Wednesday’s TPS Report: Scoop-Neck Tee, Magnolia

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

Lafayette 148 New York Scoop-Neck Tee, MagnoliaI love this kind of top. Even though it tends to be on the pricier side (even when marked down, like here), it just looks so much more lux than your typical tee — but it’s just as easy to throw on in the morning. Here, I particularly love that deep saturated color, the wide scoop neckline, and that interesting bit of trim. The cotton/spandex top was $188, but is now marked to $110 at Last Call by Neiman Marcus. Lafayette 148 New York Scoop-Neck Tee, Magnolia

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Comments

  1. I’ve done some splurging in my life, but not yet $110 for a tee shirt. But I do love that raspberry color.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I completely agree!

    • The shirt is actually on sale for $55.

    • Completely agree. Even at $55, I would hesitate to spend that money on a t-shirt.

      • I bought it at $55. I adore Lafayette 148 pieces in general. They always look great on. I also bought another cute blouse with the extra 50% off, and a couple of cute maxi dresses (hoping one will work). You get 40% one full-price item as well.

        • That’s good to hear – I do like Lafayette pieces. Personally, I just can’t make myself spend more than $50 or so on blouses because I’m incredibly hard on my clothes (and have a baby that’s a fan of spitting up everywhere) and I know I’ll never get a ROI from expensive tops.

          • Ah, I remember those days of being covered in spit up. I had two babies with reflux and felt like I always smelled like sour milk. Had to get a new couch too. :-)

          • I remember sniffing and thinking “What smells?” and then realizing it’s me because I have spit up down my back & I didn’t realize it. I’m happy for the stage my boys are at, but sometimes I miss those snuggly baby days.

          • When my brother was an infant, he would spit up faster than my mom could do laundry. Eventually she ran out of clean shirts and had to start wearing my dad’s.

            One time he spit up all over me right as I was walking out the door for school. I wore a uniform and had multiple blouses, but only one jumper. My mom swabbed me down as best she could and sent me on my way – gross!

        • Me too! I got the rosette trim sheath dress , this top and a linen skirt. Prices are halved so this top is $55.

  2. So, hey, my job is ending in a few months, but my boss has told us not to bother coming in for the rest of the week. I have nothing to do so I’m just checking email. Right now I’m babysitting my nephew and this afternoon I’m headed to the Cape and I’m getting paid full salary. It could be worse.

    I could either be unemployed and looking for a job or employed and trying to hide my job search from my employer, which is very stressful.

    • Merabella :

      I’m sorry to hear this, you were so excited about the new job. Someone asked this yesterday and I didn’t see a response, can you get back in contact with the other company you were talking to during your job search?

      • I actually did. They never filled the position. They’re in a hiring freeze right now, but expect the freeze to end in a couple of months. It’s not guaranteed, but they expect the job will be open again. So I kind of have that job in my back pocket. However, the commute would be really long so I’m pursuing other opportunities as well.

        • Merabella :

          Well I’m glad you have a sort of back up plan. In a way that makes it less stressful to look for another job. Good luck!

    • I had another terrible encounter with our IT clowns yesterday. I really wish I could give you their jobs.

    • Ada Doom Starkadder :

      Love your attitude about this whole thing. Good luck with the job search, and I’m glad you’re headed to the Cape. Bonus points for nephew time. :-)

  3. trepidation :

    Ladies – I wanted to thank you for the great advice a few weeks ago, on my anxiety about starting business school and making friends there. Since then I’ve started going to more events and meeting new people. I still feel odd doing it sometimes, especially since many of them are so much younger and seem more accomplished than me. I have so much catching up to do. But I wouldn’t have been able to do this without your great input – so thanks again.

    • I am glad you are putting yourself out there. Best of luck to you with school! I was about 10 years older than my grad school classmates, and found that getting out and meeting people really did help.

    • Please don’t think they’re more accomplished. You’re at the same school they are, plus you have more years of experience. They might just be more adept at “selling” themselves.

      • This, exactly!

      • trepidation :

        Thanks – I was actually in a humanities Phd program for a few years, but left after my Masters. So I’m older but with less typical work experience. I know it shouldn’t matter since we’re all in the same program now, but it does bother me a little.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Don’t worry about everyone seeming more accomplished – that’s called ‘imposter syndrome’ and it’s REALLY common, especially among women. Remind yourself that if you didn’t deserve to be there, the admissions office wouldn’t have accepted you.

      At a pre-MBA weekend, our group leader asked us to raise our hands if we felt like we were the one mistake the admissions committee has made. Almost 100% of the women’s hands, and ~50% of the men’s hands went up. Don’t worry – everyone is feeling like you are!

    • I went straight to b-school after graduating undergrad in 2008. I made friends of all ages. Everyone has unique experiences and I never considered anyone more or less accomplished b/c we are all in the same program. I valued the input of the 50 y/o factory worker that was working his way through school to become a supervisor just as much at the 30 y/o CEO and the 25 y/o SAHM. Just be open to everyone and they will be equally accepting of you. I made so many great contacts in my mba program and really miss the insightful conversations and brainstorming.

      Good luck and enjoy you time there! I know it is so grueling (esp. while working FT) but when it is over you will miss it.

  4. kira kira :

    Banana Republic PSA – use code JRQR161HXDMC for 40% off one full-priced item and 25% off already reduced items today. Might be a one time code but I haven’t used it.

  5. Parking in DC :

    Any tips on parking at Dupont circle on a weeknight?

    • Don’t?

      Or look for a parking garage rather than street parking.

      • Agree. Former DC resident here. Unless you can get there early or find garage parking, it’s quite difficult. Perhaps consider parking at one of the VA or MD metro stops and metro in?

    • I’d avoid Connecticut Ave and try my luck with streets east of the circle, e.g. 18th.

    • Get there right at 6:30 when street parking opens up on main roads.

      • Actually restrictions are in effect until 10pm now.

        • I just realized you probably meant that people are leaving at 6:30. That’s true – spaces open up after work hours – but unless you’re a resident there’s a two-hour parking limit in effect until 10pm on most (all?) streets.

          • There’s a 2 hour limit, yes. But there are spaces on 22nd street, for example, that open up after rush hour. In this case, 6:30. If you get there right around that time, they are all empty and you’ll have no trouble grabbing a spot that will last you through dinner.

      • I think she means that the rush hour restrictions end at 6:30, so you can park on roads where parking is otherwise prohibited from 4:30 to 6:30 (e.g., Conn Ave).

    • I’ll give away a couple of secrets – if you are willing to walk, check at the north end, like Wyoming Street (go west a couple of blocks). Also maybe around the Washington Hilton around T street. If you stay west of the circle on Massachusetts, I sometimes luck out around the embassies. There are some hidden streets just north of Massachusetts that can be a good place to hunt.

      There is a garage on P or R at 17th. It’ll cost you, but it’s an option. Also the advice to get there right at 6:30 is good.

      I actually can’t blame you for driving. I hate metro on weeknights – it’s usually okay getting down there, but then I end up waiting forever for a train to get back, when I could just drive home in 15-20 minutes.

    • Agree with all the others. Here’s another one: Go to a restaurant that has valet parking.

    • Dupont Resident :

      North of the circle – There is a garage on Florida avenue 1/2 block east of Connecticut, in the same building as the Rite-Aid, that always has space. Street parking restrictions are in effect until 10pm, so you’ll only be able to park for 2 hours if you arrive before 8pm. However, street parking is not that bad as others are saying; I park on the street. Just drive around the side streets. I usually have the best luck on the small one-way streets like Riggs, Corcoran, Swann, etc. 19th street, S and R aren’t usually that bad either.

      Can’t help with south of the circle.

    • Parking in DC :

      Thanks all.
      I am debating whether to celebrate a special occasion on the exact day (=weeknight) or the following weekend. It sounds like it’s bad enough on weeknights so I guess getting to Dupont on a Saturday night would be worse no matter the mode of transport.
      I really want to go to a certain restaurant so it’s going to be weeknight or not at all.

      • Dupont Resident :

        Why can’t you take metro? Parking is way worse on a Friday or Saturday night than on a weeknight.

      • Have you looked at the bus routes? I find the busses way more reliable and quicker than Metro on the weekends and late at night/early in the morning.

      • If its a weeknight, why don’t you park at a garage say near metro center that has a cheap after 5 rate and then cab over?

      • Does the restaurant have valet? That would solve the problem.

        Otherwise, I would Metro in and cab (or Uber, God I love Uber) back home. That way you get to enjoy adult beverages too. Happy [special occasion]!

        • Anonymous :

          Did you see they’re shutting Uber down? Came close to being loop-hole reprieved till next leg. session, but nope. So for now and likely forever, the service is “illegal.” Taxi unions and scared politicians. The 1% and all that. If the taxis did their jobs better, we’d take them. Uber provides (provided) a service that does its job. Too bad that isn’t valued because it isn’t considered fair for services to provide the service consumers need. Sigh.

          • I believe it was just their lower-cost service that they want to roll out. I took Uber on Sunday just fine, and I don’t see anything on the website saying they are shut down entirely. I will cry if this is true!

          • Anonymous :

            They were determined to be providing a service outside the law. There was a proposal to save them by lumping their service under a different authority– like livery limos, etc.– but it did not go through because there are lots of people against fancy stuff that ‘hurts’ unions, but not many people willing to be for such stuff, even if they did it and use it, they aren’t politically standing up to be for it. The creative cool kid class as most of us here put up a lot of talk online but predictably, not IRL. The union is IRL. The union won. They are operating outside the law if they are operating now. I’d consider any service now temporary, past its expiry date.

          • There was an article about this in the Post today, nothing about it shutting down. But then, I’m in the suburbs so haven’t really heard of this service before.

          • Actually the opposite is true. Cheh introduced a bill that would have prevented Uber from rolling out a lower-cost service. Uber sent a message to its members and so many people wrote to their councilmembers that, for once, they actually listened to their constituents and tabled the bill. There’s never been any Council plan to shut Uber down.

    • DC Association :

      What’s the restaurant, anyway?!

  6. For the DC meet-up today at Clydes, how will I find you all? Would the host know to direct me? :)

  7. Diana Barry :

    Hey ladies, I had a fun dream last night that I’d like to share with you all:

    Magically straight Matt Bomer, saving me from a tornado in a construction site/church basement/foxhole hybrid. Woohooo!

  8. Shoes at a pinch :

    I’m really in a dilemma over this; bought a pricey pair of leather pumps from a local manufacturer yesterday and after walking around in them and checking back with the salesperson, bought a pair sized 37. He said the leather was so soft they’d stretch, and the pair in 38 would slip after a while…

    I’ve been wearing these a lot today (indoors) and now mt feet hurt like crazy. Don’t know if there’s something odd about my feet but they pinch at the widest part of the foot, and the back of I e foot is sore.

    Woe is me. They’re super versatile (taupe) and [this site] worthy, and I wouldn’t even mind getting another colour.

    Would you ask if they’d change ‘em for a bigger size? FWIW I’m a very good customer but after sales here is pretty bad, overall, I’ve found.

    Woe is me :(

    I wear open toes all the time here I. The tropics hence the blunder!

    What do you diplomatic ladies out there suggest?

    Thanks! May

    • I’m so sorry about the typos. Typing on an iPhone is not my strong point. That should read *one* foot, and here *in* the tropics.

    • Sad! I think you can absolutely bring them back to the store and ask them to swap sizes. Worst they can say is “no,” which seems unlikely since you’re a good customer. Could also consider taking them to a cobbler and having them stretched, or seeing if the store will stretch them for you (many will).

      Good luck!

    • Definitely see if you can get a bigger size – you’ve only been wearing them inside! If that doesn’t solve the problem, a good cobbler may be able to stretch the leather in the problem areas.

    • Yes I should try. I’m a sucker at negotiating. I’ve read about stretching shoes out on this site. Hope to goodness the shop has. Maybe I’m being pessimistic; they MAKE good shoes, darn it!

      And I was feeling all noble and civic conscious having found such a fabulous pair made locally. I’m beginning to see the funny side after the confirmation that someone out there should at the very least stretch these out for me. :) Thanks!

      • You could take a pair (or multiple) of thick socks and ball them up in the part of the shoe that is pinching. It usually takes me about a few days and then its stretched out some. That plus wearing them another time or two usually equals a great fit. Plus no more added wear and tear so if it doesn’t work you can try a swap.

        • Wow now that is smart. Yay!

          I’ve thrown the receipt (small store the guy knows me, though) so maybe I’ll go me the other pair he described as *petrol blue* tomorrow and mention this so he is forewarned!

          Thanks, I!!

    • LilacWine :

      Are you wearing them with pantyhose?

      I also bought some pricey pumps from a local store recently, and the owner told me to wear them with pantyhose while they stretch. It really did help because it helped the shoe not feel nearly so tight on my feet and also prevented me from getting blisters in tight places. And now one pair is totally stretched out and feels great in bare feet, and the other is almost there.

  9. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    To follow up on our Dorothy Perkins convo yesterday: 20% off all full priced dresses, and additional 15% off with INDTP15, and free shipping over $75. I just got a gorgeous raspberry dress.

  10. Legally Brunettte :

    Just received my Nordstrom Anniversary loot, here’s a summary:

    1. Vince Camuto Ruched Cap Sleeve Tee — I love the bateau neckline of this top but the ruching did not work for me. I also did not find the cap sleeves flattering.

    2. Olivia Moon Ruched Sleeved Jacket – I bought this in ivory, black, and mustard. The mustard is horrendous on my coloring, so it’s a definite return. The ivory and black fit well, but I would like a jacket with more structure (this feels like a knit, so it’s just not that structured). DH liked it on me but I’m not sure whether they will be keepers.

    3. Kate Spade Stone Bib Necklace in Aqua, with matching earrings – LOOOOOVE this. A great statement necklace that is totally appropriate for work, in my opinion. The color is more green than aqua, which I love, and the necklace lays well on the neck (without bending). My favorite NAS purchase.

    4. Nordstrom Raindrops on Roses Long Necklace – I’m always on the hunt for long necklaces and I really like this one. I got the light gold/colorado color. Very elegant and good for wearing over tops/sweaters/dresses.

    • My purchases: Cole Haan Monica Wedge Ballet, some towels (they are the best!), and some hanky panky. Tried on the Franco Sarto flats that are in the sale, but the right shoe showed major toe cleavage and the left shoe didn’t. (I didn’t buy.)

      Also, Nordstrom now carries a lovely smelling linen wash with a hint of rosemary. It’s $5 off in the sale and it’s in-store only.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I just got mine, too. I won’t review the activewear, the lingerie, or the hosiery, but:

      1. Boss Black Satin Trim VNeck dress with sleeves (558900, $365) – fail. Not for pears. Could look nice on someone with a more balanced figure.

      2. Boss Black Velorie Skirt (558901, $185) – awesome!!! Fits great. So flattering.

      3. Classiques short sleeve drape neck sweater (537606, $65) – fits a bit smaller than CE blouses. I wear an XS in blouses, but would need a S in this I think. Didn’t work on me. I need to remember to stop buying drape necks – they just don’t flatter my shape.

      4. Classiques Aster Weave pencil skirt with off center front slit (537941, $109) – I liked it ok. It looked nice enough, but the off center front slit bugged and I want to keep the Boss Black skirt, so this one is going back.

      5. AGL flats, (545049, $200) – didn’t love them. A bit narrow in the toebox for me, and a bit frumpy looking on my foot.

      • Re: the Boss Black dress failure – I saw your posting that you’re on the hunt for a wool dress with sleeves. Have you tried the Boden suiting dress? It has elbow length sleeve and very nice material and is currently on sale. The brand tends to cut dresses for apple shapes, but they cut with generous seam allowances so alterations might work.

    • anon in SF :

      I also ducked in for some presale shopping last night:
      1) Tory Burch equestrian boots: Amazing, glossy leather, with small logo. I will have these for years. Note– they run small through the calf. #536327

      2) quilted leather jacket: I don’t really need another black leather jacket, but this is good quality leather for the price, and looks slightly Chanel-esque to me. For some reason, they are only showing pink on line. This was also cute, but black seemed more versatile. #519629.

      3) tortise print patent loafers : cute for weekends, very comfy. #535241

      4) CE Hounds tooth top: I like the large scale print, and flattering drape. Plan to wear with a red skirt. #537119

      I’m debating a few other things, but am happy with everything I got. I didn’t love the jewelry this year, but otherwise, it seemed to be a good selection.

      • MissJackson :

        I bought the CE houndstooth top, too — it’s so flattering! I was a little put off by the price initially but I when I tried it on, I liked it so much that I really didn’t care. Almost wore it today, actually.

    • I ordered

      1. Suzi chin double V dress in currant
      2. Lafayette shirt dress in chambray. It has a lace up neck
      3. Lafayette black dress with v neck ….this one just arrived and is amazing . Looks a bit boxy on the site but skims over my figure and hides.my.tummy. Big win.

  11. @Merabella -Sydney Bristow :

    Merabella, I saw your post in the coffee break thread. I’m one of the people who cut off all contact with my mother. My decision was for it to be permanent, so this might not be totally helpful, but this is what I did. I sat down and wrote her an email explaining all of my reasons for cutting off contact. I then waited a day to re-read it before sending it so that it didn’t sound as angry as it originally did. At the end of it, I made it very clear that she was not to contact me under any circumstances.

    One of the problems in my situation was that she had a compulsion to contact me multiple times every day. She did call my cell phone a few days later and I didn’t answer our ever listen to her voicemail. I went and changed both my phone number and email address that day. The only way I risked coming into contact with her was in my hometown and I did my best to find out rough my sister if she would be working at a store that I had to go to sometimes when I was in town. She would sometimes show up at my dad’s house for something related to my sisters and everyone was instructed to tell her that I was not home if she asked to see me and I’d just hang out away from the front door until she left.

    I’m sorry you’ve reached the point where you need to cut off contact with a parent. Let me know if I can be of any help.

    • Thank you so much for your response. I think I made this decision 2 years ago, but I have been afraid to pull the trigger. After the most recent round of fighting, I think it is best for my mental health to just not have contact with her.

      I really appreciate your input. I’ve already set up automatic filters for all of her emails, and made password changes to anything she might try to hack into. I figure this is precautionary steps before I take the plunge of sending a no contact letter.

      • Oldest Sister :

        Word to the wise: the email filter sends her emails to a folder in your main account, but you will still see them in your inbox on your iPhone or iPad or whatever. At least, this is what happens to me with my local provider email account, with which I interface on my home computer using outlook. Perhaps gmail would be different. Or — just gave myself an idea — maybe I need to set up the filter using my local provider’s webmail online settings instead of my Outlook settings.

        • Thank you.

        • I can set up my Android phone to only sync certain folders. I think you can do the same on iPhone.

        • I use Gmail on my iPhone, and anything filtered out does not show up in my iPhone inbox. It may be due to settings on the filter. If you have Gmail, when you create or edit a filter, select the boxes “Skip the Inbox (Archive It)” and “Mark as Read.”

    • the trick for me is that I have siblings with whom I’m not close but whom I’d rather not completely cut out. however they don’t understand my desire to cut out our mother and rather than support or respect my choice, they allow themselves to be bribed to share any info they have on me or they start a visit with me by being kind and turn it into a lecture on not being such a “female dog” and remembering that she gave birth to me.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’m sorry, I can’t imagine how awful that must be. Luckily my siblings are very supportive. I’m sure that my mom knows all about my life, and that doesn’t really bother me. I tried to maintain a relationship with my grandparents on her side, but they have many of the same issues that caused me to cut off my mother in the first place and try to make me feel horrible for abandoning my mother and make it clear that I am the black sheep on the family (which, objectively couldn’t be farther from the truth). I eventually had to cut down to absolutely minimal contact with them until I moved across the country from them and rarely ever have to interact with them anymore.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Oops, meant to add that the only way I can deal with them on those rare occasions is to just absolutely expect that they will try to make me feel awful and make sure that I have something uplifting to do or someone supportive to talk to after the encounter.

          • Merabella :

            Luckily my siblings are very supportive as well. This has been an ongoing struggle with my mother for many years, thankfully my sister understands this too.

  12. mintberrycrunch :

    Love this color, but even $55 is too rich for my law student blood

    Related TJ: Anyone have any recommendations for where I can find inexpensive, classy yet fun party dresses that would be appropriate for Vegas? Heading there for a bachelorette party next month. Under $100 would be ideal, since I know I won’t wear them very often!

    • Anonymous NYer :

      I have one or two from the Limited that would work for vegas (I wore one of them in vegas actually), but they’re not current seasons. You could try looking there. Express has a bunch of those type of dresses too – some more risque, but some not so bad. I got a great dress at Macys – form fitting, but I sized up so it wasn’t skin tight – I think it was Inc. brand. You could try there as well.

    • I got a cute one from Express for about $60 dollars. They had a bunch of really cute strapless dresses this summer.

    • Express is pretty reliable for going out dresses–that is where I would start. If you are willing to commit some time to this endeavor and would like something more multi-purpose, be sure to check out department store sale racks (I have a satiny LBD I bought for $50 from Macy’s that I have gotten many, many wears out of). If price is your priority, you can’t get cheaper than Forever 21, but you said “classy,” so unless you are fairly short/petite they won’t have much for you in the way of dresses that cover all your business.

    • Rent the runway would be a good bet for this

  13. The Skirt - petites? :

    I’ve seen a lot of discussion about the changes to The Skirt and the consensus seems to be that it no longer runs big. But does anyone know about the new version in petite? I tend to wear a 4 or a 6P in skirts at most places, but always went with a 4P in The (old) Skirt. Should I order a 6P when I do my anniversary sale shopping this weekend?

  14. mintberrycrunch :

    Argh, original post stuck in moderation b/c of “bachelor – e t t e”…

    TJ: Anyone have any recommendations for where I can find inexpensive, classy yet fun party dresses that would be appropriate for Vegas? Heading there for a bach. party next month. Under $100 would be ideal, since I know I won’t wear them very often (unfortunately – or maybe fortunately – wild Vegas weekends do not occur often in my life)!

    • MaggieLizer :

      Forever 21 and Express are made for this – fun, cute stuff that isn’t particularly durable but you won’t be heartbroken if it falls apart because it was inexpensive anyway. I’ve also had good luck at Guess and sometimes White House Black Market for dresses that are pushing your $100 budget but hold up well.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      You may want to try Frederick’s of Hollywood. Their dresses are made for b-parties.

    • Anon Analyst :

      I would check Express. Or if you’re willing to search the racks maybe check Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe. I know they’re more teen based, but they still might have some fun dresses. Sounds like a fun trip!

    • phillygirlruns :

      another vote for express – a couple weeks ago i got two party dresses for about $70 total, with whatever sale was going on at the time.

    • Because I can’t help myself, JCP!!!!!!! Seriously, I’d be surprised if you couldn’t find something under $50.

    • Anonymous NYer :

      I answered above when your post came through moderation – I def second (or fourth or fifth) express.

      Here’s my above post:

      I have one or two from the Limited that would work for vegas (I wore one of them in vegas actually), but they’re not current seasons. You could try looking there. Express has a bunch of those type of dresses too – some more risque, but some not so bad. I got a great dress at Macys – form fitting, but I sized up so it wasn’t skin tight – I think it was Inc. brand. You could try there as well.

    • I answered above but check Express! I got a really cute strapless dress that I wore for the same kind of party for about $60.

    • mintberrycrunch :

      Thanks everyone! I will definitely check these out this weekend :)

  15. I just need to give a huge shout-out to my boss and my place of business. I report directly to the CEO and had to tell him this week that I’m 12 weeks pregnant with our second kid (the first child I’m having as an employee of this company). It helps that our year-end results just came in and my department shattered our financial goal by 17% (and hit a 7-figure number never before achieved at this organization), so I was able to lead with really great news. When I followed up by telling him I was pregnant, he was totally thrilled for me and immediately told me to take as much time off as I needed and to even come back 2-3 days per week to start if necessary. It was awesome, validating, and overall just so civilized!

    Sorry if this sounds gushy or over-the-top, but I realize how fortunate I am to work here (even though I don’t love my job EVERY day) and wanted to share that not all companies are evil when it comes to maternity leave. Yay :)

    • Anita (formerly S) :

      Congrats on your year end numbers and pregnancy! We should all be so fortunate as to work in an environment like yours.

    • Congrats! That is a fantastic accomplishment and awesome that you have so much support from your employer!

    • Kontraktor :

      This is how companies should be. Having a baby is just a part of life. It’s not a big deal in the sense that it’s a human thing and most humans reproduce at some point in life. So, why treat it as if it’s this horrible, awful, stigmatized thing? More bosses/companies should be like yours and recognize it’s just a part of life and not make such a big flipping deal about it. I’m happy on your behalf you work for such an awesome place :-)

    • Congratulations! On the numbers (17%? Wow!) and the baby and the boss!

  16. Question about allergy shots. Has anyone done these? What has been your experience? Did they work?
    I am considering shots to deal with my oral allergy syndrome on my doctor’s theory that dealing with my tree allergies may alleviate my food allergies, but not sure how effective this will be and if it’s worth all the trouble.

    • I was a preteen/teenager when I did allergy shots, so YMMV, but they almost completely cured me of a pretty severe grass allergy. Took about 2 years, if I recall, although that was 12 years ago. The shots weren’t particularly painful either; the bigger pain was going to the allergist every week for them.

      • I had a similar experience. I wouldn’t say the shots “cured” any of my allergies, but they significantly ameliorated them. Although now I’m considering asking my doctor about another round (hey, it’s been 20 years) to help deal with the in-laws’ pets…

    • SugarMagnolia :

      My doc recommended the same thing for the exact same issues. But the allergist I was seeing could only give the shots during my regular workday, and I started missing shot dates. Which caused me to “fall behind.” (He only did injections until 5:30, which just didn’t work for me)

      I had done the shots as a teen, but was so allergic (and the clinic so incompetent) that I went in to Anaphylactic shock twice and had to discontinue treatment. So my last doc dramatically cut my dose during tree pollen season. Missing shots meant that after a year of injections, I really wasn’t much better.

      When I moved, I lost insurance coverage for it, and haven’t gotten treated since. I would like to try again, as having my mouth turn bright red after eating something containing carrots is just not attractive. :)

    • Yes, I started them earlier this year. After 3 months, I finally had to stop them because my body couldn’t tolerate the all-out assault of injected allergens (see my previous whining about the copious amounts of steroids I was guzzling). I was really hoping they’d work but I just have to deal with my tree and dust mite allergies. I’m one of the rare few that actually reacted very badly to them. I’m the minority, though, I know it’s worked wonders on many.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Seriously considering this. My pollen allergy got worse, until now I can’t eat raw stone fruits thanks to some enzyme that is similar to that in pollen. (Oral allergy syndrome. Ugh.)

      Every summer is torture. It’s terrible not being able to enjoy fresh peaches and cherries!

      • This is my problem – stone fruits and now some nuts, too.

        Thanks for all this feedback, everyone! It sounds like such a huge pain to do once a week/6 months, but maybe it is worth it? But, Godzilla, I remember your complaints, so I am thinking maybe it is not worth the pain, nevermind the hassle, esp. given SugarMagnolia’s an. shock experience – eek, that’s terrifying!

        If anyone has other experiences, please keep ‘em coming. I’d also love to hear if anyone’s had alternative therapies work for them. I have a friend who swears by accupuncture but I am skeptical that it will actually let me eat peaches and hazelnuts!

        • My sister has had good luck with accupuncture for food allergies. She still can’t eat tons of wheat, chocolate, dairy or nuts, but she can have them in small amounts now without getting sick.

          My mom had allergy shots when I was a kid, but she didn’t have to go to the dr every week. My dad (no medical background) gave them to her or she did the injections herself. If you aren’t squeamish, that might be an option.

        • Even knowing what I know now, I still would have tried it out, there’s just no way to predict how your body will react. It’s a long and slow process, going to the doc every week. You will not see instant results, it’ll take a few months. If you’re otherwise healthy, go for it, yo.

        • Seattleite :

          AIMS, my SIL had great success with NAET therapy for allergies. She is the Most Mainstream Person Ever WRT to medical stuff, so I trust her reporting more than I would some of my hippie-flower-child-fad-of-the-week friends.

          I had allergy shots as an adult and they didn’t do squat.

      • These are my exact allergies too! Most people look at me like I’m making it up.

    • I did allergy shots for a number of years until I moved to a country where it was not an option. I found them very helpful, although I have not gone back (period of time with terrible insurance) since. My dad has been going for the past 10 years or so, and has also found them helpful. My mom has been going for about 30 years (weekly or bi-weekly) and she’s pretty sure they’re the only reason she can still breathe without being on a ventilator. Both of my parents have allergy-induced asthma and found that it was really necessary on top of the daily claritan (and inhalor and singulair).

  17. Questions for the ladies in the healthcare industy…

    I am thinking about a career change but not sure medical school is for me. I have started looking into neuroscience/neurobiology programs but my questions is what type of jobs/career paths are available, other than research, to someone with a master’s in the field? Or do you have more options if you earn a PhD? If I am being perfectly honest money does make a difference to me in which career path I will consider since I will be taking on significant expenses as well as leaving my current career.

    I am from a non-health related background so this is all new to me – not sure where to look for career advice and I don’t have any friends or family in the field.

    • I really want to comment extensively on this, but have to leave for a meeting so may be back later.

      Short answer – don’t get a PhD unless you really, really want to do research AND your education is fully paid for with stipend. You will not earn “real” money until probably nearly 10 years after completing your program and even then, it ain’t much.

      Master’s in a hard science used to be good for going into industry (biotech, pharmaceutical), but they’ve been hemorrhaging R&D jobs lately. Also, you have to pay for most Master’s programs.

      Other options for healthcare careers could be Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant. I don’t know too much about these, but think they might be good options for someone interested in healthCARE (as opposed to health research) but who doesn’t want to go the full MD route.

      Also, you might want to check out MPH (public health) programs. These seem to be a bit more business-focused and might be more marketable in the healthcare industry than a research master’s or PhD.

      I’ll try to check back in later.

      • I have no personal experience in this field, but I have some friends in an MPH program who have complained that it is difficult to get a job coming out of an MPH program because employers assume that you want to use the job as a stepping stone to something else (usually medical school). I don’t know how universal this is, and it may be more of a reflection of a difficult job market than on the value of the degree itself.

      • Thanks – I’ll be looking out to see if you post again on this subject!

        I really don’t think a career as a nurse or a PA is for me. I’d like to have more autonomy in my career and while I realize that nurses can continue their education and become more experienced/specialized they are still never treated the same as a physician. I am not commenting on whether it is right or wrong but that is what I discovered in my career research.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I would say that MPH has become the new law school for my group of friends. That is, it’s become the new “post-college-what-the-heck-do-I-do-with-my-life” degree. Now that we are about two years out of school there are a few people who still can’t find jobs, a few that used the jobs as stepping stones to either medical school or a research career and maybe 1-2 actually working in public health. So I’m not sure if either the degree isn’t that useful, or maybe you need more time and skill to build on it.

        • Research, Not Law :

          I have highly suspected that MPH is the new law school.

          Many people get one for a clear reason (clinicians transitioning to research or program management, MBAs in hospital administration, state or county health dept employees prepping for promotion, etc). There is a high number of aspiring med students denied on their first pass will get one to try to improve their next application, which in my experience doesn’t seem to work very well. There are people who have a clear idea of what they want to do, either research or programming, and are using the degree to transition. Then there seems to be a group of well-funded young adults who use it as a walkabout.

        • You know, upon thinking a bit more carefully, the idea of an MPH program as a placeholder to help one get into med school or a PhD program probably is pretty true. I took some classes with some MPH students recently and I did get that impression.

          I guess I viewed it as less time than a PhD and perhaps useful if one goes into it with a defined career path in mind.

    • Research, Not Law :

      My question back to you is what kind of job do you want in health care? It’s a broad field. Do you want to do research? Clinical care? Management? I strongly recommend that you do some informational interviews. It’s a major investment to go from non-science career to health-related career, and each health profession has its own pathway. You don’t want to waste time and money going down the wrong route.

      Neuroscience/neurobiology without a professional degree (ie, MD) will steer you to research. There are probably other, sideways options, but that’s where most end up. If research doesn’t interest you, then look for a professional/technical program.

      The difference between getting a PhD and a Masters is far greater than just being more marketable. It will set you on a different career path with different responsibilities. You should first decide which path you want. For example, I went with a masters because I wanted to do the work, rather than spend significant time on proposals, presentations, and grooming my CV. As a result, I have better job security and enjoy my role, but I make less money and have less control.

      Wholeheartedly agree with PollyD that you should only do a PhD if you want it and get a stipend. I’d also add that you should value a masters program with RA/TA opportunities to help with costs (and networking/CV-building).

      Clinical careers besides MD/DO: NP or PA, dentist, physical therapist, radiologist, chiropractor, optometrist. Less patient contact: Medical technologist, pharmacist (PharmD), pharm tech (BS). Salaries will vary wildly. MD/DO, dentist, and pharmacist will be the most lucrative, but they will be the most costly in tuition and time. I’ve heard that radiologist is pretty good salary for the investment, but that could be heresy.

      I have an MPH. It’s like a liberal arts bachelors. Versatile, but you get a job based on the skills you obtain while in school, not on the degree itself. Only get one if you know why you’re getting it and take the necessary steps to get the skills and connections necessary, otherwise you’ll just be another unemployed or unsatisfied MPH. I have an MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics and work in research. I have been successful and probably earn more than most people in my class (MD/MPH-ers excluded), but I’m not getting rich.

      • Thanks for your insight. I noticed that you mentioned raidology as an option to consider other than MD/DO but my understanding was that a radiologist is an MD who completed a raidology residency. Or did you mean a radiology tech?

        • Radiologists are definitely MDs. There are some related para-medicine fields, including radiation therapists (not sure how/if this is different than a radiation tech). I’ve heard good things about that as a career.

          Physical therapists have a good amount of autonomy. It’s a 4 yr grad program though.

        • I think this refers to what I would call a radiographer. Your terminology could be different though.

          • Research, Not Law :

            Yes, sorry. I was thinking of radiation therapist and radiographers. Mind blip!

            LOLing on the heresy, too. Oops!

      • Hah, heresy. I know you meant hearsay but I thought that was hysterical. ;)

        I just want to mention that at my previous gyn, I saw an RN and never even met my official MD over 4 years. Last year, I switched to a new GP where they’ll combine my lady business in with a regular physical so I can save time and money, and my GP is actually a NP. Her husband is the MD at the practice but I haven’t met him either. I have had absolutely zero issues with quality of care, and as best I can tell, these women have been integral parts of the practices they work at and are highly respected. I also appreciate seeing them because they seem to have more time to discuss any issues than my previous GP, who was always in and out.

        • This is very true. Perhaps you would benefit by researching the typical work, salary, autonomy etc that the different healthcare profession’s involve, and then narrow your search?

    • One recommendation that I would make is to be aware that different people define “healthcare industry” differently.

      For some, it involves solely the provision of care, so careers would be doctors, nurses, medical assistants, and other providers, plus administrators of hospitals, private practices, and places like nursing homes or extended care facilities.

      For others, it includes pharma and organizations that support pharma (everything from contract research organizations to market researchers to medical writers to marketing/advertising firms.)

      And there are also things like public health departments, non-profits, advocacy groups, and various types of research institutes/university departments/companies.

      If you decide to pursue a degree, make sure you choose a program that has a definition of “healthcare” that fits in with your goals. Ask for info on the typical student (what is his/her educational background? what does he/she do for a living?) and a list of the careers of program graduates.

      • Consultant :

        Agree with this. There are many “advisory” roles that focus on healthcare clients, for which an understanding of scientific research and/or clinical practice is helpful. It helps the advisor “speak the client’s language” as well as better anticipate their needs.

        Think the typical lawyer/ accountant/ operational consultant/ financial analyst/ banker professional roles, but with a healthcare expertise. MBAs in my world are a dime a dozen, but the clients love when their deal team includes someone with an MD or PhD after their name. Just something to think about.

    • CleveAnon :

      I’d be happy to email you–do you have a throwaway account? I’m a physiology PhD refugee and am currently working in healthcare.

    • Random thought, but I’ll throw it out there anyway…
      Might it be possible to train in Psychology / Psychotherapy and become a therapist of one sort or another?

      Personally I disagree about Nurses and NPs lacking autonomy and respect. They are quite unique in what they do and I daresay many a physician would disagree with you on that, not to mention the N / NPs themselves.

  18. LeChouette :

    Seeking charitable advice!

    I am thinking about joining the junior board of a local charity in order to meet some new people, do something good, and get some “leadership” and networking experience.

    Does anyone have experience in doing this?

    Specifically, I am considering two charities, one of which is focused on young women and girls — my heart is more with that charity, but I wonder if my goals (networking, new people) might be better met by participating in a charity with a more co-ed focus . . . ?

    • Anonymous NYer :

      I have no advice, but I’m interested in responses to this question as well. Also, where do you find good, reputable charities in your area to volunteer or become involved with who has a junior exec board?

  19. anon for this :

    Hi all – need some advice of the wedding/proposal related nature…so i recently got engaged to my long time bf (over 6 years together) and we did this in a very nonchalant way – he “proposed” while we basically laid on the couch hanging out before bed (we live together). i knew it was coming this summer, just not that night, and was very excited but it’s not exactly a romantic story or anything – but that’s not our nature, we are pretty low key. now that everyones starting to ask, though, “how did he do it?” it’s hard to explain – the funny part is it’s hard to explain to people who are less close to me. my close friends totally get that this is just how we are and it was a totally fitting way for him to propose. my work “friends”, or collegues, i can tell, judge this. i’m happy with how it happened, but it’s like all the “oh, that’s it?” or “were you mad” when i tell the story is kind of making me doubt that i’m happy wtih how it happened. One person said “so what are you going to tell your kids” like this was something to be embarrased about… any snappy comebacks or just commisseration? this is supposed to be a happy time, why is this making me sad?

    • First of all, congratulations! I’m sorry these people are making you sad. But as you said, these people don’t get your relationship. And there is no “right” or “required” way to propose. If you’re happy and he’s happy, that’s what matters.

    • What’s wrong with “oh, we were just having a quiet night at home, it was a great surprise and we are super excited about our future together” then move on to a new topic. Not everyone has a fancy proposal and it has no bearing on your relationship. It sounds like it was a very lovely moment for the two of you so I would just focus on that. Don’t let anyone spoil your moment, especially if they don’t know you well enough to realize how appropriate the setting was. And congrats!

      • Completely agree with this. They don’t need details whether it was the most low key proposal ever or the most elaborate proposal ever. Just stick with “he surprised me on a quiet night at home, I’m so excited.” The fact that it reflects you two is what makes it special. (And now that I have a 12 year old stepdaughter I can assure you that whatever you did would be deemed lame by your future kids so that’s a stupid comment from your coworker :))

    • You don’t need snappy comebacks you just need to sell it a little more. Mine was super lowkey to but no one said anything like that. are you saying it and sounding mad? this is what I would say “Oh it was so sweet! We were on the couch together, it was just a quiet night so I wasn’t expecting anything. He told me —–(whatever he said, I’m sure it was something about how he loved you so I’ll just make this part up and personalize it how you see fit) He told me how much he loved me, and that he couldn’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together. It was so perfect because its in those little moments that I really realize how lucky we are to have each other”

      • Honey Pillows :

        What matters is that it’s perfect for YOU -and agreed, that’s what you should tell people. If you love cuddling on the couch before bed with your fella, and that’s your special time together, then proposing at that time is the sweetest thing. I agree with cfm -sometimes low-key people don’t come across as quite so excited as they feel -maybe instead of saying “Oh, it was quiet. He just proposed on the couch one night,” say “I’d had an idea it was coming, but just out of the blue, he proposed one night! Just being with him makes everything fun, even doing all the boring things like groceries and watching tv, and I’m so excited to get to do all those boring things with him for the rest of my life.”

        (See? I even threw in some humor for you.)

    • Are you f-ing kidding me? You tell your kids that you and daddy loved each other so much that he asked you to spend the rest of your life with him. Your coworkers are a bunch of jerks.

      • Honestly I’m picking up that they just might be picking up on her apparent sadness. The fact that she is actually questioning whether she’s happy about it makes me think she is not sounding happy about it. If she is thrilled and tells the story thrilled, people will be happy with you. If you are just going “oh um we were just on the couch before bed and he just like said it and I said yes” people are going to pick up on that. It sounds to me like you are saying it almost embarassed to your coworkers and so they are trying to sympathetic unless somehow all the jerks of the world are in one office. but since its more than one person, and since OP admits she is questioning whether she is happy with it, I think the delivery of the message is what’s off

        • I dunno. In my demographic, it seems like there’s a ridiculous expectation that guys will come up with some sort of elaborate scheme for the proposal, in addition to dropping 10K on a ring, and then there will be a 50K wedding. I can definitely see my coworkers and even some of my friends getting judgy of people who don’t meet this expectation. It’s the same reason why there’s so much discussion on this site about engagement rings, fancy watches, etc. There’s a lot of social pressure to act and be a certain way, and material items tend to be a reflection of that.

          Or maybe it’s just me and everyone else genuinely wants all these things. It’s entirely possible I’m weird.

          • I totally agree with you, Bluejay.

          • Eh I’m the demographic for that I think but I have never gotten snark for my low keyness. It’s entirely possible I’m weird to, apparently there are like all these mega jerks running around and I’ve never had to put up with them (knock on wood)

          • You’re not weird, or if you are, you have plenty of company. I think I’d die of embarrassment if a guy proposed to me with one of these flash mob scenarios (though I do think they’re sort of cute when they happen to other people). But I agree that there seems to be some sort of expectation of a grand proposal followed by a grand wedding these days.

          • Ada Doom Starkadder :

            I’m with you on this — there’s definitely a demographic that things it has to be an elaborate scheme-plan. Perhaps they’ve watched too much reality TV laden with product placement?

            In any case, if the OP is happy with it, then she shouldn’t second-guess herself. Proposals are not “one size fits all.”

      • Seriously, do anybody’s kids really care how daddy proposed? I never asked my parents that question and don’t care.

        • Ha, my dad asked my mom in as low-key of a way as my husband asked me (and it definitely reflects his kind of shy, awkward style that everyone loves about him). They were driving back from some date location in my dad’s beater truck when he began intensely staring out the windshield to avoid eye contact and nervously said something like “so… should we get married?”

          I was never disappointed as a kid, because that’s just how my sweet dad is.

        • lucy stone :

          Agree. I was 17 when I found out my parents eloped so the Army would send my mom with my dad. I somehow made it through my whole life until that point never noticing there weren’t wedding pictures, etc. I survived.

        • I never asked either. I do know how it happened, but I had to think about it for a second when I read this. Each person/couple is totally different and what works for one doesn’t work for others. My parents dated for almost 8 years before getting engaged. Some of my mom’s friends thought that she was doing the wrong thing by “waiting” for him, when she was actually the one who didn’t want to get married right away. It isn’t about the ring or the moment, it’s about the person and the relationship.

        • It’s something I have asked about, and the story comes up periodically among my family. My dad didn’t plan any grand gestures or anything. Frankly, I think we keep the story alive because it’s a fond memory of my grandparents – my dad asked their permission earlier in the day before he “popped the question,” and my grandmother was so nervous knowing what was coming that it took her 2 hours to make a bowl of tuna fish.

        • Sounds familiar! Apparently my dad proposed while hanging on the couch, having a quiet evening at home with my mom. I think his exact words were “I’d really like to be married. What do you think?” My siblings and I were not damaged by their proposal story in any way.

        • My dad psyched out my mom a couple of times with ridiculously gigantic fake rings. When he finally popped the question for real, it was on Friday the 13th.

          They’ve been married over 47 years now. Still seem happy, and I think my mom might still have the fake rings.

        • Seattleite :

          Ha! My parents were young, and there was a dead bunny involved. So no, they didn’t talk about it to my younger sibs much.

        • All I know about my parents’ proposal is that after they dated a couple of years my mother told my father she needed to know that it was going somewhere or else she would move back to her home state. He showed up with a ring the next day. They separated when I was 8. It figures!

        • Depends. We asked at one point and were somewhat disappointed to learn that there wasn’t even a proposal – they just said something like “let’s go for it!” Honestly, though, I think our reaction stemmed from the fact that we knew our parents weren’t happy (they ultimately divorced) and we saw the lack of proposal as yet another sign that they didn’t really think about what they were getting in to. I’m fairly certain we would have cared a lot less had their marriage been a happy one.

          • Sorry – this sounded more depressing than I intended. My point was supposed to be positive: in the end, it’s the marriage, not the proposal, that matters. I’ve had a few friends who had low-key proposals and they fit the couples perfectly, which is exactly as it should be. Seems to me it’s a sign of him knowing you well :) Congrats!

      • Seriously. It could just be my perception, but it doesn’t seem like having an elaborate proposal scenario has been A Thing for that long. People should do what they like, but not everyone craves those kind of romantic gestures.

        • This. I think things like proposals are getting out of hand an dleave young girls (and some women perhaps) of an unrealistic expectation. Sure some guys will go to great lengths to have an elaborate proposal, but in my experience most don’t.

          Dh wasn’t planning on proposing to me. We were hanging out one night and somehow that’s where the convesation went and he proposed. It was spur of the moment, and he was so nervous he said my name wrong, but it was sweet and worked for us. We went ring shopping together the next day.

        • Agree. And OP, I really hate telling “the proposal story” because (1) I am so not into it and in fact spent a lot of time ridding my DH of the idea that elaborate proposals were necessary, (2) I am not a sentimental person so I have trouble selling romantic stories, and (3) I just think it’s so awkward. Anyway, people will continue to ask so you may as well come up with a good story, or at least one you feel comfortable telling.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Congratulations! It sounds like you need a one line answer to deal with all of these comments. Maybe you could just respond by saying “it was the perfect proposal for us and we are very excited.” Other commenters can probably come up with a snappier way to say something that conveys your happiness and shuts down further discussion of it.

      • I suspect that the only thing making the OP doubt her happiness with it is constantly being made to feel like the story isn’t good enough. It’s natural, and unfortunately given all the craziness about weddings this could be just the beginning. “Oh, you were ok with that ring?” “You don’t mind a used dress?” “You’re not going on a honeymoon?” People will judge whatever they want.

        My very close friends know how my “engagement” happened. Everyone else just gets a smile, and I tend to say something like “it was the right time, and it was a very sweet moment.” I hate the idea of asking for and giving a play-by-play. These are some of the most intimate moments of our lives, and you shouldn’t have to feel like they need to measure up to audiences’ expectations.

    • People can be so inconsiderate! Shame on them for making you feel anything but joy about this. You don’t owe them any explanation. Just tell them you’re happy about how it happened and that’s what matters. Congratulations!

    • Francie Nolan :

      Hi Anon for this,

      Congrats!

      We are kindred spirits in proposal stories. I knew the proposal was coming in the near future, I was with my DH when he bought the ring at Costco (a fantastic deal BTW) even though I pretended to be very distracted by my shopping. He proposed to my while we were watching TV in or pjs. I was thrilled and would not have wanted it any other way. Some “work friends” made comments like “Wow that took effort” and such. I always responded “It was spectacular we got to celebrate in a way fitting of an engagement and smiled and winked. Do not let people bring you down because he did not have a flash mob or create a billboard. You had your own special moment and that is what counts.

    • Leslie Knope :

      My story is really similar. I also have a teensy nontraditional ring (which I picked out myself!) and it’s very clear that people want more excitement. I just make it a joke, like “oh, you know we’re sooo boring, and I love to micromanage stuff, so he couldn’t surprise me.” I don’t care about others’ reactions on my own behalf, but I don’t want people thinking my fiance is some disappointing jerk.

      • Honey Pillows :

        Good reply, Leslie. Something along the lines of:

        “Ha! Are you kidding? Like I’d trust him to pick out a ring I’d like. I knew exactly which ring I wanted, and I always get what I want.”

    • Congrats! Ignore the snarkiness at work–people are jerks. That said, maybe deep down you wanted something more elaborate? I say this not as judgment, but as someone with a similarly low-key proposal. I had planned my ideal proposal and told now-husband exactly what I wanted. Only problem was that life got in the way and he forgot all my details. I was bummed for a while, particularly after an acquaintance in our social circle got “my” proposal and bragged about it. Looking back, I see it doesn’t matter–I love my marriage and wouldn’t trade places with Perfect Proposal Girl for anything–not a knock against her, but her life is different than mine and I’m happy with what I have now.

    • My husband proposed while I was brushing my teeth to be funny, because I couldn’t say anything with a mouth full of toothpaste. But other than that, it was basically us just hanging out at home and super low key. If I talked to someone who knows him and his sense of humor, I would tell the full story (to the extent it even is one) and to everyone else I’d say “it was pretty low key, we just gradually decided to between the two of us, no big moment” (which is also true, the toothbrushing incident was just to show me the ring). People may be a little disappointed that there isn’t some involved stories with gondolas and candles and roses (which is 100% not our style), but … who cares?

      Finally, the questions completely stopped after we actually got married. It seems to be a question only engaged people get. Since we had a short engagement, I really only had to deal with people ~6 months, and no one has mentioned it for the four years after that. So, as annoying as it is now, this too shall pass, and everyone will forget and stop caring. :)

    • just want to chime in- i too had a very low-key proposal and that was exactly how i wanted it. (well, i actually didn’t want a proposal or engagement at all, but he wanted to, so we did…but that’s a different story). 7 years out, I still field these kinds of questions- usually when someone has just gotten engaged or we’re talking about engagement rings/stories, someone will turn to me and say, what’s your Engagement Story? I just tell them that he proposed on my birthday (no deets- we were also sitting on the couch) we were very young, and it’s turned out to be the best decision I ever made, and I thank my stars every day i said yes. (big smile!). Try to resist the pressure to feel like you need an Engagement Story to put on your Wedding Blog and tell for the rest of your life. Your life is not a wedding blog or a rom com. Your life is you and how you live it. Congratulations! I hope you two are very happy.

    • I am in the exact same situation, just engaged in June under very low-key circumstances. My “proposal” was a conversation we had lying in bed in the middle of the night. It was spontaneous, egalitarian, and ring-less which is my idea of romance and just exactly how I wanted it to go down. Don’t aplogize or act embarrassed by they way it happened. If you come across as happy and secure about it, people will get the picture. If people ask rude questions, a well-placed, “Why do you ask?” or a Carolyn Hax “Wow” is in order. Someone recently heard my story and responded by saying incredulously, “You had a conversation?” like the fact that we both had input into the decision was somehow bad. I just responded, “yeah,” and kept going. No skin off my nose if others don’t get me and my SO and how our relationship works.

    • That’s actually how I always pictured I would get engaged! It reminds me of something simple, sweet, and genuine like the proposal in the movie Stepmom. It doesn’t need to be some big gesture because that’s not what marriage is really about. In response to people’s questions I would just say something along the lines of what others have previously said.

      And congratulations on getting engaged!!!

    • We also had a very low key proposal. There is a bit of a funny story because I was watching some show on Discovery that was super interesting and he got home from work and kept asking me to turn the TV off, but I didn’t want to miss that show. Finally he got a little frustrated and said please and then got down on one knee and proposed. It was very sweet and low key. I do not like being the center of attention, so it would have embarrassed me if it had been done in public. He also said that he was planning on waiting a few days but had already had the ring for about a month and was so anxious that he couldn’t wait anymore. I don’t think there is any reason to be sad about your proposal and your co-workers frankly are rude!

    • Another low key proposee here (although my husband did make me breakfast). :) Just wanted to reiterate that the ONLY thing that matters is that you and your man want to spend the rest of your lives together. And there’s no need to be defensive about your “proposal story,” which is short and sweet.

    • My boyfriend (soon-to-be fiance) didn’t/won’t propose. We’ve spent the last 6 months discussing getting married and what it means to us, and this weekend happens to be the right timing to tell everyone we’ve decided to get married. I won’t have a story at all, even a low key one!

      But I’ve got the same feelings of worry you talk about–if I don’t have a story, people will feel bad for me, and then I won’t know what to say. But I just keep reminding myself that I don’t want the uber-romantic big story anyway, so they can keep their princes fairy tales and I’ll gladly keep my color-coordinated Excel spreadsheets.

    • Anonymous :

      I can relate. I received a similar “low-key” proposal. Though I had already decided that I wanted to marry my now DH, we had never had any sort of conversation about marriage. Our relationship moved pretty quickly, and though we were living together, it was a “one day at a time” sort of thing — we hadn’t felt any need to talk about where the relationship was heading.

      One night we were up late talking and in the middle of the conversation he asked “will you marry me.” Since this was out of the blue, I wasn’t sure if it was a hypothetical, “let’s start talking about talking about this question” or an actual proposal. This led to about 30 seconds of awkwardness, since I didn’t want to be presumptious and he thought I might be getting ready to say no. Eventually, though, I said yes.

      Though we were both very excited and wanted to share the news, we were young and stupid and bought into the “you need a ring and a ‘proper’ proposal” to be engaged. After a couple of days we realized how stupid that was and began telling people. This create some odd conversations, especially since we were still planning on getting a ring. (What do you mean you’re engaged? You don’t have a ring. You are getting a ring? Well, then you aren’t really engaged until he gives you that.)

      In a couple of weeks there was a second proposal — still quiet and private, but more traditional.

      The funny thing is that when I think of my proposal story, I think of the first, not the second. It was the first moment of sharing that we wanted to be married to each other that is meaningful to me. The second proposal was sweet and romantic and I think fondly of it, but I think of it as a special way my DH gave me my ring, not the time we got engaged.

      When asked how I got engaged, I usually tell people I don’t know well the second story. It is easier. But I don’t think my face lights up quite the way it does when I tell the first. :)

      • Merabella :

        This is the same for me. My husband “proposed” in a fun way, but really he had proposed 3 months earlier out of the blue one late night when we were up talking. We went ring shopping the next day, and he held on to it for a few months to create a surprise engagement.

    • Praxidike :

      I think it’s a perfectly nice engagement story. Not everyone needs (or wants) a dramatic engagement story. If it fits your personality as a couple, and you’re happy with it, that is all that matters.

      Here, I will tell you my engagement story to make you feel a little bit better. I had been dating my now-husband for approximately eight months when we went down to visit my mother in Florida. We had juuuust moved in together (it was long distance for the first eight months, otherwise I would not have moved in together so quickly).

      Anyway, we’re in Florida, it’s our last night there. We’re out at a fancy restaurant with my mother and hated stepfather. My mother looks at me, looks at now-husband, whips out a ring box (containing an heirloom ring) and says, “I’d like to see you propose to my daughter.”

      I had no idea it was coming, and I was aghast. Thankfully he took it all in stride, took the box, proposed to me, and I (of course) said yes. Later, I told him that it didn’t have to be “real”, and he said, “Well, I thought we would get married anyway, so I am not too upset.” Talk about an engagement story I never, ever tell…

      • Praxidike, I love your engagement story! I understand your not wanting to share it because of what people may think about your mom, but you and your husband have nothing to be embarrassed about. Seriously, this beats most of the “and then he got down on one knee” stories (I’m happy for the recipients of fairy tale proposals, but these stories often don’t make me melt like they’re supposed to — a defect on my part, to be sure).

        • Praxidike :

          Famke, thanks for your comment. I also think the “he got down on one knee” thing is pretty trite and it doesn’t move me. I have no idea what kind of engagement story I “wanted”, but the one I got is certainly unique!

    • My so proposed with “so how about it”. He had a ring but I hated it.

      There are worse stories than yours honestly.

      • Original Anon here :

        Thank you, all for the responses – i’m really really touched that a bunch of “strangers” (i say that in the nicest way possible) are more understanding and kind then people who i see and intereact with every day. I do see people’s point about perhaps I wanted more, but I really didn’t – anything more would’ve been not genuine, in my eyes, as the fact that he asked at the moment he did to me seemed like he just couldn’t wait any longer – he didn’t want to waste time planning something, he said, when all he wanted was to spend the rest of our lives together. I really appreciate the poster who said ‘your life is not a rom com” – i think that’s what was getting to me – everyone seems to think my proposal should’ve been some crazy story with a you tube video or something – all the press lately about over the top proposals seem to get people thinking that’s the norm. I feel much better and have a lot more “ammo” for rude/insenstive people now – and its really nice to hear that people have had similarly low key, but still awesome ways to make this decision! Thanks all:)

        • Anonymous :

          You described the reason I love my late night spur of the moment story to a T. If people give you grief you can share with them what you just did here — that you love the fact he proposed right when the spirit moved him and you got to share in the authenticity of that moment.

    • Another Saturday morning couch proposee here. I’m uncomfortable being the center of attention, so a flashy or public proposal would not have been for me. What made the proposal special was that my husband timed it for a day when my parents were planning to be in the city visiting his parents, which fit in with his belief that our parents should all find out simultaneously. What I found sweetest was that he hadn’t told any of his friends or family that he was planning to propose because he said that I should be the first person to know he wanted to marry me. What does make me sad is that since said couch was in a cr@ppy walk-up apartment that we ditched as soon as we could afford better, we’ll never get to go back to the spot where he proposed.

    • We just decided to get married while at a bar waiting for friends to show up (meaning decided that now was the time to start planning a wedding; clearly not the first time we’d ever discussed a future together). And so I feel you on the being judged by people who don’t know you very well. I never developed a snappy comeback other than to add to the story that it was “just the way I wanted it to happen,” which it was. Like you mentioned, everyone who knows us knows this was the right way for us. It was also a family tradition for us on both sides :).

    • This is a very late reply, but I feel you. My fiance proposed to me in a low-mid end chain restaurant (we live in a well-off part of California, so this is much stranger than it would be where I grew up in the midwest). He did this because its where we had one of our first dates and going there became kind of a ritual for us the first summer we were dating. So I thought it was perfect. But we definitely got a lot of judgment and snark from “friends” and acquaintances, especially since we know a lot of well-educated and well-off people who plan insane proposals that involve hideously expensive vacations, Michelin star restaurants, endless surprises, hot air balloon rides, etc. I agree with others that that kind of crazy proposal seems to be expected these days, and I personally think its much more romantic to do something that is really sentimental or appropriate for you two as a couple and not just a huge outlay of $$$. My favorite proposal story other than my own is a guy who proposed to his college sweetheart during a walk in the woods at their 5-year college reunion. Again, it was free and nothing staged or extravagent but really sweet and romantic.

      Anyway, to your dilemma, don’t let it make you sad! (Easier said than done, I know). But think how sad these people must be that they need that kind of expense or showiness to mark a special moment, and not just the love of the two people involved. As to that absurdly ridiculous “What are you going to tell your kids?” question, I’d say something short and sweet like “We’ll tell them that we didn’t need anything except a question and an answer, and the answer was yes.” Congratulations!! I wish you the best for a beautiful life together.

  20. Anon for this :

    Tips for dealing with overly sensitive employees? My office has an admin that cries very easily. She tends to cry most often whenever a particular partner addresses her. No one else in the office seems to have an issue with this partner but he can be a little bossy and particular but never really that out of line.

    I understand that someone who is overly sensitive can’t just snap their fingers and change who they are. At the same time, should everyone else be expected to tip toe around them and treat them like a special snowflake that can melt at any moment? This person has not disclosed any disability or medical condition that would contribute to her issue or require special treatment.

    Some in the office think partner should be told to be more sensitive and cautious in how he deals w/ this admin so he doesn’t upset her. Others think admin needs to grow a backbone and if she can’t deal with instruction and criticism she is in the wrong line of work.

    As far as I can tell, partners behavior is not abusive, discriminatory or out of line. It is just run of the mill.

    • emcsquared :

      One issue is that you don’t know all the interactions between admin and bossy partner. I worked with an individual who was a nightmare to me, but sweet as pie to everyone at his level or above. I’m sure some people thought I was overreacting when I emerged from his office in tears, but in reality, it was an abusive and manipulative relationship. If someone had told me to “grow a backbone,” I would have been devastated. Instead, a few people listened to me and intervened. A conversation with her about how she views the relationship with the bossy partner and whether there is additional information that you don’t know is absolutely necessary.

      Two, even if she just “needs to grow a backbone,” you might suggest more constructive ways of coping. Is she naturally an anxious person who worries about interactions in advance so they are scarier than they need to be? Does she overthink interactions after the fact? Does she have an idealized view of the hierarchy in your office, so she feels powerless? If you help empower her to deal with the partner in a positive way, it will help the whole office.

    • Leslie Knope :

      Also, what kind of crying interaction is it? I’ve been upset in front of my boss before, but did my best to ignore it and work through it like everything was normal. If she’s walking away from the conversation to cry in the ladies’ room, that’s different in a way I can’t really articulate. I see it like involuntary blushing–sometimes it’s an uncontrollable physical reaction, but there are ways to be professional despite it.

    • SugarMagnolia :

      In another life at a more corporate job, I helped an employee with this issue get a referral to our Employee Assistance Program. She would start crying over even a simple request to re-write a business letter or make a change to a document.

      I just spoke to her kindly about it over lunch (that I invited her to) and asked whether she was concerned about the role her emotional outbursts (I used some other nicer terminology for it that I can’t remember now) were playing in her worklife.

      She admitted that she was feeling anxiety about work, and didn’t know how to handle it. I don’t know what happened with her personally, but she must have followed through, because she had fewer outbursts after a few months went by. I didn’t want to pry and ask her what happened.

    • I’ll go with she needs to grow a backbone and if she can’t deal with instruction and criticism she’s in the wrong line of work. Maybe that sounds harsh, but there are plenty of admin assistant jobs that are not demanding. Not everyone is well-suited to work in a law firm. There’s no crying in baseball or law.

    • Can you take this to HR? If you could sit down with her and an HR person, that might be helpful. It might give her the impression that this is serious but if you start out by saying clearly, you’re not in trouble, we’re here to help and just want to know what’s going on, she might not feel threatened or intimidated.

      Alternately, I might take her out to coffee and ask her about it gently. I don’t know if it’s possible for you, but I might start off by telling her that whatever she says if off-the-record just to take the edge off in case she’s amped up (I don’t know how that idea sounds from a legal perspective though …). Then ask her what’s going on and maybe tell her about how you’ve dealt in the past when you’ve felt like crying in the office. I think you need to be clear that crying in the office is not appropriate but everyone gets emotional and needs to get some fresh air or hide in the ladies’ room once in a while. If you can approach her from a somewhat friendly perspective, that might be productive.

      Also, is this the way she has always been? If it’s something that’s changed, you can say that you’re concerned because that’s not how she’s behaved in the past. Start by telling her some of her positive qualities so it’s not all negative. Make her feel valued. Best of luck, this is tricky.

    • It’s probably a mixture of both sides contributing to the issue. Can you (or a friend of the admin) kindly provide some insight into appropriate level of emotions in an office setting, etc. and perhaps confide some useful coping strategies. I know for me, the more professional experience I’ve gained through the years, the more adept I’ve become at learning what is a “crisis” and what is better left to simply take in stride. Maybe the admin doesn’t realize how inappropriate her responses are in the context of your office’s culture.

      No matter what, I would give the partner the heads up–even if the partner is behaving perfectly fine, it is the right thing to do to let the partner know. Something witht he admin is off, and the last thing anyone would want is to suddenly find themselves swept into the middle of a mess because they simply didn’t recognize it might be an area to proceed with caution. It may not change the partner’s behavior, but at least s/he has been given fair warning.

      It’s not totally the same, but I have certain friends who are pretty low key and you know you can always tell it to them straight if something they’ve done is bothering you or if they’re being a jerk in a situation, etc. I have others who don’t have the best self-esteem or who get very emotional when opinions differ or the like. I’m always very careful with what I bring up and how because you’re never 100 perent sure if you’re stumbling into a minefield. (And they’re often confiding in me about perceived slights in every facet of life–family, friends, etc.) We’re all good because I’ve learned there is a minefield there and navigate carefully. But definitely not something you want to hit accidently in a work setting.

    • I agree that talking to her is a good idea, just in case there’s something you’re missing (are you responsible for her in any way, or are you just a concerned by-stander?), but ultimately, if the partner’s behavior is acceptable for the office you’re in and is not illegal, then I think it’s the admin’s job to buck up or find a different work environment. I tend to thrive in places where people are direct to the point of brusqueness but do terribly in more touchy-feely environments. I realize many people (including, I think, most women) are the opposite. If she’s more the touchy-feely type, she should seek out an environment that will help her be herself. But if I were the partner I would not be at all happy about being asked to soften my tone for one person if no one else thought I was out of line.

    • ‘grow a backbone’ is new to me but I shall use this!

  21. You guys, I’m so annoyed. I’m wearing my awesome new The Dress in anticipation of our DC meetup tonight. It’s the first time I wore it. And a hole opened up along the seam right on my hip. GRRRR. Nordie’s, I expect better from your brands.

    On the upside, the Nordie’s livechat guy said I can take it to a store and they’ll fix it for free. On the downside, Metro fares may cost more than taking it to my own tailor. Double grr.

  22. Hi ladies, I’ve been a long-time lurker but I thought I’d ask a question here and see how it goes (and if this is a huge faux-pas, please just let me know!). I’m not happy with my current size so I started going to a trainer. Because I’m hoping to lose a few pounds, I’m hesitant to buy suits at my current size. I do, however, wear a lot of knits and have been getting more into knit jackets. Do you think generally that a knit jacket over a dress is comparable to a suit? Has anyone else been down this road? What suggestions do you have? Thanks for humoring me :)

    • I think knit jackets can be nice, but if they’re not as structured as a blazer, they aren’t going to look as formal on the cardigan—jacket spectrum. I also do not think that jacket + dress is really comparable to a suit. An outfit where you’ve put some thought into the jacket and the dress can look great, though, but I don’t like the look of dress you happen to be wearing plus blazer you keep in your office and wear with everything as needed. I just don’t think it works that well all the time.

      If you need to wear suits, I would but a couple lower-quality and/or on-sale suits to hold you over. I think you will feel better about your current size if you have clothes that fit and make you feel professional, and you can donate them as you stop needing them.

    • Anonymous NYer :

      I think it definitely depends on the situation (spoken like a true lawyer). Interview? No way. Family Court or Criminal Court, but not to trial? Yes fine. Civil courts probably fall somewhere between. If you’re just at the office or meeting a client you’ve already met, I’d say it’s fine.

      For trials or interviews, a real suit is necessary I would say.

      • This. I’m in kind of a similar boat. I’m in the process of losing weight (down 22 pounds, want to lose another 20-ish), and am trying to avoid spending a ton of money on clothes now. But, as Stacy and Clinton often say, you have to dress the body you have. So if you need to wear suits regularly, pick up some more inexpensive suits, scour the sales racks (great time of year to do that, BTW), or check out Ebay. I’m a lawyer and wear suits to court, but I don’t go to court much more than once or twice a week. I’ve been getting alot of mileage out of knit separates for the office, but I ended up buying a couple of too-big-for-her suits off a friend that’ll help get me through until I’m at a point where I’m happy with my weight loss.

        SN: Corporette Rehash group is created!

        http://rehashclothes.com/groups/183

        • WestCoastRette :

          Hi Jess! I just joined the group. How does it work? Do we post what we have/want somewhere? By size? How does shipping work?

          Sorry for the questions — I’m excited to participate! Thanks for getting us started.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes.

      Comparable. Dress for your day, but most days that sounds a-okay. More feminine than sharp. Neither good nor bad.

  23. Any recommendations on basic camis? I am looking for something that will have some light slimming effect so you don’t see every ripple, waistband, and to help with my sheerness paranoia (I am afraid you can see though some of my knits in very bright lights). I’m an XL usually on top.

    • Anonymous NYer :

      I’m loving my jockey non-cotton tanks (the actual name is escaping me, and while I’m wearing one now, I’m not really in a position to look at the label). I’ve picked up a few from lord & taylors and I also found them at Kohls. They don’t really slim, as spanx would, but they def do some smoothing. I wear them under almost everything.

    • Belle at Cap Hill Style *just* wrote about camis – check out her post!

      • Sadly I did, but none of those brands work for me. Boo! It did get me thinking, so I figured I’d throw it out here and hope for the best!

    • The Limited has some stretchy ones that are really quite good. I probably own at least five or six of them.

    • I’m a fan of the Target Merona tanks — no shelf bra, fairly inexpensive — they don’t have a lot of color choice however. I have at least three each in black and white that I wear if the top is sheer and/or clingy or I’m feeling particularly lumpy that day.

    • I really like the Nordstom BP (juniors) cotten, stretch camis with the wide straps. The stylist I saw there recommended them over the spaghetti strapped ones, and I’ve never bought a different type of cami since.

    • I like the Shimera seamless tanks at Nordstrom’s. They stay in place and cover your bra straps.

  24. Sorry to interject again…but I wanted to announce that I’ve launched a series of polls to gauge readers’ beliefs about Ellen. The first one just went up and is at the upper right hand of my blog’s view. I’ll be changing them about weekly, but won’t bother you with this kind of plug each time. Any participation is appreciated!

    ELLENWatch
    “The truth is Out they’re.”

    • Thanks for the shout-out! :)

      There should be another option: The same person has almost always been responsible for all Ellen content, but there are also many other people who occasionally post as Ellen for laughs. These Ellens are not nearly as good as the original.

    • AnonyWolverine :

      Wait, you took the time and effort to start a blog about a joke poster here? I didn’t even think Ellen was that interesting/funny.

  25. We’ve talked 50 Shades before. I thought some of you might appreciate this review (link to follow).

      • That’s beautiful. A perfect, profanity-laced summary of everything I hated about that book.

      • Praxidike :

        So awesome. Love.

      • Ada Doom Starkadder :

        Perfect.

        I’ll go on record as totally judgmental here, but I suspect that the women who actually like this book and its sequels have craptastic taste and have zero s*xual agency (a.k.a. are dependent, owned wimps.) And the men who like this? Creeptastic.

        • Oh, jeez, really? We had to go there? I had a good time reading the books, although I openly admit that the writing was totally terrible. I don’t think reading crappy fiction means you’re a “dependent, owned wimp,” or that you have “zero s*xual agency.” And reading one or two crappy books also doesn’t mean your taste as a whole is completely compromised.

          Lighten up.

        • Yikes. That’s a pretty sweeping indictment.

          I choose to believe the popularity is due to the hype (people have to see what the heck is up with this book) and general ignorance about the romance and er*tica genres.

          And some people get a kick out of reading some awful books, just like they do from watching bad movies. Shurg.

          Don’t judge a book reader by their cover, I guess.

      • LinLondon :

        Hahaha, that word count at the end is outstanding. I admit I haven’t read any of the books. A friend loaned me the first one, I opened it to a random page and the word “sandal” was spelled wrong, so I didn’t even bother.

    • D Train South :

      Just wanted to share that a court reporter showed up to my client’s deposition yesterday and upon her arrivale plopped down her purse and one of the 50 Shades books (not the first one, I might add). I guffawed and then tried to disguise it as a cough.

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