Coffee Break: Easy Spirit Pumps

Easy Spirit Shoes Lizzie Comfortable Dress Shoes (Purple)Reader A sent in these shoes — and they look to be great purple pumps. I like the buckle detail on the front, as well as the stripey detailing on the toe and heel. They’re available in black and purple for $39.97 (buy 1, get 1 50% off!) at Easy Spirit (available in sizes 6-12, M and W). Easy Spirit Shoes Lizzie Comfortable Dress Shoes (Purple)

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Comments

  1. AnonAnonAnon :

    Not sure about those (something about the proportion between the heel and the toe), but loving these: http://www.easyspirit.com/Quent/51512325,default,pd.html?cgid=50485996&itemNum=3&variantSizeClass=&variantColor=ASHESSU_1

  2. Chris in LA :

    Wow. Can’t beat the price. But they are pretty much out of season right now.

    Anyone want to weigh in with some first hand experience with Easy Spirit comfort and quality?

    • Very comfortable and well-made shoes. I have a pair of 2″ purple suede pumps and they’re my go-to shoes. I’ve had them for over a year and they’re still going strong, even though I accidentally wore them in the rain once.

    • Cosign- EP makes very comfy shoes (and they’re *not* always fugly, surprisingly!). Man, these are prices that even Lawgirl-Cheapskate can get on board with!

    • Easy Spirit shoes are really comfortable, but they’re not the best quality.
      Have you tried Clarks? They are really comfy and good quality for the price. I am hard on my shoes but these really last. They’re not particularly cute though, but a girl has to have her priorities.

  3. Just wanted to let everyone know I will be wearing a linen suit to a hearing this week. Why? Because I am sick of wearing navy and gray. My linen suit is robin’s egg blue. If I don’t wear something bright and colorful soon, I may go stir crazy. I don’t care if it is out of season. My mental health is more important than fashion rules.

    • Ha haa haa! I am wearing a very colorful abstract print skirt today for the very same reason.

    • Hahah! I love it :). You rock your robin’s egg blue, eplawyer. A lawyer friend of mine who is a fantastic trial attorney gave me the following advice, and I just loved it: When you’re in court, you obviously have to be formal and respectful. However, at the end of the day, success in court is about confidence, so you need to wear whatever it is that makes you feel confident.

    • surrounded by lawyers :

      On my lunch break I saw a woman walking downtown, business outfit with open-toe patent nude-colored sandals and no stockings. I think you’re not alone! (Today is a bit warm in DC, but not that warm!)

  4. Sorry to threadjack so early, ladies, but I need some advice about managing a friendship. Bear with me, this is long.

    So, I have this friend M., we’ve known each other since the 7th grade. Back then, in the Dark Ages, we were – as many other 7th-grade girls were at the time – huge fans of a Boy Band. A group of about five of us plastered our rooms with Boy Band posters, went to Boy Band concerts, watched interviews with Boy Band members on TV, listened to Boy Band tapes (ugh, dating myself) incessantly, etc. etc. Then, Boy Band dropped in popularity sharply, most of us got breasts and real boyfriends, and we moved on. By the time I was in college I had bright-red hair, dressed in nothing but black, wore Doc Martens with striped tights (see, dating myself again) and only listened to early Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen and Siouxie and the Banshees, and stridently and vehemently denied any previous involvement I may or may not have had with Boy Band fandom. Although I figure I should get a little bit of a pass because hey, I was 12 at the time. We all like stupid stuff when we’re 12, right?

    Okay, fast-forward. It’s now almost 25 years (!) past the point when my childhood friends and I were originally Boy Band fans. For some inexplicable reason, my friend M. – who has gotten married and had a kid and has a very decent job as an accountant – somehow gets re-involved in Boy Band’s comeback movement and starts going to Boy Band reunion shows, showing up at radio interviews where Boy Band members are going to be there, and even goes on a cruise with the members of Boy Band where they do meet and greets with their fans and play concerts. She’s all into it. Which is great for her. Except she keeps emailing me, and a few of our other friends from the early Boy Band fandom days, asking us if we want to fly with her to various Boy Band concerts, go on the Boy Band’s cruises, look at the hundreds of pictures she took at some Boy Band meet and greet, etc. etc.

    We’re all in our mid-thirties by now. We’re horrified. None of us know what to say to or about her. Most of us are tied up with family and work and couldn’t go on these little excursions even if we wanted to (by my estimation, my friend’s dropping about $5k a year on her Boy Band fixation). But we don’t want to. And even though we’ve said no, not responded, not expressed interest in the slightest, etc. the invites keep coming. Including one that arrived today, asking us if we would like to celebrate her 35th birthday with her at a Boy Band concert in a faraway location.

    Love love love my friends. Love to celebrate their birthdays with them. Would rather stick a red-hot fork in my eye than go to this concert with her. I am usually a “to each their own” person but this whole fangirl thing, with a bunch of over-the-hill boy-banders, strikes me as both time-wasting and pathetic, I am so sorry to say. If she had asked me to come watch her run the Boston Marathon, or volunteer with her at a homeless shelter, or even just go to Vegas for a girls’ weekend, I would be all over it. I just cannot say “yes” to this request on any level. So how do I say no without making her feel bad? Is it OK for me to suggest an alternate activity? I have already received four emails from our mutual friends saying “if this is what she wants to do, I’m not doing it.” I have a sad vision of my sweet friend all alone on her birthday at this concert, and it breaks my heart. Any advice is appreciated. Man, I feel like a bad friend. :(

    • AnonAnonAnon :

      If this is the NKOTB tour, I have to say, I’m dying to go to their show. I loved their NYE performance with BSB. I see nothing wrong with her wanting you all to go to *a* concert, even if it’s a weekend get-a-way for the group of you. I think it’d be fun and care-free. Nothing wrong with a return-t0-childhood weekend. Not sure I’d drop $5k on it, but I would do a weekend.

    • surrounded by lawyers :

      “Friend, I am super excited about your 35th, and thanks for the invitation! I can’t wait to celebrate and catch up with you–but Boy Band I don’t miss quite as much. If you go to the concert, have a fabulous time! I know this is your thing, so enjoy it! Meanwhile, please let me know when you’re available for _____” [whatever you and possibly your other friends want to propose to acknowledge her birthday]. Follow up if she doesn’t.

      If this were just about the location, or it was just one invitation, I might say otherwise. But as it is I think this makes the point, subtly and lovingly, that you’re a big fan of this friend but no longer a big fan of Boy Band. The emails, photos etc may keep coming, but this is at least a start–and a hint, if she is able to recognize it. All the stuff about your feelings toward her fandom, etc. can remain unspoken–and if it turns out something is wrong in her life, such that this kind of nostalgia is taking over, you will have a better chance of hearing about it this way.

      • If you would fly somewhere to meet her to celebrate her birthday, then fly to the concert and spend the $70 for a ticket to make her happy/as your gift to her.

        I think it”s cute and maybe she just thinks it”s hilarious and you all would get a kick out fo it. drink some vodka, make some ridiculous t-shirts, and act like teenage girls for the night. Who knows, you may have fun reliving your youth.

        Now, if you wouldn’t fly somewhere for her birthday ever, then just decline. But if you would, it’s her birthday, do what she wants. Even if you think it’s lame. And if you suggest a different venue and would fly there, I think that’s just rude, like you are trying to turn her birthday into something for you, not her. Besides, the concert is only one night, you can do other stuff that wont make you poke your eye out the rest of the time.

    • AnonInfinity :

      It’s okay that you don’t like her hobby and that you don’t want to go to the events generally, but I really think you should go. At first I thought you were against the destination birthday thing, and I was inclined to say “Don’t go if you don’t want to,” but then you said that you would go on a destination celebration to do basically anything else. It’s her hobby and her birthday, I think it will not hurt you to go to this one concert with her. Plus, it could end up being really fun!

    • I was going to say you were under no obligation to fly long distances to celebrate her birthday at Boy Band’s concert but then you said you’d be willing to fly to Boston to watch her run a marathon or Vegas for a girls’ weekend. I think the best course of action is to ‘fess up and tell her you honestly haven’t listened or paid attention to Boy Band since you were 12 (despite her latest emails) so you can’t work up the same enthusiasm for it that she can, but it’s her birthday and you want to celebrate with her, so is there something she’d like to do that would allow you to do more catching up time than going to see Boy Band?

    • That’s a tough one, especially the part where she ignores your previous invitation declinations. Have you nicely/gently confronted her on it, like “Thanks, but that’s just not my life or interest anymore. Want to hit brunch next Sunday?”

    • Oh, the Smiths! I MISS my stripy tights, too. Thanks for the wonderful flashback.

      As for the situation…

      I wouldn’t recommend an alternate plan. It is her birthday and therefore her right to choose what to do. By the same token, I don’t see a need to do a far trip or make yourself unhappy–and then resentful to her–in the process. Can you say that’s too much of a stretch for you right now, but you would be happy to join her if she does any additional or alternate sort of celebration closer to home? If enough of you can’t make the trip, she may opt to choose an alternate activity on her own that is more local. And if she has enough people who do want to join her, she’ll have more fun with a small group who are just as into it. No one wants a bunch of negativity at their birthday. Maybe you can schedule a nice dinner or something with her one on one? Just because life takes you in different directions doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be fun catching up. It also might remind you of why you guys connected and that it’s about the people and not the activity.

    • Hang Tough.

      No advice. I just had to say it.

    • I don’t think you need to go but not sure what’s pathetic about liking a band and think genuine enthusiasm about anything is kind of cool. I’m not a fan of being embarassed of liking things. I love identifying as a fan girl – wish more things fit my pickiness so I could do so.

      You should probably tell her – not as a response to a birthday email – that you’re not at all into the boy band anymore so you can stop getting the emails.

      • I agree with this. Meh, who cares if she likes to geek out to the Backstreet Boys. Just tell her you don’t dig them anymore, but go with her for her birthday – it’s her day – and the nostalgia will probably be fun.

      • Agreed. Cut your friend some slack. You mentioned the rest of you are tied up with work, family, kids…it sounds like she doesn’t have the same obligations. Good for her for finding something that makes her happy. A Boyband cruise! My mid-thirty self is jealous.

    • North Shore :

      My brother’s wife went off the deep end over Duran Duran in some sort of mid-life crisis. She became a bona fide groupie, made a whole new set of friends who were also Duran fans, and left for lengthy trips to see the band despite the fact that they had three kids at home. Very strange. The marriage didn’t survive this (and other things, of course). Everyone’s welcome to their hobbies, I guess, but becoming a groupie later in life when you have real responsibilities just seems like an unfortunate choice.

      • NorthShore, this is kind of where I’m at with it. What I didn’t include before is that my friend has confided in us that her ultimate goal (in life, basically) is to get to somehow get to sleep with the member of the band she is the biggest fan of, whom she’s met several times. My friend is really pretty and in great shape so it’s actually not that long of a shot, that he would be interested in her. When I expressed shock and concern about this – what about her marriage, does she really think this is healthy, etc. – she told me that her plan is to either keep her husband from finding out about it – if it does happen – and if caught, basically just beg forgiveness. There’s so much wrong with this I don’t know where to begin. But I almost feel that by going with her to one of these events, I may be giving her the idea that I tacitly approve of what she’s planning. Which I do not. She has a small child at home who would be very negatively impacted by a divorce. Also, her husband is a good guy and does not deserve to be screwed over in this manner. I am not saying there is the remotest chance in hell this would actually happen and she would get that kind of access to this boy-band member, but if it did and something happened, hoo boy. Bad news, all the way around.

        I appreciate everyone’s feedback. The bottom line is, I cannot go with her to the concert, even just as a “good sport.” Part of it is what I mentioned above. Part of it is that the concert she picked is in a location VERY far from me, and traveling there would involve a not-insubstantial amount of money for me. I will be paying for my son’s private school tuition and a 40th anniversary trip for my parents later this year, and not only do I feel like I can’t afford it, but I know my husband will have a conniption if I even suggest it. Another part is that I am not one of those people who can go along with something like this and be in good grace about it, no matter how much I pretend and try to act like I’m happy. Somehow it’s always really obvious, no matter how hard I try, how I really feel. I learned a long time ago that it’s much better for all parties just not to put myself in those situations if I can possibly avoid it. And, I also don’t believe in the “it’s her day” theory of birthdays (or weddings, for that matter). If it’s other people’s time, money or emotions are involved, it’s not YOUR day, it’s everyone’s day. Other people’s feelings should be taken into account. I especially feel this way about older people and their birthdays – once you’ve had more than 21 birthdays, it really is not OK to take a position of “it’s MY DAY and everyone should do what I want;” that seems immature and selfish to me. Among the friends I hang out with locally, we celebrate each other’s birthdays but by mutual agreement with the birthday girl what we all would enjoy doing. I would never ask anyone to put my birthday ahead of their own priorities, which is not what my friend is asking, but what I would have to do to grit my teeth and go.

        As it turns out, the proposed birthday trip falls on the weekend before my son will be starting his new school, and even if we were planning to see the Rolling Stones I would not want to be away that weekend, as I would have to fly 6+ hours there and back and I will have a lot to do to get him ready to start school. I declined and expressed regret and all that, and she seemed to understand. I don’t think this is the end of the emails/invites, but I got some great ideas about how to handle it in the future (especially the awesome sample email “surrounded by lawyers” contributed, that is great!!). So thanks to everyone who responded.

        • Oh my. I was going to tell you that you should be a good friend and go celebrate your friend’s birthday with her, but that puts it in a new light. That poor woman needs help. I absolutely agree you should not go. If she wants to throw her marriage away for a sexual obsession, you aren’t obligated to watch her do it.

        • I am sorry you are going through this.

          I had a pretty close to best friend who went through this with a different band well into her 30’s. I eventually had to cut ties with her. She was going the full tilt groupie route, was still living at home and basically built a fantasy world that reality was having an increasingly difficult time penetrating. It does not help that she had her parents enabling this.

          It was the drugs that made me walk away. That, and I am not psychologist and she was getting way unbalanced. She probably needed her parents to take care of her.

          So…you are a damned good friend. That is all I can say.

    • Agree with the above. If you’re willing to fly for your friend’s birthday, I think you should be willing to let her pick the place and the main activity. If it’s just a concert, surely there are other things that you can do that weekend that won’t make you want to stab yourself? Go to brunch, explore the city, enjoy yourself, and then suck it up for a couple of hours at the concert and make your friend happy for her birthday. Unless I misunderstood–if it’s a full-on fan weekend of 24/7 boy band extravaganza….then I say it’s okay to pass.
      The random event emails are a separate issue that you should deal with well after her birthday, I think.

  5. Threadjack –

    This might be a very stupid question, but I’m asking anyway. A recently-deceased relative apparently left me a decent-but-not-huge sum of money in a 401(k) account. If I leave it in there, will it keep on earning interest until I take it out, even though the person who earned it has died?

    I ask because my firm does not allow me to contribute to my 401(k) until I’ve been here a year, so I figure leaving that money where it is would be a great jump-start on saving for retirement if it will continue to grow. Otherwise it will be the start of my emergency fund.

    • It will continue to earn interest, but I’m guessing you’ll have to roll it over to an IRA in your name. I would contact the employer/investment company to let them know you are the beneficiary and see what you need to do to claim the funds.

      I think there are rules about how funds are treated when you are the beneficiary vs. future retiree. I would check with the investment adviser or the IRS’ webpage (www.irs.gov).

    • You need to talk to a tax/estate attorney. You are required to start taking a certain amt of distributions every years, starting this year, but the amount is based on your life expectancy, so the bulk of it will still be earning tax-deferred interest.

    • Yeah, you can’t just keep earning tax free money like a 401K owner would indefinitely. Get a tax/estate lawyer.

    • First, contact your relative’s employer and find out how long you can leave the money in that plan. (The assets likely will remain invested in the investment options your relative chose, and will share in any gains or losses of those investment options, until the account is transferred to your name. At that point, you could leave the investments unchanged or change the investment mix as you see fit.) Then, do some research – either on your own, or with a financial planner, or with a tax/estate attorney. The Pension Protection Act provides that non-spouse beneficiaries can rollover inherited 401k accounts to “inherited IRAs,” which may be a good option for you. However, there are specific rules about how to set up and name the IRA, so you need to be careful. You would need to take required minimum distributions from the inherited IRA; I think the first distribution would be the year following the year your relative passed away.

    • Carolyn C. :

      That was not a stupid question. It was brilliant for all that I have learned from the responses.

    • Agree with the advice above about contacting employer, etc. You won’t be able to just let the assets sit in the old account – it will need to somehow be rolled.

      In the meantime, no one will have sold the funds in which your relative was invested so you are still exposed in the same way. You’re probably not earning “interest” unless there was a money market option. It’s more likely you’re in stock/bond funds that will continue to fluctuate with the market, pay dividends, etc. You should figure out how to get these assets in your name and decide on an appropriate asset allocation strategy for you – which may perhaps be quite different from the ideal allocation for an older individual

  6. Does anyone have any tips for having to call higher-ups who have no idea who you are? Recently I’ve been having to do a lot of this (my boss normally does, but decided she wants me to be more visible – yay! – and start doing more of these type of things). But I’m only a year into my career and pretty low on the totem pole, so this really intimidates me.

    These are senior sales execs (mostly middle aged men, FYI) who likely have absolutely no clue who I am (aside from maybe seeing my name on an email or two). I have to call and solicit feedback/input from them on department projects. Unfortunately, they don’t have assistants or anyone I can go through for an introduction. 98% of them work in other states, so I’ve never met any of them in person and probably won’t in the near future.

    It makes me incredibly nervous, and I’m wondering if you ladies had any tips or words of wisdom. I had to make one of these phone calls today and the exec in question was less than pleasant with me, even though I felt I came across as very professional and polite. Help?

    • If they know your boss, I usually say “I’m [my name], I work with [boss' name] and I’m calling about x.” Getting the name they know (my boss) into the conversation as quickly as possible usually gets me better results until they learn who I am and remember me when I call.

      I’d love to know if other Corporette-ers have any other suggestions.

    • I think the above works…though I usually say, “I am , I work with in department . *We* are soliciting input for project .”

      The “we” is important to establish that this is your project, not just a task you’re being asked to fulfill (even if that’s not entirely true, they can think that). Still, and even more so when I was younger, I find that it is helpful to offer a *short* explanation of the project, why you’re seeking input, and how it will be used. Some of the gruff-ness may be a reaction to feeling like this is a waste of time that won’t benefit them in any way. Also, offer to answer any questions they have about the project (i.e. make it a collaborative effort that they feel ownership of).

    • When I’m really dreading a call or feel intimidated, I actually type out a little script of what I want to say. Not just bullet points, but the actual, full sentences. I make up little responses for the other person and then have a “choose your own adventure style” response for me depending on their responses. I don’t necessarily read my script, but it’s really helpful if I need to rely on a certain phrase. If I get thrown off, it’s almost always because the call is going much better than I expected, and by then I feel comfortable and can handle the rest. If things really go down hill, I find that just letting the other person talk and talk and talk lets me think of a good response, and one safe answer is always “I’ll look into it and get back to you.”
      Good luck! It really does get easier, and I’ve found that people usually enjoy being asked for advice or their opinion, which is what it sounds like you’ll be doing. And dropping your boss’s name is a great suggestion to give them some context into who you are.

    • Can you set up the calls in advance via email? I’m not sure if that would work in your situation, but you could explain who you are and what you are looking for and ask to set up 30 minutes for a discussion. Most of my phone anxiety with strangers comes from worrying that I am interrupting someone, so having a time set aside where someone expects to speak with me is much better. Sometimes people just don’t have time to chat right at that moment, and can be kind of thrown off-balance by getting a random call from someone they haven’t worked with a lot. I’m much more helpful when I have had time to think about a topic!

      • Exactly. Remember that if you’re cold-calling during the work day, they could be in the middle of anything else. Their day could be going swimmingly, in which case they’d be in a good mood. Or their day could be super-busy, in which case they’d be grouchy and want to get you off the phone as soon as possible. Don’t take it personally – you never know what else is going on in their day.

        (I recently called a guy I’m dating in the middle of a busy day. I was really disappointed by his tone, but had to remind myself that he was actually *busy* because he was *working.*)

      • Good idea with the scheduling. This isn’t always possible, but I will make an effort to do so when it is. :)

  7. Tired Squared :

    Threadjack!

    I have a question about a noisy neighbor. I live alone in a housing complex, and my neighbors (two women) have a little boy, who is probably 2 years old or younger.

    My question: Is there anything I can do about the fact that the child is CONSTANTLY crying next door? I know I can’t barge over and give the parents (who I don’t know at all) parenting lessons, and it would be stupid of me to try, since I don’t have children. But the baby cries all night long, and is crying most of the time when I’m home. It is driving me nuts (notice the username?!) I don’t know if they aren’t taking care of the baby, or what is going on… I just hear the crying all. the. time.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. I want kids of my own someday. But I’ve spent time with kids–several months at a time, in some cases–and I don’t think any of those kids cried as much as Neighbor Baby does!

    • Earplugs.

      If you’re really concerned about the safety of the child, you could always call child services (OCS, DFYS, whatever it’s called) in your state.

      He could also be sick.

      • Tired Squared :

        Yep, I do have the earplugs–of course, they don’t work when I am on the phone/watching TV. They help at night though!

        I thought the same thing about sickness, but it’s been almost 2 months now, and before then, it was still a surprising amount of crying in comparison to what I have experience with. Maybe all of the children in our family/friends circle are abnormally quiet…

        • There are any number of reasons that a child cries more than average – ear infections or other medical conditions, some type of attachment/sensory/name your condition, etc. If you think the child is being abused or neglected, by all means call the appropriate governmental agency. Otherwise, I recommend a white noise machine and a huge dose of patience. If they are leaving windows open, then you might ask them to close them. Otherwise, they know the child is crying and they are not sleeping either, so I would not say anything.

      • I second either called the child protective services or expressing concern to the building manager and asking them to look into it.

        In cases like this, I ask myself “What is something is very seriously wrong and I had the chance but did nothing?”

        Of course if nothing gets better and noise starts ruining your life, it is time to move.

    • Can you ask building management to look into it anonymously? I.e., find out if the child is sick, going through sleep training, or the like. I wouldn’t call protective services unless you truly believe the child is being mistreated. That is a tough thing to put a family through if you have no basis for doing so (other than your own loss of sleep). My child was very fussy so I sympathize with everyone involved.

      • Could be colic. I’ve listened to babies cry, trice weekly sex sessions @ 11pm, and a whole lotta of other stuff from my apartment neighbors. No advice, beyond These Three words: Buy Detached House. LOL.

        • Tired Squared :

          To all of you, thanks for the advice!

          I’m definitely going to call the housing complex manager tomorrow and ask them to look into it anonymously, as Anon at 11:26 suggested. If they find out something is wrong then they can definitely call CPS; I wouldn’t want to do that unless I knew for sure something was wrong.

          Thanks again!!

    • I don’t know if you speak with your neighbors but next time you see them, maybe you could ask? Sort of like, “Hey, how are you? How are things? Must be rough with the baby crying all the time, has the doctor said anything?”, etc.

    • Hang a rug or other thick fabric item on the wall you share – it’s one of the few things I found to muffle neighbor noise in multi-family housing.

      And good call on asking the landlord to look into it before you call family services. I once called Child Protective Services on a neighbor, and I felt really bad for them afterward. Though it did result in both their little ones going to school for the first time, which was a good outcome.

  8. I may try to askt again on the Tuesday morning post, but does anyone know how Nordstrom prices refunds on defective merchandise without tags? I bought a beautiful Classiques Entier silk dress a couple of months ago and I wore it to work today (literally the third time I’m wearing it). I just discovered that the fabric on the rear seam has literally disintegrated and frayed, and now I’m stuck with a huge gaping hole on the back of the dress (luckily it’s lined, but I still live too far away to go home and change). I want to return, but I highly doubt I can find the price tag or receipt at this point and the dress is clearly Nordstrom and defective.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Nordstrom Shopper :

      Hi There,

      Nordstrom is great about taking items back. Just go to customer service and they will look you up in their computer and refund the price paid. Have card used ready.

  9. LawyerChick: Nordstrom takes everything back, receipt or no receipt. Years ago I worked at a makeup counter there, and accepted returns of all sort of merchandise, from brand-new, un-opened items to used up, dried-out products. You should not have a problem returning your dress. If you do (but, you won’t) just ask to speak with the manager of the department and your return will be processed.

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