Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Scoopneck Ponte Dress with Pleats

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

Merona Women's Scoopneck Ponte Dress w/ PleatsOk: it’s been the warmest winter in my memory, ever — and that includes those balmy winters spent in DC.  Is it time to buy summer dresses yet? Love this scoopneck ponte from Merona — a nice ladylike length, sleeves, and flouncy pleats in the front — available in “Woodsy” Green (pictured), Grape, “Carmen” red, and black.  I’d wear it with tights, pumps, and a comfy cardigan until the weather gets warmer.  It’s $24.99 at Target. Merona Women’s Scoopneck Ponte Dress w/ Pleats – Assorted Colors

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  1. I really like this – the color, the shape, the sleeves. I just wish there was a specific length listed on the Target website. “Above the knee” doesn’t help me much.

    • I think “above the knee” means that if you are taller than “short” it’s going to be too short for work on you.


      Yay for short people!

      • I LOVE this dress, but will NOT buy it because the manageing partner think’s I already have enough dresses.

        Yesterday, he said I was NOT fruegel enough for him b/c I go to STAREBUCKS for Latte, and he said I should GO to DUNKING DONEUTS.

        I said I could maneage my OWN money and have done so for 5 years, now, so NOT to be concerned!!!!

        He just turned and walked away. FOOEY on men that do NOT think I can maneage my OWN money! FOOEY!

        • Sorry, I had to :

          So you disagree with him but still do what he wants?

          • He pay’s my saleary, so I have to pay SOME atention to him.

            So I rant here instead !!! FOOEY on him! He is still stareing at me right now! FOOEY!

    • I tried this dress on a few weeks ago, and to me, it runs big. It actually hit just below my knee, and it was huge in the waist and hips. If I recall correctly, I tried on the size small. I’m 5’6″ with an athletic build, and I generally wear a 2 or 4 in Target dresses/pants/skirts.

      • It hit below your knee and you’re 5′ 6″ and a size 2-4? That is NOT above the knee. For the shawties among us that would be at mid-calf length!


      • That’s funny. I think I have this dress from a previous season (ordered sometime in September or October 2011) and I thought it fit true-to-size. I’m 5’3″ and usually wear a 2 at Loft, the size small for this dress fit me pretty well. I can’t remember the exact length, although it was definitely within the vicinity of my knees.

        So, you may have gotten a wonky dress, or Target changed their fit model for these dresses, or they changed their sizing…. could be anything. I once ordered a shirt from their Converse All-Stars line in XS and I swear, it was more like a L or XL. I wondered if it was mislabeled.

        • Oh, I completely agree that it fits everyone else completely different! I love me some Target dresses, but, no pun intended, they’re hit or miss. Then again, so are all the other stores these days, so I just assume that my body isn’t changing, it’s the clothes :) I like the style of this, but for me, it just looked like a sack when I put it on.

      • I can never wear target dresses because of my large *ahem* posterior region. If it’s big in the waist and hips, maybe it will actually fit me.

        Would you ladies wear shapewear under something like this? I normally don’t buy these dresses because every lump stands out, no matter how large I size up.

        • For the Target ponte dresses, I do wear spanx or the Target cheaper version which I won’t name because it will probably be moderated (starts with a). I just wear the bike shorts type, and it’s more because I like a little coverage under a skirt if I am not wearing tights (I tend to wear these dresses more in the summer). They are not a very heavy weight ponte, but I don’t think they are that clingy.

          Just remember – it’s Target. These are not super high quality dresses. I like them, but I work in an environment where I stand out as well-dressed if I wear a Target dress.

          • I don’t wear any ponte dresses because of the lumps, I’m not singling out target in any way, more than half of my clothes are from target!

  2. I like this, however on me, scoop necks are not a good thing!

    BTW – a big thanks to whomever it was to recommed Paula’s Choice skin care! I have been using it for about a week and really love it. I have used everything from Obagi, Arbonne, Philosophy, etc., and this works as well if not better and for a much more affordable price!!

    • Ooh, my Paula’s Choice order is on its way — I ordered a few days ago! Can’t wait to try it.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Awesome, Selia. So glad it’s working for you!

      • MissJackson :

        Same here. I was going to say ‘thank you’ on the weekend open thread! I bought a Mia and the Paula’s Choice balancing line after last week’s discussion. I’ve been using both for a week now, and last night my husband said, “your complexion looks really great, I think that new stuff you bought must be working.” I have to agree. My pores are noticably smaller, and my skin is more even. So, thank you, hive — and especially SF Bay Associate — for giving me the kick in the pants that I needed to start properly taking care of my skin!

        I’m really impressed with the Paula’s Choice line. I like that there is a step-by-step process, and I know what the purpose of each step is. At the risk of sounding a little dumb: with other lines, and especially with a mix-and-match approach, I’ve always struggled with the question of what order to use all of the products.

    • Thanks from me too! I have had my Mia 2 since December (thanks to you fab ladies) and just started using Paula’s Choice Tuesday. My breakout cleared up within 24 hours of using PC. I have tried everything (Philosophy, Channel, Clarins, Peter Thomas Roth, Dermetologica… list keeps going) and this is my favorite already. Everyone is asking me if I started using a few foundation. To be honest I am not even wearing foundation today :)

      I also like the little stickers that tell you what order to use each product in. Please post when discounts are back.

      • They’re having a 15% off everything sale right now. I just ordered the balancing line after all the rave reviews!

        • Argh! I’m trying to resist until I use up all the other stuff I’ve purchased over the years.

          There will be another sale. There will be another sale. There will be another sale…

    • Yaaaay. As one of the recommenders, I’m so glad you guys all like it.

    • Actually, I’ve been wanting to try Paula’s Choice as well after all the rave reviews, and I am wondering – do any of the Canadian ‘Ettes know where you can purchase it in Canada? I haven’t been able to find it at any of my local drug stores, or at Sephora.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        It’s not sold in any stores, Nonny. Only online through the Paula’s Choice website.

      • I bought it after all of the recommendations on here as well- and they shipped it to Canada. Duty wasn’t bad (I think $9 if I remember correctly) and shipping was free with the promo.

        That being said, I bought the skin balancing line, and the mask that came with it made my face feel like it was on FIRE (excuse the caps) and I had to wash it off immediately.

        • Fresh Face :

          I love everything in the balancing line except the mask. It stings like mad. I’m glad you washed it off. I was listening to one of Paula’s radio podcasts once and she said if something stings get it off – burning is not a sign that it’s working – it’s a sign your face is unhappy!

          • My face stung too. Will they take it back even though I used it?

          • @Latina – yes, they will. Email them. They have a 60-day guarantee.

            I didn’t like the mask, either. I only used a sample of it, and never tried it again.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I ordered some samples, but I’m going to hold off on trying them because I am experimenting with some Vichy products that I received from Birchbox, so far I really like this night-time moisturizer that I layer on top of my retin-a after about 15-20 minutes.

      • Anonymous :

        Bought the anti acne one based on reccs here but tried it and now my skin looks and feels like sandpaper! Maybe I will try the balancing, but this will have to go back.

  3. Corporette babymamma :

    Great dress, love the color! I’m just not a fan of empire waist dresses, generally.

    So, the good news is that I went to the doctor yesterday and he confirmed that I’m pregnant. Yay! I’m 7 weeks along. The not so good news is that I’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I’m not totally surprised because it runs in the family and I’ve always been on the border. Anyone else have this issue? My doctor reassured me that I just need to take one small pill every morning and that it’s not such a big deal, but I’m still worried.

    • No advice, but CONGRATULATIONS!! So exciting!

      • Corporette babymamma :

        Thank you Ellie! I’m so excited. 32 years old and this is my first. :)

        • InHouse Counsel :

          I saw the thread from yesterday and didn’t have time to respond — I’m also 32 and pregnant with my first (about 14 weeks along) and had flown to Thailand when I was about 6 weeks with no issues. Just stay guzzle some water and try to stretch every couple of hours.
          Congrats again and sending good wishes for a smooth and uneventful pregnancy!

    • Corporette babymamma – I was slightly hypothyroid when I was pregnant with my first. By the time I was weaning my second, my thyroid was back to normal! Pregnancy is basically a stress test for your thyroid. There’s a lot of hormones running around in there! So, just follow up on what your doctor says and get those TSH levels tested and I’m sure you will be fine. Congrats.

      That dress would be a great transition dress for early maternity, by the way.

      I would need to try it on in person as I am [ahem] curvy on top and sometimes empire waistlines do not hit me in a flattering place. But when they work, they look good.

    • And what did he/she say about HAWAII.

      You can sit on the beach, sipping virgin Mai Tais, thinking of baby names!!!!

      I love Hawaii and am soooo jealous.

      • Corporette babymamma :

        Forgot about that, I’m good to go on my trip! He said that I should think twice about flying after 34 weeks, but before that it’s not a problem. Thanks for the reassurance !

        • What/which island(s) are you going to. I will live vicariously through your fabulous life.

    • friday morning :

      I take thyroid pills every morning – it’s just a replacement hormone, and it may make you feel a lot better!! Nothing to worry about!

    • get a second opinion to be sure. i had a doc once convinced i had it when i didn’t (was lucky to have a contact with access to top people). it isn’t 100% straightforward. it’s okay to try the meds, but sometimes they want to knock out your thyroid with radiation, not during pregnancy though. weirdly, some docs are convinced all women with complaints have thyroid problems.

      congrats on baby!

    • Formerly Preggo Angie :

      Congrats! Really enjoy this time with your husband, though – it will go by so fast!

    • Diana Barry :

      CONGRATS! I’m also hypothyroid. It is not a big deal *at all*. I take my pill when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, bc you have to take it on an empty stomach and then wait 1 hr until eating. They may need to adjust your dose a couple of times as you go through the pregnancy.

      Hope you are feeling good!

    • I’ve been very hypothyroid for 13 years now, through two pregnancies. It’s NOT a big deal. You do need to be monitored by an endocrinologist, not just your regular dr or ob. Mine had me going every 4 weeks through pregnancy because my med needs did change very regularly and my dosage was being adjusted constantly. So you’ll get some extra blood draws and a daily pill, and that’s about it.

      Pregnancy is a huge strain on your thyroid for the first 5 +/- months, until the baby’s thyroid starts functioning. Right now, you are providing thyroid hormone to both yourself and baby so it’s a lot for a thyroid that’s already borderline (never mind one that’s just plain decided to quit).

      BTW — I strongly recommend you stay away from Dr Google on this. The thyroid + pregnancy stories you will find are unnecessarily scary. And it does seem like you’re a bit prone towards worrying, so do not give yourself added stress.

  4. It is supposed to be 73 in DC today. Amazing.

    • Its lightly snowing in Boston — which I might be the only person excited about. :-)

    • 73 in DC — Which means the AC is kicking on in my office and I am actually quite cold!

    • We’re having such weird weather this winter in New Orleans. It was in the mid 70s yesterday and humid, still warm this morning, but a cold front coming through during the day. And yet, it’s supposed to be 80 by the end of next week. Going to Boston next weekend for work so I’ll have one last blast of winter!

      • Our winter has been really weird too NOLA, so I make no guarantees that it will be wintery here next weekend.

        Though I bet it won’t be in the 80s.

    • Crazy. I’m in the middle east, and it’s colder here than it is back home. Global climate change sucks.

    • We’re expecting 2 feet of snow in the mountains this weekend.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I read an article on the weather channel that this is the 5th warmest winter in new york so far. I think Chicago, Detroit, and a couple of other cold places were also in top-10 numbers. I suppose this makes up for last year, which was brutal, but now i’m worried we’re going to alternate between horrible and wonderful winters.

      • One prediction of global warming is that weather will get more extreme. (Remember, the “warming” part only applies to average temperature, not day-to-day weather.) So, yup, we may be in for alternating horrible and wonderful winters.

        • Link on extreme weather:

    • This is one of those times when I think the weather forecastors should be fired. In D.C. right now it is raining, windy, and nowhere close to the predicted 73. Bah humbug.

      • Read the Capital Weather Gang. They are usually correct, but concede when they are wrong (like today).

  5. love this dress, i want 10. Great find, Kat!

    threadjack – I need some ‘suit separates’ advice.

    I bought a pair of the Halogen Taylor pants in charcoal. Btw: thanks for all the recommendations everyone, they fit great on my pear shape, and it’s amazing having pants that actually fit and are comfy! But, my problem is coordinating colors. They are charcoal, but they are such a dark grey that I feel like they are too dark to go with black, because they look too similar.

    I have work trips where I like to bring suit separates to mix and match instead of bringing a million suits, but I can’t figure out what I could pair with these pants. The charcoal looks too close to the black jackets, but I feel like the charcoal pants look weird with a jacket that is another shade of grey. And I haven’t been able to find a patterned jacket that is not grey.

    Any thoughts? Is it weird to put dark grey pants with a different shade of grey jacket? Are there any other colors of jacket that I could put with very dark charcoal pants? Anyone else have the Halogen charcoal pants and have styling suggestions?

    • I frequently wear a red blazer with my charcoal grey pants, I like that combo, with a white or cream shirt. I also think purple or dark pink would look good. I have a burgundy sweater I wear with charcoal grey alot, I like those colors together, but haven’t seen a burgundy blazer I like. Those are all pretty predictable combinations, I expect someone else with come up with some better ones. I love the color combinations people suggest on this website, they are always ones I wouldn’t have thought of.

      • MissJackson :

        I think that pairing colored blazers with grey looks great — and I actually prefer the grey + bright color combo to black + bright color — somehow it looks both less harsh and less dated.

        Depending on your coloring, you could wear almost anything: red; mustard yellow (love this combo); green; burgundy; navy — this one is very classic, but you want to make sure that the navy has enough contrast to the grey so that it looks purposeful… probably look for a “lighter” navy or even vear towards cobalt, or pink in just about any shade.

        Basically I think you should look for a colored blazer that you like style-wise, and go with it.

        • I was getting ready to respond, but you have said exactly what I’d have said!

    • Depending on the weather where you’re going, I’ve occasionally paired charcoal pants with my seersucker blazer (with a coral top) as kind of a fun alternative — so if you have a patterned jacket, like a check or a plaid, that would work nicely.

      Something like this in a much lighter shade of grey might also work:

      • This one would also look good with charcoal:

        And now I must stop vicariously shopping for other people and get back to work.

      • Oh my, this is beautiful. I ususally don’t go for collarless jackets, but this is gorgeous!

    • hellskitchen :

      what about a white or off-white jacket? Those are easier to find that colored blazers that fit/look really good and they coordinate well with most colors. You could get away with a black top if the whole look was lightened by a lighter jacket or blazer. Of course, you can opt for fun colored jackets but for conferences, I like to take pieces that I can wear multiple times without looking repetitive and that’s easier to do with white than say, bright yellow or red

    • I really like turquoise, bright yellow, and royal purple with grey. I think just about anything except brown and some greens would work.

    • I have those exact pants on today, with a teal jacket. I also wear them with a light blue jacket and a multi-color Classiques Entier jacket that this site recommended about a year ago (love corporette!). Enjoy the pants.

      • thanks for the advice everyone! i guess it’s time to branch out from grey and black, and get a jacket in another color, oh darn, what a bummer ;o) And, TCFKAG, you can vicariously shop for me anytime!

  6. Can't wait to quit :

    Very cute dress. A girl in my office, who otherwise has a nice figure, is wearing a pair of light gray office pants that are so tight they show off the cellulite (sp?) on her butt and thighs. Yikes!

  7. I like the dress, and I’m ok with empire-waist dresses in theory, but I’m so tired of them. It seems like the majority of dresses out there have such a waist, probably because that way it will fit as many women as possible.

    Serious threadjack: I’m a relatively new associate (2011 grad) and share a paralegal with one partner. The paralegal has told me previously that her sister committed suicide (before I worked at the firm), but yesterday when she didn’t come into work the partner told me today is the anniversary of her sister’s death, and she’s taking a couple of days off because it’s a hard time for her family. Should I get her a card or say anything when she comes back to work Monday? On one hand, she didn’t tell me about the anniversary herself, and it’s such a sensitive topic I don’t want to butt in. On the other hand, she did tell me a while ago about the suicide, and I feel sorry that she has to go through this. If it makes a difference, she and I work well together, but don’t really have a personal relationship.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I would say something like, “Glad to see you back” or something to that effect on Monday. I wouldn’t get a card or say anything more specific, especially since she didn’t tell you herself why she’s out.

      • I agree with AnonInfinity. Say something kind but neutral, and if she wants to reach out to you further, she will.

    • If you know what kind of coffee she likes, I might bring her in a coffee Monday morning. Or grab her a kind of candy she likes while you’re out grabbing lunch. Something small and sweet that shows you’re thinking of her but isn’t overly intrusive, because you don’t know her too well.

      Then maybe next year a card. :-)

    • I wouldn’t do anything beyond “Glad to see you today.” She didn’t share the reason for her absence with you, and by Monday she may be wanting to just get back into the groove for another year.

    • Anon for this :

      My family is going through this. It happened in May. I have to say that it makes me feel better to know people care. People don’t talk about suicide. I have started to b/c I think talking about it could prevent further tragedies. I feel like we don’t talk about suicide b/c we are afraid of people’s negative reactions and if they will judge.

      I would get her a nice latte and something else to brighten up her workspace (flowers, a little picture, something bright and happy). Write a little note saying that you’re glad she’s back. I was out for 2 weeks when it happened and when I got back I had little presents from my manager and managing partner (K-Cups, nail polish..etc). It sounds weird but they know exactly the kind of little presents that make me happy.

      • Not to start a depressing threadjack, but I found out a few months ago that my little brother (early 20s) had made some suicide attempts while at college. He medically-withdrew from school and after spending a week in a facility, is now living at home with my mother. It’s been nearly 3 months since his release, but not much has happened. He’s finally found a potential shrink, and has been to 2 appointments so far. Otherwise, he sleeps all day, is up all night playing on his laptop, and has not been taking the lithium prescribed to him while at the facility. I’m hopeful that the new shrink will work out, but I feel like both he and my mother (single parent) are in denial or just not sure what to do. How much can my mother push him to take responsibility, how much is his depression (among other things), and how much is it just a string of bad choices on his part? Does anyone have some advice, books, websites, whatever that might provide some guidance? Thanks.

        • I’m so sorry. It’s tough to see someone struggling, especially when there is something they could do that might help but they just won’t do it. I hope he finds a good shrink.

          As far as other information, you might want to check out the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They might have links to helpful groups or information.

          Good luck to you and your family.

          • Agree with Polly. Cannot stress NAMI enough. Wonderful unknown organization. Saved my family. Take it day by day. It will improve.

        • Anon for this (from above) :

          Honestly I would talk about it with him. It is going to be very awkward at first. Tell him how much you love him and that it would just devistate you if were gone. I regret never at least saying that. I am not a doctor but have seen one to deal with a recent suicide… sometimes people start to think they are a burden on people and that it is the only way out. Your mother needs to see a doctor as well. She needs to know triggers to look for and how to deal. You might want to see one too. He needs your help and to know you understand his illness.

          • Notalawyer :

            I agree. You feel so alone and worthless when suicidally depressed. Although he may not ‘hear it’, you reaching out and telling him that he is important to you and worthy of love may be just what he needs.

      • Me too – my mother passed away just about a year ago. I second all the suggestions for something small that shows that you care.

    • Thank you all so much for the advice. I will say something neutral on Monday and go from there.

      Anon for this – I’m so sorry for your loss. People definitely do care, but it’s hard to know what to say. I hope you and your family are doing ok.

  8. Anyone here believe in soulmates? How would you know if you have met your soulmate?

    Pardon the cheesy-ness. I am emotional over a 4 year breakup. He cannot handle the distance and decided we remain friends. I do not think I can handle being friends with someone you have just broken up with. He has moved on and went out with someone but insists we remain friends. I know I should move on but I am sad since we have been the best of friends as well.

    • I don’t mean to be harsh, but that guy is not your soulmate. A soulmate would not break up with you.

      It sounds like you need to cut this guy off. Who cares what he wants? If he wants to be friends, he can hang out with his new girlfriend. Delete delete delete from cell, text, email, etc. Block him.

      And sorry. Hang in there. Get out of the house too!

      • Research, Not Law :


        And don’t worry about his dating – just be concerned with yourself. I recommend taking the time to completely grieve before moving on.


    • He wants to be “friends” because that will make him feel like less of a jerk. If you don’t want to be friends you are under no obligation to do so. It’s also okay to be sad for a bit as you work out what moving on looks like. You’re grieving the loss of a relationship.

    • He doesn’t get to “insist.” I’m sure you miss him, but until you feel like it’s a friendship, then don’t force it. In my experience, exes need a period of little or no communication before they can truly become friends. If you try to skip that, you just get bogged down in an emotional mess.

      I do not believe in soulmates. I believe that certain pairs of people are good for each other, or not. I think most people could be happy with a number of possible partners, and that a lot of it comes down to timing, circumstances, and what you can bring to a relationship. DO NOT think that you’ve missed your only chance at happiness with this guy. Cultivate your friendship with yourself and let him do his own thing. You’ll be in a position to see the relationship more clearly, and perhaps try being friends, when you’ve thoroughly moved on–which happens at your pace, not his.

    • Anon for This :

      I used to beleive in soul mates until my husband of 5 years suddenly decided he does not want to be married and wants out. He too wants to be friends but I am not even close to being there. I have to keep telling myself that my soulmate would not pull the rug out from under me. I am slowly picking myself up and moving on, but it hurts to lose my best friend, a lot. I am keeping our condo, so one of the things that has helped is that I redid the bedroom so it is “mine”, rather than what it looked like as “ours”.

      • Good for you! I have slowly redone every room in my house since my divorce. Six years later, my ex-husband would no longer recognize it as the home he lived in. The first room was the bedroom. New paint, curtains, rugs, bedding, even a new bed! It’s very girly, but it’s just me.

        • As a happily married person, that kind of sounds like fun! I would make my room so, so girly.

          • Yeah my SO thinks that my guest room (which has a blue rug, chocolate brown quilt and curtains) looks more like the “master bedroom” but I don’t care. My bedroom is periwinkle with white tab curtains (trimmed in periwinkle grosgrain ribbon). I have a rather dark heavy bed so my quilt is spring green and white and the other accents are light greens and blues. I have this beautiful photograph of a blossoming orchard. I even have a green leather storage ottoman so I can sit down and buckle my shoes in the morning!

        • For some reason, the big milestone I always paid attention to after big breakups was shampoo bottles. When the shampoo bottle I (or we) had been using while together was gone, that was such a weird moment for me. And the toothpaste. That was living in apartments. I totally get the re-doing the house thing.

      • One of the most important things for me after my divorce was moving out of the master bedroom and making the guest bedroom my room – new bed, new linens, etc. It makes a huge, huge emotional difference.

    • He wants to be friends for one of two reasons right now (1) he feels really bad for breaking up with you and he wants to do it to make himself feel better or (2) he wants the benefit of the relationship without the burdens (so he still gets to talk to you when he wants or whatever, but doesn’t HAVE to when he doesn’t want to). But no matter what, its entirely about HIM. He’s entirely self-interested.

      So its time for you to be self-interested. Its time for you to decide what’s good for YOU. And from what you say in the three sentences above, you need a break from him. In a big way, because he’s got you on his hook real bad right now. You need some time to convince yourself that there are other men in the world for you, that he’s not the only one, and that you’re going to be happier and better off without it. Once you’re absolutely and totally sure of that (and maybe once you have a fabulous new boyfriend or at least sex-friend), maybe then you can consider being his “friend”.

      But I have to agree with the above. There is not a one true match for everyone — there is just the one person who fits in our lives as we move through it with them. And its not always perfect and you definitely can’t make them. I know it sucks and I know its hard right now, but you have to let go, because the longer you stay friends with this guy and let him string you along, the longer you’re going to wonder if maybe its going to just “happen” again.

      • MaggieLizer :

        Ditto to all of this. So, so sorry you’re going through this.

      • This. Exactly.

        My college boyfriend was somewhat like this. We weren’t together for as long, and we had several breakups…after which he would want to “stay friends” then something dramatic would happen in his life (family member suicide, ex-gf attempted suicide, dad selling the family home, etc) and he’d be calling, coming around with flowers, apologetic…

        Finally I realized that I was his shoulder to cry on, sex once he’d “won me back,” and I was far better off not staying in touch. It’s too easy to fall into the mindset of we’ll end up together, give him a break etc…but also, he was never there for me. A close friend of mine passed away and he couldn’t be bothered to drive 2 hours for the funeral.

        Quite honestly, once I cut off all contact with him, it took me a couple years to find someone, but he actually found someone within the next year or so and has been happily married ever since (thanks FB!). It was better for him too.

        • Seattleite :

          Well, *he* may be happily married, but I wonder whether his wife is. Character counts, and what you describe is an issue of character rather than ‘fit.’ Ugh. I wish people came with warning labels.

          • I just wish people came with a menu, you know “10% selfish, 20% thoughtful, 30% workaholic, 40% devoted dad.” Then you just decide what you can live with!! :-) But that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as endless horrible dates, right? (And yes, I’m with someone, I know it is all worth it once you find him, but it doesn’t seem like it at the time!)

            As for the wife, this sounds kind of horrible and I quite honestly don’t even know here, nor have I looked them up in a couple years, but she seemed kind of…simple. High school education, doesn’t mention her work, just posts about god and him. And he really wanted that. He used to joke about being a “kept man” or a stay at home dad, but he HATED it when I went to things like class rather than stay home to hang out with him.

          • Seattleite :

            Your college BF = my XH, down to the (new) wife. I admit that it does give me a tiny zing of pleasure that my children say she’s dumber than a box of rocks.

            Maybe I should have chosen “be more charitable” for Lent. Sigh.

          • I’m with you Seattleite. I do feel bad for that tiny zing, but quite honestly, I don’t feel it anymore, thought I did, a LOT, when they first started dating and she was all possessive and gooey and I just kept thinking “wow, she is the exact opposite of me! We were never going to work, that a$$!!” But now I just hope he’s happy (the difference between an X-BF and and XH I think), and I’m happy he’s not in my life because it would be miserable to go through life miserable.

    • I don’t believe in soulmates- at least not in the romantic sense. I do believe that some people are better suited to be close, platonic friends than have a romantic relationship. However, that’s not something that will happen immediately after a breakup. If it happens, it will happen on your timeframe, not his.

    • I’m sorry. Breaking up always sucks. I think that this guy just wasn’t for you, especially since he couldn’t handle the distance. Thankfully he has opened the door for you to meet new men who could be your soulmate. Don’t put obstacles in your own way by holding this guy. I personally have a hard time being friends with someone who I dates, especially when the break is so fresh. Give yourself time to heal by not communicating with him for a while. A wise woman once told me that you can’t be friends with an ex until you can honestly say that you are happy for him when he is in a relationship with someone else. That has been a good guide for me to see if I’m ready to be friends.

    • You know, I always want to be friends with exes…at least initially. When I broke up with my boyfriend of 3.5 years (this was almost ten years ago), I told him we could be friends, but that I needed at least six months with zero contact. That helped me b/c it satisfied my need to keep that connection/friendship alive (and yes, there was a friendship there, too) but it gave me the space I needed to get over him. After six months, we emailed from time to time (every few months, not daily or anything like that) and we are still in touch to this day. It helps that he lives very far away and a future relationship wouldn’t be possible, but if you wanted to try that, you could. This is your show! Do what YOU like!

      I disagree with some of the other posters who say he’s trying to have the best of both worlds/being selfish, etc. This may be true, but it also may just be that you two have spent a lot of time building something up and it’s hard for both of you to let it go. You can assume the best of him or the worst, but either way, you probably won’t move on until you get him extracted from your daily life/thoughts, and cutting off contact (for a while or permanently) will help you do that.

      Big hugs! Oh, and I don’t believe in soulmates, but I also dont’ believe that any two people can make it work if they just try hard enough–someone else will come along when you’re ready for it. Don’t rush yourself.

      Someone recommended the blog Baggage Reclaim (google it!) to me on this site and I’m a HUGE fan now. Check it out! Take some time to take care of yourself.

      • That blog is blocked for me at work due to “porn/nudity.” On the other hand, the other day findlaw was blocked for the same reason.

        • Don’t let that dissuade you – it’s just (really solid, smart) relationship advice. I can access the posts through Google Reader.

          • Oh, it won’t, it’ll just keep me from getting there RIGHT. NOW. (Which is all for the better since I have 3 contracts to finish revisions on today!)

      • I think that was me who recommended it!! Good to hear :)

    • I think it takes time to be able to be friends with someone after a break up. You’re entitled to take your time and re-evaluate whether you want to be friends after you have gotten some emotional distance.

      But I would disagree that anyone who wants to be friends is being selfish or trying to alleviate their own guilt. I had to end a long term relationship with someone who was my best friend once. And it wasn’t easy just because I was the one doing the ending. Ultimately, we were not able to remain close friends, but I am pleased to say that we are in a better place now than we might have been if I hadn’t made the effort. The OP should tell her ex that she needs some time right now, but I wouldn’t consider the ex a selfish jerk just because he still wants to be in her life.

      • Amen!

      • MaggieLizer :

        I agree that he’s not a stupid jerk JUST for wanting to remain friends. How OP described it is a pretty big red flag, though – “he decided,” “he insists,” etc. It seems like he just expects her to get on board with what he wants, including being OK with him dating someone else already. A friend would understand if you needed some time and not push for something you’ve said you’re uncomfortable with. Of course, it could be that he’s a great guy and OP just hasn’t been clear about her needs. If that’s the case then OP should speak up and tell him “you need to respect that I need time.”

        • Agreed. I don’t necessarily think the ex has any bad intent or is being selfish; he just wants what he wants and is pushing it. His reasons could come from only integrity, but the effect on the OP still seems to be hurtful. Being a friend to someone means you can hear, and accept, “I need to not talk to you for a while.” I have been on both sides of this message delivery. It’s sad but sometimes necessary.

    • I don’t, at least not in the sense that you only have one, to the exclusion of all others. I have had the experience – with friends, not with lovers – of meeting someone that I immediately and intensely connected with. But generally, it’s a concept I don’t believe in.

      Don’t be friends with him. He doesn’t get to “insist” on this. For your own sake, cut him off completely. There is no way, in my experience, to get over a long-time SO while remaining in contact with him.

    • Years ago, my “soul mate” in another state decided to dump me with the same cowardly excuse. A year later, he got back in touch and we decided to be “friends” and chat online and occasionally by phone. I was over him. I basically felt like the guy I thought was “the one” was dead and this was some other random guy I happened to like talking to. But then he started flirting and talking about “what if” we met up at a hotel one weekend (while we were both in relationships). That did it. These days, he continually pops up on various social networking sites, and I block him every time. If I heard that voice on the phone, I’d hang up. He broke my heart, and wasn’t worth having in my life, period. I gave him a shot at being friends, and he messed it up.

      Then, two serious relationships later, I met a guy who felt like “the one.” He’d been divorced a year or so earlier, and sent conflicting messages. But basically I got the feeling that he wasn’t all that into me. I ended up dumping him after a year. It was very, very difficult. But I cut off ALL communication. He moved on. I moved on. I dated someone else who I even introduced to my parents. And then several months later the guy I dumped found an excuse to call me. I knew at that point that I had been able to survive that first bad breakup and that I had survived a second one. I carefully opened the door, but I was ready to slam it again at any time. Eventually I started to trust him. Years later we got married. We’ve now been together 10 and married 5, and there’s not a single day that I don’t know how much he appreciates me.

      So. I do not believe in soul mates. There is someone within a 25-mile radius of where you live, right now, just living his life and minding his own business. And you will meet him and be happy. But you’re not going to be ready for that if this coward ex of yours keeps you on a hook. Cut him off. Heck, you never know what might happen. But you’ve got to get on with the rest of your life.

      • To be honest, I think a guy who breaks up with his long-term serious girlfriend for non-defined reasons and then insists on remaining friends is kind of a jerk. Because those are the kind of breakups that are the hardest for the dumpee to get over. Because being dumped in such a way makes you question your own self worth AND you don’t get the healing energy of rage, righteousness or disgust to power you through the post-breakup period. AND he gets to walk away looking/ feeling like a nice guy… its really a jerky move on his part.

        When my ex fiance broke our engagement, he acted in such a bizarre, cruel and irrational manner that I was grateful to be rid of him, I lost all respect for him and now cannot see or think of him without being irritated. To be honest, I am really glad that he played it that way, since it made it easier for me to walk away from the relationship without any lingering attachments or self doubts.

    • Everyone else has already handled the being friends issue, I’ll just chime in on “soul mates”:

      I do not believe in soul mates. I think I might have once, when I was a teenager, but I don’t recall specifically. I think the entire concept of soul mates was more or less invented by movies and other purveyors of fantasy. It’s a lovely thought, sort of, unless you can’t find that one in a billion needle in a haystack soul mate. Like, what if your one and only soul mate happened to live in the rainforest in central America? Are you destined to be single forever unless you randomly run into him on some sort of adventure travel escapade? No, of course not. Believing in a one and only soul mate will most likely just leave you single forever, because it is so hard for anyone to measure up to that. Moreover, say this guy was your soulmate and now he’s gone, what would you do then? give up? chase him down and beg? If he’s your soul mate, why doesn’t he see that? Don’t start down that thought spiral.

      Short answer: In my opinion, there is no such thing as a soul mate, and we’re all better off that way.

  9. seltzer pop :

    I don’t have the Taylor pants, but do have a lot of dark grey bottoms. I agree with you that dark grey and light grey together looks kind of off, but haven’t really come up with any better options – I usually go for a cardigan in lavender or pink instead. I’m curious to see what suggestions other people have!

  10. Ladies –
    I’m attending the christening for a friend’s grandson soon. Any ideas on an appropriate gift? I’ve been to all of one christening, other than my own, in my entire life, so I’m not sure what is a good gift. I was going to do a savings bond in the baby’s name, but since the treasury dept stopped issuing paper bonds that’s been made a bit more difficult.

    • Classic gifts are (a) money for them to deposit into a savings account for the little bambino/bambina or (b) an adorable little religious thing — like a little first bible, or a book of religious stories, or something like that. I was not raised in a wildly religious household, but I treasured some of the sweetly (lightly) religious story books that I was given for my baptism — all with sweet notes in the front from family and friends.

      Other ideas are little cross necklaces for little girls.

      • We received a copy of a book with beautiful illustrations that was a poem/blessing for our baby. I can’t remember the name of it off the top of my head, but I’ll post it later. It made me tear up.

    • MissJackson :

      No ideas, but if you want to do a savings bond, it’s still possible to do online at Treasury Direct. I haven’t bought a bond as a gift, but there is a “how to” at the website:

      It seems like basically you establish a treasury direct account, buy the bond as a gift, and then have the parents set up an account [if they don’t already have one established] so that you can “transfer it”. I guess you would just have to include a note with the card instead of the actual paper bond. Agree that this is a little bit more of a hassle, but as someone who really appreciated my savings bonds that I was given as a kiddo, if that’s what you want to do, don’t let the new process stop you!

    • Legal Marketer :

      Agree that there are some cute children’s books out there that are stories from the bible. We got one for our daughter that is so cute and brightly illustrated – she loves it but has no idea of the religious meaning of it yet.

      You could get a silver photo frame engraved with the date so they could display a photo of the event, or there are some beautiful photo albums that are specific to the occasion.

    • I think a savings bond is a lovely gift even if you don’t have a piece of paper to give – as MissJackson noted you can do it online. Otherwise, a check is nice, and so are commemorative religious items (“Baby’s First Rosary” or something like that). Or just a standard baby gift would be fine too – a kid can never have too many toys or cute little outfits.

    • Seventh Sister :

      There aren’t really hard and fast rules for baptism gifts (at least w/ Episcopalians). Our new baby got gift cards, regular “new baby” gifts, money, and a few religiously themed gifts (a Noah’s Ark board book, a dove pendant). The religious gifts were mostly from either co-religionists or godparents.

      Anything is appreciated, but nothing is really “required.” I was just happy people came to the ceremony and the party afterwards (mmmmm, taco lady tacos).

    • goirishkj :

      My friend’s baby got a print with her initial in a pretty design. It was really cute and fun and my friend was genuinely touched. I gave that baby the Anne of Green Gables series with a note about how family means those who love her, including her church family, and how we’ll always be there for her. For friends from college I sometimes give clothes with our school’s logo to start the brainwashing. Obviously the religious gifts are good, I just tend to try to find something a little unique but still in the spirit of the occasion.

      • goirishkj :

        Um, I missed that the baby is of the boy variety. The Anne series might not be the best option, though you’d be prepping him well for later in life to understand what women like.I think books are generally good with a sweet note.

        • Seattleite :

          A *great* book series for boys is Little Britches and its (7?) sequels, if you want to go that route.

    • lucy stone :

      I got my godson a rhyming bible, a children’s bible, and money for college. I got his younger sister pearl earrings for when she gets her ears pierced, a twee silver cross necklace, and money for college.

  11. momentsofabsurdity :

    Sigh. Guys, I need a break. We are poised to start our A round at my startup – so we’ve been holed up in a conference room getting all documents ready and I haven’t had a break for two weeks straight. We are not even taking lunch breaks – we are working through lunch and dinner on a regular basis. I feel like I’m tearing my hair out, my desk (which I haven’t sat at for over 2 weeks) is beginning to resemble a Hoarders episode as people drop things on the top and there’s no windows in here. I’m going stir crazy in here and it’s showing – I’m a little snappier than normal and feeling overly emotional.

    Any suggestions on how to calm myself down? I am working at another job this weekend (as well as so am not even giving myself the weekend off, which was a mistake that I can’t fix now. I feel just very raw and stressed right now and have no real outlet. Would appreciate suggestions.

    • Take a break whenever you can get it, find a quiet darkish room (or really anywhere) and do some desk yoga. Then when you get home tonight take a hot bath, make a really healthy dinner, and watch crappy tv and drink wine.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Thanks for the link! That looks really good – if I can pull a half hour break (we’re not even taking those right now) I am definitely going to try it. I think people will start looking at me strangely if I start doing it in the conference room.

        • who cares if people look at you strangely! maybe they’ll join in! ;o)

          seriously, sometimes one person needs to get things started. I think people would love you forever if you jumped up once a day and said, ok, folks, 10 minute yoga break! Let’s do it, and either led everyone through the poses, or just put on the video in the computer and had everyone follow along. No one is really productive working those hours without a break. After a quick yoga break, everyone will do better work. Start a new tradition!

          • Totes McGotes :

            I wish we could do five-minute dance parties at work.

          • I just recently got my own office and I totally could have five-minute dance parties. I even think some of the secretaries would join in! I haven’t yet, but I have stretched, changed, and (with the door locked) leaned back in my chair for 5 minutes of shut-eye. I’m a new member of the “sunshine committee” here, we plan monthly luncheons and other things to brighten peoples’ days, I think a dance party would qualify!

        • This! I had someone suggest we do jumping jacks/sprints down the hallway out of the blue after being holed up in a conference room for two straight weeks. It was hilarious. We didn’t end up doing the sprints, but we did each take a solid half hour break to get some mental rest.

    • Go for a workout! Even if it’s just a 30 minute walk outside, do something to get some endorphins going! I know you’re probably exhausted mentally and physically, but though it sounds counter-intuitive, a little sweat might do you some good. All that pent-up stress has nowhere to go, so some exercise will get it out of your system.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Thanks! I can’t take a 30 min break during work but that’s a good idea for after work. I’ve been coming home and collapsing in my bed, but I think you’re right, exercise would help.

      • I would also venture a guess that your whole team is feeling fairly similar. If you can, and I don’t know what your position is here, are you the boss or the most junior? It makes a difference. But if you can, suggest that you ALL go outside for even just 10 minutes and walk around. Not necessarily together. Especially if you have good weather where you are. (Just realized I’m assuming you’re in the south bay area somewhere, and that may not be true!)

        The whole team will be more efficient and then maybe you can take a few minutes on your own to do some yoga!

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          The most junior, unfortunately, so I can’t suggest we take a break and on top of that most of the outside-of-the-room grunt work (ie, clean this spreadsheet up tonight when you get home) is falling on my shoulders while they are typically leaving it in the room and catching up on other things at night. That’s one of the reasons I’m feeling so miserable, I think, because it’s hard for me to truly escape this since I’m also the one bringing the most work home (as opposed to “stuff to review” which everyone is doing, it’s stuff to modify, edit, clean up, etc – not hugely thought-intensive but more tedious).

    • MaggieLizer :

      This was me recently! I posted about two weeks ago and got some great suggestions on staying healthy and sane while pulling terrible hours, so you might want to look at those comments.

      Eating cr*p all day just wears me down, so I made it a priority to eat healthy. Drink a lot more water than usual, try to limit the caffeine intake, drink lots of green tea (it helps reduce bloating and water retention), eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Resist the sugar and pizza as much as possible – it is your enemy.

      Work out – even for a few minutes – as much as you can. Do something high intensity to work up a sweat quickly – I like mountain climbers and bicycle crunches – before your shower in the morning and before you go to bed at night. If you can do it without too much embarassment, do walking lunges when you get up for a bathroom break. Do anything you can to move around as much as possible. Your back and sanity will thank you.

      Good luck!

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Thank you! Wish I had read that before lunch or I would have opted for something healthier. You’re absolutely right – I’m eating like crap and when I get home, I’m too tired to cook so I”m snacking on junk. Not only is it not good for me, it’s probably really contributing to my general gross/miserable feeling.

        I haven’t been exercising either but I like the idea of high intensity type things which won’t take that much time. I haven’t been going to the gym cause I’ve been driving home late and the idea is exhausting but I should make myself go – you’re right, I would feel better.

    • One of the bar exam lecturers said this during bar prep and I totally think it works: one of the reasons exercise calms you down is because you breath more deeply when you’re exercising. So even if you don’t have time to exercise, you do have time to breathe. (he told us to do this during the exam, but I also did it during study and still do it all the time when I’m having an “oh sh**, I can’t take it moment.”) Just take a deep, deep breath, close your eyes, and slowly exhale. Do it like five times. It might help. I’m one of those people who holds my breathe when I’m stressed and this definitely makes me feel calmer.

      Good luck!

  12. Hey, ladies. Any recommendations for a long weekend trip to Philly? Where should we stay? Where should we eat? What should we do/avoid?

    The recommendations y’all gave for San Francisco were amazing!

    • Ooh, ooh *raises hand*

      What types of things are you interested in? What’s your rough hotel budget? Will you be renting a car? I’d recommend staying in/around Center City if you can afford it and skipping the car unless you’ll need to get out of the city, since parking is a PITA.

      – For less-expensive but delicious dinners out, plan to stop by a liquor store (or bring a bottle or two if you can – PA’s liquor stores are state-run and sometimes have strange hours and not the biggest variety) and go to one of the many BYOB’s for dinner. Italian is easy to find (partial to Mercato and Melograno – different neighborhoods), there’s also Greek (Kanella – yum) and many others.
      – For a really, really good classic cocktail, go to Franklin Mortgage. It’s on 18th Street between Chestnut and Sansom and is on the lower level (steps down from the sidewalk). It’s very discreetly marked as it’s going for the speakeasy feel.
      – The two biggest name restauranteurs in town are Stephen Starr and Jose Garces. Both of their empires offer a range of prices – Starr’s are more overpriced and my hubby and I get a little worn out of him (once you know the formula…), although we recently had a fabulous meal at Talula’s Garden on Washington Square. For Jose Garces, my personal favorite is Garces Trading Company at 11th and Locust – it’s BYOB and your money goes the furthest there. Second is Amada and Tinto (different neighborhoods, both great tapas but you end up spending more to get a real meal out of them).
      -If you’re a runner, the Schuylkill Banks trail makes for a pretty workout, and you can see Boathouse Row up close
      – The art museum currently (through early May) has a Van Gogh landscape exhibit – you may want to reserve tickets ($30ish per person and usually sold out if you just show up the day of). Even if not, the “normal” parts of the museum make for good browsing.
      – As far as history… Independence Hall, etc, is easy to walk to. I have no tips because as a resident, I haven’t been since school field trips :)

      Have to take a break to do some work now! But will check back later to see what else you want to know.

      • Man, I keep hearing people rave about Talula’s Garden, and my boyfriend (who is one of the managers at the Trading Company) and I had such a mediocre experience there. Maybe it’s worth a re-do?

    • ugh, in moderation I think for c*cktail. Reposting:

      What types of things are you interested in? What’s your rough hotel budget? Will you be renting a car? I’d recommend staying in/around Center City if you can afford it and skipping the car unless you’ll need to get out of the city, since parking is a PITA.
      – For less-expensive but delicious dinners out, plan to stop by a liquor store (or bring a bottle or two if you can – PA’s liquor stores are state-run and sometimes have strange hours and not the biggest variety) and go to one of the many BYOB’s for dinner. Italian is easy to find (partial to Mercato and Melograno – different neighborhoods), there’s also Greek (Kanella – yum) and many others.
      – For a really, really good classic c*cktail, go to Franklin Mortgage. It’s on 18th Street between Chestnut and Sansom and is on the lower level (steps down from the sidewalk). It’s very discreetly marked as it’s going for the speakeasy feel.
      – The two biggest name restauranteurs in town are Stephen Starr and Jose Garces. Both of their empires offer a range of prices – Starr’s are more overpriced and my hubby and I get a little worn out of him (once you know the formula…), although we recently had a fabulous meal at Talula’s Garden on Washington Square. For Jose Garces, my personal favorite is Garces Trading Company at 11th and Locust – it’s BYOB and your money goes the furthest there. Second is Amada and Tinto (different neighborhoods, both great tapas but you end up spending more to get a real meal out of them).
      -If you’re a runner, the Schuylkill Banks trail makes for a pretty workout, and you can see Boathouse Row up close
      – The art museum currently (through early May) has a Van Gogh landscape exhibit – you may want to reserve tickets ($30ish per person and usually sold out if you just show up the day of). Even if not, the “normal” parts of the museum make for good browsing.
      – As far as history… Independence Hall, etc, is easy to walk to. I have no tips because as a resident, I haven’t been since school field trips :)

      Have to take a break to do some work now! But will check back later to see what else you want to know.

      • Thanks! I was wondering if we should get a car, so I guess we won’t based on your recommendation. My hotel budget is probably about $200 per night max, but of course cheaper would be preferable. I’d like either just to Priceline something in the right area of town (City Center?) for really cheap or stay in a cool boutique hotel.

        I have recently become a runner for the first time in my life, so I might try out the Schuylkill Banks. We’re of course going to do all of the touristy stuff, so I’d mostly like recommendations for the things that are more off the beaten path.

        And I’m a big breakfast fan, so any breakfast tips would be great.

        And keep the recommendations coming!

        • I think you can easily priceline something good for under $200 a night. I’ve gotten nice hotels in the center of town for less than $100 a night.

          Seconding the Franklin’s place someone mentioned below. Really fun drinks – we sat at the bar and the guys are serious about their drinks, but not pretentious. When I asked about a year ago for restaurant recs, I think someone here mentioned Farmer’s Cabinet. It is now one of my favorite restaurants and whenever I go to Philly, I must drag people there. I also have always liked Fork.

          If you like breakfasts, you must go to Kanela. It’s a Cypriot place with awesome breakfasts. It’s another place I must go to every time I am in Philly and I now have friends who also must go there whenever they are in Philly. Be sure to get the halloumi, it’s a firm grilled cheese and is delicious. I also like the Yemeni flatbread – it’s sort of like… not naan, the other Indian bread that’s a little more dense. Paratha maybe? Anyway, it’s delicious, especially if you ask them to give you some honey that you can drizzle on it. They also put some chopped tomatoes, sort of like salsa fresca, as a garnish – it needs to be eaten, so tasty.

          A touristy place I love in Philly is the Mutter Museum, which is a medical history museum and is fascinating! Don’t know if it’s possible to get there without a car, though. But in that vein, I would agree that you don’t really need a car in Philly. It’s not that big and cabs are plentiful and not too pricey.

          I’m jealous – I think I need a weekend in Philly soon!

          • Corporette babymama :

            Forgot about Kanela! A must visit, brunch and lunch are incredible.

        • For brunch, recommend either Sabrina’s (9th and Christian) – as a bonus, you can browse around the Italian Market before or after. If you want a good view of Rittenhouse, Parc (right on the Square at 18th and Locust) has outdoor seating and welcomes a leisurely pace – it’s busy seemingly all day on weekends, whether for brunch or a wine and cheese shopping break.

        • MaggieLizer :

          Lacroix has the best Sunday brunch I’ve ever had.

          Make dinner reservations as far in advance as you can. Many of the best restaurants are small and fill up quickly. I went to Eulogy once at about 5 pm on a weekend and got the last non-reserved table, and only because someone had canceled right when we arrived. Eulogy is fabulous; I’m a pretty huge beer geek and it has one of the best beer lists I’ve ever seen. The staff is very knowledgable and the food is great – the frites and duck confit are to die for.

          • hip hop anonymous :

            I am really close friends with the bar manager at Eulogy. I love it! I live in that neck of the woods. I have taken clients out there before, and the staff always helps me out to send over free drinks, give beer samples and recommendations. I’m glad I am not the only one!

    • Philly has such great food. My favorites, in no particular order: Amada, Bistro 7, Rx, Chloe, and I’ll second the recommendation for Talulah’s Garden, though I’ve only gotten there once. The braised rabbit with pasta was pretty life changing. The best ice cream anywhere is also there: Capogiro on Sansom street at 13th and at 20th, if I remember correctly. Eulogy is also pretty tasty for beer and Belgian food.

      As for sightseeing, you can do all the well known Philly items, but I would not miss Reading Terminal Market if you like food at all. Also, if you happen to be there on the first Friday of the month, go to the galleries in Old City for the evening – lots of openings, appetizers, and generally a fun time.

    • Stay in Center City, particularly the Rittenhouse area. You’ll be in walking / short cab distance to all the great restaurants, the park is beautiful, and Walnut Street shopping is great. My favorite restaurants (I’ll let you hit the websites otherwise this post will be too long if I describe them all): Amada, Barclay Prime, Meritage, Pub and Kitchen, Sampan, Zahav, Amis. Go to Reading Terminal Market for lunch. Run the Art Museum stairs, especially if you’re a new runner. It’s cheesy and totally touristy, but also oddly empowering and gives you a gorgeous view of the city. Go to Independence Hall – I’ve been 5-6 times and the tour still gives me goosebumps. Skip the Liberty Bell museum – you can see it from outside.

    • phillygirlruns :

      cat’s suggestions are all excellent, particularly the van gogh exhibit at the art museum – it’s very well done. the mutter museum is also great, and a little different – medical oddities.

      for hotels – the sofitel on 17th is nice and centrally located. i’ve never been to any of the standard historical sites – independence hall, constitution center, etc. – so can’t speak to those, but they are there.

      my favorite BYOB is audrey claire at 20th and spruce. there is a grocery store across the street where you can pick up beer; closest state store for wine is 19th and chestnut – a few blocks away. they don’t take reservations and it is generally busy on the weekends, but you can give them your cell phone number and run just down the street to their sister restaurant, twenty manning grill, and have a drink at the bar. OR – even better – if you have enough advance notice, see if you can book a couple seats at one of the cooking demonstrations at cook, yet another piece of the audrey claire empire. it’s small – 16 seats – but they have fantastic local chefs come in and cook for you, it’s intimate and the wine flows freely.

      • phillygirl, I wonder if we’ve been at Audrey Claire together! We like to try new places but always end up going back a few times a year. Don’t know how I forgot to mention it!

        • phillygirlruns :

          we should do the philly corporette meet-up at cook. audrey taichmann is brilliant.

    • When I visited Philadelphia last March, our two favorite things were Morimoto’s restaurant (very pricey, but amazing!) and Reading Terminal Market. We had lunch at the market and it was so yummy. Everything from Amish food to cheesesteaks. Depending on when you’re going, you might be there for the Flower Market which is a huge week-long show. We happened to be there at the same time, which made some of the touristy places much more crowded.

    • Corporette babymama :

      Philly is such a great city! You’re going to have a wonderful time there. I lived there for a year and adored it. Here’s what I would recommend:

      To eat:

      – Any of the Garces restaurants, but particularly Chifa (Peruvian/Cantonese fusion, which is amazing!!), Jose Trading Company (more casual, very good food), and Amada (their dinner is expensive, but they have a great lunch deal for $15 which is a steal).

      – Zahav – probably the best Israeli restaurant in the country. Again, their dinner is expensive but their lunches are very reasonable. And if you enjoy Mediterranean food, you will lick the bowl from your meal. Incredible.

      – Han Dynasty – best Sezchuan chinese food I’ve ever had. It’s cheap, it’s family style, and the dan dan noodles (I got the vegetarian kind) are out of this world. A lot of the top chefs in Philly say that their favorite restaurant is Han, which says something.

      – Beau Monde – incredible savory and sweet crepes, really cute Parisian bistro setting, very reasonable prices.

      – Cafe Lift for brunch – it’s sort of in a very dead part of town, but has excellent brunch

      To Do:

      – Art Museum is gorgeous, get the audio tour
      – Take a tour of the Masonic temple. This is a not a usual Philly thing to do, but I found it immensely enjoyable. Great history lesson about the Masons and the rooms are so over the top beautiful/ornate.
      – Longwood Gardens — you need a car to get out there, but if you like botanical gardens, this is a really beautiful spot to visit
      – Independence Hall tour — I enjoyed it, if you go to Philly it’s one of those “must do” things
      – Jewish History Museum – I’m not Jewish and I really enjoyed this museum. It’s a beautiful building with interesting exhibits.

      All in all, you can’t go wrong with what you do in Philly, it’s a fantastic town. Enjoy!

    • Try The Continental for dinner! Delicious food (I was there a year ago and I still think about their macaroni cheese) and an amazing cocktail called the Champagne-o-Rama, plus a fun atmosphere. Apparently it also has a rooftop bar, but it was closed for a private event when I was there.

    • After a major airline disaster (slow connection, missed our trans-Atlantic flight by, oh, four minutes; luggage went to Europe without us) my husband, teenage son and I spent a night and day in Philly last summer. A friend took us to the South Street neighorborhood for the afternoon, and we loved it. It’s different and funky, with an amazing place called the Philadelphia Magic Gardens, a wildly eccentric set of buildings with incredible mosiacs covering basically every inch. The artist and some of his protegees have also done mosaics on other buildings in the neighborhood. There are lots of funky shops and little restaurants, including a really great vegan pizza place (not everyone’s thing, I know, but if you’re a vegetarian and you still want to have the cheesesteak experience you can do it there). It was not the typical tourist spot, but we had a great time (all things considered).

    • hip hop anonymous :

      Given that I am a huge foodie, here are some of my faves :

      Fish (13 and Locust) — just opened back up, it is hands down my favorite restaurant in the city.;
      Vetri (do the tasting menu!);
      Morimoto (if you don’t want to get reservations/don’t have reservations, a hidden gem is the upstairs bar. I go all the time last minute with a friend of mine and we can always get seats and the limited bar sushi menu)
      Farm and the Fisherman (farm-to-table, love. food heaven)
      Bar Ferdinand (Northern Liberties): Your ultimate in Spanish tapas, great atmosphere and great wine list
      Garces: Can’t go wrong with any of them. My favorite is Tinto (very similar style food to Amada, slightly cheaper, but more Basque region of Spain)

      Brunch you must hit up either Sabrina’s or Honey’s Sit and Eat.

    • I’m originally from NJ, near Philly. Have lunch at Reading Terminal – it’s fantasticly Philly.

      Also, if you like science-oriented museums, check out the Franklin Institute. Technically, it’s a children’s please touch museum, but it’s absolutely fantastic. Husband and I (no kids) went to just stop in a few years ago on a day trip to the city, and wound up spending almost the whole day there.

    • I agree completely on skipping the Liberty Bell. That’s always my #1 tip. Take a mural tour – Philly is know for it’s murals and it can be a fun way to see parts of the city you might otherwise avoid.

      • I’ve alway wanted to check out the tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary, its sort of the Alcatraz of the east without the water, but haven’t yet. It’s pretty close to musuem row. Also, if you are not an alum, the Penn campus is beautiful and only a short walk from the Rittenhouse area (just stay away from the area North of campus, which is not safe).

  13. anon today :

    Just a quick thank you to those who shared their experiences with high risk HPV and colposcopy. I talked to my s.o. (and he was incredibly understanding, calm and supportive) and scheduled the colposcopy, and I feel much calmer. I appreciate all of the words of support and encouragement!

    • good! i’m really glad you asked. As I said the other day, I totally freaked out for a while, I wish I’d reached out to folks like you did and given other people a chance to tell me it’s no big deal, and it would be ok. ;o) good luck!

      • When I had my bad pap, I was convinced I’d end up a cell line a la Henrietta Lacks. Yes, I have a tendency to disasterize. But it was no big deal.

        Happy to hear you are feeling calmer. It is great to be able to get information like this and know that others have been in your place and everything turned out fine.

    • I meant to respond to your original message but didn’t have a chance. Anyway, I had a similar experience and went through the colposcopy. They took a biopsy during it and waiting for the results (a week) was torture. Turns out all was fine and I’ve been just fine ever since. However, I get my paps every 6 months, rather than once a year, for now, just to be on the safe side. The worrying and fear and stress is the worst part. Hang in there!

      Oh, and my doctor suggested I take 600 MG of ibuprofen an hour prior to the procedure to make it a little more comfortable. It wasn’t bad at all, pain wise, but I think having the painkillers helped mentally. Just something to look into. :)

  14. Vegas, baby :

    What is appropriate attire for a club in Las Vegas?

    Bachelorette weekend rapidly approaching :) (not mine)

    I haven’t been to a club in a few years, and I also cannot wear high heels (not even low ones – flats only). Thoughts?

    • This is the perfect opportunity to wear glitter flats with a leopard mini and a leather tube top!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • In vegas, anything goes, really. If you are wearing flats and want to look appropriate for a club, I would suggest some fun flats (sandals, or [my preference] a sleek, slightly pointy toes, patent leather flat in a fun color) with a short skirt (I go shorter when I’m wearing flats so I don’t look stupy). I would probably go with the high-waisted trend and tuck a shirt into the skirt. I’d dress it up with a belt, jewlery and a purse. If its cooler in Vegas, I’d try to find a cropped/shrunken jacket to go over the whole thing.

    • The shorter the skirt, the lower the heel. I’ve been driven to mini-skirts because comfortable shoes look ok with them.

    • MissJackson :

      Do you have something in your closet that every time you think about wearing it, you decide not to because it’s a bit too sexy, too trendy, too colorful, too patterned, too short, too expensive, too risque, and/or too wild? If so, Vegas is the place for that item :)

      If you do not own any of the above, then I heartily endorse the leopard mini/leather tube top/glitter flats approach suggested above by TCFKAG! It’s very hard to “over do” Vegas.

  15. I love this dress. I have it in both the green and the purple color. It’s tried and true and works well with a blazer on top.

    • ADL, how does it hold up? Have you washed it many times? I am probably going to get it, but I am wondering how long it will last.

      • Magdeline :

        I have this; I have washed it twice (hung it up to dry), with no ill effects.

      • I’ve had this dress since 2008ish and while there’s some slight pilling now under the armpits, I’ve worn mine a ton and don’t launder it carefully at all. The rest of the dress looks better than some I bought last season.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Good to know. I’m in love with this dress!

  16. I'm just me :

    I tried to post in last weekend’s open thread, but it never showed up (or I missed it) and again this morning (both times under a different alias).

    I wanted to thank Blonde Lawyer for recommending the Target Ponte Pencil skirt. It is really a fab find. I got the red and the blue.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Yay! I love coming on here and finding a special message just to me. I’m glad you like it!

  17. Can this dress ever work for a lawyer or is it too cutesey?

    I love the color and it fits wonderfuly, but, sadly, I think its just too “picnic” for the office.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I love this! I think you could wear it, especially with a cardigan or blazer. Styling it that way would make it fly for my nice business casual office.

      • maybe in a darker color with a short length blazer? though that may ruin the ‘prettiness’ of the dress:)

      • I love this dress too and have been eyeing it myself. I think it could work, as long as the cardigan or blazer is cropped, you wear heels, and the proportions don’t dowdify the outfit.

    • I probably wouldn’t wear it with a sloppy pony tail and with leopard print heels with my toes pointed together like the model. But with a nice cardigan or structured blazer, I think you’d be fine in my office. :-)

      • I really hate the knock-kneed thing models are doing lately. Its like they are all six year olds that have to pee.

        • Hehe – I remember that trend from the ’90s (worst at VS). Sad it’s back, it looks ridic.

        • The other “6-yr old who has to pee” pose is the one with the model squatting. That I still see a lot in fashion magazine editorials. It’s lame, and it’s part of the whole infantilizing of women, plus, it makes it harder to see the clothes.

      • I didn’t even notice the model. I might have to shorten the dress a smidge. To right below the knee.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i want to like this dress, especially because it’s a great color, but i find the hem is such an awkward length that i can’t see it working in the office.

      • MissJackson :

        That was my thought, too – amazing color… but it’s that challenging mid-calf length that makes me pause. I would definitely have to shorten it. Also, the side view worries me, for reasons that relate mostly to my own figure flaws.

        • Anonymous :

          “challenging mid-calf length”??? You are too polite. That dress is frump city. Even the Amish would call it dowdy.

  18. AnonInfinity :

    Thanks to everyone who chimed in on the Grandpa vs. Great Aunt cow dilemma over the weekend. Much to my complete and total SHOCK, my grandpa and his brother (for moral support and to act as a bit of a mediator to the two hot-heads) went over to great aunt’s house, talked to her relatively calmly, and she paid for the lawn repairs. I don’t think they’ll ever be BFF, but I’m so proud of them for resolving this without small claims court.

    • I’m so glad. I was actually having Real Property and Torts bar review flashbacks with that post. Seriously, cows breaking down fences, or maybe not breaking down fences is popular with bar review writers.

      • AnonInfinity :

        That’s exactly how I felt when he first called me. I was halfway tempted to ask if the owner of the land 150 years ago remembered to record the deed before taking an expedition to India, but then I figured that would just complicate the whole situation ;)

        • I lol’d. I remeber thinking all through the bar classes “Just record your friggin’ deed”! Who forgets that?

          • AnonInfinity :

            I am currently working on a case that involves a “wild deed.” Apparently it does happen, and apparently people purchase property without first doing title searches. C’mon here, people!!!

          • Our real estate attorney got it recorded for us. :-)

          • I am sort of advising on a case where the last time the deed was recorded was about 1914 and two people ago. Obviously, everyone who was involved at the time is dead and the law firm dealing with it apparently has no idea how to get the deed recorded in the correct name now so the property can be sold.

            I keep meaning to devote a weekend to brushing up on my property law, but I also keep thinking that a firm that specializes in this stuff should be able to figure it out! I’m an employment lawyer, d*mmit!

          • When I was working at my Biglaw job I was brought in to work on a case for a client where we were helping him out on a dispute with his neighbor that involved communal walls and pipes and stuff and I was busting out property law from, like, 1902 and 1832 and stuff.

            I actually think I was better off than the partners because I had just done the bar exam and had much more recently taken property law so I actually remembered this stuff whereas they hadn’t touched it in lo those many years.

  19. Warning – I just returned two of these. They have a really weird unconnected layer on the inside of the neckline. You could see it through the fabric, and it didn’t stay under the inside of the neckline, and I just wasn’t impressed. There was no way to cut it out or anything either, because it was folded under on a thin seam. I’m usually the number one Target dress promoter on here, but the fabric was not as thick as the Merona pontes usually are and I couldn’t believe the neck fabric thing. I know it looks really cute, but buyer beware.

    • InHouse Counsel :

      Which of the Merona ponte styles have you been impressed with? I’m looking to add a couple of pieces to my wardrobe that can work with my expanding belly that won’t be too pricey?

      • I bought the Side Tab ponte dress (sleeveless) last summer and I love it. It’s not a heavyweight ponte, but not too clingy, and does have the neck fabric thing mentioned above, but it’s not too noticeable. I also have a ponte dress that has a boatneck, side tabs, and 3/4ish sleeves (Tab Waist ponte dress). It’s pretty good, too. And in January I bought the Cross Front ponte dress. I like it pretty well, but it’s a bit short – I’m 5’3″ and it comes to about 2-3 fingers above my knee. Not scandalous, but I wish it was a bit longer.

        These are Target dresses, so I would not expect super-high quality, but my Side Tab ponte has held up pretty well. I machine wash, but I hang it to dry. I think dryers tend to destroy clothes and pretty much line-dry everything except underwear, socks, and jeans that have gotten saggy.

        • Anonymous :

          I love my tab waist ponte dress, I have it in two colors. off to check out the other ones you mentioned …

        • That one. I loved that one and had an earlier version of it that I just retired after two years of hard wear.

    • Not having seen the dress, i can’t be sure, but I have sewn a garment or two in my day. The neck thingie may be some facing/interfacing included to help give the neckline some structure. It is meant to be worn with that fabric bit on the inside, lying flat against the dress – if there was a question about that.

      • It was more a matter of the construction being really poor. The facing (thanks for the name!) would not stay inside, and you could see the line of it on the inside through the neck of the dress. I just wasn’t a fan, I thought it looked sloppy.

    • If you are looking for other ponte-type dresses, try Lands’ End. The quality (construction and fabric) will be better (or they will fix it for you) and the styles are pretty basic.

  20. DC Association :

    Oh gosh, today on R u e L a L a there are YSL handbags. And tomorrow, Louis Vuitton bags. I am so lusting after the YSL bags.

    If only I had 1,200 laying around!

    that is all.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i have a YSL roady hobo that i bought a couple years ago and i love it so much that i’ve seriously considered getting a black one to fill the only real hole left in my handbag collection. i tried jumping on it on rue today, but alas, too slow. the leather really is excellent quality, and the one i have has broken in beautifully…but it’s probably just as well.

  21. anon for this :

    I keep meaning to post this and by the time I get to a thread, it’s already very active – hoping someone can see this. I am interviewing in DC next week, and wanted to know what the current consensus is on the most appropriate color/type of hose in DC these days. I am wearing a black lightweight wool interview suit, plain pumps, pale purple buttondown. I am a mid-level now. THe last time I interviewed (in NYC, about 4 years ago) I had just put on a lot of weight and ended up deciding to interview in a black pantsuit because I felt so uncomfortable in skirts at the time. The weight is mercifully gone, so I am going back to the black skirt suit approach for interviews, but I can’t decide between nude hose or sheer black hose. Also, if it is 30 degrees for no reason next week, can I get away with black opaque tights from spanx? Thanks!

    • I’m not a hiring manager or anything, but I did get many second round interviews last year in DC after wearing black opaque tights to the first rounds. It would probably depend on the workplace though. I was at trade associations, lobbying firms, and non profits.

    • I’m sure you’ll get better responses than mine (I work in a fairly casual gov’t office), but I am not seeing a lot of sheer black hose on the streets or the metro. To be safest, I’d go with sheer nude-for-you. Black tights are definitely acceptable in offices (given what I see); I don’t know how “formal” they are considered for interviews. And the weather is so weird, as you know. I’d avoid the black tights if it is oddly hot like yesterday.

      • anon for this :

        Thank you both. This is helpful. I will be armed with sheer nude-for-me hose (my inclination, based on what I have seen in DC in the past) and, on teh off chance it is insanely cold, black tights (which I would rather avoid, but I needed the backup).

      • Littlest Attorney :

        While black opaque tights would be fine for a normal day at the office, I think older partners in DC biglaw might be surprised to see them during an interview. If it were me, I’d wear nude hose.

      • Second this, see way more nude hose than sheer black in DC.

    • I always wear sheer hose for interviews. You can’t possibly offend anyone by doing so, but I think you could offend someone by not (if you know what I mean).

      • Ditto. I love my tights, but for interviews, it’s sheer hose if I’m wearing a skirt suit.

        • Not law, but if it’s freezing black tights seem appropriate and I’ve worn on interviews with success. Nude hose (if it’s freezing) strike me as off-season.

          And by the way, good luck on the interview!!

    • Kontraktor :

      I would say wear a nice pair of sheer nude hose for a skirt suit (if you don’t usually like those, maybe spring for a more expensive pair that looks really nice?). If it’s really that cold out that hose wouldn’t be okay to walk in (and honestly I find them tolerable to walk in when it’s as low as about 35ish or so), could you consider a pant suit? I don’t know, I just think black tights with a black suit would look a little bit off and I wonder how much warmer tights would really be if it were that cold outside.

      • anon for this :

        I don’t mind sheer nude hose. I just have a vague recollection of there being debates a few years back (pre-corporette) or sheer nude versus sheer black hose and it being very regional. And I do agree – tights are not that much warmer than hose. I would consider wearing a pantsuit but for the fact it has been so ingrained in me that one should avoid that (I have done it in the past, and gotten offers, but I still worry). I am just going to hope it is 35ish and above next week when I am interviewing in DC and go for sheer nude hose.

  22. Anon for this :

    I need a bit of help from the Corporette community. This may be a bit out there, but does anyone know of any estate lawyers experienced in handling complicated estate situations in the Ft. Lauderdale, FL area???

    • I work in Miami and do some estate work and also know of people who do estate work in both Broward and Miami-Dade.

  23. Hive, you’ve never failed me before:

    I’m getting on a plane in an hour to go to Guatemala! Any recommendations for plane-reading on my kindle? I downloaded Mindy Kaling’s book and want something along those lines–i.e. something I don’t have to think too hard about but will be a fun read.

    Any suggestions?


    • I like Laura Lippman – What the Dead Know and I’d Know You Anywhere were both great if you like mysteries/suspense.

    • I’m reading the best book right now – Blood and Money. It’s old but a true story and soooooo good and suspenseful. Love it.

    • I Was Told There’d be Cake or How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosely…pretty funny reads. Also Dead End Gene Pool by Wendy Burden.

      Have fun!

    • Maybe Bossypants by Tina Fey, if you haven’t already read.
      Also, maybe Terry Pratchett(fantasy/satire)? Going Postal, perhaps?

      I read the entire Secrets of My Hollywood Life (title self explanatory) series while studying for the bar. It’s so, so bad, but a lot of fun and requires absolutely no thought.

      If you’re a lawyer you might like Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson. Also not good, exactly, but a lot of fun, and it does some really hilarious things with the law and magic.

    • Have you read any of Sophie Kinsella’s books? They’re fun, travel-reading stuff.

      _Can You Keep a Secret?_ even starts out with the protagonist on a plane with an intriguing (male) stranger next to her…

      Kinsella’s _Shopaholic_ series is also pretty funny.

    • Thanks, all! I’m gonna look into them now! Then I’m off!

      • just Karen :

        Others have listed most of my recommendations, but please post back about your trip! I’m heading to Guatemala and Belize for my honeymoon at the beginning of May and haven’t done any planning yet – I’d love to get some recommendations from you!

      • If you like nicely written, but slightly fluffy fiction, I just read Tracy Chevalier’s new book, Remarkable Creatures. (she’s the writer of Girl with a Pearl Earring, but I liked this one a LOT better) … It’s got a totally nerdy storyline that I think most of the nerds here would enjoy ;o) : it’s based on the true story of a young girl in nineteenth century England who became a famous fossil hunter, and discovered a lot of the most important fossils on the coast of England in the 19th c, but it’s not super ‘thinky’ and it was an easy and enjoyable read. I finished it on two plane trips.

    • Tired Squared :

      Did you already read Tina Fey’s book? If not, that was my last plane read… good and not a lot of thinking involved either.

      • My problem with reading Tina’s book, or any other really funny books, is that i can’t help laughing out loud hysterically, and then I’m self conscious that everyone around me thinks I’m a crazy person having a psychotic episode or something! ;o) I apparently just cannot laugh quietly…

    • I love reading David Sedaris when I travel.

    • I know you’re gone now, but I hope you picked Bossy Pants.

      Have fun in Guatemala.

    • I’m not sure it’s funny, but I liked “The Late Lamented Molly Marx.” It’s an easy read. Have you tried any of Jen Lancaster’s books? Those are pretty funny.

      Not funny, but really good were “the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” and “Half Bred Horses.”

      • Do you mean “Half Broke Horses?” If so, I second that recc (and her other book, “The Glass Castle”), although I agree they’re in the “not funny, but really good” category.

      • Love Jen Lancaster. Bitter is the New Black is one of my favorite light reads.

  24. Awkward situation :

    Ladies- need some quick advice on an awkward situation.

    What do you do when you’re invited to a birthday of a friend you haven’t seen in awhile (which is why you especially want to go), and a guy that will also be there told said friend he didn’t want you there because he had feelings for you two years ago? Do you go anyway? Or do you take the high road and avoid.

    I know this is a silly question, but I want to be the better person here and do the right thing. The guy that had feelings for me, is a bit odd, to say the least (very inexperienced with girls so I think that may have something to do with it). We hung out about 3 times before I broke it off on the phone, two years ago.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I’d go to the party. Avoid him if he acts weird, makes you feel weird, or tries to start drama. Don’t let this ruin your celebration of your friend’s birthday!

      Also, how rude that he called the host of the party and asked her not to invite someone that he had a little crush on years ago!

      • +1. No reason he should ruin your celebration of a friend’s birthday, and if he’s so immature as to be unable to handle seeing you after three hang-outs that happened two years ago, he needs to work on that.

      • Awkward situation :

        Yup, don’t get me started on how rude the crush guy is being- it’s not his day, you don’t get to uninvite people.

        Again, trust me, I realize how ridiculous this all is.

      • Indeed. If I were the host of the party and some friend of my asked me not to invite you because he had a crush on you, I’d drop him from the party, and seriously assess whether I wanted someone that lame and selfish and immature as a friend.

        I’m older now and realize how valuable my time is– don’t want to spend it with selfish a-holes, so I’m all about pruning, pruning, pruning.

        • “friend of mine” rather. Brain seems to be thawing too slowly today, despite quantities of hot potable caffeine. Maybe I need the intravenous delivery method.

    • Go to the party! :

      Go anyway, it’s been two years and you had 3 dates! For cryin’ out loud, is the guy still in high school? I know you mentioned he’s a bit odd, but seriously, he can’t expect you not to show up to a party because he had a thing for you once upon a time! Even in middle school, I was able to attend a party with my ex boyfriend 3 weeks after we broke up (we dated for a year, which is a long time when you’re in 8th grade!), so I really think this adult male needs to grow up a little. (Sorry for the rant, but that’s ridiculous, and the fact that you’re a considerate enough person to even consider not attending on behalf of his feelings means that you certainly wouldn’t make him feel bad if you did attend!)

    • Tired Squared :

      Yes, go to the party. I wouldn’t go searching out this guy — spend the time celebrating with your friend!

    • just Karen :

      I don’t think this guy has any place asking you to not be there under the circumstances, but was it your friend who relayed the info to you that he didn’t want you to be there? If so, was your friend asking you not to come because of it or was the friend just giving you a head’s up? I would check in with your friend and tell them you would love to be there because you haven’t seen him/her in so long, but that you don’t want to cause any drama and if it would be easier on them for you to not be there, you’ll do whatever they need you to. I am saying this after recently having to ask a friend not to come to my wedding because of drama between him and his ex – one of my longtime best friends. The circumstances were different, but I am very glad he let me make that call and took it graciously.

    • MD/DC observer :

      Sorry if this ends up being a duplicate reply to Awkward Situation. (While composing my first answer I hit “refresh” to see if anyone else had responded.)

      Long story short: go and enjoy! There are always going to be people who are socially awkward, for all sorts of reasons (e.g., Asperger’s Syndrome, or having their own personal urges to always be right, or always in control, or whatever). The trick is learning how to respond effectively, meaning maintaining one’s own limits without unnecessarily antagonizing the other party–not because the other party doesn’t deserve to hear “H*ll, no” but because getting to that point is usually too debilitating all around! Also, as a practical matter, having an awkward encounter with a past acquaintance has a lot less potential drama than having a chance encounter between two exes who parted on bad terms (as per Just Karen’s comment).

      Kudos to you for wanting to do the right thing. I’m sure you’ll be fine.

  25. TJ – Woke up this morning with painful dry sinuses yet runny nose and swollen throat (near that hanging thingee – what is that called again?) Can anybody share a tried and proven home remedy to stave off a head cold? I refuse to get sick- help!!!

    • Take ibuprofen ASAP. It’ll reduce the swelling in your nose and throat, which are exacerbating all of your symptoms, which will in turn make you more sick. Don’t let anymore mucus and gunk get into your throat, so no sniffling with your runny nose, even if it means grossing your coworkers out blowing your nose all the time and coughing the gunk up out of your throat. Sleep on an incline so that your nose doesn’t drain into your throat.

      I also like hot tea with lemon, honey, and echinacea (yogi has a good kind). I don’t know if this actually prevents, but it makes you feel better.

    • just Karen :

      I don’t remember the brand, but Wellness Formula is an herbal/vitamin supplement that my friend swears by that you can get at any health food store or Whole Foods. I’ve used it a few times when I’ve started feeling bad and I do think it helps – I didn’t end up getting truly sick any of the times I have used it. Warning – the directions have you take an insane amount of pills. I took the recommended 6 for one dose each day (for maybe three days) with an extra three or so the evening of the first day…no exact science, I just couldn’t handle so many pills. Also, don’t try it on an empty stomach.

    • I think you are sick!

      Go to the CVS or CVS alternative and ask at the pharmacy for the cold medicine with the pseudophedrine in it. Take it, chug lots of fluids, and go back to bed.

      • And some of my friends swear by Cold-Eeze or whatever its called taken at the first sign of a cold.

      • Yes, the Mucinex that gets used to make meth. I take these when I start feeling like I’m getting a sinus cold and they really do seem to either make the cold go away or at least keep it from getting too bad.

        I take the 12-hour ones, and only in the morning, because they make me a bit jittery. Which I guess makes sense if they contain meth ingredients.

    • My tried and true is: Boiron’s oscillocosynum (sic?) pills right away, and lots of Yogi brand Cold and Flu teas. I double on the tea – two tea bags/cup of the teas (I mix them). Lots of honey and vitamins. For whatever reason, this works to either keep me from getting sick or to recover very quickly.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Zinc, vitamin c, and vitamin d.

    • Rest. That’s all. A cold is a virus, and your body just has to fight it off. I think all of the emergen-c type meds and supplements are just placebos. To minimize the symptoms, I like hot tea with honey and lemon plus sudafed.

    • Set up a humidifier in your bedroom. You could also consider a Neti pot. I used a Neti pot the last time I had a bad head cold, and I like to think it helped. Now I use it if I feel like I’m getting congested. If you go the Neti pot route, also get some distilled water to use in it. I know some people feel ok with their tap water, but googling “Neti pot brain amoebas” made me prefer the distilled.

      • Oh yes, +1 on the Neti pot. I never used one until I had a death’s-door cold last year and the doctor at the clinic “prescribed” it. I really think it helped and am using it again with my current (not quite as bad) cold.

      • I use sinus rinse (which is like the neti pot) with regular old water and am totally fine. I have bad allergies and my allergist also highly recommends regular use of a neti pot or sinus rinse.

      • I second the use of distilled water – there is so much stuff in tap water. Which is fine if you are drinking it. But, a neti pot introduces water to a portion of your body that doesn’t normally deal with it, so I’d go with extra-clean water.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i have a couple of friends who swear by oil of oregano – apparently, it’s a natural anti-fungal. on their recommendation, i bought some and took it this week (a dropper full in a glass of water) when i started feeling sick, hoping to avoid getting a full-blown cold. it was a complete sensory mindf*ck, because it smells, well, like pizza, but tastes kind of crappy. for what it’s worth, i haven’t developed much in the way of symptoms – some swelling and a little congestion in my throat, but nothing serious – and i haven’t FELT sick. it could be a complete coincidence, but it’s got me sold.

    • law talking girl :

      There is nothing you can do to stave off a cold once you already have it. Zinc, vitamin C, echinacea, oregano, etc. are all just a waste of money. Treat the symptoms and let your body do the rest.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      hanging thingee = uvula. I’m very impressed I didn’t have to google that.

      • Thanks for all of your responses – I’m trying as many of these as I can manage and hoping one or a combination of them will do the trick! Happy weekend all.

  26. Downton Abbey - similar books? :

    For fans of Downton Abbey, does anyone have book recommendations for either fiction or non-fiction of the same period/genre?

    • The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

    • Publishers are way ahead of you – they are rushing to get all sorts of Edwardian-era books to market to sell to people just like you :)

      This article has some suggestions:

    • haven’t read this, but in a weird coincidence had this open from amazon in another tab on my browser…

    • I’ve been a big fan of the Penny Vincenzi trilogy starting with No Angel. It follows the women in a British family in the early 20th century. Can get a bit soap opera-y, but I found them super enjoyable reads!

      • The American heiress (earlier) the house at tyneford (later) and fabulous nonfiction by Juliet Nicholson, the perfect summer and the great silence. Also Ken follet fall of giants

      • this!

    • Edith Wharton! :

      Custom of the Country
      The Buccaneers

      Also, Masterpiece Theatre did a version of The Buccaneers about 10-15 years ago (with Carla Gugino) that you will probably like if you liked Downton Abbey.

    • Seattleite :

      Second the rec for House at Riverton. Also, you might like Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers. I seem to remember Julian Fellowes saying that he considered Cora a buccaneer, and the storyline certainly bore that out.

    • Fiction: authors: Dorothy Sayers, Dornford Yates, Nancy Mitford. If I were picking one of each it would be: Gaudy Night, Adele and Co, and Love in a Cold Climate, respectively.

    • Rebecca by du Maurier (anything by her, really, but second favorite is My Cousin Rachel) are always sure bets. Definitely of a more gothic and suspenseful bent, but honestly I find myself turning to them all the time just for the atmosphere. A perfect companion to a rainy afternoon!

    • Henry James, especially Portrait of a Lady and The Wings of the Dove. And then, if you end up loving Henry James as I do, Colm Toibin’s biographical novel, The Master.

  27. Magdeline :

    I have this dress in green, and I love it! It is such great validation to have it featured on Corporette.

    I am 5’5 and it hits me just above the knee. I am a size 6-8 and got a medium, which fits well.

    • Argh, I’m so torn now! Good reviews and bad reviews and I’m not much of a dress person but I’d like to be! Maybe I’ll just order the green and see, I can always return it but I recently ordered several dresses trying to find a plus sized formal gown and lost more money than I’d like returning the ones that weren’t right!

      • Well, it costs $25. So the absolute worst that happens is you’re out a little money on a dress you don’t wear too often.

      • If you order $50 worth of clothing, shipping is free from Target and you can return to the stores. Their website is a little wonky, but I have not had trouble returning things to them. Just be sure you follow the instructions.

  28. Want my desk back :

    I have an awkward situation at work. I have a cube in our company’s main building but I’m rarely there (1-2x a week). One of my coworkers asked a few months ago if she could borrow my desk. She had a big project due and her desk is in an super noisy location. I said sure, and later on when she thanked me, I told her to feel free to use it when I wasn’t around if she needed a quiet place to work.

    Fast forward 2 months and she is there all the time. Whenever I’m onsite I have to ask her to move so I can use my desk. This morning when I came in early, her papers were all over my chair and keyboard and she had put all of my stuff in a pile to the side.

    I feel so petty but I’m annoyed as heck. I actually don’t mind her using it sometimes, but taking over my entire space was not something I had bargained for. How can I politely get my desk back?

    • Wow, she is clearly taking advantage of you.

      I don’t know if there is a polite way, frankly. But you have to stand up to her or you will no longer have your desk. Maybe that’s the solution? Switch desks with her, since you’re only there a few times a week, would the bad location bother you?

      But really I would just calmly but firmly tell her “this is unacceptable, I don’t mind you using my desk sometimes when you have something due and need to focus, but you should not be using my desk more than your own and you absolutely cannot move my stuff to the side to make my desk more convenient to you.” She will probably apologize and be flustered and maybe annoyed or upset, but as with my post about my friends trying to keep me out late on the last thread, you have to set boundaries or she will continue to take advantage!

      You could also potentially talk to her supervisor, but that seems like escalating the situation and being a bit passive aggressive. Or maybe just aggressive aggressive.

    • I would just ask that if she is going to use your desk, she returns it to its original state at the end of each day. It’s fine to use it, but it’s not fine to use it as her personal space where she can store stuff at your desk and shove your work to the side.

    • canadian anon :

      If she needs a quiet space that much, she needs to talk to her supervisor about booking a space (like a small workroom) for the time until her project is due. You were generous to offer, but it sounds like she took your offer and ran with it way too far. Agree with the other comments that you should say something polite but firm. Honestly, even “returning things to their original state” wouldn’t be cool with me; I wouldn’t want someone reshuffling all my papers.

  29. Has anyone else seen in the media the all the talk about bachelor’s degrees and how they are the new high school diploma? Does anyone else feel pressue to obtain a graduate degree because of this? I think about what it will be like 10, 15 years from now – a BA is going to be a commodity. Especially my state school BA…. boo

    • I have seen that but I don’t really see how that could be true. I heard on the radio today that less than 30% of the US population has bachelor’s degrees. It looks like that number from the 2010 census is 29.93%, but still, if fewer than 1 in 3 has a bachelor’s degree, how can it be of such low value?

      That number has been on a steady climb since the 1950s, but high school graduation is still at 87%, that’s a big difference.

      I do see though that having a bachelor’s degree doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to do anything. This seems to be different with a BS rather than a BA (which is what I have, so no direct knowledge) where with a BS many of my friends have found good jobs doing what they like. At some point in the future they may go/have gone for advanced degrees in order to advance their career, but they won’t need it for something like 10 years. With a BA I know when I graduated I didn’t feel qualified to do anything other than what I had been doing for the past 10 years, become a legal secretary/paralegal, and even for that I would have needed to get more experience and training, since I’d been working for and trained by my father.

    • I’m sure it feels that way to the media because a BA is basically a mandatory entrance requirement at this point for most of what you would consider “middle class” professions. And so unsurprisingly most, if not everyone, journalists know have a BA. :-P

      I’m not sure what you mean that in 10-15 years your state school BA will be a commodity. But if you think that in 10-15 years your BA and 15 years of experience won’t allow you to compete against people with master’s and nothing else — then you’re cray-cray. :-)

      • Merabella :

        I love you TCFKAG. There are no other words for this.

      • Fair point! I just have been noticing a lot of my peering getting master’s degrees so I feeling behind the curve…

        • Peers* darn it!

        • Speaking as someone with a higher degree, if you HAVE a good job with growth potential in a field you like, you would be completely crazy to leave it to get a master’s without a really, really good reason. Its a lot of debt and a lot of time for little reward — since I’m not sure that most employers place all that much value in them. Or at least, not all that much more value then two years of solid work experience.

        • Or as your mama almost certainly used to say, “if everyone else was jumping off a bridge, would you?”

    • I haven’t heard it put quite that way, but I know what you’re getting at. Nowadays, a Bachelor’s isn’t the promise of a successful, comfortable future that it once was. And I think we’re also starting to see that not all Bachelor’s degrees are created equal. A BS in Engineering or Chemistry seems more likely to lead directly to a job that directly uses the degree than, say, a BA in English. Not to say a BA in English is useless, but it may require a graduate degree or two to make it more lucrative.
      But I agree with TCFKAG, in 10-15 years your 10-15 years worth of experience will be very valuable and most won’t give a hooey where you got your degree from.

    • I have a masters degree (paid for by a generous tuition reimbursement plan at a former employer) which has been completely irrelevant to any of my subsequent jobs. However, I have noticed more and more job listings specify a masters degree — including my current role. I don’t need the degree to do this job, but I think it’s become an easy shortcut to use to sort applicants.

      • I agree. I think in this type of economy, employers are looking for as many easy ways as they can to cut down on applicants. I’ve had several friends find this to be the case when they tried to move into more managerial/administrative positions. If all your peers are getting master’s degrees and you’re the only one without one, you’ll be at a disadvantage when you’re all competing to move up into the same position.

  30. Gift for new pregnancy? :

    Today is my sister’s birthday and she is finally pregnant (!) after her second round of IVF. But it’s still really early (about 8 weeks). Any thoughts on a great birthday gift for her? (Yes, I’m massively procrastinating, so it has to be something I can buy in a store) I’m in Chicagoland, if that helps.

    • If you want something fun and festive, you could run into a bookstore and get her a recipe book of non-alcoholic cocktails (and maybe a recipe book for expectant mothers).

      Or else maybe a gift card to her favorite clothes store that also sells maternity?

      Or an Amazon gift card — you can e-mail those babies — the go to late-gift in our family.

    • Reposting because I forgot to star.

      If you want something fun and festive, you could run into a bookstore and get her a recipe book of non-alcoholic c*cktails (seriously that’s not a bad word) (and maybe a recipe book for expectant mothers.)

      Or else maybe a gift card to her favorite clothes store that also sells maternity?

      Or an Amazon gift card — you can e-mail those babies — the go to late-gift in our family.

      Read more:

    • Research, Not Law :

      A gift certificate for a spa that does pregnancy massage (as well as normal massage… just in case this one doesn’t stick).

      LOFT does maternity, as does Boden.

    • Please do not get her anything pregnancy related yet, its too early. Nothing is worse than being reminded you were just pregnant if you miscarry. Give her something you would normally give her for a birthday, and then give her something baby related to celebrate the end of the first trimester in a month.

  31. Quick question, ladies.

    I am going on a fourth date with a cool, hipstery kind of guy to a small show tonight in SF for Noise pop ( I feel like I’m not cool enough for these things, and I always feel like I dress too stuffy even though I’m not stuffy. I am an attorney and often feel like I dress more conservatively than other 27 year olds…

    My coworkers always seem to think I need lots of advice on clothes…

    So now to my question: do you think it would be acceptable to wear dark, slim jeans, fancy/cool (to me anyway) sneakers, and a dark blue long sleeve shirt?


    • What kind of shirt? If you’re thinking about just a plain blue shirt, I think you could dress it up a bit. Also, it’s been really warm here lately, but it is cooling down at night a bit, you may want to do more of a layer thing. The jeans sound good, are you sure you don’t have any heels you would be comfortable wearing? I’m not talking stilletos, but something a bit more feminine than sneakers?

      Your outfit sounds kind of androgynous, frankly. For that venue you don’t want to wear a frilly dress or anything, but I do think you could girl it up a little. Show a little skin! (Bring a sweater!)

      • Hmmm ok that is sound advice. Yes, it’s just a plain shirt. I have a hard time getting girly for non-work things…not sure why.

        When you say show skin…are we talking arms? :D

        • Maybe a fun/colorful/sparkly tank and a jacket (shows some skin, but covers-up if you get cold)?

        • Okay, I assumed the shirt was at least a v-neck. Tell me you own a v-neck. :-)

          • I think it’s mostly because I lost 30 lbs over the past couple of years…and I kinda view myself at still at that larger size….my own stuff I need to get over.

            I guess I need to go get a v neck.

    • Do you have any t-shirts with ironic designs on them? Can you hop into an Urban Outfitters and get one on your way home? Or do you have any t-shirts from your little league baseball team?

      Or some ridiculous glasses you can throw on your head?

      Or a weird plaid shirt you can wear?

      Seriously — some of my best friends are hipsters and I go to their shows sometimes, what you’re planning on wearing sounds fine, though if you had something with a fun design on it, that would be fun too!

      • I don’t have any of those things! Seriously…all my clothes are neutral colors and the only patterns I have are for work blouses. I think another big thing is that I split up with my fiance and boyfriend of six years last summer and only recently started dating. Most of the time I don’t know what I’m doing.

        I guess I will be stopping at Urban Outfitters this afternoon.

        • Also, thanks for the suggestions. :D

        • I keep one fun patterned t-shirt and one fun patterned button down with corresponding blazer almost exclusively for social events like this where I have to look kind of “cool” despite not being cool AT ALL.

          Its a struggle. :-P

        • Just remember — you “found [your shirt] in a thrift store somewhere”. ;-P teehee.

          • AMAZING! I will make sure to never admit to my overthinking of this situation. :D

      • Goosebumpy :

        I second these shirt options–my mid-twenties hipster sister wore her fifth-grade softball team’s uniform shirt into the GROUND, and it has since been retired for rumpled plaid shirts (usually men’s, from Goodwill, with the little snap buttons).

        My husband likes to go to shows and usually drags me along and I don’t fit in, but I’ve picked up a couple tips to try to blend. Wear the skinniest jeans you own (take comfort in knowing that half the men will be wearing jeans tighter than you, and not all of them will be rail-thin, either), and then you can get away with something looser/more comfortable on top (I like the American Apparel unis*x deep-V tees, which can then look like you stole your ex-boyfriend’s undershirt). Then pile on the jewelry–bangles and gobs of friendship bracelets halfway up your arm, or every single silver necklace you own, or three gaudy c*cktail rings. I’d go cute flats (pink? leopard print? patent?) to girl it up. Throw on a cross-body bag and maybe you won’t scream “hipster”…but I promise you’ll at least say “laid-back chica” in an outdoor voice.

    • That outfit sounds very safe and kind of boring. Maybe pop over to F21 and pick up a funky necklace and bracelets to jazz it up? If you’re talking about a button-down, at least undo a couple of the buttons. ;-) Necklaces will keep you from feeling too bare. Have fun.

  32. Notalawyer :

    Any idea where to find Target’s sizing info? Or am I just blind? Their website is a pain.

  33. Jules' Law :

    Does anyone know of any good thrift stores for used furniture in NJ? I’m not so much talking of expensive antiques, but places where you could get a lucky find and refinish or reupholster something? I live in central NJ, but I’d be open to anything in the state.

    • Anonymous :

      Check out Red Bank. Goodwill/Salvation Army near high-income areas are also good.

  34. Irritated with myself. I wrote a memo for an attorney I hadn’t worked for before, highly respected, of counsel (old). So I KNEW that one of my pet peeves about my own writing would rear its ugly head. That is the his or her v. their conundrum. I hate writing “his or her” every single time, especially when I KNOW I’m talking about a male employee! But I know it is correct to write his or her instead of their.

    Well, I missed one. In a three page memo I managed to miss exactly ONE their.

    And the attorney noticed, pointed it out, said “this is one of my pet peeves.” And I’m going “wait, really? Me too! I’m just….dumb apparently.”

    Not a big deal, I’m just irritated that I was being SO careful and still managed to miss one.

    • I am so glad I am not an attorney. I cannot imagine being called out on such a small thing.. it’s OK, he probably knew it was a one off mistake.

  35. Not sure if someone already posted, but for anyone who’s interested in this dress, there’s a 20% off coupon for all Target dresses at

  36. I love this dress–I have one similar but like the green option. It’s great for me in the office because it’s roomy enough to bend and reach but still looks tailored-I want this for my spring wardrobe!

    Dr. Dani

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