Wednesday’s TPS Report: Starburst Pleat Sheath Dress

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

 Maggy London Starburst Pleat Sheath DressHappy Wednesday!  I love this starburst pattern — it’s so, so pretty, and such a great way to dress up a plain gray flannel dress.  I’d wear it with a blood red shrunken blazer, perhaps.  It’s $138 at Nordstrom. Maggy London Starburst Pleat Sheath Dress

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  1. Oh wow. The pleating is gorgeous!

    • Love this dress.

    • DC Association :

      Why oh why doesn’t it come in petites? FOOEY!

    • Agree. Love this dress!

    • Roberta has this DRESS! I can vooch that it looke’s great on her, and she DID get it at NORDSTROMs” . She wore it yesterday. Yay! I do NOT know if she reads Corporete, but I will tell her!

      Roberta is goeing to have another 25 case’s sent over from the other firm. The manageing partner is thriled about this, and he said Margie has agreed to delay the party for another week and call it a PILGRIM Party. We are all to dress up as they did along time ago on Plymouth Rock. It will be FUN! I do have to start exerceising more b/c my tuchas is getteing WAY to big from all the desert’s at CRUMBS that Roberta and I eat. I am blameing all of this on Roberta. She is abel to eat alot, but I can NOT. Fooey!

      David called here, and want’s to meet me for dinner during the week. I said I was busy today, but mabye tomorow. He is nice, and I think my dad gave him my #, b/c I did NOT. I did tell him where I worked, so mabye he GOOGELED it. Whatever. My dad think’s he has posibilities but I am not sure. I will give him a chance, b/c it is not as tho Brad Pit is wooeing me, and I want to get MARRIED and have a baby soon.

      Jim is again calleing me about the do diliegeience. He is goieng to be a probelem, b/c I wind up doeing all the work when he sit’s there reading sport’s magezine’s. FOOEY! The manageing partner may cut my billeing b/c the general council evedenetently is not happy about the QUANTUM of work we did so far. DOUBEL FOOEY. I was there, but Jim was NOT. That is NOT my fault. FOOEY!

  2. Halloween TJ :

    Have we talked Halloween costumes yet?

    Some of the costumes I’ve been considering:
    -Texts from Hillary (complete with pantsuit, scrunchie, and sunglasses, would probably make some sort of “It’s Madam Secretary to You” sign)
    -Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom (dress over peter pan blouse, knee socks, and a basket)
    -Margot Tenenbaum (Fur coat, hair clips, cigarettes)
    -Big Bird (Yellow top, orange pants, lots of feathers, some sort of political sign – either “Save Me, Vote Obama” or “Big Bird for President”)

    Would love to hear what other ‘r3tt3s are thinking for Halloween!

    • There was a great thread earlier that discussed a specific theme (book related, but not a book character).
      search for “tale of two cities”

    • Almost There :

      Oops, I missed your thread and did the same thing way later!

      Anywho, I’m going as a box of wine! I’m going to wear a big cardboard box from shoulder to upper thigh (with tights of course). I’m going to print an enlargement of the real wine box (using engineering prints at Staples) and paste them on and…. have a real bag-o-wine in my cardboard box!

    • my favorite holiday! :

      I’m going to (a party obviously) as a chinchilla. I made a fake-fur hooded onesie with big round ears, will wear gray tights and shoes, and I have a (NEW, CLEAN) rodent water bottle attached to an IV pole for added effect (and possibly drink dispensing, haven’t decided yet).

  3. Cornellian :

    How would you guys keep a dress like that pleated?

    • This is my thought exactly. Are you going to have funny wrinkles after the first day of wearing if you sit down in it. And how the heck are you going to keep the pleats when you get it cleaned?

    • These are the thoughts I had when I saw this post:
      1. Lovely.
      2. I would not be able to maintain those pleats.

    • The fabric is probably made to stay like that. I have seen lots of skirts and dresses like that, and own a few, and the pleats always stay put. I don’t know how, but they do.

      • Magic, probably.

      • I think if the pleat is made with extreme heat and pressure (basically a heavy duty press is used), the fabric takes on that shape more permanently.

        • It’s also synthetic fabric, which tends to hold those creases more permanently. But still…

    • Very first thing I thought of! “Gorgeous! But…no way.”

    • I thought the same thing. Especially after cleaning. But it’s beautiful!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Yep, I was thinking the same thing. I have a pleated skirt that I can never steam or iron perfectly. Though the pleats do remember some of their shape, they aren’t as sharp as when I bought it.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        I have this problem with a center kick-pleat in one of my dresses. Ugh.

    • Sorcery

    • SV in House :

      I saw this dress (very pretty!) at Lord & Taylor this weekend and my immediate thought was that it would never look like that again.

  4. Halloween TJ :

    (In moderation, whoops.)

    Have we talked Halloween costumes yet?

    Some of the costumes I’ve been considering:
    -Texts from Hillary (complete with pantsuit, scrunchie, and sunglasses, would probably make some sort of “It’s Madam Secretary to You” sign)
    -Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom (dress over peter pan blouse, knee socks, and a basket)
    -Margot Tenenbaum (Fur coat, hair clips, cigarettes)
    -Big Bird (Yellow top, orange pants, lots of feathers, some sort of political sign – either “Save Me, Vote Obama” or “Big Bird for President”)

    Would love to hear what others are thinking for Halloween!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m going as Amy Pond in her kissogram outfit and convinced my boyfriend to go as Rory the Roman. Well, I convinced him to go as a roman centurion but he doesn’t agree to the fact that he is Rory. Close enough though!

      • big dipper :

        I love this! I’ve been trying to convince my SO to do the Doctor & River or the Doctor and a Companion forever.

  5. This is stunning.

  6. I have to say thanks to readers here who recommended the figleaves website for small band size bras. There’s still nowhere in the world to get a real bargain, but prices in the 40s-50s sure beat prices in the 70s. Even with shipping costs, I’m saving $.

  7. Anon in DC :

    Love this dress! I’m a huge Corporette fan, but (almost) never post. I was too chicken to join you all at the DC meet up last week. Anyway, threadjack: I am switching to a new job in 2 weeks. and I want to use the switch to polish my image / wardrobe. Does anyone have any suggestions for a consultant who could advise on haircut, best style of clothes for my bodytype, etc? I thought of going to a Nordstrom personal shopper, but I do want advice on appearance outside of clothes. I’m not totally lost–I think I look good most of the time–but do need some fine-tuning. And my friends are too polite to say “Do not wear that dress and cut your hair.” Any suggestions??

    • Do you have a hair stylist you like and trust? Make an appointment and tell her what you’re thinking and get her advice. Is there a colleague who has a haircut you admire with a hair type similar to yours? Ask her who cuts it and go there.

      • Anon in DC :

        Yes, I will ask my regular hairstylist for ideas and will probably go to a personal shopper. I was hoping someone would have a recomendation for an all-over critique / guidance. I see webpages for stylists in DC, but don’t know if they’re suitable or useful for what I need. Thank you, though!

        • Meg Murry :

          Could I suggest if you do go to a personal shopper you either only buy a few things and keep the rest on a list for future consideration or keep the tags on a lot of what you buy? I bought a bunch of new clothes in anticipation of starting a new job and “OMG I need ALL THE PRETTY CLOTHES for my new job where I’m going to dress so much more professionally and look so much more put together … ” Yeah. 2 years later most of those clothes got worn once or twice because they weren’t really quite right for my office.
          So yay for new job = new image , but give it a little bit of time to make sure the new image is right for you and your new office.

          • Anon in DC :

            So useful! Thank you!

          • Yes, this was my experience too. Even for Big Law, the clothes I bought are way too formal for daily wear. Now I wear the same 2 pencil skirts, 4-5 shirts, and 2 cardigans as a uniform of sorts. I’m hoping no one notices until I can get the time, energy, and money to do another round of shopping.

      • If you need suggestions for stylists, I LOVE Jessica at Jouvence Aveda in Pentagon Row. She’s been doing my hair for three years now.

  8. Anyone have the Banana Republic Heritage matallic blazer? If so, how do you like it? I really want it but it is out of stock. Does anyone know of a similar longer blazer in brown?

  9. What earrings would you wear with this necklace?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I would wear gold or diamond studs so the necklace would be the center of attention. I love it!

      • just Karen :

        Agreed – keep the earrings simple. I think gold studs would be my first choice, but since I don’t have any, I’d end up with diamond studs, which would also look great. I love that necklace!

  10. Love it! Would it work for a curvy hourglass ? I am also generous of chest:(
    Don’t want to look bigger than I am….

    • phillygirlruns :

      also a curvy hourglass and just can’t see this working on me. maybe if you’re also longer waisted?

      • Research, Not Law :

        Agreed. I think it’s a beautiful dress, but I immediately dismissed it for myself.

  11. TJ – Does anyone have a good (read “stupid proofed”) tutorial for navigating the Cloud? My iPhone and iTunes get backed up to in on my Mac but I have no idea how to access it. Is there any way to delete songs/books from the Cloud backup that I no longer want and have deleted on my devices? TIA from the electronically challenged.

    • I need this too!! Really badly….

      I have one frient who I call my Tech Doula and I she answers all of my stupid questions. But some I just can’t bear to ask because they’re so dumb.

  12. Love this. Stupid shopping ban.

    In other news – I went to an event last night that Connie Chung was hosting. She was wearing an off-the-shoulder skirt suit. It was beautiful and totally appropriate for the host of this event. But I couldn’t help but think, who in their right mind is designing off-the-shoulder suits?? When else would that EVER be appropriate?! Just a thought.

    • I remember Carla Sarkozy wearing something like that and thinking “wow! but what?!”
      Here’s the photo:

      • By the way, just noticed that that site said it was a “great work or interview look.” Um, no. Not unless your job is being First Lady of France.

      • phillygirlruns :

        well, damn, i love that. why in god’s name am i not the first lady of france?

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          because you have too good a sense of taste to marry Sarko or boink Hollande?

    • Wait, I don’t understand this? The jacket is off the shoulder??

    • I can’t picture what an off the shoulder suit looks like….does not compute!

  13. e_pontellier :

    Has anyone heard from Ms. BEF lately? I hope she’s doing alright.
    Also, thanks everyone for your suggestions on Monday. I’m processing everything and trying to figure out what to do.
    Finally, I hope to see all NYC ‘r3tt3s at the Meet Up tomorrow night! Remember, you can reach me at e.pontellier.r et te [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks!

  14. Boundaries Question -- husband and ex :

    Husband usually visits Stepson during the week to have dinner / attend extracurricular activities. Several times, Husband has actually spent the evening (2-3 hours) at Stepson’s house so that Stepson could do homework. And has forgotten to tell me. Has insisted that Ex has not been there (Ex has had episodes in the past where she is violent / abusive / type to threaten to make up things to law enforcement; although has not been this way lately).

    Reactions, please? I know what mine is.

    • I’m a bit confused – is the issue that he’s going on days he normally wouldn’t go or that he’s staying longer than you expect him to?

      • Boundaries Question -- husband and ex :

        It’s the in-the-house thing that’s creeping me out.

        • Got it. I don’t think it’s inherently problematic, but if it’s bothering you this much, I think it’s worth having a conversation w/your husband about it.

        • I think it’s annoying, but if she isn’t there I presume the kid can’t stay alone so he’s doing the right thing. I think it’s important for the children to be in a familiar environment. Anyway, it would be different if she was there, I think.

    • He should have told you, but I don’t see any problem with him helping his son with homework. If this bothers you, talk to him about moving homework sessions to Starbucks or a bookstore.

    • Anne Shirley :

      My reaction: sounds like he’s doing a pretty good job being a dad.

      • DC Association :

        +1 I would interpret it that he is staying because that is what is best for his son.

      • Boundaries Question -- husband and ex :

        Additional background, possibly helpful, is that Ex was terribly upset about Husband remarrying and has said in the past that she would get him back. There was much backsliding post-separation and post-divorce (before my time). When Husband had an Other, Ex would have Stepson’s events (birthdays, etc.) at her house so that Other was not invited (v. a party in a park) and Husband would have to go alone. Ex did not do this in-the-house stuff while Ex has had Boyfriends (only when single) and I don’t think that if Ex re-married that Ex’s husband would be OK with that.

        If the shoe were on the other foot, I doubt Husband would be OK with me in my former house with an ex or with me going places where he was not allowed to go. [And FWIW, I work with mostly men and have noticed that I only do one-on-one meetings in public places or mark it on my public calendar.]

        I am not seeing this as a homework issue at all, but as a creepiness on the part of the Ex issue and a boundary issue on the part of Husband.

        • Anne Shirley :

          But maybe you should be seeing this as a homework issue. At some point, all the restrictions and boundaries in the world will do nothing but make you controlling and drive a wedge in his relationship with his son, who should be the most important person to him, and whose needs are greater than yours. If he wants to cheat or get into trouble he will.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          It sounds like husband isn’t playing into her games because all that does is hurt the child. Husband is presumably a big boy and can say no to her advances and leave the house should that happen. I think this is one of those situations where you just have to trust him. This is part of life with a spouse who has a kid from a former marriage. It is a package deal. If you are more worried that she is going to make up some crazy story that he hit her, then that is a different issue. In that case, for his own safety, not because he might get propositioned, he should try to have one on one time with his son in a different location. Maybe you can work out a compromise that he will have parenting time with his son at your house and you will otherwise occupy yourself so that they can be alone. Remember, he is not just “visiting” his son during this time, like one would an old friend, this is his parenting time. Courts have changed the language away from custody/visits to parental rights and responsibilities/parenting time for good reason.

          • That’s just it. She hasn’t just threatened to falsely report in the past, she has in fact done it.

            I used to have my neighborhood watch off-duty police guy armed with her picture, license plate, and car description.

            [Sorry if repost – prior comments seem to have gone into the wind.]

        • Anita (formerly S) :

          I think you have the right to ask him to let you know in advance when he’s going to be at his ex-wife/son’s house. However, you have no right to forbid him to go. You have to trust him to exercise the right judgment in whether it is appropriate for him to be there. And what does the location of time you spend with male coworkers have to do with anything? He’s not going there to hang out with his ex, he’s going there to be with his son.

        • I tend to agree with everyone else about it sounding like Husband is doing his best as a dad, and this isn’t an Ex issue. You could, though, reiterate to him that you would appreciate him letting you know when he stays there. Yes, she sounds nutty (false reporting, etc) but she is his son’s mother and not going anywhere.

          I’m really confused by the birthday and other event thing, though. Are you saying that Ex throws parties at parks and the like when she’s dating, but only in her own home when she’s not? And why couldn’t Husband bring a date/significant other to her house? Did he ever ask? I’m not really understanding why her throwing parties in her own home is an issue.

    • MaggieLizer :

      It’s pretty normal to feel not so great about your husband hanging out at his ex’s house all evening without telling you in advance; it’s almost like he still lives there and is having this nice comfy nuclear family evening with Ex and SS that excludes you. Not saying that’s what’s happening, but it’s reasonable for that to be your perception. You and H are going to have to meet each other half way on this; you’re going to have to learn to be OK with him spending time at Ex’s house with SS and he’s going to have to learn to reassure you, at the very least by giving you a heads up that he’s going to Ex’s house. Have you told H that this bothers you? If so, what was his reaction?

  15. Anonymous Doc Review Attorney :

    Today in a doc review document, I saw the following phrase “further opening the kimono” in reference to turning over more business info prior to a binding agreement related to a merger. Fun in sexist b*llsh*t of the day.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I think it’s an idiotic, [email protected] phrase, but I don’t think it’s sexist.

      Men wear kimonos, too.

      For the record, every person who’s ever used that comment has been male referring to another male or to himself. For the record, every male who’s ever used that comment to refer to himself sharing more, has given me a terrible mental image. I thank goodness I have a strong stomach.

      • Oh me too! I always get an unbidden image of the middle-aged guy saying it opening his own kimono! But, yeah, never thought of it as anything other than a sort of annoying buzzy term.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      sexist and racist.

    • I had a manager that used to say that. Never even registered much with me, because it was far from the worst thing he said on a daily basis. :-(

    • One of the partners I work for says this all the time. Sometimes he even makes an “opening the kimono” hand gesture while he says it. Vomity vom. I had always pictured him wearing silk kimonos around his luxury penthouse when he said it, rather than the sexist b—–t angle.

      • Research, Not Law :

        I agree that this phrase skeeves me out more than I find it sexist. Blech.

        I am definitely bothered by all these terms, particularly that the people who use them don’t think about what they are saying.

    • I hear that, and its idiot sister phrase “get [further] under the covers” on an almost daily basis. Welcome to corporate M&A. I hope you are prepared to get on the same page and fully explore all synergistic value props. ::eyeroll::

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        Yeah, but the marketing/ad @-holes keep talking about penetration. That’s far worse, by my lights.

        • I learned that term in business school! I’m afraid it’s a term of art and not just a buzzword.

        • “Penetration” doesn’t bug me as much as the other ones, although I understand the squick. Yes, it’s got some loaded s*xual connotations, but it also has legitimate non-s*xual uses, even outside the business world. The other phrases…not so much.

        • Well, yes, and then the deal is consummated.

      • I hear both of these and “if they’re already pregnant” (usually referring to sensitive information that shouldn’t have been shared during due diligence). Ugh.

        • Research, Not Law :

          I wonder if they became “pregnant” after being “raped.”

          “Rape” bothers me the most, as in “we totally raped that presentation and told it to s–k it” to mean that they excelled under pressure. When should rape ever be equated with excellence????

          • SF Bay Associate :

            LawyrChk and Research, throw down on that crap. Of course, know your office, etc, but I took on a senior partner who used “rape” to refer to a litigation issue. We had and have a good working relationship, so I told him in no uncertain terms exactly why that word is not appropriate (trivializes sexual assault, for starters). Once he realized I was dead serious, he stopped using it. If I hear “already pregnant,” I will throw down on that one too. Stand up!

          • Research, Not Law :

            I do.

            It doesn’t happen with my coworkers, who are thoughtful enough to never say such a thing. It was an issue with my ex’s friends and coworkers. I did call them on it all. the time. And for the r-word, using ‘gay’ inappropriately, etc. I was “that girlfriend.” I could tell most of them felt guilty after I said something, but they would join back into the mentality. Ugh.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Ughhhh Research, that SUCKS. I’m sorry. You’ll be shocked to learn I’ve been “that girlfriend” too.

    • Anonymous Doc Review Attorney :

      Okay…less sexist then I thought. But still creepy. Definitely creepy.

    • SpaceMountain :

      Oh, the things we see in document review! Stupid emails, p*rn, you name it. I don’t know what people are thinking.

  16. My cat keeps bringing mice into my house to play with! It’s so gross. I don’t know what he does with the dead bodies–the carcasses have always disappeared by the time he’s done. Eeeewww.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I grew up with a kitty that did this.

      Kitties can be cute, cuddly psychopaths. You know, there’s this old Oprah episode where a police officer talked about how if you are being attacked, you never let them take you to that second place, because that’s where they can do whatever horrible thing they want to do to you without bystanders and you’re most likely to be killed and possibly never found?

      Well, these mice clearly have never learned that Oprah lesson. ;-)

      • Anne Shirley :

        That is the single Oprah episode that has stuck with me most!

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Me too. Aside from Tom Cruise jumping up and down on the couch, that is the only specific Oprah memory that I have.

    • are the mice alive when he brings them in? Can you save them?

      • No, they’re already unconscious/dead. It’s soo cute when he’s batting around his fuzzy toy mouse and so not when it’s real.

    • Cornellian :

      check out the oatmeal dot com for his view on how much cats kill. OR for my dog: the paradox. They’re both hilarious.

    • My little princess caught and ate a moth in my bedroom not too long ago. Of course this is the same barfy cat with a delicate stomach, but the moth did not seem to bother her.

      • My parents’ cat used to eat spiders and then spit out the legs.

        • My cat is seriously psycho. In the summer when we had huge grasshoppers and crickets all over the place, he would amputate one or both of their hind legs to play with them. I had all these poor, maimed crickets pulling themselves around my house on their little front legs! I put them outside, but I doubt they lasted long.

          Another time, I woke up in the morning to find my kitchen floor covered in feathers. No bird. Just feathers.

          This is the only cat in the entire village where I’m a volunteer who gets fed on a regular basis (and real cat food, too!) yet he insists on continuing his psychotic, serial killer ways.

    • I hate to tell you this, but those mouse corpses are somewhere. Cats generally don’t eat what they kill if they’re also being fed at home, and they definitely don’t consume all the bones and tissue and everything. You need to find them before you have a real disgusting problem on your hands.

  17. momentsofabsurdity :

    Oh wow, I adore this dress. It looks a little bit cocktail-y from the front to me but not from the back.

    The Dude I’ve Been Seeing (haven’t DTRed, way to early) just did one of the weirdest nice things anyone has done for me. On a date a couple weeks ago, we were talking about home decor and I mentioned how I can’t handle blank walls/no furniture. I need to have a comfortable, cozy place to come home to. He said he really hadn’t decorated since he moved in. I went over there yesterday and this was totally true – he had zero furniture, sat on the floor, etc (this was very weird. I could not live like that. Bachelors…).

    But, apparently before I came over, he had taken some printer paper and drawn stick figure pictures, and hung them up on the wall to have some “artwork” to make me laugh and feel more comfortable. It was so cute and nice and so unimaginably weird that I was incredibly charmed by it.

  18. Anon for this :

    Relationship TJ: My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year or so, and we’re very happy and I think we have a great relationship. But I’m scared I’m going to ruin it. We had a minor argument yesterday, and he mentioned that lately “I’m always upset”.

    I’m usually pretty self-reliant when I’m single, but for some reason, when I’m in a relationship, I tend to be a lot more emotional. So things will upset me, I’ll cry and then get over it really quickly. Or I’ll get upset at something he does – like not calling when he says he will (man, written out, it sounds really stupid), or feeling like he’s not paying any attention to me.

    I guess my question is – how do you learn to let the minor things go and not bother you? If something’s bothering me, my bf can always tell (I am no good at acting normal when I’m annoyed or upset). I don’t want to fight about everything, especially minor things like him not calling once in a while but I’m having trouble letting those things go.

    • e_pontellier :

      Honestly, this is part of why I started therapy. But also, being more realistic with myself re: what I expect from my DH helps me not get upset about minor things.

    • I’ve learned to accept that I can’t always control how I feel, but I can control what I do about it. I work hard at keeping my emotional reactions in check, and try not to let the silly ones spill out into our relationship. DH can tell when I have the flash of anger or sadness, but we’ve talked about the fact that I’m working on it, and if he can just overlook/ignore it when I’m trying to control it, it will make it much easier for us to just move on with our day.

    • To me, it sounds like you have insecurity and trust issues. I went into my relationship with my now-DH with some trust issues from a previous (horrible) relationship. I told him that to trust him I needed complete honesty from him (we started dating in college, so the environment was different, but things like telling me what he was doing, where he went, etc. It sounds crazy writing it out, but I truly didn’t care what he did/where he went, so long as I knew about it), and I needed to know that I could rely on him (i.e., calling when he says he will, or texting that he got tied up and would call me later). I told him that without those things I would feel really insecure.

      As for feeling like he’s not paying attention to you – is the issue that he is actually NOT paying attention to you, or do you just feel like he’s not paying ENOUGH? Being distracted on a phone call because he’s got a lot going on at work or is tired or simply doesn’t have anything to say is very different from ignoring you. I think you need to do two things: think about things from his perspective (again, what does he have on his plate?) and also do some self-analysis about why you feel neglected. Hopefully figuring out why you feel neglected will enable you to better articulate to him what it is you’re feeling, and both of you can come up with action items on how to address this issue moving forward. In a gross oversimplication of men, men appreciate tasks/plans/fixing things – I’m sure he doesn’t want you to feel neglected, and would like to figure out ways to remedy the situation.

    • “I’m usually pretty self-reliant when I’m single, but for some reason, when I’m in a relationship, I tend to be a lot more emotional.”

      Do you know anything about attachment styles? Knowing yours can really give you some insight about why you might feel one way in a relationship and another when you’re on your own. Try Go*ogling adult attachment styles as a start.

  19. Barrister in the Bayou :

    Going to the Hollydays this weekend. How can I be excited and kinda grossed out at the same time?

    • Just eat cake. I saw Nothing Bundt Cake on the list of vendors (I had to look it up -didn’t know what it was). I drove by there the other day when I was in BR and desperately wanted to stop!

  20. momentsofabsurdity :

    Sigh. Moderation for c*cktail. Retrying.

    Oh wow, I adore this dress. It looks a little bit c**ktail-y from the front to me but not from the back.

    Amusing TJ – The Dude I’ve Been Seeing (haven’t DTRed, way to early) just did one of the weirdest nice things anyone has done for me. On a date a couple weeks ago, we were talking about home decor and I mentioned how I can’t handle blank walls/no furniture. I need to have a comfortable, cozy place to come home to. He said he really hadn’t decorated since he moved in. I went over there yesterday and this was totally true – he had zero furniture, not even a coffee table, he sat on the floor, all he had was a bed, etc (this was very weird. I could not live like that. Bachelors…).

    But, apparently before I came over, he had taken some printer paper and drawn stick figure pictures, and hung them up on the wall to have some “artwork” to make me laugh and feel more comfortable. It was so cute and nice and so unimaginably weird that I was incredibly charmed by it.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      +1 for charming, quirky guys who pay attention.

    • that is so. cute.

      but seriously, a bed and nothing else?? is he a VERY recent grad or did he just lose the roommate who had brought all the furniture to the relationship?

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Nope, not a recent grad and lives alone. He said he works a lot/never really found it necessary to buy anything. His computer is on the floor.

        Yeah, if we keep dating, that has to change or he has to just always come to my house. My back hurt from sitting on the floor for two hours watching TV!

        • e_pontellier :

          um, this sounds terrible. I hope you can convince him to get a futon or couch of some sort. Maybe bring a pillow next time? or a folding chair?

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Ha. I want to show up with my butterfly chair next time I go over. I can’t believe I was embarrassed that I didn’t have enough artwork up and had a few weird furniture configurations when he came over to my place!

        • That is so incredibly sweet. My husband had no tables when we started dating-he used boxes as tables. I remember his alarm clock and lamps being on the floor. Tres chic. Funnier still is a couple we know-when they first started dating, he didn’t have extra pillows or any blankets. She had to use towels as pillows and blanket until she remembered and “gifted” him with an extra set. She also got a fire extinguisher from him as a gift one year. They have been married now for 10 years, so I guess she was charmed by him?! ;)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      He sounds like software engineers I’ve dated. Why have furniture or food? I live and eat and sometimes sleep at work, so what’s the point? The stick figure art is absolutely charming.

      • Research, Not Law :

        This. I’m certain I know his occupation ;) I dated one who wanted me to stay over even though he had no bed. A grown man making major $$ slept on a blanket laid down on the carpet.

        Listening = very good sign!

        • SF Bay Associate :

          HA! A girlfriend of mine dated a software engineer who was doing very well financially and professionally. He had the very latest and best in tech gadgetry, which he legitimately needed for his work, and slept in what she described as a nest – a bunch of blankets on the floor. Brilliant, nice guy, and not remotely interested in furniture, clothing, or any other physical item not connected to his work. After a year of dating, she convinced him to get a futon. They’ll be engaged any minute, I think.

      • eastbaybanker :

        Had the same experience with a software engineer! NO furniture except for a bed and paintings leaning on the wall. He managed to convince me he was so passionate about design that he wanted to exist in the space before committing to anything. He’d lived there at least 6 months.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        You guys are close. He’s an accountant but told me yesterday if he could do it all over again, he would’ve been a software engineer!

  21. LosingHope :

    Relationship threadjack: My husband has asked for a divorce. We’ve been having issues for a long time, but he’d told me that he was working through his feelings and feeling better about us. I’ve known things were still rocky, and it’s been making me depressed, irritable and insecure which hasn’t been helping. I’ve got good people around me, helping me through this, but I guess I just wanted to ask the hive what I should know going down this road? I’m trying to keep all our friends and family on the positive (no trash talking), make healthy habits for myself a priority, sticking it out as best I can at work, etc. But I’ve never done this before. Married 3 years, late twenties, currently living apart for work/school.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Any kids?

      Any large debts?

      Any pre-nups?

      Find a good divorce lawyer and financial advisor.

      • Second on financial advisor. My lawyer did family law and he couldn’t answer some of my financial questions to my satisfaction.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Adding therapist to the list of professionals to look up. If your support network isn’t cutting it, or if you want a safe space to be negative/not on your best behavior, even for a short time, it could be helpful.

      • LosingHope :

        Thanks for the support, even anonymously, it’s really nice of you all.

    • I’m very sorry that you’re going through this. Do you kids, property, bank/credit accounts, 401ks, other joint assets?

      I did all the divorce work myself, so while he has asked for one, there is nothing that says that you can’t be partially in control of this process which I think is important. Do you know what you want/what you are legally entitled to? Do you live in the same state? I’d make an appointment with an attorney so that you know what the process is, what you are legally entitled to, what the timetable is, and what things you need to do to protect yourself now and in the future. When I contacted an attorney, he was able to meet with me pretty quickly.

      • LosingHope :

        No kids, just dogs. We’ve both got large educational debts. I’ve got a biglaw job and he’s just finishing his program. No other large debts aside from work on my end (he’s got some credit card debt). No pre-nup. No joint assets, although he’s beneficiary on all of my life insurance and the like.

        Going to set up an appointment with a therapist, but don’t even know where to begin with a family lawyer. We live in neighboring states right now, and I don’t know which one we’ll need to get divorced in. I hope that given our relative financial separation already due to the two apartments and living apart right now that we can get that sorted out fairly easily.

        He won’t talk to a counselor together and doesn’t seem to have even thought about what work will need to go into a divorce.

        • I’m sorry you’re going through this. It sounds like you’re being very mature and handling it really well. Good luck.

          • Agreed. I think the lawyer will help you figure out where to file (honestly, I’d recommend that you file in your state, if that’s the scenario that’s most advantageous to you).

        • My situation sounds like it was somewhat similar to yours. We were living separately and really had very little in terms of joint assets. Honestly, we did some research online and did not need a lawyer, just did it ourselves. Granted, it was an overall amiable divorce and we just wanted to keep things as simple as possible. I would take a look at each state and see which one will be the easiest to divorce in. Does one have a 6 month waiting period vs a year? That sort of thing. But it depends on your situation. I think we kept a bad situation as low stress as possible.

          Also. Agree on the therapy. It helped me tremendously in dealing with my family/what I associated as a stigma attached to divorce.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            @PHV, glad yours was amicable.

            But LosingHope’s comment here: “but he’d told me that he was working through his feelings and feeling better about us” stands in stark contrast to her husband’s being the one to say definitively that he wants a divorce.

            This raises a red flag.

            There could be many possibilities, as in, he’s capricious, or, he’s found somebody else who has made him take this tack. In either case, and especially if he’s found somebody else (who may be eyeing LosingHope’s biglaw salary greedily), OP will likely benefit from having a lawyer to protect her interests.

            Don’t count on this guy having OP’s best interests at heart at this point. If he did, they wouldn’t be getting divorced (at his prompting.)

          • LosingHope :

            I hate to consider that he doesn’t have my best interests at heart anymore, but you’re probably right that I shouldn’t count on it. I’m having trouble staying on course with all this as is.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :


            Again, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be. Keep us posted. We’re hoping everything works out OK for you, with as little damage (emotional and financial) to both you and him.

        • phillygirlruns :

          i don’t have anything to add that hasn’t been said (lawyer, therapist, and possibly financial advisor, though it sounds like you may be OK there), but wanted to say that i’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. it sounds like you’re doing what you need to do to get through a crappy situation, and being as mature and level-headed as possible about it.

    • DC Association :

      I’m so sorry. I’m going thru a divorce right now and I know what it’s like.

      May I suggest calling your company’s EAP? They usually have a legal helpline…they’ll take your info and get an attorney to call you back. Then you can talk to someone about the basics of what your next steps are. They can then refer you to a lawyer who is affiliated with them and would offer you a discount on their services.

      And, you can also ask for a referral to a therapist. Typically you get three complimentary in-person visits thru the EAP referral. Take advantage of it.

      • LosingHope :

        This is honestly something that wouldn’t have occurred to me. Thank you for suggesting, I’ll look into it.

      • LosingHope :

        I’m also sorry to hear that you’re going through this as well.

    • Okay, first off: I am so sorry. I think that people often fail to realize (given how common divorce is) how utterly gut-wrenching it is, especially in the first month or so. I described it as being dragged backward out of hell over broken glass, not because it was particularly acrimonious, but because it was so emotionally devastating. Please take good care of yourself right now.

      My thoughts:
      1) Do not assume that he has or will act in your best interests. When I saw my ex-husband’s first settlement proposal, I realized that we’d gone from a team (seeking the best outcome for our family of two) to competing players, each with their own interests. It shook me, deeply.

      2) I represented myself, but I’m a transactional lawyer and felt completely comfortable negotiating my own settlement. My ex-h had a lawyer, who did the filings, but there were no court appearances required, so the settlement was the heavy lifting and I knew I could handle that. Even though I didn’t have a lawyer, I’d advise you to at least meet with one, and do NOT represent yourself unless you feel 100% okay with all aspects of the process. Once you sign that settlement agreement, you’re bound, so unless you’re confident in both your legal skills with regard to contractual matters and your emotional ability to negotiate against someone you love, get a lawyer.

      3) I got my therapist through my company’s EAP, and she was a lifesaver.

      4) You will feel better sooner than you think. Someone here told me that, and I didn’t believe it…but it was true.

      Good luck.

      • LosingHope :

        Thank you for taking the time to write this all out. I feel like your description pretty perfectly encapsulates how I feel right now. I’m trying to take good care of myself, but I think you hit the nail on the head with the fact that I’m reeling from and dreading the fact that we’ve gone from a team where we were working together to get our tiny family going to competing players. When I realized this morning (partly due to this thread) that he might try to come after me financially, I burst into tears, yet again, at my desk. Yay for having an office with a solid door?

        I’m generally confident in my negotiation skills, but I don’t know that I want to be the one negotiating against him. Particularly since, as it was pointed out to me, there are a few potentially complicated issues of assets on his side if he does try to come after my income. Joy.

        • I’m late responding to this, but I definitely understand the crying at the desk (in the grocery store, in the car, in the department store dressing room…). This is an experience that is full of surprises and shocks, many of them unpleasant. The only positive that I’ll share with you – and I’m not trying to be all Oprah-successories-self-help-y or anything – is that you will learn very important things about your own strength and resilience. I do actually feel like I’m a better person, and more truly myself, now.

  22. I’m thinking I need a new job…I’m in litigation (private practice, not BigLaw but feeling like BigLaw hours), and I am starting to hate it. I love the work but I hate the context of long hours, surprise deadlines (or people *acting* surprised when I have been trying to address it for weeks), etc. But I’m not sure what else to do. Others have suggested government, but I’m not sure how to articulate “hey, I heard this place more humane that the private practice rat-race”. I don’t have kids, I am just a single gal who is exhausted. I have thought about clerking, if nothing else for a year or two to plot my next steps. Any ideas on how to figure out what those next steps should be?

    • Is your only hesitation about applying for government jobs the fact that you’re not sure how to spin your decision to switch? Because seriously everyone knows you’re going into government for the hours. Not that you’d say that, but that’s why everyone who’ll interview you is there. (Okay, 90% of them, but really, like everyone.) As for spinning that, there are a milion ways. The ones that come to mind quickest: (1) I want more hands-on experience and I don’t see that happening anytime soon at the firm; (2) I want more control over my own cases; (3) I don’t find the private sector fulfilling and have always admired the work that government attorneys do; (4) I’d like some new challenges but our firm tends to just keep getting more of the same kind of work; (5) I’d like to be able to focus on the work itself without worrying about rainmaking; (6) I find the billable hours requirement to be stifling and have a by-product of creating inefficiecies as a means of boosting hours.

      • Former MidLevel :

        Second all of this. I also fully endorse clerking as a “segue” measure. Not only is it great experience, but you’ll get more exposure to the broad range of lawyering out there–maybe you’ll even find a type of gov’t work you’re excited about.

    • Glad you’re recognizing the signs of burn-out and starting to think about what your next move should be. You don’t want to wait until you’re desperate to start thinking about it.

      If you like the work, then my first thought would be whether another firm would work better for you. Clearly going to BigLaw would not help with the long hours, surprise deadlines, etc., but there are some firms where people don’t work past 6pm and don’t work on weekends (they aren’t most firms, but there are firms like that). Do any of your friends or friends’ friends work at places like this so you’d know going into it that it is a lifestyle firm (as opposed to a firm that claims they’re a lifestyle firm and not really one)?

      I also second TBK’s suggestions.

      Clerking could be a good option if you’re not too far into your career (I’m assuming you’re talking about a term clerkship, not a career clerkship), the clerkship would be viewed as prestigious, you work for a judge who isn’t a killer (I know of one judge who requires her clerks to work 9 hours a day/6 days a week), and you can wait another year to leave your firm since most clerkships start in August or September.

      • Clerking is great, but beware. I worked harder in my clerkship than I ever have in BigLaw.

    • I switched from biglaw litigation to the government and when interviewed I basically said “quality of life”. They all know that’s why you want to switch as they knew and even asked about my paycut. In all honesty these are the types of interviews where I think it’s best to be honest instead of lying straight to your potential new employers face.

    • Keep in mind that some government attorneys work BigLaw hours for govnt pay. Find out about typical schedules for any prospective new job and don’t just assume it’s an easy 9-5.

  23. Cornellian :

    I’m not sure how much of this drama I’ve been anonymous for, but I’m curious what you guys think:

    I’m considering meeting my half sister for the first time. She’s 41, I’m 26, but we’ve never met as she and her mother had a restraining order against our father as a child, and she’s chosen to have no contact with him in the last 28 years or so. About five years ago I made the same choice (I’m not sure if this was all done under an anon handle, but essentially I think he has narcissistic personality disorder, is low-level physically abusive, financially insolvent, an addict, and cruel, among many other things. When he told me I was a c**t and to never contact him again, I complied). He’s been on-and-off trying to chase me down, sending letters to my workplace, hiring private investigators, etc since then.

    My sister found our half sister on facebook a few years ago, I friended her, and we’ve talked a few times since then. She seems totally normal and rational (not the heartless b***h that my father convinced me she was as I was a child, and that he’s now trying to convince everyone I am), but I don’t even know how to approach a meeting with her, especially this late in life. We both have careers, I have nieces (!!!!)… My own mother passed away when I was in high school, so there’s a void of female mentors in my life, which is also sort of floating out there as an issue.

    I’m not sure what I’m really asking, but what would you do in my shoes? What would you expect in her shoes? Is this a bad idea for some reason?

    • I am a banana. :

      What do you have to lose?

    • I don’t see why it could be a bad idea unless you go in with unreasonably high expectations. You know that your impression of her through your father was not accurate, and it was likely highly (if not entirely) colored by your father’s own issues. But keep in mind that she probably has issues of her own (don’t we all), and she’s been affected by your father’s severe problems as well. It sounds like the indications are good that you two can move forward with a healthy relationship, but she may be a little reluctant; you may be too closely associated in her mind with your dad, even though you’ve cut off relations with him.

      Having said that, if I were you, I would want to try to form a relationship of some kind. Does she live nearby? I would just send her a note and see if you can take her to dinner or lunch, and start there. If she’s in another place, maybe you could work in a lunch or dinner to a trip near there. If you do meet, I’d suggest not focusing a lot of time and energy on your father. You know it’s what you have in common, but it’s probably painful for both of you, and it strikes me as a not very healthy basis for a relationship. Talk about your careers, your lives, and the rest of your families instead. Tell her that you’d love to meet her children, and/or that you think it would be nice to get to know her better. But keep in mind that she may not be as ready/open to the idea as you are. Good luck!

    • No advice, but this is heartbreaking. I’ll be thinking good thoughts toward you and your sisters!

    • I vote go for it. My dad is… also not the best (though nowhere near the level of dysfunction of your dad; I’m so sorry that you had to go through that). My younger half brother is the best dad-related thing that ever happened to me, hands down.

    • After a tumultuous childhood, I reconnected with my stepsisters when we were all in our twenties. It never ceases to amaze me how gracious, welcoming, and kind these girls are, when for the first half of my life I characterized them as “bad people” because in my 10-year old mind they were a byproduct of my parents divorce. Good luck to you, I hope it works out.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I completely agree with this. I had a negative and then nonexistent relationship with my cousin when we were younger because our mothers hated each other. I didn’t see or talk to her for many many years. We reconnected in college and to both of our surprise have forged an incredibly close friendship. I basically consider her a sister now. The negativity. Our relationship was never because of us but solely because of our mothers.

        I think meeting her sounds like a great idea. I do agree with not setting unreasonably high expectations, but at the very least you will get to meet another family member and possibly your nieces.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I got in touch with half siblings I’d never met before when I was about 19. It didn’t work out and I no longer talk to them (though the door is open if they want to reconnect), but I’m glad I reached out to them and I have no regrets about how I handled the situation. My siblings had a lot of expectations of me that I was not interested in meeting; they wanted me to hold our father and my mother accountable somehow for the many injuries they had supposedly inflicted on us (mostly before I was born; I’m the youngest). I just wanted a relationship with my siblings and I didn’t really care about what had happened in the past. They became frustrated with me and stopped talking to me, which was of course sad and disappointing but I walked away knowing that I had conducted myself appropriately.

      So, my advice for moving forward with this is to be really honest with yourself and your sister. Take some time to think about what you want out of your relationship before you start to initiate a lot of contact. Do you want commiseration about your dad? Do you want her to help you stand strong in keeping him out of your life? Do you just want to focus on moving forward with your life and building a relationship with this newly discovered sister? Make those boundaries clear at appropriate times as they come up. Good luck!

    • Meet her. Why not? At best you’ll be fast friends, and at worst you’ll have another person available if you ever need an organ transplant.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I have connected with family members as an adult that I was not allowed to meet as a child. It hasn’t always been easy but I have never regretted it.

    • Go for it and meet her. You are both old enough to know not to have unrealistic expectations. You both went through hardships dealing with the same father. Depending on her children’s ages it might be best to meet her and her spouse first before you meet her kids. That way there is no awkward issue of whether they are expected to call you Aunt immediately or whatever.

  24. Always a NYer :

    If you’ve been in contact with her and would like to meet in person, suggest it. Chances are she’s just as interested in meeting you as you are her. If she doesn’t, she’ll tell you and you’ll know you tried. The worst thing that could happen is for her to say no, and you won’t know she will until you ask.

    • Cornellian :

      Sorry, I should have been clear. She lives a 4 hour flight but will be in DC (i’m in NYC) a few times the next few months. She suggested meeting up. I am considering getting down there for a night.

      • Always a NYer :

        My vote is yes. If it were me, I’d always wonder and would rather know.

        • Maddie Ross :

          I vote yes, too. I’ve not had this come up with me, but I have two good girlfriends who discovered older half-siblings in their high school/college years. Both of them reached out and while one only had a brief meeting, the other has a friendship with her brother.

      • Agree — I would go. If you do, please post an update. Will cross my fingers that this is the beginning of a happy story.

      • If I were you, I’d meet her. I would also try to manage my expectations so that I don’t build it up to be some OMG MY SISTER!!!!!!!!!! ordeal in my head. I’d try to approach it as making a new friend and if things go well, awesome. If they don’t, that’s okay, too.

        • e_pontellier :

          I second this. I would be hesitant to go because I would have the OMG MY SISTER feelings, and that’s not really fair to either of you.

      • I would absolutely go! Would you always wonder what would happen otherwise? (I certainly would.) Try to think of a few things to discuss in advance so that you don’t end up only discussing your father (which sounds like a downer).

      • I also vote yes. She is one of the few people who will truly understand your situation with your father, if your relationship with her progresses to that point. And since she has reached out, I think you can be cautiously optimistic that it might.

    • Always a NYer :

      This was meant to be in response to Cornellian.

  25. Savings/investment advise needed from the hive. I found out recently that I’m going to be coming into a large-ish sum of money (inheritance). Part of it I intend to use to pay down some debt and put towards some other expenses, but I’d like to put aside some for the future (think like 5 years or less down the road – getting married, buying a house). It’s probably going to end up being ~$10K. What kind of account/investment would you put that in?

    • Cornellian :

      What do you have going already? Do you have an IRA, 401(k), brokerage account, etc?

    • Can you tell us a little bit more about your debt and the interest rate? You might want to consider paying your whole debt and buying one significant fun thing (like a statement watch or something).

      • I have a 401K (through work) and some fairly anemic savings.
        I have some credit card debt (9.9% interest) and a boat-load of student loans. I also have a car that is on it’s last legs. Right now I’m planning on paying off the credit card and using a chunk of the money to make a sizeable down payment on a new-to-me car and taking out a small loan for remainder (because any car loan I get will have a FAR lower interest rate than my credit card).
        Logically I know I should use the remainder of the money to either buy the car outright or put it against the student loans, but have so little in savings is really unnerving.

        • On hand savings is good! It keeps you from having to go into debt in the future, so don’t feel bad about shoring up the balance in your savings account.

          Yes, it would be nice to pay down all the debt, but I think you have the right priorities – get rid of the CC debt, replace a failing asset (although I would wait until it was totally dead, and then replace and keep the money in savings in the meantime), and then save something.

        • Your cc debt interest isn’t bad! I think your idea makes sense. What kind of budget are you looking at for a car? Honda and Toyota are both having 0 or 0.9% interest now so you could put the rest in an ALly or Barclay’s savings account making 1% interest and finance the rest and get a good deal on a 2012 car that would last you awhile. Good luck!

    • If this is going to be your emergency savings, probably a high interest savings account is safest. (I think Ally has the highest rates right now.) If you already have enough savings to get you through, say, a car repair or a few months of being out of work, you could consider putting it in a 5 year CD and then after 5 years you can take it out to buy a house or whatnot.

      You might also check out the archives at — they have a lot of good advice written in layman’s terms.

    • Have you ever purchased a home before? Do you have a Roth IRA? You could put up to $5000 in a Roth IRA and pull it out penalty free for a deposit as a first time homebuyer when the time comes (no penalty on the money you take out, gains can’t be taken out penalty free for 5+ years).

      Do you have a financial advisor or accountant? You should probably talk to someone about the tax implications of this inheritance before you spend it or tie it up to make sure you won’t need some of it to pay taxes.

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