospital, you need to be prepared (and your partner does to) to speak up.

  28. Patty Mayonnaise :

    My comment went to mod, but wanted to thank everyone for the support and well wishes for my kitty. She seems to be improving, but we’re not out of the woods. Thanks so much – hope everyone’s pets are happy and healthy.

  29. Any tips for moving in with a spouse or SO when you’re a BTDT adult?

    It’s a second marriage for both of us and I’m a little surprised by the friction we’re experiencing. He’s been cranky about my belongings arriving and upsetting/rearranging the way he has everything organized (he’s very “a place for everything and everything in its place”) – to the point where I’m feeling a bit unwelcome. I’m – I’ll say it – resentful of having to give up my darling but tiny condo close to the city with a 30 minute commute for his bigger, more practical house (in an admittedly beautiful woodland setting) that’s a 90+ minute commute from work. There are plenty of other little kinks to be worked out – I like the blinds open, he prefers them closed; what do we do with leftovers?; why does he use so many paper towels? that’s bad for the environment! – that it’s all feeling a bit overwhelming.

    We both know on a practical level that – yes, closets will have to be rearranged, and yes, I agreed to move out here – but it’s a bit more challenging emotionally. Your insights appreciated.

    • Is there an option to at some defined point in the future move to find a compromise place? A 90 minute commute and getting upset that you have stuff in the home doesn’t seem healthy for relationship longevity.

      • Legally Brunette :

        + 1

        I cannot fathom a 90 minute commute. You have every reason to be upset. My DH had to do that for one year and developed health issues as a result. He was also tired, cranky and not himself. It’s simply not healthy or sane to be in the car for that long if you don’t have to be. I would seriously consider breaking your lease (and not waiting 10 months to do it either). Sorry that you’re dealing with this.

    • My eyes are still budging after reading the 90 minute commute…. Each way!?!? Are you kidding? And this is the long term plan, or just a stepping stone to marriage or buying a home together?

      Because I hear your resentment building already, as mine would be too.

      • His commute was 3 hours on Wednesday night because of a series of bad accidents, and it seems to roll off him. It does not me.

        Two months before he proposed, he renewed his lease for two years. (So yes, this is a rental that we can leave.) It really rubs me the wrong way that he was that close to proposing, but talking with me over something that would affect our quality of life didn’t come up. He just texted one day and announced he had renewed his lease. He says we can look into moving in January (10 months from now) when he thinks he’ll get a promotion. (He thinks the landlord would be ok with us breaking the lease.)

        When we were discussing this last night, I just about lost it when he said, “well, commute times never came up as something important to you” (because you renewed your lease without talking to me!) and “you agreed to live out here.” I think he’s feeling defensive because I’m changing his home – the guest room furniture, the heavy living room drapes, the closet door that sticks – “my house was fine before you arrived.” This house is very “him” (like mine is very “me”), and changes or insistence on leaving I think upsets him, but not incorporating my style and leaving my condo upsets me. Just trying to navigate these waters…

        • He sounds like an inconsiderate jerk.

        • Wait what? He made a decision impacting your life and didn’t talk to you about it? If you’re already married, I’d suggest counseling on communication and compromise – this is a pretty big thing to just do.

        • Why? What? You are planning on marrying this guy when you can’t minimally communicate?

        • I really think that in this type of situation, you need to move to a new place that is neither his nor yours but ours

        • No reasonable person would think someone would be ok with a 90 minute commute. If I got a job in the city that is 90 minutes away, I’d move there.

        • Why wait until January to move? Why is this just his decision, dictating the quality of your life? Is this typical of how he treats you and addresses decisions and disagreements in your relationship?

          You can be honest and say that maybe you didn’t mention the commute before because you didn’t realize how much it was going to impact you until you started doing it every day. And maybe because you were so excited about being married to him (true?).

          If you are comfortable sharing – how long have you been married and living here (did you move in only after marriage)?

          I am worried about living with this guy. It would be one thing if he was so rigid about a home that he owned and had lived in for a decade, but to be so defensive and inflexible about things that don’t really matter (fixing a door?!?!?!) and well as things that really do (a 90 minute commute!!). It kind of seems like he doesn’t really want to be married again.

        • I mean you can’t go along with his plan and then resent him for the plan. The distance was an issue before you ever moved in. I can see why he’s surprised and you’re getting the – but you agreed to this – response.

          You’re certainly entitled to change your mind. You tried his plan and it didn’t work. Time for a new plan, and no, 10 months from now is not good enough. You need to look into options today. But you seem to be getting tripped up on the resentment aspect of this – it’s not his fault that you agreed to something that ended up not working out.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Oh, my. I hate to pile on but this doesn’t sound good. I agree with Anonymous at 12:25 p.m. — time for a new plan. Sit him down and say “I know I agreed to this plan but it’s just not working for me. I can’t handle the commute and I also feel like the dynamics of me moving into your house aren’t working out. So we are going to have to look for a place closer to work that can be ours.”

        • The very fact that he had you move in but he claims that “his house was fine” even after you live there are major red flags. You should not marry this man until he can mentally wrap his mind around the “we” that comes with marriage. Breaking the lease and moving to a new place that makes sense for both of you could be a first step, but he seems to be treating marriage as a “next phase” of what you are supposed to do, not as a “I will be a husband soon who will share things equally and communally with my wife, who is now my closest family.”

        • I second the anon at 12:25 and SA; it’s okay to say that you’ve changed your mind about the commute and that this just isn’t workable. But I also agree with Anon 2 and other posters that there are red flags all over this that he does not see this relationship as a partnership, as a “we” situation. He is treating you as some kind of adjunct or accessory to “his” home and “his” life, and possibly an inconvenient one at that. This is the big issue that needs to be resolved. And if you’re not actually married yet, hold off until you can work through it.


          • Senior Attorney :

            Yes to this. Again, I hate to pile on but this is not okay. I also moved from my beloved, very-much-“me” house into my husband’s beloved, very-much-“him” house, and he has been lovely about encouraging me to add my things and make changes that make it feel like “ours.” The fact that your guy is being so territorial, especially in a rental, is not a great sign, in my view.

    • Are you kidding? Why are you doing this? That commute is insane. And he is being rude.

      • biglawanon :

        Yeah, and do you own your condo? If so, why not move there until you can buy something bigger?

    • A 90 minute commute is crazy and I don’t understand why he isn’t actively trying to find a place that’s better for both of you.

      • Also in Academia :

        I agree the communication is not sounding great here, definitely some red flags. However – there are cities where a 90 minute commute is not uncommon, and if he doesn’t mind that, it may not have occurred to him that you do. Also, I lived with 2 different SO’s at various times before moving in with my now-husband and every single time I dealt with some emotional upheaval – someone is always eating the leftovers I’d planned to eat, who left the Cheerios on the counter, that kind of thing. I actually was very thankful for the living-together experiences prior to my husband because I knew to anticipate my own crankiness and cope with it. Something else we did that helped – for a year, we shared a storage unit and put the “extras” in it – we stored a washer and dryer, some china, etc. Combining households in our mid-30s plus the fact that he had been married before meant that we owned a really large number of plates between us! While we had no doubts that we wanted to get married, having our stuff still available was good for us. I in particular had had a really bad cohabiting/almost-marrying experience and just to know that my stuff was there helped me. A year into it, we kind of laughed at ourselves, sold the extra stuff, and have been happily married ever since.

      • I used to have a 2.5 hr commute each way – from Loudon County into DC. I did it for a year – it was atrocious, but many people do it for a very long time.

    • Thank you all for the comments. You’ve given me a lot to think about.

      Re: the commute, while we’re only ~10 miles from our offices, it’s 90 minutes because his house is in an outlying area that’s not intended to be a commuting area (one two-lane road that leads to one bridge over a river). I’ve been advocating for an area that would give us both 30 minute commutes, but he sees moving as more burdensome than 2-3 hours per day in the car.

      In posting this and reading your responses, I’m seeing some old bad habits of my own here that I need to correct. (Hello, relationship theme – acquiescing to a partner to please him, then finally “waking up” one day and wondering WTH I’m doing in X situation that doesn’t make me happy/fulfill me and breaking up with clueless dude in a spectacular blaze of glory telling partner he’s selfish, etc. He may have been, but if you don’t talk about it, there’s no opportunity for him to correct it.) So I’ll work on my communication.

      And of course in posts like this, readers can’t see the rest of the great things about him – shared values, good gardening, good at actual gardening, he loves to cook AND clean AND do laundry, he’s very affectionate, he’ll watch Hallmark movies with me, loves his family, no vices. He just has a stubborn streak a mile wide.

  30. Is anyone from Delaware? Or has anyone spent time around Dover? We might have an opportunity to move there and I’m trying to decide if it’s somewhere we’d like. Any thoughts on the local culture/politics/interests?

    • I lived in Dover for a year. It is a very sleepy little town. That being said, it is a nice jaunt to the beach (45 minutes) or the city (Wilmington) 45 minutes, while living in what is kind of a sleepy little city. If you are moving there to be involved with the university, that makes it better because you have a built-in network, but aside from that the demographics skew older and there is not a lot to do. Local politics are weird, a lot of people are democrats but in name only – very conservative on a lot of things but also very much democrats with a capital D. There is also a lot of “first family” type of politics – not a lot of people move to Dover, so in my experience there is heavy favoritism for people who are from there.

    • Delawarean :

      Yup! Regular poster, born and raised in Wilmington. I am not that familiar with Dover, having never lived there, but I agree with everything the poster above said. It’s a small town and there is a major air force base there, but I don’t know how much the military population interacts with the civilians. Dover is the state capital, but the state’s population/economic base is in Wilmington and New Castle County. Kent County, where Dover is located, is much more rural.

      Where are you now, or what type of environment?

      • We’re in DC. We’re hoping for a slower pace and better COL, which is sounds like DE would offer, but we’re also concerned about “fit.” We’ll go visit, of course, but you can’t always get a feel for everything in a weekend.

        • Delawarean :

          You would definitely get both of those here. I have lived in DC and visit friends there, so I’m familiar with it. I personally probably would not move to Dover… the pace would probably be a little too slow for my taste. Wilmington is a little less removed from the flow of the world. The Delaware beaches also attract a number of DC retirees. Commuting from Wilmington to Dover or even the beach to Dover might be worth considering (again, depending on what you’re looking for).

    • Another Delawarean :

      I’m also from the Wilmington, Delaware area like the other poster and I now live in a large city. If you are in DC now I would caution that moving to Delaware (especially somewhere outside the Wilmington area) may be a bit of a culture shock. It’s quite rural, people are conservative, families have lived there for generations, and there really isn’t much to do. The whole state is also struggling with an opioid crisis. While the Wilmington area is much more liberal than the Dover area, I agree with the other poster’s assessment that they are Democrats in name only and my impression is that Dover is Republican (as in, NRA supporting, not uncommon to find Obama birther conspiracy theorists). Even though my family is still in the much more populated Wilmington area (with much more to do in the sense that there are a few more shopping centers, small museums, etc.) I would never move back there because I would be bored to tears. Then again, I am very much a city person so YMMV.

      • Delawarean :

        To add to this point, note that Delaware’s southern counties (including the county where Dover is located) voted for Trump in 2016.

        I’m happy to encourage people to come to Delaware, but… I don’t know. Dover’s a tough sell, and this from a person who actually left Delaware and came back.

      • Cornellian :

        slower lower is a different world.

  31. Anon- heavier Jardigan alternative :

    PSA, I just got the J CREW Going out Blazer in grey and I love it so much I got a backup. It is so popular that is goes out of stock quickly! I just book marked the page and checked regularly until they were back in stock this morning. looks like grey is already sold out but navy and black are still in play.

    It is structured with an interesting neckline, but has the flex of a ponte material. The lines are nice and reminiscent of the MM LaFleur long jardigan but the material has more weight ( the main reason why I returned mine- felt really like a cardigan).

    • I have the Going Out Blazer in black and love it so much that I just bought it in gray too. I like it because it doesn’t have any buttons or a collar, which I find overwhelming on my small frame, especially when I’m trying to put together a sleek look with a sheath dress.

    • I just looked this up – thank you! Looks like a great find! I hope they come out with some spring colors – I’m all set on black and gray.

    • Wow, I really love this piece.

      Thanks so much for sharing it.

    • What is the black version like? Can you wear it with black/grey sheaths underneath without it looking too boxy?

      I’ve tried my black blazers with my sheath dresses and it always seems a bit off.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Thanks for sharing! I love my 2 jardigans but can’t buy more because $$$. Just bought this in grey and navy. It’s backordered in grey in my size until June but the navy I should get in March! The 40% off sale really helped – there were lots of silk blouses that will be great for work/under this jardigan dupe.

    • Love this, thanks for the rec.

  32. When someone manterrupts and then mansplains your (very high ranking) boss in a meeting and the next day all your (male) colleagues are going “that’s just what women talk about all the time! I can’t believe he did that! That was awful!” And it’s obvious they’ve been talking about this among themselves and not just to put on a show now that you (a woman) are present. Guys, thank you. Seriously it means a lot that you see it.

    • I find it interesting that dudes are starting to get it. Just yesterday a male colleague was talking about how he was getting the run around from an auto mechanic and he says — the guy was mansplaining to him — and he says it in front of 4 female colleagues who say — yeah, see how it feels — and he totally got it.

  33. Body Confidence? :

    Talk to me about body positivity/body confidence. (Also PLEASE be gentle with me in regards to the rest of this post…)

    I’m a size 4, but I’ve gained weight over the past couple years to where my formerly flat midsection is now a little pudgy and “soft”. I have some back fat rolls. I work out and eat healthfully, but once I hit 25, my metabolism slowed and it’s been a struggle to adjust. I’ve always been “skinny”, so I didn’t really think anything of my body and it was just kind of not a Thing to me. But since I’ve gained weight, I’ve become so dissatisfied with my body. I know that objectively, there are some women who would kill to have my body, but how do I find the confidence in my body to wear cute things like crop tops or fitted shirts/dresses? I see a ton of larger women who rock clothing that I am not comfortable wearing…how do you build your confidence in yourself/your body up?

    I guess the tl;dr is: how do you become confident in your own skin, no matter what your size? How do you embrace your “imperfections” and not just focus on them?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Some might disagree, but my best advice (as a woman who has been between size 14 – 20 her entire adult life) is to have a lot of s-x. And keep your eyes open. There is just something about seeing someone’s desire for your body that makes me feel like I am a goddess, in whatever I wear.

    • I’m 5’0″ and weigh 130 lbs. Back in my 20s, I was 105. I’m 40 now and losing the weight is slow going. I carry most of my weight in my belly too. It sounds cliche, but dress for the body you have. I wear flit and flare dresses that skim over my stomach. Sheath dresses don’t work for me because they emphasize the pooch. I prefer higher waisted jeans that hold in my belly. I bought pants in larger sizes. I used to wear 4/6 but now it’s 8/10 sizes. I felt better when I started wearing clothes that fit.

      I’m not sure how to address the body confidence part because I don’t really hate the way I look. I’m trying to exercise and eat better for health reasons. And I want to be strong and fit. My cardio level is not good and I’d like to improve that. If I lose weight along with that, then great. Also, I rarely weigh myself.

      • +1 to dressing for the body you have. Not everyone is comfortable wearing super tight clothing and that’s ok. It doesn’t sound like you feel confident in crop tops so don’t bother with them. Wear clothing that makes you feel good and body positivity will follow.

    • honestly, I’d just pack the crop tops away if you are over 25. not for body reasons, but I just dont encounter many professional women over 25 rocking the crop top, even outside of work. and, if you dont want to show off your stomach publicly because you arent happy with it, good news! society in now way requires that you show your stomach in public. ever.

    • Check out intuitive eating. Real Life RD’s blog has great resources on that and on body positivity. I like her posts on how you can strive to accept your body, but you don’t need to force yourself to “love” your body.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Sympathy, I’m just like you – right down to size 4 and hitting 25.

      Exercise – I really think I think about my body positively when I see what it can do – yoga class, HIIT class, handstand workshop, etc.

      Read – Roxane Gay, memoirs, things that make you happy. STOP looking at insta and magazines if it puts you in a comparative mood

      Shop – personal shopper, some new workout clothes, take your stuff to the taillor so that your clothes make you feel good.

    • If you’re on Instagram, find a bunch of fashion/fitness/model accounts of women who are your size or larger. The visual normalization really makes a difference. We are so used to all of the beautiful, glamorous women we see being at the bottom of percentiles for weight.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Yup! It really helps to be able to look at women who look like me (and who look unlike me!) and be like, “damn, she’s beautiful/hot/cute/fashionable!” … it’s a reminder that I can be those things too.

    • This is a weirdly specific example but maybe it can help:

      I’ve spent my adult life floating between sizes 10 and 14, and definitely have a tummy, boobs, a butt, etc.

      A couple months ago, I saw a singer (Jane Monheit) perform at a local jazz club. She was wearing a slinky black dress that definitely emphasized her curves/softness. And she was so s*xy and confident in performing her set that I suddenly had this moment of clarity about s*xiness/confidence – basically that a part of her s*xiness was BECAUSE she was on stage in a spaghetti strap dress that showed her arms and tummy and butt, not in spite of it.

      So I guess my suggestion would be to find some role models of women of all sizes being confident in their appeal. If they have it near you, I would suggest burlesque shows, opera, jazz, etc. Oh and belly dancing! I think belly dancing is much s*xier with a little bit of a soft tummy.

    • Linda from HR :

      I’m right there with you! I was skinny, now I’m definitely “average” sized, and I wear clothes that fit and flatter, and I wear makeup that makes me look and feel awesome as well. You can be a fierce goddess at any size!

    • Sports or forms of dance that you like!

  34. cake batter :

    Random question from a non-lawyer – I’ve seen a couple references here lately to “lifestyle” law firms. What does that mean?

    • Anonymous :

      A firm where you don’t have to work 24/7 basically. Still probably have to work more than in other professions though, honestly.

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