Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Scoopneck Cotton Top

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

RAFAELLA Scoopneck Cotton TopRafaella has been making these kinds of tops for years, and I’ve always liked them. A simple, solid color… a classic, flattering effect like the scalloped detailing here… and a really affordable price. Love it. The cotton top is marked to $15.67 at Lord & Taylor (available in yellow, red, and blue). RAFAELLA Scoopneck Cotton Top


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  1. I really like this shirt, and you can’t argue with the price.

    But I foresee a problem with it, wouldn’t your bra strap show? Would you have to wear a strapless bra?

  2. PharmaGirl :

    Cute top but I can’t bring myself to shop at Lord and Taylor again, after experiencing seriously rude customer service this week. I wonder if it is specific to where I live or if the attitude of store associates has become pervasive country-wide.

    • I was at L&T outside Philly at Christmas, and also had a very rude saleswoman. I was returning a pair of leather gloves that had been a gift (because my dear grandmother forgot she had sent me the same, lovely pair the year before – their gloves are in fact quite soft and nice). The lady at the glove counter raised her eyebrows and said in a very snippy and incredulous voice, as if I must be some ingrate who can’t appreciate quality, “don’t tell me you didn’t like them!”

    • I had terrible customer service shopping online with them earlier this year. It seriously got my blood boiling. I have also sworn them off.

    • Not L&T, but I was in Whole Foods and the cashier made a comment on something I was buying to the effect “oh, granddaughter wants me to buy that, but they are so expensive” and I a bit…put off?… and wanted to say “You work at Whole Foods. Everything is expensive. Stop judging” I was tempted for half a second to tell her she was right and just take that item off my bill. I know she was just trying to make conversation, but…ick.

      • One time I had a bank teller comment on my account balance. No lie. There wasn’t any business reason for her to do it, nor was it going anywhere–it was just an idle remark (“that’s pretty good…”). As if I was going to hang around the window chatting with her about it!

        • Wow. Please tell me she didn’t actually state how much you have in your account out loud as well.

          • Ha–she might have! I don’t remember anything but how uncomfortable it was. This was many years ago.

        • Had a loan officer ask me how it was “even possible” for my student loan balance to be THAT high.

          • In my character and fitness interview, the interviewer asked me how I planned to service my debt. Not at all a stressful question. Nope.

        • I was opening a new fancier account at my bank and the officer asked my annual salary. I told him without even thinking about it. He said, “WOW!”


          I initially sort of offended and embarrassed but he actually turned out to be a really good banker (young guy, very enthusiastic) and then I tried to hire him. True story. :)

          • SoCalAtty :

            Whenever I deal with financing on anything and the bank/creditor/whatever sees my student loan blanaces, “WOW” is usually the response. Since they have my income too, it is usually “WOW” and then, “well that salary isn’t all that much then, is it?” No, jerk, it isn’t. Yes, it sucks. My debt to income is still below what you need it to be, so just give me the flipping refinance already, ok?!

            I’ve noticed that at smaller credit unions they seem to act like they aren’t used to dealing with even moderate amounts of money. We keep cash in a savings account far away from our normal accounts so we don’t touch it, and we needed to have X amount in reserve for a refinance. I kept asking the mortgage banker how much we needed, and she kept telling me “a lot.” Finally I dragged it out of her, and it was $9k. We had it in the account it needed to be in the next day and she about had a heart attack.

          • karenpadi :

            SoCalAtty. That’s why I luv luv luv my bank. It’s a fancy private bank for rich people. They didn’t blink at my 20% down payment for my house. It was just “I’ll get you that cashiers check right away.”

            My credit union…they were shocked that I wanted a credit card with a $5k limit. I could only get a $2k limit “because who would spend more than that in a month?” They’ve never traveled for business…

      • Oh how I hate the dreaded convo with the grocery cashiers. So tired of answering questions about the food I’m purchasing.

        I had someone ask me if SlimFast worked once and then eyeball me up and down. The worst though was before a vacation. At the end of my order on the belt I had shave gel, bikini zone cream, and razors. The guy asked if I was going swimming soon. I felt so icked out.

        • Ick, indeed!

        • Oh, that’s too bad! At Target, they never seem to know what to say, but I partly go to my independent grocery store because I’ve gotten to know the cashiers and baggers (and know which ones can handle my canvas bags). At Whole Foods, I’ve come to know a couple of the cashiers – one lives in my neighborhood and walks her dog by my house and another is studying for the LSAT and I see her pretty often on campus. Makes me feel homier.

        • I got the same Slim Fast comment from a cashier, too!! I basically said, “Well, if you have to ask, it’s probably not working well enough.” Same with waiters at restaurants who comment on the amount I ate or how fast I ate it.

        • One of my best guy friends is a self-admitted junk food junkie. His wife is vegan and he doesn’t want to eat what she cooks, so he buys a lot of frozen food for himself.

          At the Safeway register with several frozen pizzas, burritos, chicken nuggets etc. the cashier said, “Boy, you must have a houseful of teenagers!”

          He said, “Nope. Just me.”

          (He actually loves this story and tells it quite often, so I don’t think he was really all that embarrassed.)

      • Something similar happened to me too, recently. I was buying a set of four plastic hair clips from Duane Reade that was, like, $4. The cashier said something like, “Cute! But a little expensive, don’t you think?” Umm…

      • Booth Tarkington :

        I just don’t see that it’s worth getting worked up over. They’re providing a service where many people are rude and treat them like they should be servile automatons. They might be having a bad day. They might be saying something that the last 5 customers laughed at and responded to in the manner in which it was meant. It’s not going to kill me to be polite or even (gasp) nice back to them.

        • No – it’s not worth getting worked up over. And I didn’t say anything back – my reflexes just aren’t that good. And goodness knows that I’ve probably stuck my foot in mouth without realizing it. It was just weird. I remember when I was working in a bookstore in HS and my boss specifically told me to refrain from commenting on the books that people bought. I’d mention if I liked a book, but wouldn’t say anything like “Oh, you’re reading THAT? I didn’t know anyone actually bought stuff by that author.”

        • sugarmagnolia :


          • big dipper :

            this. i worked as a grocery cashier all through high school and we were trained to “say something nice or say nothing at all.”

    • I was buying stinky blue cheese at Trader Joe’s – it comes, as in most stores, in random weight pieces wrapped in clear plastic. The cashier actually said “Eww” when he ringed up this item.

      • I had a bizarre [but not rude] TJ’s experience. The checkout guy at TJ’s asked me and my husband last week what brought us in today. We looked puzzled and said uhh… groceries? He also asked us if we were going on a walk that day. We were like umm… no? I don’t think so?

        • The last time I went the cashier asked if I did voiceover work because I looked familiar. Um, no. And there is so much wrong with that statement.

          • Hahaha… thanks, I needed that. In fact, I think I’m going to save that and start asking random people.

        • I once went into get an oil change and the mechanic (who had the same last name as I do) asked me where I got my last name, and the only thing I could thing to say was “My dad?” I mean, where else do you get your last name (well, your mom, I guess. I know he was trying to figure out if we were related, but it was just phrased so oddly.

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          I usually think that the people at our local TJs are hilarious and often helpful–they buy a lot of their own groceries there (for obvious reasons) and if they have a similar palate, can recommend similar (frozen food) items.

          But once one of them kept trying to pick me up (or was just really curious?). I studied ChE (chemical engineering) undergrad and my university gave me a really sweet backpack that I kept using through much of law school. First this guy asked me all these questions about engineering, so I had to explain my life story (seriously, engineering to law is baffling to people). Then I asked him where I could find a bunch of items, including dates to make date bars, and he obviously used this as a pick-up line. I suppose it might have worked on some people.

          • karenpadi :

            I can relate to the “engineering to law” being baffling. I have inventors who ask me if I know how coding (like writing programs for a computer) works. Why yes, you do need to be an engineer to write patents…

      • Rang up, of course. I get angry every time I think about this incident.

        JK, it’s part of Trader Joe’s “concept” to have the staff chitchat with customers, but not everyone is good at random small talk. I am not.

        • oh yeah, I know, and usually they are really cheery and make product suggestions or comment on items I buy (i.e. don’t you just LOVE those granola bars? etc) but this guy’s comments were just so awkward. I’m with you, I’m horrible at small talk so I would be a big FAIL at TJs or Whole Foods.

      • I think TJ kind of encourages vaguely eccentric cashiers. Its part of the schtick.

        I kind of enjoy it. But I’m vaguely eccentric myself.

    • Heh. Here in the DC suburbs (Maryland side), I find L&T sales people to be nicer than Nordstrom’s salespeople (although the bra ladies are pretty nice). And don’t even get me started on Macy’s. It’s weird, I go to the Macy’s in one of the nicer parts of the area and it just seems so trashy.

      But I’ve pretty much accepted that DC ranks pretty low on the customer service scale.

      • Yay! Fruegel Friday’s! I LOVE this shirt, but in RED!!!! The yellow is ickey.

        I also LOVE Lord and Taylor’s store in NYC. You should come here. I go there at LUNCH. The manageing partner came in to my office and spilled his coffee all over the floor and my shoe’s. FOOEY!

        He said he tripped over the chair, but there was NO CHAIR there to trip over.

        I think he should stop stareing at me and get busy by lookeing where he is going. He had his secratery come in to clean it up. He told me he make it up for be b/c he would buy me a lunch at the Kosher deli today! I love DELI sandwiches!

      • I had an incredibly snarky salesman at Nordstrom in Dallas before. I was buying a pair of shoes and used a gift card that my secretary gave me for Christmas to pay for part of them. I had used the card before, so I mentioned to the clerk that I didn’t know the exact balance of it. He replied “Well, if whoever gave it to you knows anything about Nordstrom, it should be a lot!” and finished with a haughty sniff.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        It’s because you’re on the Maryland side. Zing! (from the VA suburbs of DC).

        (this is obviously a joke).

        • I’m not offended because it might be true! I totally admit that Tysons Corner beats Montgomery Mall (Westfield Shopping Town blah blah blah) hands down.

    • I seem to encounter rude salespeople at higher-end stores like Saks and Bloomingdales. I always bite my tongue but one day will comment that they work hourly and don’t actually own the overpriced items in the store.

      • mezzaluna :

        I once walked into Cartier and asked if I could have the chain on my watch adjusted. The man looked at me and rudely asked 1) Is it a Cartier? and 2) Did you buy it here? I wanted to punch him. Granted, I was only wearing jeans and a T shirt at the time, but give me a break! Who walks into that store to have their swatch watch tuned up? I wish I could have come up with a snarky come back but having just finished taking the bar exam my brain was too fried to be witty. Bottom line… I agree. Sometimes sales people at high end stores are so rude. (Disclosure – I have and love my Swatch watch, but you get the point…)

        • mezzaluna :

          Aaaaand the watch was from that store, which makes the store clerk’s comments unwarranted and gives my comment some context. Guess my brain is fried on Friday afternoons, too :)

    • i swore off neiman marcus a few years ago and am still upset with the customers service incident that led to them being sworn off. long story short: i purchased a pair of sunglasses in a particular color online. the sunglasses came in several color combos. i recieved the wrong color combo. i called them to tell them they made a mistake. my shipping invoice also had the wrong color combo, but my online order confirmation had the correct color combo. for approx. 3 hours customers service told me i was a liar and i was just unhappy with what i ordered so i must be making it up. not sure why i would do this, it was a full price item and i was unhappy i could just return it. after a very long drawn out process, they figured out that their system defaulted my order to a different color because my preferred color had sold out. they gave me 50% off the sunglasses if i wanted to keep the wrong color, and i did. but i still hate them and will not forget the awful way i was treated for several hours on the phone with their terrible CSRs.

      • eastbaybanker :

        That’s crazy and awful, but also uncharacteristic, I think. I had the completely wrong coat shipped from Neiman Marcus. They had miscoded an item online. They realized their mistake, apologized, and then expedited shipping of the correct coat at no charge. Although, I do agree that the salespeople are stuck up.

      • SoCalAtty :

        I’ve sworn off Neimans as well. I used to get my Sue Wong fancy/ball gown dresses there. I decided to go to the one in SF to look for wedding dresses, and was fully ready to drop $$$$ if I found the right one. There was NO ONE in the store, at all, and the woman in the bridal shop totally ignored me. Then proceeded to tell me they were probably “too expensive” for me. Yes, I was only 26 at the time, but I was wearing designer jeans, carrying a gucci purse, and in general looked put together, so….I don’t know.

        I walked across the street and found one. At Saks. Now Bluefly gets Sue Wong on occasion, so I wait for a sale!

        • Neimans in SF is the WORST. I will shop there online and in other cities but not right here in my hometown. Each and every clerk acts like a complete DOOSH.

          I bought a pair of Cole Haan shoes online from them, and then returned them to the SF store to save return shipping. The clerk acted like I had stepped in something smelly. Cole Haan is pretty low end for the SF shoe department. Not true at other locations.

          • Just so u know, whenever I encounter a DOOSH and realize they are one, I actually instantaneously see an image of what I think you look like and then I see the giant letters DOOSH. I’m sure it is creepy to know that strangers are thinking about you during random moments of the day but I just had to share.

      • sugarmagnolia :

        You sat on the phone for several hours with customer service and didn’t ask for a supervisor? You have a LOT more patience than me. After 3 minutes I would have been asking for a supervisor.

        • totally asked for supervisors, it was the most ridiculous thing ever. if i recall correctly, i ended up missing a dinner date because of the ordeal. i was called a liar up until the very last minute, at every level. it was beyond believable. i still don’t get WHY i would lie about having ordered a particular color. ughhhh.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      I had to chime in with my experience with Lord and Taylor no more than 5 seconds ago. I tried to purchase the above top, but for some reason the free shipping was not registering on the website (and since I went through the trouble of signing up for shoprunner to get the free shipping, I wanted it!). So I called and explained the situation. Well after (no lie) a 20 minute conversation explaining the situation, the guy on the other line said he could make the purchase for me by phone and bypass the internet problems. I gave him the web id and my credit card number, and he gave me the total including shipping. I explained that I had two day free shipping. “Well why didn’t you tell me that before?” Um, that’s why I called bro.

      Whatever, I got my shirt for $11.75 and I won’t be bothering with them again in the future (oh and I’m cancelling that shoprunner subscription right now unless someone here has it and thinks it is a worthwhile service).

      What’s more annoying is he kept making creepy comments about how beautiful my name and my voice is, and how he was going to go the extra mile to help me out because I was so “nice.” Made me really think twice about giving out my address…

  3. Ooh, nice!

    I think one of the posters on here was looking for a dress or top in yellow…maybe this one would fit the bill!

  4. Nice, this is th sort of thing that I would wear A LOT.

    How does their sizing run? Also, I can’t decide between yellow or blue! I like the yellow, and I don’t really have anything like that, but, at the same time, as a redhead, yellow can be a challenging color, and I’m afraid that this one may trend a little tiny bit too much towards orange (as the red does, which I immediately ruled out). But, though I can’t think of anything that I have similar to this in blue, I have a feeling I’ll suddenly remember after I order that I have several. Decisions, decisions!

    • With red hair, I think the blue is really nice. I know what you mean about deciding on color – I look good in vivid colors but not dull colors. If something is off from how it appears online, I end up sending it back. Argh.

    • In my experience, Rafaella sizing is very large. Even their smallest items have been horribly boxy on me–which I mention because I believe you and I are about the same size.

  5. My boyfriend’s family is planning a trip together – two couples and mom, for late January 2013.  We’re in the NYC area and want to go somewhere warm and beachy.  The other couple likes diving, snorkeling, spas, etc.  We like light hiking, animals, nature activities.  Mom likes all of the above, plus cultural things like visiting ruins. We’re looking to go for 4-5 nights, and don’t want to have to spend too much time in transit.  We are not looking to do Mexico or Jamaica.  My boyfriend and I have been in Costa Rica recently – ideally we’d do something different, but we really loved it so wouldn’t mind going back to the right resort (we did a more budget trip).  I was thinking Belize might be nice, but very open to other possibilities.
    I’ve been tasked with putting together a list of 2-4 options that we all can vote on.  Mom has requested an all-inclusive experience, and wants to be right on or very close to the beach.  She has $ (and will be paying), but I don’t want to offer anything outrageously expensive – and she appreciates a good deal. 
    So – any all-inclusive resorts you’ve been to that fit the bill?  I really appreciate the help!!

    • Belize is great, but I’m not sure if there are any all inclusives, and it’s a bit of a haul for 4-5 nights.

      Have you thought about Puerto Rico? San Juan has tons of hotel options, and there’s lots to do within an easy driving distance (El Yunque national park has hiking).

      • Hm – amending to say that the San Juan area is probably not great for snorkelers / divers. Maybe the DR?

        • We don’t all need to do our preferred activities, San Juan can definitely make an appearance on the list!

          • my husband and I went to san jaun last month. It was wonderful. There is tons of stuff to do, and also a lovely beach if you want to do nothing. Plus, there are casinos which makes night time really fun.

            We stayed at the ritz, which is only about 5 minutes from the airport. if its in your budget, i would highly recommend it. There is also a wonderful hotel called El Convento in Old San Jaun that is really, really cool. I’d highly recommend gettting drinks/tapas there if you dont stay.

      • I second Belize – we stayed at Matachica on Ambergris Caye, but it wasn’t all -inclusive and won’t give you the “nature” experience unless you do a few days on the Caye and then a few in the jungle.

    • Husband and I went to Cancun a few years ago, and it was really nice in a lot of the ways you want. We didn’t stay all-inclusive, but I know that they had them. Hotels were really cheap and nice, there were ruins tours nearby (though we didn’t go on them), very nice snorkling (we didn’t dive, but that looked nice, too), and the beach was absolutely fabulous. The trip was cheap and not very far for us (2.5 hour flight, I think, from ATL).

      The only downside might be that, at least where we stayed (the “strip”), it was very Americanized – everyone spoke English, basically all of the other guests were Americans, we didn’t really have any cultural surprises (well, I was surprised to get refried beans with my eggs one morning, but that was the worst of it. And I like refried beans. Oh, and the roads were hell and the drivers were crazy, but we didn’t spend too much time with that.), etc. Which made for a very easy and relaxing trip, but if you’re looking to “experience” another country more, that might not be for you.

      • I’ve heard Riviera Maya is great. Near Cancun but its not quite as Americanized. Have not been myself but family friends have been and came back with rave reviews.

        My family has been to Puerto Vallarta and Cancun. We’ve had good experiences with Apple Vacations when booking all-inclusive vacations. They also service more areas than Mexico.

    • You can do all of those things in Puerto Rico. I suggest spending part of the trip in San Jose and the other half on the West Coast, like Rincon. Then rent a car. You’ll be able to cover the whole island—Yunque Terre for hiking, historic Old San Juan and Ponce, and so many beaches!

    • Take a look at the options in Placencia, Belize. There is Coppola property there – Turtle Inn – that is wonderful. Also the Inn at Roberts Grove, which is less luxe but they have private islands on the reef that you can spend a day or three at. (I got married at the Inn, then we went to a private island, and then spent a week at Turtle. No complaints about any of them.)

      neither are all-inclusive, but it is easy to do the things on your list (except the ruins, which would involve a long car ride). There are tour guides who will take you on hikes in the nearby jungle (a short boat ride away.) And you are also not far away from great diving on the reef.

    • just Karen :

      Belize would be great for what you’re talking about! I would look for All Inclusives on Ambergris Caye (I recommend trying to be South of San Pedro rather than North) and do a day tour to the mainland. While it is harder to be north of the idland if you want to spend a lot of time in town (everyone rides golf carts, and the roads on the north end get fairly rough), but I would go against my own advice and have you look at Azul Resort. It is far enough north you may just use the water taxis to get to town, and the food at the restaurant (Rojo Lounge) was absolutely spectacular. The most expensive meal I’ve ever eaten (in part bc of transportation and drinks), but so so yummy.
      In terms of tours, we actually did one that took us to Tikal in Guatemala, then we stayed overnight at San Ignacio, near the border, then did the ATM cave tour on the way back – which was AMAZING, but requires hiking, climbing, swimming, wading… and between the two activities back to back, I was sore for days. There are lots of other mainland tours that are less strenuous though.

  6. K... in transition :

    Wondered if anyone else here has endometriosis… didn’t realize I’d never asked that around here until today, but considering that approx. 10 million women have it, I figured there might be an endo sister here that I didn’t know I have!

    • K... in transition :

      just got emailed and asked to explain more about endo, so here’s the shortest answer…

      Endometriosis is when the lining of your uter*s grows outside of the uter*s. Because it has no exit strategy the way normal lining does (by shedding during your p*eriod), it continues to grow and can attach itself to organs, causing benign but problematic masses. Unfortunately, many docs don’t recognize the symptoms and the only 100% diagnostic tool is surgery to find the mass(es) (and remove them if possible). Average time from first symptoms to proper diagnosis is between 7-9 years. If your p*er*od is super heavy and/or painful, if you have trouble TTC, or if you have unexplained pain, this might explain it.

      I was also asked to share some of my endo story… shortest version of this one: Symptoms began at 15, was told I was just whiny about what all women experience, pain got worse as I aged. Spent ages 20-25 on constant bed rest and on heavy meds while docs twiddled their thumbs. (completed college classes online, no dating possible, lots and lots of time by myself and watching bad tv) Pain got so bad I couldn’t have s*x or use t*mpons anymore, per*od time meant black out level pain. I took to the internet to try to self-diagnose and learned about endo. Tracked my pain (where on body, what I was doing before, etc.) and ended up finally finding a doc who agreed to do surgery to see if I was right. Masses were found on my uterus (which is why the per*od hurt so much, when the uter*s contracts) and on my lower intestines/bowel area (which was being disturbed during s*x/t*mpon use). I’m currently on hormone therapy and have been in remission for 4 years, however the pain is still pretty bad sometimes and my immune system is permanently compromised.

      But so many women don’t know what endo is, don’t know they have it, are being misdiagnosed, so I’m really big on trying to help women by sharing info (feel free to ask if you have q’s). Also, when I talk to you guys about dating things, about wardrobe, etc., it often comes from a lack of really experiencing and learning the things most career women are picking up from ages 20-25.

      • anon for this :

        thanks for sharing this. Although I used to have painful per*ods as a teenager, I don’t think I have endo. However I did have vag*nismus and got over it a year ago. I was on an online support group for this and I suspect that many women who have it probably suffer from endo which makes s*x painful. With vag, it’s hard to figure out the cause (can be physical or psychological or both), so given the prevalence of endo, it may be one more thing for sufferers to consider.

      • My doctor just mentioned this to me at the last visit because of the way I described periods, and my trouble TTC. It doesn’t sound anywhere as near as bad as what you went through, I wonder if there are varying levels?

        • I think there are. My periods have been hell since I was 14. I’ve done meds, bc pills, vomited for days, laid in bed for days, etc. I’ve had a couple of ovarian cysts to boot, which are a damn joy. I’m currently using the depo shot to get rid of my period, which seems to be the most effective solution.

          • K... in transition :

            yep, WLC, because the lining cells can be anywhere in the body cavity, some women don’t even know they have it until the docs are in there for another reason and discover the cells, others have tiny masses that cause huge issues because of where they attach. Plus different folks experience pain differently. (While mine is pretty bad in some respects, I have some endo sisters who’ve had sections of intestines removed, multiple masses removed in multiple surgeries, etc. so I still feel pretty lucky in some respects). So yep, definitely a spectrum!

      • Thank you K and all the ladies who’ve shared. The timing is particularly good as a good friend just got diagnosed – she’s very worried but relieved at having a firm diagnosis. I will ask her to have a look at this thread and also the Hystersister forum.

        • I checked to make sure it was still there and it is. But I got the name a little wrong. It is HysterSisters (plural) dot com. I found it invaluable both before, during and after my diagnosis of endo. Hope it helps those who need it now.

      • Anon for now :

        You are not alone. Although I do not have endometriosis, depression has caused lagging in those areas, so advice from others is useful (spent 20s in dead-end jobs and not dating b/c of low self-esteem, and jobs did not provide health care).

      • Constance Justice :

        Thank you for this.

        I have been having some of the symptoms you describe, and they are getting worse and worse over time. I brought it up to my PCP during a visit, and when I said that it hurts during s*x, she burst out laughing at me and said “well, I can’t help you with that! I don’t know what to tell you.”

        I never returned, but I was also so humiliated, I haven’t followed up with anyone.

        • Constance Justice, that is absolutely awful!!! Find you a lady doctor, and don’t be afraid to shop around. I’ve been through several through the past few years and finally found one who I like as a person, who is competent, and who I actually trust enough to talk about potentially embarrassing issues.

          • K... in transition :

            sometimes males are easier, in my experience… some female docs try to compare what they can stand pain-wise to what you should be able to, which skews everything!

          • K… in transition: sorry for the confusion. When I say “lady doctor,” I don’t actually mean a doctor whose gender is female. I use lady doctor as a synonym for gyno/OB.

        • K... in transition :

          Oh honey… I’m so so sorry you had to experience that! If it helps, I have one for ya: Went to see a new ob years ago and explained my symptoms and how, based on my own research, I thought it was endo. She asked what I wanted help with. I said that, at 22, I wanted to be able to use t*mpons and have s*x. She said that there are pads for a reason and that my chart said I was unmarried so s*x shouldn’t be a concern. When I protested, she wrote me a scrip. I went home and looked it up to see what it was and it was an internal numbing cream made with petroleum jelly. Not only did she want to essentially make it so I just couldn’t feel s*x, she gave me something that would have hindered c*ndom protection. I wrote an immediate email to every big wig at her hospital and demanded an apology and a $0 balance bill and eventually got the latter, though never the former.

      • I do, but I do not have a severe case. I have other problems with my reproductive system, so the endo is like the bottom of the list. I know of others that have it really bad, though.

        I can completely relate to being in so much pain that you can’t move. Even on medicine, I still get that at times.

      • wait, so intense pain/throwing up/passing out are not normal for periods?

        Now I feel a bit stupid. I guess I’ll bring that up with my doctor next time I go.

        • K... in transition :

          don’t feel stupid, feel better informed, Shortiek! I’d recommend you read up on endo and start keeping track of when/where you have pain. Also, avoid all soy, soy has estrogen in it and that absolutely is bad for people, even worse for cis women, and worse still for endo gals! (and if this doc poo poos the idea but the research seems true for you, don’t assume the doc is right, it has a huge misdiagnosis rate!) feel free to email any time: munchkin 1616 at juno dot com

          • yay for learning. I’ll do more research before my gyno visit next week.
            Thanks for the support!

          • Yay learning new things.
            I’m going in next week for a checkup and to talk about getting the Mirena IUD, (seems like a good choice so far) so I’ll definitely start doing more research! Thank you for the support :)

            (I also tried to post this like 3 times and have no idea why I keep getting “posting too fast”- I only made one other comment!)

    • My mom had endometriosis. She was lucky and was diagnosed and had surgery when she was 18. At the time she was told she probably wouldn’t be able to have children, but five kids later it turns out that the doctors were (fortunately for me) wrong about that.

      • Never had surgery to figure out if I have endo, but I had passout/vomit/lay in bed and hope to pass out pain with my periods my entire life. BCPs made in a game of Russian Roulette, where I would have that level of pain about 3 times a year, but it still meant I couldn’t plan things around that time and BCPs caused depression for me as well. Finally, I got to the point where I was ready for a hysterectomy (done having kids). As a last step, I agreed to try the Mirena IUD. Amazingly it worked for me. It took about 6 mos of massively annoying spotting (but no pain), but after that, I stopped having periods — I spot for a day or so a couple of times a year. Honestly life changing.

    • Diagnosed in 1998 – under control (for the most part) with birth control pills continuously

    • Mountain Girl :

      I had undiagnosed endo for almost 10 years. It must have been difficult to see because at least the gyn’s in separate practices missed it. When I had my hysterectomy a few years ago the gyn was surprised how much endo was actually there. He had suspected that to be the case but could never get a definitive diagnosis so I was glad to have an answer to my problems. The surgery was one of the best things I ever did!

    • At age 45 I found out I had advanced stage endometriosis. This was after lots of pain, tests and ultrasounds. I first had a laparoscopy, which is the only way they can see how advanced it is and they try to lazer it off. Mine was so advanced, I ended up with a full hysterectomy, taking everything (uterus and both ovaries). Fortunately I had a son but that did explain why we were not able to have more children. Endo is extremely painful and curing it with surgery was a long journey. But having gotten to the other side of menopause that it forces you into, plus the hormones you have to take afterwards, I can say that I never felt better in my life so it was a blip on the radar. A long blip but one that is no big deal now. There is a website that I found very helpful — Hystersister. It has articles plus an excellent forum and support community. You will get through this and to the other side.

      • K... in transition :

        FYI for new readers, a hysterectomy is NOT considered to be a cure for endo. However, for women who have endo masses/scars on those parts, removing the parts = removing the masses = cure for that specific person. For me, for example, a hysterectomy would remove the mass on my uter*s but not the one on my lower intestines/bowel, so it wouldn’t do any good.

        star rainbow the more you know!

        • Anonymous :

          K… in transition,

          Not trying to push you to a hysterectomy at all, but wouldn’t a total hysterectomy “cure” the issue? Without the ovaries there to do their montly thing, the endometrial escapee cells would lay dormant. This is at least how it has been explained to me. (I’m anon above who has had wonderful success with Mirena.)

          • K... in transition :

            there is NO cure for endo at this time. Take my case, for example. I already have a mass on my lower intestines/bow*l area and there may well be cells floating around. If you removed my uter*s, ovar*ies, and tubes, I’d still have that mass, still have those cells. Not only that, the inside scar tissue from the surgery could give those floating cells something to grab onto, creating another mass. Don’t get me wrong, a hysterectomy is helpful for some women whose masses are on those parts, but often they are required to take horm*ne replacement, which can spark the growth of other cells/masses that are still inside.

    • I don’t but my mom did. Her treatment was a full hysterectomy (i.e., including ovaries) at age 40. This was about 20 years ago; I think there are more treatment options now – and it obviously depends on the severity of the condition.

      Wishing you good health, K!

    • karenpadi :

      Let’s just say…it’s one possible explanation for the mysteriously awful periods I started getting at 22. We are talking migraines of the lower back. But endo doesn’t run in my family so it could be something else.

      I didn’t have great insurance, was switching insurance alot, and didn’t want a pre-existing condition. Luckily, birth control pills manage the symptoms nicely. My doctors over the years agree that it’s safe to assume that if the symptoms are managed, the endo (if it is endo–no diagnosis) is managed.

  7. I loveee this top and have been wanting a cobalt top to add into my work wardrobe. Just bought it in blue! :)

  8. K... in transition :

    not my style really (which some might say means I should consider it) but I always love Fridays, it’s the only time clothes get posted that I might be able to afford!

  9. Early TJ – I like the Friday morning thread sooo much better than the weekend.

    I have not really been buying my Dad gifts recently. I just have no idea what to get him. He isn’t into most of the traditional “Dad” things that I’ve looked at. He loves to read historical nonfiction but I think he has a Kindle now, he golfs a lot but he’s not a really good golfer, he grills but isn’t really into it like some people are, he travels a fair amount but isn’t really into stuff. He’s 75 and basically buys what he needs and lives a pretty quiet life. Is it ok that I just get him a card for Father’s Day or am I missing something?

    • You could get him a kindle giftcard, perhaps? I got that as a gift before and loved that. I know giftcards are less personal, but if he likes to read it might be a good one!

    • Does he drink? A nice bottle of scotch or wine is my go-to for my impossible to shop for father.

    • I’ve given my dad a giant can of Planters mixed nuts and a bag of mini Snickers for as long as I can remember. Any other gifts I’ve spinkled in have been along the lines of habanero jelly one year or local summer sausage from my farmers market. He buys himself anything he wants, but the man does love food. So…I buy him his favorites and whatever I think he’d like to sample.

      • The only thing my Dad absolutely loves like that is Whoopie pies. He’s a pretty picky eater (wouldn’t eat a thing I ever cooked when I was living there post-K) but he does like sweets. I live really far from him so anything I buy will have to be shipped.

        • Gilt Taste has or used to have fancy Whoopie pies.. maybe that would be cute?

          • The XO whoopie pies are adorable! He normally just treats himself to one at the farmer’s market but this could be a cute idea for another time.

          • I sent the whoopie pies from Cranberry Island Kitchen that are on Gilt and my nieces loved them. He can always freeze them if you send him a dozen of them.

        • My dad is more of a savory food person, but one year I went to World Market and bought a bunch of the little sample foods – nuts, sausage, mustards, fancy little pretzels and crackers, things like that. He really enjoyed it.

          This year I am contemplating making a mix CD. He does apparently listen to music while he’s working. For Christmas I put together a CD of off-the-beaten-track holiday songs and it seems he liked it. So this year I might introduce my 73-year-old father to Adele.

          • Cute idea. Unfortunately, I think when my Dad and stepmother listen to music, they mostly turn on the TV to the easy listening station (Groan). He likes the oldies! They’re pretty “vanilla” people.

    • Of course it’s okay. If he’s not really into having “stuff” then why load him up with more of it. My mom is kind of the same way – she’s trying to purge the stuff she has and limit how much more of it comes in, so Christmas is always a challenge.

      If you still want to do something with/for him, I’d go for an experiential gift – tickets to something or a gift card to a restaurant him likes/wants to try. Is it feasible for you to spend time with him on the day? Make him dinner? Go do something (museum, theater, park, zoo)?

      • Nope, not feasible. I’m in Louisiana and he is in the woods in central PA. There aren’t many restaurants near them.

      • Or a plant – does he have any indoor plants? It’s like having cut flowers but it lasts longer. And it’s still okay if it accidentally gets killed.

        • They have a beautiful yard and garden and often have cut flowers in the house. I have sent my stepmother something like an amaryllis and they both love it.

          • Does he do any of the gardening? Or is that all her?

            And even if they do have cut flowers, you could still send a plant. And a picture of you (either as an adult or a little girl) on a stick to stick in the plant so he is always reminded of you when he sees it?

          • Actually, this gives me an idea – one of my friends recently took a really old family photo album of mine (from the late sixties) and scanned and corrected all of the photographs. It’s sad because my mom took all of the pictures so she’s not in a single one, but there’s a really cute one of my Dad holding me on Easter Sunday morning in front of our giant forsythia bush. My Dad has a buzz cut and he’s in a suit and I was wearing a matching pink coat and bonnet. I was about 3 years old. If I can manage it, I’m going to see if my friend can send me that picture. I’ll get SO to print it on his photo printer and I’ll frame it and send it to my Dad. Yay! Thanks for the idea!

          • Yay! Sounds like a great idea.

      • K... in transition :

        yes, this! Spend time with him doing something you know he’d enjoy (even if it’s not your thing). Even better, take photos together doing it. Best yet? Immediately when you get home (or in your car), write down everything you can remember about the time you just shared. Someday, you’ll be truly glad to have the details of the day and photos to look back on!

        • Good idea except (see above), I don’t live anywhere near him. The last time we were together, I took what turned out to be a really cute picture of my teenage nephews. I had it printed and framed and I sent it to him. That has to be his favorite recent gift!

          • K... in transition :

            So he’s sentimental… what if you took some time and wrote down some of your favorite memories with him and sent him that? If you have the time, you could do it in a word doc and incorporate photos too, like a mini book or something… or just hand-write him a letter telling him why you’re grateful he’s in your life. You can still share an experience that way. OR mail him a snack and tell him not to open the box til a certain day. Then you buy the same snack and talk on the phone while you both eat it so you can share a snack together from a distance.

          • The funny thing about this is that I was really in a hurry so I just had the framed photographs shipped from a local shipping place and didn’t even include a card (it was just a little surprise gift after Christmas). My Dad called me to see if I was the person who sent it. Really?? I’m the only person he knows in Louisiana and who else would have taken that picture!!

    • Midwesterner :

      I’m in the same boat. My dad hates “stuff” and hates when I spend money on stuff he doesn’t need or want. So I got him a nice card and a bottle of gin. That’s will not go to waste!

    • I have this issue with my dad, although he has even fewer hobbies and no Kindle. So I got him a shirt.

      Any food items? That’s my usual go to thing – he likes a few things from Trader Joe’s, which they don’t have. Or a gift certificate for an ‘experience’ thing or tickets to a play?

    • SpaceMountain :

      Photo books, photo calendars, scan those funny old snapshots from ages ago and make them into something.

    • A couple of days I went into Ten Thousand Villages and got my dad a Carved Owl made out of Hatian riverstone, because he’s an amateur geologist whose done some fundraising work in Haiti. Its the first time in years I feel like I’ve nailed it.

      Dads are hard, but Ten Thousand villages has tons of cool weird stuff! Also, if he’s a bit of a nerd, maybe the website with the nerd stuff I can’t remember. Or etsy? You could get him like a custom chess board or something silly like that.

    • Constance Justice :

      My dad has an aversion to people buying gifts for him. In recent years I’ve settled on giving him a cute card, maybe something small and nerdy from thinkgeek, baking or cooking a meal or dessert that my mother would not normally make, or taking him to minor league baseball games.

    • Senior Attorney :

      If you want to pick out a book for him, you can buy a Kindle book on Amazon as a gift. He’ll get an email with a link to download it to his Kindle. Or you can have the link emailed to you and you can send it to him on your timetable. I fo this all the time for my mom.

      But I also think it’s fine to just get him a card, maybe with a nice heartfelt note.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Does he need a kindle cover?

      My father is very similar. I have given him misc items that I think he’ll like (bbq sauces and marinades, a remote control holder, etc) or photo products. I like k’s idea of writing down a memory or ‘sharing’ a snack with him. I’d suggest a webcam, so that he can video chat with you and other family. What I’ve mainly go to is giving him just a card and a phone call and then giving him something big every couple of years. I’ll recuit siblings and mom to contribute, too. For example, new lawn furniture or an ipad.

      • My Dad would get into the writing down a memory. He has written several autobiographical documents for us. He really gets into it. He would so not get the sharing a snack idea. He’s… how do I say it?… socially awkward. He’s really sweet and caring but totally would not get that.

    • I think a card is fine, NOLA. My mom is 72 and really does not want more “stuff.” She’d be happier with a visit, really, but a card expressing heartfelt sentiment would be just fine with her.

      • Thanks, mamabear. With me being so far away and them being so remote, visits are hard, although I have often gone to visit them in August when it’s really nice there and so hot and humid here. I think I’m going to do a card and framed photograph of the two of us that I know he doesn’t have.

    • Leslie Knope :

      I have the same situation with my grandmother. She doesn’t want any more stuff, and every time I see her, she tries to give me household stuff like potholders to “clear the clutter.”

      I usually give a donation in her name to Heifer International or similar organizations. They will send a really nice “honor card” if you request it. My grandmother loves showing that to her friends.

      Note: I once set up a Kiva account with some pre-loaded funds, but she wasn’t really interested in picking out the specific business.

  10. I’ve always wondered if you could see up girls’ dresses through the inside stairs at our firm, and then today, I looked up and saw a colleague’s . . . . well, everything. I’m kind of horrified, honestly. Pencil skirts from now on, I guess.

    Should I say something to someone?

    • Yikes. Maybe let HR know? Who else would you tell?

      • This is why I hate modern architecture. That and the fact that I have walked straight into more than 1 glass staircase in my time, most recently in the TopShop on Broadway. Ouch.

    • I’d say something to HR immediately, and I’d start wearing bike shorts under my skirts.

    • Yes, do say something, HR or building management should do the trick. I used to work where a glass and steel staircase connected the trading floor to management offices. Needless to say, we didn’t have many women traders or management.

    • What would HR do w the info, or the bldg manager, etc.? The building is built.

      • Put carpeting on the stairs? Put something on the bottom side of the stairs? Rearrange furniture so people aren’t as likely to be standing under the stairs? Depends on the particular building.

      • Warn folks in skirts to take the elevator (if there is one)? Alert the Powers That Be?
        HR should be told, regardless of whether they can actually fix the stairs, given the potential for…ickyness.

      • They would do something that would be less expensive than losing a lawsuit for creating conditions for sexual harassment. Once they’re made aware of the problem, they’re liable if some woman discovers a pervy coworker standing below watching her go up the stairs.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My local court house, not the one Lyssa cited, built a new building w/ glass staircases and bathrooms! In the bathrooms you were supposed to be able to see out, not it. A judge warned about dresses/skirts and the glass floor. She also, rumor has it, learned the hard way that one pane of “one way” glass had been installed backwards in her private bathroom in chambers. She turned it into a joke though and said “now, instead of looking out my window and seeing vagrants in the park peeing, vagrants in the park can look up to my window and watch me pee!” It was fixed quite quickly.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        *not in.

      • Beach Bar :

        The glass bathroom door thing is so weird. Even if installed properly, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to see out at the people washing their hands/waiting in line while squatting in the stall. And I know it would take me forever to not jump when I saw a person walk in before I realized they couldn’t see me back.

    • Kind of / not really related. In the Bridgwater mall L&T they used to have dressing rooms on the first floor below an escalator between the first and second floor. The top of the dressing rooms were these open wood panel type things with space between each panel, and you could VERY easily see into the dressing rooms. They were men’s dressing rooms, which for some reason seems less scandalous to me, so I never said anything… but someone must have eventually caught on because they have since changed!

  11. Love this blouse. I think I will try it out.

    Just a shot in the dark here – is anyone else attending the Farm Bureau Legal Execs Conference in Biloxi the week after next? If so, let me know! I will be there and won’t know anyone else since I am the only lawyer at my company.

    • No, but I am suddenly really, really glad that I do not have to attend a conference in Mississippi in June!

      • LOL, I assume you mean because of the weather and not because I’m going to be there. ;)

        It assume it will be sweltering. The plan is to wear as many skirts as possible, along with as much cotton and linen as possible. Oh well… I guess everything is air-conditioned anyway!

        • Yes, definitely because of the weather. It would be delightful to meet you.

          The problem with the deep south is that it’s scorching and humid outside, and 65 degrees inside. You’ll be cold in skirts and linen indoors. You can’t win.

          • Welcome to my life! I dressed for indoors the other day (wearing a cotton and cashmere sweater) and ended up going out to run an errand with a colleague. I was dying.

            I don’t know much about Biloxi other than the casinos (and I’ve never been to them either). We’ve been having decent weather but when it rains (like now), it’s like a sauna.

          • Praxidike :

            You’re probably right about the clothes. Maybe I will just grin and bear it. I’ve only lived in Jersey and Wisconsin, so I am definitely not accustomed to the type of humidity/heat they get down south. My husband – who has MS relatives – had the option of going all expenses paid, and he said, “Not a chance.”

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      No, but my brother used to live in Biloxi, and if you need a restaurant suggestion, I recommend Half Shell in downtown Gulfport (it’s right down the road from Biloxi. And when I say downtown Gulfport, I mean there’s like 20 buildings, so you should be able to find it. It’s near the post office).

      Also, Biloxi is the only place I’ve ever seen that has a beach-front Waffle House. So there’s that.

      • Praxidike :

        Thanks for the rec! I’ve never been down in the south before, so I am really looking forward to the food.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          The Voodoo Shrimp at Half Shell is really good, as were the fried green tomatoes. I think I remember the key lime pie not being great, so maybe try a different dessert.

          If you’ve never been south and never been to a Waffle House, you should go just for the experience. (It’s like an IHOP, except… not). I mean, the food is greasy spoon diner breakfast food, and I’m not promising it’s good. But it’s a Southern cultural icon, and everyone should try it once in their life.

        • I won’t be there, but my bf is from Biloxi with family still there, and I have to recommend po’ boys from Fayard’s in Ocean Springs (get it fully pressed so you can eat eat it). Also, downtown Ocean Springs (across the back bay on the Hwy 90 bridge) has several cute shops and restaurants and is nice for strolling. I definitely agree with other posters re: air conditioning. Most of the hotels are connected to casinos and are absolutely arctic. I am happy to give more rec’s if you want- bf just got back from a visit a few weeks ago.

    • No, but is anyone here going to the AILA conference in Nashville next week?

    • I am not, but I am jealous! I worked for a state bureau of ag for a short time and absolutely loved it. I wish I could get back into it but now I live in suburbia. My only chance is the USDA!

  12. Oh, that top is lovely. Too bad I’m not somewhere I can buy it!

    TJ… Ladies, I need some help figuring out how to help my friend with her sartorial choices, if she needs help.

    So my best friend has gotten a job in a tech firm. Yay! Their dress code is business casual. Except the business part seems to have completely gone over her head. Think worn, baggy jeans and ill-fitting sports jerseys and band shirts. And when I try to gently point out to her that she should consider stepping it up a notch or two, we get into this endless cycle of ‘but it shouldn’t MATTER how I dress if my work is good! People shouldn’t be judgmental about things like that!’ Except it does, and they are, and I can’t seem to get her to realize that. (I get that this is a KYO thing, but I am familiar with her office- I used to work in the industry myself before I changed careers.) I’m at a loss as to how to make her understand that her fashion sense is making her stand out, but not in a good way. Then again, in my current industry skirt suits and hose is the general rule, so I’m not sure if I’m overreacting.

    Long story short: My best friend is a fashion disaster, and doesn’t seem to understand the concept of following a dress code even loosely. Should I keep trying to help or just back off and let the chips fall where they may?

    • Cue Stacy and Clinton.

    • Mmm, she’s an adult, she knows you’re available to help if she wants it, and she knows your opinion. I think you have to leave it there.

      Or you could nominate her for What Not to Wear. $5,000 of free clothes might smooth things over.

    • Sadly, I’m not anywhere What Not To Where airs. Although it is tempting…

      • I’m pretty sure they’ll go just about anywhere if your friend is enough of a fashion disaster.

        You friend has a point – it SHOULDN’T matter what she wears, only her work product should. But this is the real world where people judge and it does matter. And one woman in an oversized jersey probably isn’t going to change that.

        For now, it sounds like you’ve done all you can do. When/if she directly sees the consequenses of not caring about her appearance (she doesn’t get invited to a client meeting, she gets passed for promotion, etc), then she may decide she wants to change. Until then, I wouldn’t push her too hard on it (though gentle, friendly suggestions are probably ok) lest you risk damaging your friendship.

    • K... in transition :

      I’m with her; it shouldn’t matter and comfort takes priority. That said, it also means I don’t always pay attention to fashion or know how to translate it to me. I’d guess she might be similar. So, as her best friend, if you’re sure she’s underdressing, put your foot down. Go with her to a store and help her find clothing that’s appropriate and as comfy as possible. Show her what looks good on her body and do it in a way that feels like fun bonding time rather than her being too stupid to know something she ought to.

    • Does she want to move up in the company? How does her supervisor dress? Those are the questions I’d start with.

    • When I left my previous office to go to law school, I got my friend hired there as my replacement, and there was some overlap so that I could train her. It was her first office job, she was a fashion disaster, and I knew eyebrows were raised at how she dressed. I handled it by gifting her a pair of low-heeled black patent pumps (a lower-end designer, so not crazy expensive but nice enough to be a gift) and then saying we should go on a shopping trip to complete to outfit. I framed it in a let’s-celebrate-your-new-job kind of way. During the shopping trip I steered her towards some busines casual basics, and said a lot of things like “[Name of young woman in the office] swears by these pants” and “I have a lot of blouses like this because they’re appropriate for our office and I can wear them on weekends” and “A blazer might help you look older and more professional so clients trust you” etc., etc. It worked out well, but largely because I was gentle about it so she still loved everything she bought. She’s doing really well at the company, and we still shop together often.

    • I have/had a friend like this (we are phasing out, but not because of this)…anyway what worked for me, was when we were having coffee one day, I asked her to play a game with me, and asked her what she thought different people did for a living.

      Some were easy (people walking in wearing scrubs with the hospital logo), some weren’t, but even my “but it shouldn’t MATTER” friend reailsed after a while that she was making some fairly big judgment calls based on hair and shoes and what kind of bag people were carrying etc.

      I can’t say it turned things around entirely, but it did make an impression and she started trying a little harder after that.

  13. Cornellian :


    My estranged father has recently been trying to pick up contact with me. We were never close, but he told me never to contact him again when I was 20 (I’m 25), and I happily complied. He’s a pretty toxic person to be around: an alcoholic, manipulative, immature, a criminal, delusional, jealous. There’s a huge back story that I’m not sure is relevant, but my basic question is: do you keep toxic family members around? How do you manage them?

    I’m inclined not to respond to his overtures at all. I have a half-sister that’s 17 years older and she cut off contact with him when I was 1 or 2, and it’s totally clear to me why now. He was not interested in a relationship when I was a kid or a starving grad student, and he popped up again as soon as I started earning a six-figure income. I’m also not sure that I can behave like the person I want to be around him. He’s blamed me for my mother’s death when I was a kid, called me four letter words in restaurants as a sixteen year old, and tried to sue me for my mother’s life insurance when she passed away. I don’t know if I can ever get over that, and I’m not really inclined to waste my energy trying on someone like him. I just have this 1% of me that would like to have a living parental figure around, and who takes pity on the sad, lonely old man that my father has become. Thoughts? Do I respond to him? how do I make my terms clear? Do I just ignore him? Thanks in advance!

    • DC Darling :

      I hate to say it but toxic family members should be cut out. I know you want to have that relationship with him but if you know it’ll end up causing more heartache, I would walk away.

      Backstory- my mother was not well received into my father’s family and in my later years I am finally understanding how hard it must have been for her to pick up, move 3000 miles away from family to move in with people that looked down on her and generally treated her awfully. She tried for a few years when I was a kid to forge a relationship (mostly for my sake, my best friends were all cousins) but when I got old enough to hang out with my friends alone, she gave it up. Never been happier.

    • Completely ignore. Change your number if necessary. Protection order if he gets ridiculous.

      • Cornellian :

        Yeah, he had private eyes on my half sister when I was young and I’m sure he has one on me now. I’m looking forward to the day he calls my work! I already prepped my mentor/supervisor, but I’m not sure what else I can do about that.

        • K... in transition :

          you might be able to gain an order of protection based on this too? not an expert on this but I can’t imagine he could have a PI on you when he’s been legally told to leave you alone.

    • I’ve been in your shoes; I briefly tried again in my 20s and he quickly showed that he had not changed. Fast forward years later–he’s died and I’m relieved. Yes, relieved. He was my father in the biological sense but that’s it and the damage he caused to all family members continues to reverberate.

      Trust your instincts. If they are saying no way, then listen.

    • K... in transition :

      I’m unclear as to whether you truly want him in your life or if you’re asking for help keeping him out. He sounds like an incredibly poisonous person and you didn’t give any reason you’d benefit from him being back in your life.

      If you want him out, contact him by email (phone if you don’t have his email) and tell him that you are not interested in having him in your life and ask him not to contact you anymore. Be firm, wish him well, and hang up. If he contacts you again, repeat what you said and state that, if he contacts you again, you will apply for a no-contact order. If he tries a 3rd time, get the order.

      He is clearly someone who wants to hurt you, he is a financial risk (as well as emotional and such), and you are way too awesome to ever have such a black h*le in your life!

    • I have a toxic mother. I talk to her once or twice a month, and see her once every two years or so, always in a controlled environment (i.e. if I go to visit her, I stay in a hotel, not her house; sometimes we both go to a city where neither of us lives to visit extended family, and I stay with a different extended family member than she does). When I talk to her, we don’t talk about anything serious. If she ticks me off or is inappropriate, I end the conversation/leave the room.

      I don’t want to have no relationship with my mother. I realized in my mid-20s that she’s not the way she is deliberately, but because alcoholism and mental illness are a disease, and that losing contact with her only child would make her suffer more. For a long time I didn’t care if she suffered, but as I matured I realized that I wanted to take the high road in our relationship. It also helped that, as I got older and further from my childhood, I wasn’t angry at her anymore; I really just stopped caring. My father told me when I was a teenager, when I asked him if he hated my mother, that he didn’t hate her; he just didn’t care or think about her at all (they are long divorced). At the time I didn’t understand, but 10 years later it made perfect sense.

      The worst aspect of my estrangement from my mother is how other people, who have no idea what it’s like to grow up with an abusive parent, perceive me. They say things like “oh, it must be so awful to spend Christmas alone!”, “You haven’t seen your mom in 2 years? Wow, you must miss her.”, “You must be so worried about your mom since her heart attack; why don’t you take some time off and visit?” and nonsense like that. I have occasionally been tempted to lie and say she’s dead (awful, I know). People react like I’m some sort of evil b!tch when I say that I don’t get along with her. Usually I just don’t mention her at all, or if I’m forced to, I just smile and nod along with whatever nonsense they’re spouting and change the subject.

      Anyway, sorry for the long response. TL;DR: My advice is to maintain a polite but distant relationship and set, and enforce, physical and emotional boundaries.

      • Cornellian :

        distant and polite was my approach in college. He would call me all of the time to yell about things, I would put him on speakerphone, make sounds of assent, and wander around the room, plus occasionally see him for dinner or someone’s graduation.

        I get what you’re saying with peoples’ reactions… I sometimes want to shake people by the shoulders and make them understand. I keep warm relationships with my sister, cousins, etc., I’m not a frigid b*tch.. he’s just seriously abusive.

        I think not having contact with him does break his heart, but that he’s really worried about his pocketbook. He’s 74 and hasn’t had a real job since before I was born… he lived off of me briefly when I was a teenager, my mother before that, and his wife before that. I would be okay with a relationship where I send him a Christmas card, but I’m not sure that’s what he’s interested in at all.

        Thanks for the long response!

        • I’ll admit that I send my mom money. I can afford it, and it doesn’t cost me anything emotionally either. But that doesn’t appear to be her primary motivation for maintaining a relationship with me, and I just view it as charity, similar to donating to any other charity that supports people with mental health issues. I’m pretty confident she isn’t spending it on alcohol, though, and would probably feel differently if she was.

    • Do not open yourself up to being hurt or manipulated. He has made it clear that he doesn’t respect your terms already. Why open Pandora’s box? Ignore him and find a therapist so that you can be more equipped to deal with him when he shows up again. Toxic people are easier to handle with a toolkit.

    • I would ignore without a second thought. IMHO, family are the people who care about you and are in it for the long haul. Blood relation is neither necessary, nor sufficient. Life’s too short.

    • This may be out of left field, but I would make sure that you have a will and all of those things squared away so that he cannot be contacted as your next of kin in case of emergency. I have a somewhat estranged father, and I always worry that he would show up in the nick of time to get hands on money/cause problems for other people in my family. The fact that he is showing up now that you are making money is a big red flag to me. Make sure that you take care of yourself and those around you.

      I think that it is hard to cut off your parents, because part of us always wants them in our lives. You need to make sure to take care of yourself. You can test the waters if you want to see if he has changed his ways, but often times people tell you who they are from the beginning -so pay attention.

      • Oh, yeah, great point. I made a will specifically to ensure that my mother will not get anything I truly care about if I die (like my pets). She is a beneficiary of my life insurance policy, though, because I want to make sure she will be taken care of in her old age.

        • Cornellian :

          haha, way ahead of you. Got a will at 18 to keep everything out of his hands. But good advice! for all of us!

          My father has a bit of a Peter Pan complex and seems to think he’ll always be young. He always talks about how women over 50 are so old and gross (at 74), and has always rejected my inquiries in to his old age plans (no way in hell is he coming anywhere near me, even if it were financially feasible). He has somehow managed not to need glasses, to START graying at 65, to survive 3 heart attacks easily despite putting butter on burgers and smoking, etc. I suspect the whole thing is crumbling a bit, and he’s scared.

          • FWIW, to add my voice to the chorus, I just don’t think you need this leech in your life. He most likely wants to live off you, which is why he’s showing up now. You don’t need it!

            On the other hand, how would you feel if you got a phone call today telling you he died? Would you regret not giving him a chance? And not giving yourself a chance to see if he’s changed? In my experience, people don’t change all that much just because they’re getting old/dying. If they were good people before, they stay good people, if they were selfish a-holes before…

            It doesn’t really sound like you have kids, but think about that too. If you do/were to, would you want them to know their grandfather? Unfortunately, life doesn’t turn out like books and movies, and sometimes for your own good you have to take the “unpopular” position of cutting a cancerous person out of your life.

            Ultimately, only you can make this decision, and you know the hive will stand behind you no matter what. :-)

          • Whoa! She said her father is abusive and a leech. I don’t think we should start exposing grandchilden to him.

    • Please read Cheryl Strayed’s excellent advice on this topic as her own toxic father wove in and out of her life leaving a very painful wake.

      And if you want more her memoir “Wild” is beautiful. I highly recommend it.

    • Parental figure, yes. This guy isn’t one, though. Find one, be one. Don’t compound your hurt and safety by trying to will this guy into being one. You sound wonderful. Spend your wondetfulness on someone who deserves you.

  14. momentsofabsurdity :

    Guys, I am SERIOUSLY digging this skirt. Do you think its too jail-birdy? I feel like I would love to wander around town wearing what that model is wearing with pretty flip flops and light dangly earrings.

  15. DC Darling :

    Shopping TJ- Desperately in need of a lovely large leather tote. Preferably lightweight (I’ve been eyeing the Longchamps planetes tonal but can’t bring myself to pay 200$ for plastic) preferably under 200 with a zip close. Would be happy with black but would love a muted color that I could wear every day. Currently in love with green and coral-ish red.

    Am also looking for a few sheath dresses. Pencil skirt, Ideally with elbow length sleeves in conservative colors. I wear a 2-4 in dresses. I have been looking around my trusty Ann Taylor and all of their things are boxy and overly baggy. Have been looking at the Target dresses but am worried about the quality, wear and frankly whether or not they look cheap. Any help appreciated!

    Also, two ladies in my office are getting married and having to listen to their ever increasing discussion about napkin placement and centerpieces is driving me nuts.

  16. Guys — quick job application question.

    If a job application asks you “Did you resign?” Does that just mean “Did you leave voluntarily” in which case you should answer yes when you left a job to say go to law school or to leave an internship to go back to school and should only answer no if you were laid off or terminated? Or does it mean something more weighted (in my mind “resigning” carries heavier weight then just leaving on good terms or in the normal course of the end of an internship).

    • But I don’t want to accidentally imply that I was fired from all my jobs!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Is it a yes/no question? Because I might answer “Did you resign with?”
      “Resigned to pursue graduate degree” if possible. Or “resigned at end of internship term.”

      • Well, there’s a yes or no button (which you have to answer) and then later a line where you can type in “Reason for leaving” — so…I mean, I get to explain. But…what if I get dinged for having left so many jobs. But it was law school! I had to. This is why I hate applying to big companies.

        • Well, I mean, you basically would have had to have left any job you had before the current one so I don’t think they’ll ding you for that alone!

        • Kontraktor :

          I haven’t come across an explicit button where you say yes or no to resign, but I have seen buttons that are like, is this your current job, and then the next question under is, if no what was the reason for leaving. And then I always put something like “summer internship program completed” so it’s clear it wasn’t a “real” job.

    • I think it just means “did you leave voluntarily.” I’d answer yes, and then in the reason for leaving field, I’d put “three-month contract” or “summer internship” or something, if you didn’t actually resign but left because your fixed-term employment was up.

      • If the question is “Did you resign?” then the answer for fixed term employment ending would be no, but you’d definitely want to explain that in the comment field.

        Fixed term employment ending is not leaving voluntarily, imo. Dh is in this position at the end of this month. Trust me, it’s not voluntary.

    • I interpret it as whether you left voluntarily, and would answer yes, unless I was laid off/terminated. I don’t think you would get dinged for it. You have a space to explain it, and they’ll be able to cross reference the dates with law school.

    • PharmaGirl :

      I think the interpretation of voluntarily ending the employment is correct. They are probably trying to find out if people were fired. Not sure how it differentiates whether someone was laid off.

    • Okay, I’m going with the hive!

    • Constance Justice :

      In my mind, resignation does not necessarily mean you did not leave on good terms. For example, I had to resign from a job to pursue a clerkship. I had to resign from my pre-law school job to pursue law school. I had to write a letter of resignation.

      Leaving an internship is a little different because you don’t have to resign. Your time as an intern just ends. If the term “intern” is in your title or something, this is probably apparent. If you feel like its not immediately obvious that it was a fixed time period gig, I’d leave an explanation for my own sanity. Good luck!

  17. Soo anon for this :

    I’m the person who posted a few days ago about infertility in her mid-twenties. I’m sorry I haven’t posted since, but I just wanted to send the biggest thank you to all in this community who offered sympathy/support/advice. You all have given me a lot to think about, and your kind words mean more than I can say. Thanks!!

    • Yay — those first few days (or even months) after finding out some devastating medical news are the worst (oh my god my life as I know it is soooo over). But it gets better.

    • Soo Anon – I’m also a woman in her 20s dealing with infertility. I didn’t think I wanted kids before the news (and still don’t think I want them), but I definitely had a grieving process.

      I know it can be hard to find people to talk about this with. If you want to talk (but no pressure at all), my email is elscprette at gmail dot com

    • <3 …that's all.

  18. Good places to buy online designer dresses that have been marked down?? The Outnet doesn’t have anything in my size!

  19. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    TJ for a friend: A friend of mine is looking for push up bras, but she’s having a problem because she’s a 32A. Any recommendations I can give her would be appreciated.


  20. MaggieLizer :

    Lovely top. Does anyone else get physically shaky when you’re exhausted, as in mid-all nighter or the day after a really terrible night’s sleep (not from too much caffeine)? Any tips to prevent this from happening or deal with it when it’s already happening? TIA!

    • Yes. Also nauseous. My tip is to get more sleep, but obviously it’s too late for that. I’ve never found a way to stop the shaking and sick feeling other than going to sleep.

    • Cornellian :

      yes! I’m not sure how to make it stop, either. I’ve tried mint tea, walking around a bit, and food, and they don’t seem to hurt, but they don’t seem to really stop it, either.

    • Yes. What helps for me is making sure I’m hydrated, and making sure I’ve eaten something; I also get the shakes when my blood sugar drops.

    • Maybe some ginger?

      • Constance Justice :

        This. A ginger ale seems to do the trick for me. At least short term. But when I am feeling that terrible, even short term relief is worth something.

        • lawsuited :

          Agreed. I drink ginger ale for a bit of sugar and the calming affect on my stomach and drink water to make me more alert. It’s usually because I haven’t had enough sleep or eaten properly, so I try to do one or both of those better the next day.

    • eat, drink, make sure you are using the restroom enough ( as in, if you realize you haven’t needed to, recognize that you need to eat and especially drink more.) H2o input is easier to force when busy than sleep is.

    • RussiaRepeat :

      Deep breaths and simple carbs – I find a handful of crackers seems to help.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Yes. I get physically shaky whenever my body is in a “stressful” state – either from not sleeping, not eating, life stress, whatever. Not a whole lot of solutions for you beyond remedying from what made you stressful. And obviously stay hydrated. Sometimes I find quick meditation exercises help.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Yes! It feels almost like caffine jitters, but I’ll realize that I’ve only had my normal single cup of tea…

        On those days, I eat a quick lunch and use the rest of the time to grab a nap in my car. I had mono about 5 years ago, and this was a lifesaver!

        Even if I can just close my eyes for 10 minutes, it seems to really help.

    • I do better if I remember to drink plenty of water and gave enough calories to keep me going. Extra night work really messes my weight loss programs for just this reason but I tend to see an enormous difference when I snack. Oh, and doing something entirely different (think Corporette) for a while, helps too.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Ugh, I feel like this right now. Mine is from working out too hard this morning, not enough sleep last night, too much stress at work, lack of gluten free/dairy free food options lying around, hence lack of eating, then eating foods I still don’t really enjoy just to get food in me that are so not enough and then getting right back to work.

      For me it is the lack of end in sight that makes it worse. I can usually power through that feeling when I know at 6 or 7 I can go home and crash. Tonight I have a volunteer appreciation dinner I must attend that might go until 10, promised husband Id see late night movie w/ him if tix weren’t sold out, will get some but not enough sleep, have a 10 am scavenger hunt to win $10,000 that I really don’t want to miss, and then FINALLY, I can take a nap.

      For now, I’m “napping” in my office by being on this site.

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