Thursday’s TPS Report: Colorblock Herringbone Dress

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

TAHARI ARTHUR S. LEVINE CLASSICS Colorblock Herringbone Dress I like this little sheath dress from Tahari Arthur S. Levine. I think the colorblocking looks really flattering, and I like that instead of just a basic gray it’s a herringbone pattern. You can’t see the pattern very well on the dress, but you CAN on the jacket (yes, there’s a matching swing jacket). And you can’t beat the price: both pieces were $129, now marked to $64.50 — with promo code FIRSTLOOK each piece comes to $51.60 (which also gets you to the $99 minimum for free shipping). Lots of sizes still left.  TAHARI ARTHUR S. LEVINE CLASSICS Colorblock Herringbone Dress

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

Psst: If you’re interested in a slightly fancier version of the dress, this V-neck sheath from the Elie Tahari line is on sale at Bluefly, marked down to $180ish from $448.




  1. Cocoa butteR? :

    Those pregnant or formerly pregnant…what’s the best way to stave off stretch marks? What products do you specifically recommend? I haven’t started, ah, expanding yet, but want to get into a routine. I normally don’t have trouble with scented products, but I do prefer unscented if at all possible.

    • Diana Barry :

      From everything I read, stretch marks are genetic and you’ll either get them or you won’t. I just used lotion if my belly was itchy (it often is!). When I did get stretch marks they were below the part of my belly that stuck out, so I couldn’t see them. ;)

      • This. I am genetically prone to stretch marks. I used a couple of belly butters and BioOil during pregnancy to prevent the itching. I did get one or two on my belly, but not much else. Also, I already had old ones from puberty on my thighs, hips, and chest so maybe I just didn’t have anywhere else to get them.

      • Yup, at least 90% of the likelihood of stretch marks is genetic. I’m prone to them and thought I was in the clear. However, mine didn’t appear until, literally, the last 5 days of my pregnancy. I used lotion religiously. If you get them, yeah, they suck. But, they eventually fade and aren’t as noticeable.

        Before I had kids, stretch marks would have been SO ANNOYING to deal with and have. Honestly, however, I found that as a working mom of a baby, they are so far down on my list of “Things I need to think about at any given moment” that I don’t even notice them anymore.

        • LackingLuster :

          No stretch marks with my first kid (2 weeks early). Tons of stretch marks with my second (3 days late) that appeared in the last 2 weeks of pregnancy. Both times I gained the recommended weight range. And now they are very far down on my list of things to worry about too. Also, as you “shrink” after pregnancy they become less noticeable, as well as fading away.

        • This, exactly.

          • +1. I got had my son a week late and got a few stretch marks during the last week of pregnancy. I truly believe it is genetic. All of my stretch marks have faded at this point. But, if you’re looking for a product recommendation, I liked the mama mio stretch mark rub. It is free of parabens and other chemicals, was very moisturizing without being greasy, and smelled nice.

          • Compared to the stretch marks I got during puberty (why hello, hips that developed in literally 2 months), getting stretch marks at the end of pregnancy was way less traumatic. A 29-year-old getting stretch marks from having a baby? Well, saw that coming. Getting stretch marks as a terribly self-conscious 17-year-old? Didn’t see that one coming.

      • +1. I did nothing and got no stretch marks. My mom doesn’t have stretch marks either after 3 kids.

      • Sad but true — probably not much you can do about them. The good news is that they do fade over time.

    • Hollis Doyle :

      I used cocoa butter twice a day, every day and didn’t get any stretch marks. I don’t know that cocoa butter did anything specific though; I think the key is just keeping your skin moisturized no matter what kind of lotion, cream, oil, etc. you use.

    • Never been pregnant, but my understanding is it’s probably 90% genetic in that there’s not a ton you can do, if you’re prone to getting them. But generally to keep your skin elastic and hopefully reduce the frequency, I definitely suggest drinking a ton of water and whatever you use, vigorously rubbing it in all over 2x per day, since that massage can stimulate skin elasticity and collagen production at least as much as any topical cream.

      • Also there was a fairly large study done that found that cocoa butter didn’t have any impact on stretch marks —

        • I also used a variety of things all through and still got them, though not until the 8th month. 12 years later, it’s like, meh. Whatever. There is one that is over an inch wide and so now that it’s pale, it looks like a nasty vertical scar. But it’s pretty low, so the only person seeing it ought just be happy to be in the garden, and I’m not concerned.

    • This, sadly, depends largely on genetics. If your mother had stretch marks when pregnant, you are likely to have them too.

    • Not that anyone’s done this, but I’d like to remind people to be thoughtful about their language – I sometimes feel a bit miffed when people say, “Oh, don’t worry about stretch marks! They’ll eventually fade to white so you can’t see them!” which is repeated pretty commonly. Um, yes, that’s only true for white *people* – not for (most) minorities.

      • No one said they’d fade to white…

        • “Not that anyone’s done this…”

          • Ok so you are reminding people not to do something they are not doing. Alright then

          • I was just making a note of something that comes up very commonly in conversations about stretch marks, including in the past on this site (language of “stretch marks will eventually fade to white and become invisible”). I wasn’t condemning anyone – just pointing it out for people who may not have thought about it.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            That’s not really fair, responding anon. It happens quite frequently on this site that posters ‘forget’ that not everyone that reads/posts on this site is not white……

      • kerrycontrary :

        I agree with this. I am Caucasian by all standards, but (presumably) because my mother’s ancestry is Mediterranean I do not scar/stretch like a “normal” white person. I get stretch marks easily that don’t fade, and I can get Keloid’s which are more often seen on minorities.

        • Cornellian :

          stupid question: keloids are more common on darker skin? I always assumed they were some sort of genetic mutation. I get them, and am a strawberry-haired, blue-eyed, sort of translucent woman.

          • More common, I think, but not exclusive to… My husband has a few, and he is white. But his doctor did mention that they are more common for people with darker skin, especially African Americans.

            Just for curiosity’s sake, have you had any success getting rid of keloids? DH’s doctor gave him steroid shots in one of the bigger ones, and it seemed to help for a while, but now the keloid is basically back to its original size. He’s very self-conscious about it.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Keloids are just excessive scar tissue but it is true that persons of African descent are at a higher risk. A lot of Mediterranean people actually have North African heritage, and vice versa as there has always been significant migration back and forth. Many people forget that the Sahara Desert and the countries it crosses are still African…….

          • I have a horrible keloid and I’m as fair as fair can be. (and no Mediterranean ancestry I’m aware of) I’m practically see-through.
            I also have stretch marks that may or may not have faded but more importantly turned into papery folds beneath my belly button. Did not show up until the 40th week of pregnancy with my second kid. While it’s not high on my list of priorities, I do find them considerably annoying. I look like an 80-year-old shriveled prune in that area.
            I don’t think there’s much you can do to prevent it, because I’m a compulsive moisturizer.

          • I had keloids on my earlobes removed. The surgery was successful. I got my ears re-pierced because I’m obsessed with earrings and with proper derm care, my keloids are under control (though have reappeared ever so slightly; aren’t a problem for my earrings).

          • Cornellian :

            Anastasia- no luck, to be honest. I sliced the tip of my finger off this past spring and despite the help of a hand surgeon and all, keloids. All of the steps I take are more preventive- moisturizing, and actually rubbing scars as they form is supposed to be helpful. :/ Good luck to your husband!

          • I was told that they were really common on people with light skin and dark hair. I’m asian (pale as a sheet) and get keloids like none other :(

      • I’m white, blue-eyed, and sunburn easily. My breasts have big ole pink stretch marks on them.

        But the overall point of making assumptions based on “race”/ethnicity is correct. I’m glad people here say “nude for you” when discussing shoes or hose, but there are plenty of other places on this site and in society more broadly when it’s very evident that comments only apply to one group of people even though they are stated as universals. That’s what “white privilege” means–not having to think about other bodies, just like “male privilege” means you don’t have to wonder if at every job interview before you’re 40, they’re wondering if you’re TTC or things like that.

    • Palmers Coco Butter just came out with a Stretch Mark lotion – got one at Target for about $5. Not sure if it will work, but it smells nice and is moisturizing. Hasn’t irritated my very sensitive skin.

    • Relatedly, has anyone tried microdermabrasion or other treatments to try to get rid of stretch marks?

      • Nevermind, I just did a modicum of research and determined that, so far as internet doctor comments go, there is no good treatment to get rid of stretch marks. Blah.

    • Don’t scratch.

  2. Land s end :

    What’s the easiest way to find out when there is a LE coupon code for swimwear? Thanks!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think signing up for their emails (though they send a LOT) or checking RetailMeNot frequently are your best bets.

      • Cornellian :

        After you sign up for their e-mails, sign up for unrollme dot com, so you can channel all of your sale e-mails in to one e-mail each day (you can change preferences so all of your Victoria’s Secret and Banana Republic e-mails get “rolled up” into a daily e-mail, while you get Target ones immediately, and Lands’ End ones only weekly, or whatever). Then you can only open that e-mail when you want to BUY something, and waste less time (and money) being stimulated by all the sale e-mails.

    • There’s currently a up to 50% off sale on a bunch of styles as well. Agree with MOA, email and checking coupon sites periodically are your best bet.

    • Cornellian :

      I agree, sign up for e-mails. they ALWAYS have sales.

  3. As a followup to yesterday’s cleaning conversation, what’s a good app/website for those of us who have tons of clutter, other than unf*ck your habitat? I’m trying to give up cursing, so reading that on a daily basis would NOT be helpful!

    • Gretchen Rubin had an interesting post about this. I found a couple of these tips helpful in changing my mindset. (looking at you NWT pants that I bought 5 years ago and do not fit)

      • I love the line in there about being able to “store things at the store.” I am so guilty of hanging on to things that I might possibly need some time in the future — especially related to arts and crafts projects. Really, if I at some point need silver spraypaint, is that old can from 6 years ago even going to work still? How about if I just throw that away and buy a new one if and when I ever need it?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I used to read a blog called Unclutterer, but I haven’t read it in awhile so I’m not sure how good/useful it is still.

      • I click over to Unclutterer occasionally. The posts could be helpful, particularly in figuring out how to stop the source of the clutter so it doesn’t re-accumulate, but I would recommend skipping the comments. Sort of like Cap Hill Style – if you disagree with the recommendation, don’t bother, bc the author will jump in very defensively. I think the last post that I read as part of my routine mentioned the ubiquity of Pottery Barn catalogs, which somehow sparked a major fight about whether the author was being insensitive that lower income areas are not blanketed with them.

    • Thanks for the suggestions so far! I would like to incorporate decluttering into a daily/weekly cleaning schedule, similar to UYH or Flylady. Do I need a two-pronged approach of getting rid of clutter and creating daily/weekly cleaning schedules or iss there anything that incorporates both?

      • AnonInfinity :

        I think FlyLady incorporates both if I am remembering correctly (I haven’t been to her site in a while). At least, I remember that she talks both about decluttering and about keeping your house ready for company. The weekly schedule might not have decluttering in it, but you would probably be successful to schedule an hour or two for decluttering on the weekend or another time when you have a big block of time.

        • FlyLady basically says to start with decluttering, and don’t worry about anything else until the clutter is gone… so for your first month, when you’re working in whatever zone (room) of your house, you don’t do the cleaning mission, you spend those minutes decluttering instead. After you get that initial purge out of the way, it’s pretty easy to maintain on the normal schedule.

          The most helpful thing for me was her 3-boxes idea: “put away” “give away” and “throw away.” For your 15 minutes, you just sort your clutter into the boxes, then run around emptying the put away box into appropriate places when time is up. SO much more efficient than putting things away as you go (which, for me at least, is how I get sidetracked and don’t ever finish my original task).

          • AnonInfinity :

            Aha. This is why I shouldn’t say (type) things without using the google first. Also, I used the three-box method during a recent purge. I thought I had come up with a brilliant idea, but I must have gotten it from FlyLady when I tried the system a few years ago!

      • tried spending 20 min/day doing this in Jan 2013 and reported her results last week.

    • big dipper :

      This is not really a resource, but in trying I be cleaner/more organized as my New Years resolution. Inspired by the “just one thing” approach, I’m doing one new thing per month, hoping it builds the habit, then adding something new. I basically identified the things that add the most stress/clutter to my life, and I’m tackling one each month. They are really small things but it is really working for me.

      It’s only February, but this has been super successful for me. Only having to add one thing at a time has really taken the stress if cleaning/declutteing off.

      My tentative schedule –

      Jan – read, reply to, archive or delete all emails as they one in. I did not go to bed without my inbox being totally clear.

      Feb – No clutter on tabletops/desktops. First, I reorganized my desk/dresser tops and now very time I leave the room, I check to make sure everything is in it’s spot or else I fix it.

      March – Keep the floor clean. So nothing on the floor when I leave my bedroom. This will require me setting up a better organization system for the crap I leave on the floor (laundry, shoes).

      April – Make bed every morning.

      May – Keep closet clean (organize closet before doing so).

      June – Vacuum and dust once per week

      July – Do laundry once per week and fold/iron immediately

      August – nothing, will be traveling postbar.

      September – Will be moving so setting up apartment in an organization friendly manner

      October – Clean bathroom once weekly

      November – Immediately put dishes in dishwasher after use, immediately put them away when dishwasher is done

      December – unknown!

  4. This is a beautiful dress! I wish we still had a Lord & Taylor so I could try it on. Not wild about the jacket. It’s kind of short and boxy for something called a “swing” jacket. The dress is so sleek, I didn’t think the jacket went with it all that well.

    • I agree. I love the dress and don’t mind the jacket (not my style, but don’t mind it), but not together.

    • I LOVE TAHARI, and also LORD & Taylor! Yay b/c we have one in Walkeing distance from me so I go there at lunch alot!

      My ONLY ISSUE with this dress is that it does NOT have sleeves, so Frank will want to stand where he can get a cheap look at my BRA. FOOEY. He has his WIFE so why should he care about my top?

      I think I would have to wear a jacket with this, but it WOULD DEFEEAT the purpose of a sleeveless dress, especialy in the SUMMER. Doubel FOOEY!

      Gonzalo keep’s calling and I am not pickeing up. I may have to ask the manageing partner to tell him not to call. If I tell my dad any more about him, I am afreaid he will go to the restrunt and confront him about rubbeing his hand against my breast. I realy do NOT know how I get into these situation’s with LOOSER’s that are so shallow.

      Why cant I find a guy who just want’s me for my BRAINs? My dad says I am a very smart gal, and guy’s dont see past my good look’s. Tripel FOOEY!

    • I wonder if this jacket looks better on than it appears. I have a swing jacket I bought ages ago. It looks shapeless on the hanger but drapes well on.

    • The style of this jacket is one that looks relatively flattering on me. Too bad it doesn’t come in my size :( Perhaps I will have to contact TCFKAG to see if she can hunt down similar options!

    • Since we are on the subject, can I just say that I purchased a Tahari Arthur S. Levine dress on my recent vacation, and am wearing it today. I was skeptical about purchasing it because I know the general consensus on that brand is that it is not as good as Elie Tahari (agreed), but I have to say I am so impressed with my dress. It isn’t wool (some sort of polyester blend), but it is fully lined, has decent cap sleeves, an interesting neckline, nicely shaped bodice, and looks 10x more expensive than its actual price. It is also a fantastic shade of purple. I am wearing it today with a black peplum jacket and leopard-print shoes, and feel like a million bucks.

  5. TJ – the DH and I are taking a quick trip up to Asheville, NC for the weekend. I haven’t been there in years (since I went with my Girl Scout Troop). Any suggestions on places to eat/visit?

    We are doing a tour of Biltmore, and possibly going to the Grove Park Inn for drinks, but I’d happily take any and all suggestions.

    • The Grove Park Spa is amazing. There are so many great places to eat. We’ve liked The Admiral, Bouchon, Sazerac, Jack of the Woods. Plenty of cool breweries. There is a bar on a fire escape that has a pretty view (Sky Bar).

    • All the food!! Salsa’s and Barley’s are my favorite. We also went to early girl and tulepolo honey (i’m sure I spelled it wrong). Also, if you go into the Arcade there is this awesome home furnishings store where you can get some handmade pieces. We purchased a bunch of lovely art and had a good time wandering around the shops. My absolute favorite thing was the bookstore near the Arcade that serves wine and cheese (you purchase) and lets you read all their books (for free, but you can buy them) aka heaven. Also, I went back on a Sat. night and there was live music.

    • Let me know how it goes! I, too, haven’t been there in *years* but am dying to go back, now that we’re in NC…

      • Merabella :

        I definitely let you know. This is a somewhat last minute trip, so we are kind of flying by the seat of our pants.

  6. TJ. I need work advice. My boss does not even speak to me anymore. We have never had a great relationship, but that’s another story. He got onto me in my recent review about “needing to communicate more” to the point where I am now required to email him every single day with an update. Well, I have been providing these updates and I have not gotten a single reply (not even an “OK” or “thanks”) and he has not spoken to me in person since. He will intentionally avoid me. Recently we all had to fill out a form for HR. I guess I was the only one to submit mine, which I placed on my boss’s desk for sign-off. Later, he was looking for a copy of the form. Instead of coming to ask me if I had a copy of it, or if I knew where it was located on the network, he went to my other coworkers and I sat in my office and listened to them for several minutes trying to find it. I feel like I am in high school. I pop my head in to his office if I have a quick question, but I am met with a fairly gruff response. Do I say something? He claims to be all about communication but I am intentionally being ignored and excluded. I am not sure what to do. I know if I say something about it to him, I will come across as snarky and annoyed.

    (And yes, I am looking.)

    • Sounds like it is over between the two of you. Sorry. Whatever time and emotion you are spending worrying about this, I would re-allocate to your job search/your relationship with other people. It sounds like things aren’t really salvageable so I would limit my interactions with him. If he identified a daily update as the necessary communication, just stick with that.

      • yes this. And I’m so sorry you’re going through this – your boss sounds absolutely ridiculous and I hope you get out of there soon!

      • S in Chicago :

        Agree with this. Keep focusing on getting out of there quickly and jumping through whatever hoops are thrown your way in the meantime. Try to make the most of establishing a few good relationships with others there so you can use them for references in the future. Be frugal in case he lets you go before you’re ready for it. And I know it’s hard, but try to not let it eat away at you. Sometimes people and situations really aren’t a good fit, and it may have very little to do with what you have or haven’t been doing. I once saw someone let go at my company and knew it would have made all the difference in the world if he was reporting to the person I report to–but instead he ended up under a complete B who seemed hell bent on not making it work from the get-go since the person she really wanted to hire for the position flubbed the interviewing process with several of us. It really can be the luck of the draw sometimes. Hang in there and don’t let this bump in the road take you too far off course.

    • wait is this for real? it sounds like a high school relationship gone bad.

      • Yes, unfortunately, this is real.

      • My thoughts exactly. Sorry to hear your work environment is so awkward. Definitely agree with others that it might be time to invest your energy elsewhere.

    • It sounds like you have a decent HR department, if they had you filling out forms. Set up an appointment with an HR manager to talk about your situation. After discussing it with an HR rep, you will probably want to have a meeting with all three of you, so that you can air your troubles with a neutral third party present, possibly taking neutral notes. Airing should be something like this: “Boss, I really appreciated your comments at my last review that I needed to be more communicative. I have really put in an effort on this, sending you daily update emails, and trying to maintain conversation with you. I feel like you have been avoiding me, and have not been responsive to my attempts at increasing communication. Is there something else that I can do? I just want our working relationship to move forward positively because I enjoy my job.”

      In the end, who knows if it’ll work, but at least you might get some answers out of the guy.

      • Cornellian :

        Yeah, I agree with Trista. Making a (documented) effort to make the situation better seems like a good idea, unless he’s prone to flying off the handlebars, which it sounds like he’s not from your description. It seems like things are pretty bad, so I’m not sure you have much to lose by bringing in a third party. Good luck!

    • Sorry you’re going through this. I’m in a similar situation, except I’ve only worked in this group for a few months. Agree that it seems beyond repair and best to focus on your job search.

    • I would seriously start putting a read receipt on my emails to him. And you might say something in an email that can document that he’s not speaking to you. It may not be worth much in the end, but at least you have an HR department and maybe when you leave it can help you negotiate a better severance package if it looks like you were trying to resolve the problem.

    • Is your company large enough where you could be transferred to a different group or department?

  7. Cornellian :

    For those who have been following my saga at my BigLaw job with promotion after having a start date later than my peers, I’m thinking of asking for a mid-year review in June or July to see if they’ll move me up a level/year then. I wasn’t eligible because I started in April (with an additional two months in a foreign office), instead of November like my peers. Generally promotions, which result in higher pay and bonus eligibility, but also progress you forward, only happen at year’s end. The advice that they gave all of the female associates in an office-wide meeting, however, was to ask for a mid-year review if you weren’t promoted. My promotion was apparently for not having been working there a full year, and not for substantive reasons, but in June I’ll have 12 months plus a few abroad, and I think it’s reasonable to be promoted to second-year status then.

    Anyone have any advice on how to approach this? I’m feeling especially heartened recently because I have ~440 billable hours this year so far, I’ve gotten three firm-wide shout-outs on my hard work on and devotion to this project, and because I’ve been put in a supervisory role over lawyers a year below me. I’d like to somehow work those points in, I think. As much as an additional 6K post taxes would be this year, I’m mostly worried about staying on track, being recognized for my work, and being on the right path to be promoted in winter 2014-2015, which is the next “step”.

    Thanks for any advice!

    • AnonInfinity :

      440 in the calendar year? Like, 5 weeks?

      I have no advice, but just wanted to say that is some hard-core billing.

      • Cornellian :

        Yeah. Unfortunately I billed about 30 hours a week most of last summer, and had my “stub year” months counted in that calendar year, so no bonus last year. I would love to get one this year and take out some loans.

        • AnonInfinity :

          Oh man, that stinks. Good luck with your midyear review. I think it’s a great idea.

    • kerrycontrary :

      No advice, but I don’t think it’s wrong to ask for a promotion outside of the normal schedule. Women at my corporation do it, and sometimes it’s the only way to get a promotion/raise when it really is warranted.

      • Cornellian :

        I really feel like a little girl in these situations. I know it’s not PC or horribly well thought-through, but sometimes I wonder how much of the wage gap is for lack of assertiveness on our side. I just need to calmly lay out my case and feel a tiny bit more entitled, I think. So far this year they’ve billed out maybe… 400* 350 on me… I deserve a bit of recognition, right?

        • Anon in DC :

          Yes, so true! There is a great book called “Women Don’t Ask” (and then “Ask For It”), both by economist Linda Babcock on this!

          • I 100% get the feeling like a little child who is extremely naive when it comes to asking for more money (which is in large part about being valued at the level of your work, and knowing that you are compensated in a way commensurate with your peers). It feels absurd to feel this way when we are so confident and competent in our actual work!

            I need to second the recommendation of “Women Don’t Ask.” I was sceptical when I heard the title, since it seems like a way to excuse the wage gap, but it is a very data/psych-research driven review that helped me put a name on a number of my fears (common to many women and men) about the negotiating process. I read it before job market stuff last year (I finished my PhD in May in Eng/Sci), and it helped me get 5% more money annually and double my start-up package (I asked for more, but was happy with what happened).

            Women suffer particularly from things like “not wanting to seem ungrateful” and “feeling that if they just work hard enough their contribution will be organically recognized.’ While awareness of these possibilities can sometimes be helpful, mostly they are limiting. Just knowing that the feelings you have of this type are a common phenomenon can help you be way more brave about asking and negotiating; and then feel satisfied and savy if it works, and at least proud of your bravery in making your case for yourself if it doesn’t.

    • No advice on the mid-year promotion issue. My firm doesn’t work that way so I can’t relate.

      All I’ll say is never try negotiating against something you’re not prepared to walk away from. If there is any equivocation in your demands, you lose leverage. Your supervisors have to have a true fear of losing you if they don’t give you want you’re asking for. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

  8. Miss Behaved :

    I have a funny story for you guys. My boss started in November. Last month he said he was having family issues and took some time off. Then he asked for 2 weeks unpaid leave. We haven’t seen him in over a month!

    Today was the day he was supposed to notify the company whether he would be returning to work. His boss told us that he left a voicemail saying he could speak with her either at noon or early evening today. Interesting, no?

    I just checked LinkedIn. Turns out he’s started working for another company. Can you imagine doing something so sleazy?

    • Cornellian :

      and also stupid? I mean, putting it on LinkedIn?! Pretty insulting to the intelligence of his other employer.

    • Whoa! We actually had a similar thing happen about a year ago…new guy came on who was supposed to be the leader of quite a large geographic area. Kept putting off an assignment for weeks. Just generally unavailable, then all of a sudden, had a new position and we were left hanging!

    • That is so odd. I guess he’s keeping the first job in reserve in case the second one doesn’t work out? How bizarre.

    • Must’ve had a successful job hunt with offers from 2 firms–and been really, really incompetent at negotiating/playing one off the other. Seriously, it sounds like he just wanted to see which one he’d like better. He coulda shoulda parlayed it into a “Bachelor”-style tv show with the various firms competing to get him, because he’s such a great catch. Haha.

    • Wow, that’s bad. I had a colleague do somethign similar– he took 6 weeks of FMLA– and it turns out that for 4 of those 6 weeks he was at another job. he did not post any of this on linkedin, of course., until after he formally left the company. I think it’s awfully sleazy, but even WORSE in yrou case since it was a brand-new hire!

    • Wow. Do your bosses know about his LinkedIn? Also, this sets off trade secret misappropriation bells in my head. I’ve worked on cases like this – guy starts for a few weeks, has access to the goodies, then switches jobs to a competitor, and somehow the goodies were copied before he left. Whether the defendant actually planned to switch jobs so quickly and joined the company just to get access to the goodies, I don’t know, but people seem to think they can take a lot more with them than they are permitted to.

      • Miss Behaved :

        I’ve been trying to figure out whether I should let them know about the LinkedIn posting. During the less than 3 months he was here, he made some very questionable choices. And now everything he has ever said, all his excuses (family emergencies, etc), are suspect.

        • Could you say something to a higher-up, like, “gee I wonder whether he ever posted this online”?

        • Miss Behaved :

          Also, he was still technically in his probation period (first 3 months), but he had already taken almost all of his vacation days. You’re not supposed to take any vacation days during your probation period.

          I think he took this job as a stopgap and continued to interview for a better opportunity.

        • I think you should say something. Know your office and all, but who knows what bad things this guy did. Maybe no bad things, maybe he was just really ungraceful in handling the situation. Maybe lots of bad things. Maybe his employment agreement included a clawback if he worked less than X days. I don’t know. But tell your boss.

          • If I were in your position I’d definitely talk to HR, no question. What you’ve shared seems very suspect & shady, and even if there IS an innocent explanation (which I doubt) he has not shown a good side of his character. I wouldn’t want him for an employee!

          • I’d take a screen shot and send it to his boss, or to HR, in case he changes the dates or privacy settings soon. Did you get a Linked In update that said “congratulate so-and-so on his new job!” Because that would just be too funny.

        • If you are linked on LinkedIn with any of your manager, you can forward this update to them.
          Or, you can take a screenshot of the LinkedIn update and email it to the bosses. This is egregious and might be actionable in the form of, say, recovering the company’s portion of medical coverage, 401K match etc. for the time he double-dipped.

          They could also fire him based on this, and this would reflect in his HR file and every background check done on him.

        • hoola hoopa :

          HR and his boss should definitely know about this. I agree about a screenshot (I’d also print to get the date stamp) in case he smarts up and changes it. I am blown away that he did it!

    • This is insane!

    • Women do this with their maternity leave. They pretend they’re coming back to work after they have the baby, but they know they have no intention of returning.

      • Also in Academia :

        That’s a bit of a sweeping generalization. And while I myself probably wouldn’t make that choice, there is the argument that maternity leave is something you earn, so even if you leave right after taking it, you were only taking something you deserved to begin with.

    • Miss Behaved :

      Update: He spoke to the boss and confirmed his departure. When she asked for notice so that projects could be transitioned, he said he’d already started a new job.

      Also, I neglected to mention that his new job is in his home state, roughly 2,000 miles from here.

  9. I just wanted to thank everyone who responded with ideas of bags to help me out of my commuting issues. Now I have some great ideas to shop – thanks!

  10. L&T website isn’t letting me use the “FIRSTLOOK” promo code — anyone else having this problem?

    • Oh, it looks like the dress is part of a 50% off sale for which the promo code is not applicable. Damn.

  11. TBK paging Midwest Anon :

    Update from meeting with partners last night about maternity leave?

    • Inquiring minds want to know!

    • Yep, that’s why I checked in so early today.

    • midwest anon :

      This made my day for you all to check in! Sorry for the delay, I was in court this a.m.

      The meeting went really well. I didn’t have to negotiate or try to play hardball. They gave me the five weeks paid, three weeks unpaid and said that if there were any complications, they would work with me. I was so relieved. I slept well for the first time in two weeks last night! And I am a bit proud of myself that my strategy for including the 4 weeks of part-time, part pay in my proposal even though I didn’t want it, worked to my advantage. They felt like they were giving me most of what I wanted, but not the moon.

      Thank you all for your advice. I love this community and promise to pay it forward with good advice to others! The first bit being: Negotiate maternity leave early on in the game and not when you’re an emotional wreck. Amen. :)

  12. Rettes, I LOVE this dress I just saw in the Escada catalog. Love the length/pencil skirt bottom, love the sleeves. Love the color. What do you think about the gathering on the bodice? Okay for the office or a bit too “fashion-y”?

    I wore a different Escada dress (a wool gray plaid one, totally a suiting print) with the same pencil skirt bottom, but a more styled bodice and my manager commented that I looked like I was going to a fashion show. Not sure if she meant it in a good way.


      Dress in question.

      • I’m not sure what this was referencing, but I have a very similar Lafayette 128 dress that I bought at Nordstrom Rack and it is smokin. I wouldn’t wear it to work (fabric is too dressy for my workplace) but it’s perfect for a dressy night out. I wore it to my firm holiday party. Super flattering.

      • frugal doc.. :

        Gorgeous! I love it.

        So expensive…

        • I would NEVER buy it full price or even at 40% off. The Escada store usually ends up having stuff at 60-70% on sale by the very end of the season. If they still have it at that point, I’m snatching it up!

      • I would totally wear that to work (including court!) with a blazer. It’s gorgeous.

  13. Random query. Does anyone here know of a cheap place to buy very long window blinds? I have floor to ceiling windows and very tall ceilings and need new ones but would prefer not to spend a lot of money because it’s a rental apt. and we may want to move soon. I checked Ikea, Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc., websites but the longest length I seem to find is 84in. and I need 108. I know it’s a shot in the dark but thought I’d ask here. Is there some place that cuts to measure but without custom pricing maybe?

    PS: this dress probably would be very flattering.

    • Diana Barry :

      Blinds dot com!!! They are all custom length/width and not as expensive as HD – I think all of the blinds we got were maybe $125 each.

    • long time lurker :

      I have ordered from blinds dot com for irregular shaped windows. They do custom blinds. Measure carefully!

    • I have no idea if this would work with blinds, but we had a similar issue with curtains and ended up getting a really long curtain rod from Bed Bath and Beyond. We hung three sets of curtains to give us the full coverage we needed. Maybe you could order two sets of regular blinds?

    • midwest anon :

      JC Penney Home Store. The prices listed may seem high, but they always have a sale going on that makes the blinds half off.

    • SV in House :

      Try Costco — they work with Hunter Douglas and others. We had a really good experience with them.

      • Thanks everyone! Blinds dot com is one option but it’s still expensive @ $121/window times 5 windows. Am going to see about getting the LL to pay or split costs and will explore other options here too. I can always count on this space for solutions!

    • Leslie Knope :

      Relatedly, would your landlord consider chipping in for them if you agree to leave them in place when you move? It would be an upgrade to the apartment.

  14. first time anon :

    Hi ladies,

    This if my first post, although I’ve been reading this site for almost three years. Everyone here seems to be a fantastic source of advice and wisdom, so here goes:

    There were a couple threads earlier this week about feeling a bit unhappy/discontent with life, despite good education/job/friends/family/etc. These really resonated with me, as I have been feeling similarly lately.

    Background: I’m turning 25 in a few months. I’m overall happy with my social life: I have a good sized network of local friends, with a couple very close friends in other parts of the state/country that I keep in touch with over the phone. I grew up in the suburbs surrounding the city in which I now live, so my family is close (<20 miles) and I see them once or twice a month. My relationship with my parents is not perfect, but they are very supportive, we generally get along and I realize I am extremely lucky to have them (and parts of my extended family) close by. I'm blessed to have a nice apartment with a wonderful roommate who has become one of my closest friends.

    I recently (4 months ago) started at a new financial services firm. I see growth potential here, the culture is a much better fit than my previous firm, and the move came with several lifestyle changes that have made me happier overall: shorter hours, 20 minute bus ride vs. 1 hour drive each way, MBA reimbursement program (I am planning to apply next year), more flexibility, etc.

    Despite these things, I can't seem to shake a general feeling of being bummed out. Last May I went through an extremely difficult break-up; in October/November the guy and I discussed potentially trying again but he ultimately decided he didn't think he could. As ridiculous as this sounds, just typing that last sentence made me well up a bit.

    Since then, I have really tried to put myself out there. I know dating is not easy nor is it a quick process, but I'm feeling really discouraged. I don't want to place my sense of worth or happiness on being in a relationship, but the fact of the matter is I am pretty happy in most other aspects of my life. A friend of mine just signed up for Match and has asked me to do it with her… I know deep down this will probably be a good thing for me, but I have a mental hurdle with regards to online dating that I am having trouble overcoming (no judgement, I know it is a wonderful way to meet people and it actually does work… it is just an irrational stigma I have).

    For those of you who have done online dating, did you experience this mental block before signing up? I'd really appreciate hearing your thoughts. Apologies for writing a novel.

    • You are so not alone, my dear. As I’m sure you know by now from the reactions to previous threads on this site. Specifically with regard to your question about the “mental block”: yes. I absolutely had it, even though my friends found boyfriends and had success on various sites, even though I knew there was no shame in it, etc. What eventually got me over it was a couple of things:

      (1) the “Walmart” effect – I think part of my hesitation was because I didn’t want to be “spotted” on a dating site. GASP – someone who is openly admitting they want to be in a relationship?! OMG! … ::eyeroll::. Once I finally realized that, just like at Walmart, everyone else there is there and being seen by you too! [Side note: absolutely no issues shopping at Walmart, just a useful example.]

      (2) The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This was my life in dating. I met people here and there in various ways, but it was never the right kind of person, and I finally got it through my head that I needed to change something. So, with the help of a glass of wine and an encouraging friend, I got over myself and on to eHarmony. And met my fiance. Seriously. Just DO it. Get a 3 month plan. If you hate it, cancel it. But just give it a shot, at the very least to change things up.

      Apologies for the novel back.

      • Blah. Also apologies for random bad grammar. To include the errant “Once” after my oh so elegant eye rolling.

      • first time anon :

        You hit the nail on the head with #2. I know getting back out there should make me feel better, but the guys I have met are just so, so wrong it’s depressing. I’m looking at Match as a way to change things up & see what other kinds of people are out there, not necessarily as “I need a boyfriend now to be happy.”

    • Do you actually want to be dating? I’m not exactly getting overwhelmed by your enthusiasm for the whole process, based on what you wrote in your post. I also think it’s way, way, too easy to blame a general sense of unhappiness on not being in a relationship–having a boyfriend is not a magic panacea that will fix a general sense of malaise. I’m sure some of the other posters who’ve discussed being in a rut, or just feeling blegh despite having a good job, nice friends, strong family support, etc. in fact do have significant others as well.

      But to address your question about online dating, specifically: I only did it for a couple of months, since it just turned out to not be my thing, but I did wrestle with the stigma a little bit before taking the plunge. I felt, in a way, like signing up meant that I “failed” at finding a boyfriend through “normal” channels–which is complete nonsense, since I lived in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, where the only people I knew were my coworkers. In the end, it was totally fine. I went on a few dates with perfectly nice men, and had perfectly nice times on them. Nothing stuck, but eh, if you’re determined to date, I’d give it a shot. You don’t have anything to lose.

      • first time anon :

        I do want to date. To be perfectly honest I know I’m not completely over my ex yet… but I think most of that comes from the fear of “I’m never going to find anyone” rather than being upset because I actually think he was the one for me. After months of reflection I know we weren’t ultimately right for each other, but there were a lot of good things about the relationship that I am scared I won’t find again. I’m hoping Match will help me realize that yes, there are more fish in the sea, and help me meet the right kind of people (ie: not noncommittal jerks at bars).

        What you said about “failing” is kind of how I feel. I live in a big city where there are presumably lots of eligible bachelors, and some of them must be ready to be in a relationship. I guess I feel like: what am I doing wrong that I haven’t met any of them yet? (note- I don’t intend that to mean “what’s wrong with me” … just simply feel like I’m searching for a needle in a haystack)

        • If you feel like you’re searching for a needle in a haystack, then online dating is probably the best thing you can do for yourself. It presents you with men who are interested in being in relationships. Sometimes, you just need to shake things up for yourself–sounds like online dating could be a good choice for you! You don’t have to stick with it long-term; you don’t even have to go on any dates if you don’t want to. Seriously, you have nothing to lose by trying it.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Think about the people you interact with on a regular basis. Assuming you don’t want to date a coworker, this is probably limited to family members and friends. Do any of these people have single friends who are in your target demographic? If so, put it out there that you are ready to start dating and people might introduce you to their single friends you haven’t met. If most of your friends are in relationships and your circle is really tight or all of their friends are in relationships too, then there really just isn’t a huge chance of meeting one of these eligible bachelors that exist. That’s not failure!

          • first time anon :

            That’s another issue – most of my close friends are in relationships. I have put it out there that I’m interested in dating, and I know they would have my back if they knew/met someone I might be interested in… but I just think that isn’t in the cards in the near future. I have a few circles of friends, but most of them are pretty tight and I wouldn’t consider dating within them (did that in college and it personally wasn’t for me). Rationally, I know all signs point to online dating… and I know that I shouldn’t consider doing so a “failure”, but it’s a hard pill for me to swallow especially when I’ve been happy with my progress/”success” in other areas of my life.

    • Diana Barry :

      Do it! I met my husband on Match back in the dark days of the early internet.

    • Cornellian :

      You’re definitely not alone. I had been on okcupid since I was 17 (I’m 26), and had previously used it to find platonic running partners. Out of curiosity a few months ago when I realized I might want to date a bit, but wasn’t comfortable dating my friends or their friends as I was getting my feet wet after a five-year long relationship, I changed my profile to include a (normal, non-sexy) pic and indicated interest in dating. I think the fact that I was already using okcupid to find running partners made it less of a “jump” for me. Maybe you can do something similar. Okcupid and lots of other organization have singles’ events, where you can just go and socialize without committing to anything. I’ve never been to one of those, but maybe that would make it less of a jump for you. I think organically ending up in places with young single men may feel like less pressure… check interest groups in the area. I know my trail running group in Austin had a singles’ run once a month or so, and while attached people sometimes went, it was a great low-pressure environment for a few of my friends to meet people with similar interest/lifestyles.

      I got lots of messages, a few were total weirdo duds, but most of them were normal. I had better luck looking at profiles of guys I liked and contacting THEM. I have so far (2 months) only met up with one man, but he was very nice, we went on some very nice dates, and while we didn’t pursue anything after 3 or 4 of them, it felt like we may as well have met through common friends. I think the plight of the professional woman is sort of strange. I have lots of good male friends who are pretty dateable, but I don’t want to mess up with carefully cultivated friend circle with romance until I’m sure what I want, which I think is sort of common in our age group.

      Signing up with your friend sounds like a fun idea, but I would make sure you’re not doing any of this for her, or being pressured in to saying no or yes to certain dates by her or a feeling of competition or something. I can imagine having to justify why you met up with guy X or Y if she disagrees, which would be stressful. Maybe you want to navigate your own path here.

      I just realized I don’t think I’ve ever admitted to going on an online date until now. I really don’t think it has a stigma anymore… so many of my very attractive, successful, nice friends under 30 use it. Anyway, good luck, be safe, and have fun.

      • first time anon :

        Thanks for your thoughts, Cornellian. I had actually told some other friends in December that I would consider doing online dating sometime this year if “traditional” dating hadn’t worked out for me. So, when the original friend in question told me she signed up and mentioned I might like it, it was kind of the initial push I needed. The thought of competition hadn’t even crossed my mind, but I do appreciate you bringing it up.

        I’ve considered joining a running club, and am going to start volunteering at a youth organization later this month, so perhaps I’ll meet new friends or even eligible guys through those channels.

        • Cornellian :

          I think a charity or running club or temple or whatever is probably an even better way than online dating, if you’re looking to possibly develop something serious (not just go on a couple dates or mess around. no judgment, just a consideration). I don’t know if you’re stuck on the same thing I am, but because I worry so much about messing up my friend circle as I sort of get my feet back under me after a long relationship and tough break-up, I like the idea of finding new circles to make friends in and casually date in.

          Maybe competition with your friend isn’t the best way to phrase. I guess I meant more… potential judgment? I would feel like I needed to justify why I was going on so many dates, or so few dates, or only dates with guys who do X, Y, Z if someone was looking over my shoulder. Of course, you DON”T need to justify that, but I, at least, would feel that pressure, I think.

          • first time anon :

            I am worried about messing up my friend circles, so I am excited about the possibility of meeting people through common interests… but at the same time I don’t want to place that expectation on the activities and be disappointed if nothing comes of it. I signed up to volunteer because I like tutoring, and am considering joining a running club because I’m looking to push my workouts further… so I don’t want to go into either of those things with the mindset that if I don’t meet someone it will have been a waste. Does that even make sense?

          • Cornellian :

            first time anon- definitely makes sense. I don’t think the way i tnormally works is that you’ll meet a perfect, single man and chat him up the first time you go out running. But I think if you guys have brunch after a Saturday long run, maybe one of your running friends will bring her brother to brunch one week, and you’ll talk to him and hit it off, etc.

            I think you’re very right to go in to tutoring because you like it or running to get in better shape. I’d just remain open to the possibility and give everyone a chance, even if they don’t seem like someone you’d want to date or who would introduce you to someone you may be interested in. I met one of my best guy friends, who I would definitely have dated under different circumstances, because I ran some 20 mile training runs with his GRANDmother. I think a big part of being in your mid/late 20s is looking outside of old college and work friends for social contacts, and also moving beyond your generation/occupation/class/religion/etc.

    • You sound exactly like I did two years ago! Finally, after much encouragement from some friends who’d had success in online dating and a big glass of wine, I made a profile on Match and told myself that I’d “just try it out for a month”. On the third week, I met my now boyfriend of two years (we just moved in together last month).

      With my current BF, it turns out that we actually had a few mutual friends, but we probably would never have been introduced or been at the same place at the same time because he has such a crazy work schedule.

      I do find that for professional situations or nosy people that I really don’t want to get into the history of how we met, I just say, “through friends” to make it easier. But it’s become so common now that people really don’t think of it as “weird” or a big deal anymore.

      After I had good luck with it, I helped a good friend of mine make her profile and review potential matches. She had some hesitation, so I think having a “buddy system” where we would drink wine together and review matches on her iPad made it kinda fun. She ended up meeting her now-boyfriend of over a year on Match after a few months.

      Long story short, just give it a shot. If you try it for a few weeks and don’t like it, the worst thing that happens is you’re out $30.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      It kind of sounds like you just aren’t ready to date, which is something you should consider first.

      As far as online dating, it can be helpful to look at it as a tool. I went into it partially just as a way to get back into dating and shift my mindset away from just being single and not ready for dating. I hoped, but didn’t expect, to meet anyone serious that way but thought it was possible that by going on dates with people that way would make me more open and confident to find someone in person. I personally ended up meeting someone online, so I recommend doing it. Nobody bats an eye when I tell them how we met. I joke that Ok Cupid is going to want to put us in a commercial someday.

      • first time anon :

        Thanks, Sydney. I’m really just looking for new opportunities to meet people; I don’t want to waste my time meeting the same types of guys at happy hours or networking events if it isn’t working for me. I’m hoping, like you said, that perhaps online dating will increase my confidence about the dating pool in general…. because right now it feels like every single guy out there is either a playboy or a total weirdo.

        • Signy Mallory :

          Are you in a city or region where people tend to pair up (move in/marry) quite early? Because if you are, then, the people you are likely to meet at clubs, restaurants, bars, etc. will tend to be weirdos and playboys. Because that’s what’s going to show up at these venues.

          It’s yet another reason to go for on-line dating, because then you’re at least being connected with people who presumably want to have a serious relationship but who because they’re not playboys, are probably not bothering to go to the restaurants, lounges, bars, etc.

          • first time anon :

            I live in San Francisco, and I think the general pairing-up/marrying age is around late 20’s/early 30’s. This is just my anecdotal observation; I could be totally wrong.

            FWIW, I do think there are non weirdos/playboys who go to happy hours & bars.. I just think that when they do they’re interested in hanging out with their buddies and having a good time. When I do muster up the courage to talk to one of them/give my contact info, I usually don’t hear back. The ones I do hear back from or initiate conversation with me end up being total dbags.

            I’m just sick of meeting people who are so blatantly disinterested in a relationship. I don’t expect every date I go on via Match/etc to be someone I click with, but I at least want to know that I’m not wasting time on someone who doesn’t want the same thing I do.

    • Before you join a specific site, I’d ask around to see what others recommend in your geographical area. There can be surprisingly large differences.

      • first time anon :

        That’s a good idea, thanks CBM. I have a few friends who have done OkCupid and have had really bad experiences with creepy guys (I live in San Francisco). So, I think that’s out for me, although I do know people in other cities who’ve had success with it.

        If anyone in San Francisco can comment on their experiences with Match/eHarmony, I’d really appreciate it.

        • I’m in the Bay Area, Match seems popular from what I’ve heard. I know two couples who met on Match, one is not married and the other just celebrated their 1 year dating anniversary.

        • A friend of mine and I did eHarm and OKC together circa 2007, so this information may be totally outdated. I met a bunch of nice men off eHarm and a few really interesting ones off OKC (the startup types use OKC much more than eHarm, or did then). I ended up meeting DH through friends about two months in, but my friend met her DH through eHarm about a week after I met mine and they married within a year. They are wonderfully suited to each other.

          • first time anon :

            If you don’t mind me asking, around what ages were the people you met on eHarmony, and how old were you/your friend when you signed up? My general impression (at least for SF) is that Match skews a bit younger. I’m almost 25 but I generally find I get along better intellectually with guys a few years older than me, at least 27-28 and up. My ex was 32, which is about the biggest age difference I’d consider… so I hesitate to try eHarmony if most of the people on there are around that age or older.

          • This was in 2007, so keep that in mind. I was 26, my friend was 30. There were a TON of guys on eHarm which matched to me, but I mostly went out with the late 20s and early 30s ones. I didn’t want to go out with mid20s and younger or mid30s and older, but they were there too. I went out with literally dozens of guys (mostly coffee, some lunch or HH) in that age range over a two month period. They were almost all nice people which I didn’t happen to click with, though there were certainly some total dbags which caused me to cut our coffee dates short.

            My friend went out with guys in the full 30s bandwidth, and her DH was 32? 33? when they met. I think Match does skew younger but maybe it’s not so much younger as skews less serious, and people who are looking for less serious tend to be younger, and people who are looking for more serious tend to be older and self-select into eHarm. The people on eHarm weren’t necessarily looking to get married anytime soon, but more like, looking for a relationship as opposed to a hookup/FWB/casual dating, and open to the idea of a long term relationship. Their endgame was definitely a real relationship, which was not the universal endgame on Match.

          • first time anon :

            Thanks, SFBayA, that is helpful insight… it’s good to know that when you were on eHarm there were lots of mid-late 20’s and early 30’s options. I think Match might be a better way to get my feet wet with the online thing, but if I’m not impressed with the selection after a few months I will definitely consider switching.

      • I met my husband on Match, we have another friend who met his wife on match, and one of my friends met her current boyfriend on match.

        In our area, okcupid is where people who want to hook up go, match is more for people who actually want to date (though you’ll still get the hook up types). the key is not to get discouraged. All of us who met our SO on match went out on a date or two with a number of not-so-good matches before meeting the current one that worked. I mean, it’s still dating. I think that’s part of why people have problems with it, for some reason, even though they expect to have to date a number of people they meet the ‘regular’ way to find the right one, if they don’t like the first one they meet online they think it’s all a bad idea. Jerks are everywhere, online and offline. If one doesn’t work, move on, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!

        I did try eharmony, I didn’t have a lot of luck. To begin with, you need to be somewhat religious or they won’t even match you, a friend of mine who is an agnostic tried to do match and got the “we’re sorry, you don’t fit our established profiles of happily married people, we cannot match you” message (which was AWESOME for her already shaky self esteem).
        Beyond that, I felt like there were maybe a lot more women than men on that site, because they kept matching me with people that were totally not what I was looking for/got along with. (ie, I said I did not want a partner with kids and I did not want kids. They matched me with a guy with 4 children under 12. Who technically wasn’t divorced from their mother. I support gay rights and gay marriage, they matched me with a guy who thinks everyone who is gay is going to hell because the bible says it’s a sin. That was a fun argument.)

        Anyway, I think each site is definitely different by region, so if you try one and everyone seems like not what you’re after, don’t give up on online dating, but try a different site.

        • I think the eHarm + religion thing really depends on your area of the country. I am flat-out, no-doubt atheist, and said so in the eHarm questionnaire. At that point, I’d been to church maybe a dozen times in my life, and all for someone else’s wedding/confirmation. I told eHarm I wouldn’t date someone that went to religious services weekly and would not be ok with my hypothetical kids getting taken to church weekly, and would prefer the hypothetical kids never go except on major holidays of the hypothetical spouse’s religion to which he is mildly attached. I also have correspondingly liberal political views and am not even remotely shy about them. And like I said, I had dozens and dozens of matches on eHarm. SF, land of the heathens and the open minded, even in eHarm :).

    • I’ve read your posts today and just wanted to say that I’m you in every sense except the dating thing. And if my relationship ends like I have the feeling it will very soon, I will be in the same boat re dating in a few months. I think it’s great that you’re so positive about online dating – I may have to revisit this post once I’m ready to date again!

    • Are your friends (including those in relationships) supportive of you trying online dating? A friend of mine was having similar hesitations about trying it after a nasty break-up, but I convinced her to do it. We opened a bottle of wine and I helped her (or really, just provided commentary) as she made a profile, and then we looked at all of the people that came up as matches and had fun seeing who seemed cute, weird, interesting, etc. I think it made her feel much more comfortable and helped eliminate the feeling of stigma to have someone jump in to the whole thing with her and have fun with it. If any of your friends would be up for helping you out, I think starting a profile would make for a great girls’ night!

      • first time anon :

        Yes, the ones I’ve talked to about it have been very supportive. At the end of last year I told two of my best friends I was thinking about trying it by the end of 2013 and they both told me I had nothing to be embarrassed/hesistant about. Just last night I discussed it with my roommate (who is another very close friend) and she was really sweet/encouraging about it. She recently got into relationship but said she told herself the same thing I did last year (if she hadn’t met someone by the end of 2012 she’d try online dating).

        The friend I have who just signed up would be a fun/low-pressure person to go through the process with. We’ve both had similar experiences with the traditional dating pool recently and are both just sick of it.

    • I have had good success with online dating. Yes, you date some jerks, but it’s worth it. I have three good friends who started out as online dates that fizzled. Also, I dated a jerk for a few months, and as soon as he dumped me, one of his friends asked me out. His friend is a MUCH better match for me, and we’ve been dating over a year now.

  15. Has anyone used Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap for laundry? I’ve heard it can be used that way (as well as shampoo, body wash, and household cleaner, among others) and am going on a trip soon during which I will definitely need to do some sink laundry in my hotel. Don’t want to accidentally ruin all of my clothes while on vacation, though. If not Dr. Bronner’s, anyone had good luck with any of the travel detergent products?

    If it makes a difference, this will be travel for leisure, so no suits involved.

    • Yes, I’ve used it (peppermint) in just the way you describe, with happy results.

    • anonforthis :

      I tried a sample as body wash…I had an extremely painful reaction in some *sensitive* parts of my bodies. I know multiple people who have had the same experience. You can always buy those little boxes of powdered tide as well.

      • Anon, haha, I remember my reaction the first few times I tried it. These days I actually prefer it over soaps with artificial fragrances, colors, and other sketchy ingredients.I use it on my son’s skin when it’s itchy from grass, bug bites, whatever, and it helps.

        But if you want to avoid that, op, you can get envelopes of Woolite.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I’ve used it as part of a homemade detergent (with borax and washing soda). I wasn’t happy with it long term, but it certainly did not damage my clothing. I really like the idea of using it as travel detergent.

    • Cornellian :

      I’d get a travel thing of woolite handwash. Non-irritating, under 3 oz, will suds in cool water when agitated by hand, unlike Tide, etc.

    • We found a tiny bottle of All liquid detergent for a trip that necessitate sink laundry. Check Target/drugstores in the travel toiletries aisle. If environmental impact is a concern, outdoor stores carry camp soap and you can wash clothes with that too. My skin is pretty sensitive so I don’t react well to multi-use cleaners.

    • Never used Dr. Bronner’s, but when I travel I just take a teeny Tupperware container of powdered laundry soap (Tide or some such), clearly labelled, “Laundry detergent”. Cheap, easy, and works just fine for washing clothes in the sink.

    • I have used it for travel laundering, but warning that a little of that stuff goes a long way. If I’m not restricted on space and need the Dr. Bronner to do double duty (shower and laundry), I prefer Eucalan for a travel detergent because it’s no rinse.

      • Thanks all. It was this double-duty idea that got me thinking about this. I was going to bring it along anyway so that if a hotel didn’t have shampoo or soap I would have some. My original plan was to pour some woolite into a 3 oz bottle and bring that along, which I have done before when traveling in the US where I knew the hotels would have shampoo etc.

        FWIW, I use the mild/fragrance free Dr Bonner’s and find that it’s less tingly than the peppermint.

        Also, I know many people like the Laundress products. In my research I found that it comes in travel packs too (regular detergent, cashmere/wool, and delicates).

  16. I am attending a Muslim wedding reception in the next two weeks and I’m not sure what to wear. Any advice would be appreciated. It won’t be in a mosque – the couple was already married in a small ceremony. It will be at hotel/wedding venue in the NY area. Thanks!

    • If it’s not in a mosque, you can wear whatever you want, although I’d err on the side of conservative. Maybe a long-sleeved wrap dress or shift dress with tights? I don’t think a non-Muslim would be expected to conform to all the dress code requirements, but it never hurts to wear something conservative.

      • Agree. Just cover your upper arms, don’t show too much cleavage, and wear something to the knee or just above. Don’t be afraid of color.

    • Sweet as Soda Pop :

      I have no tips on what to wear to a Muslim wedding, but I just wanted to say I love your name!

    • hellskitchen :

      A dress in jewel or metallic colors (greens, purples, red, gold, silver) in silk or fancier fabrics should be appropriate. Perhaps carry an evening wrap if it’s a strapless or sleeveless dress

    • Seventh Sister :

      Went to a Palestinian/Druze Muslim wedding a few years ago, which was extremely fun.

      As for the dress code, I emailed the bride, who was extremely nice about the question (I think I framed it as “should I wear a long or shortish dress”?). She responded by sending me a link to her bridesmaids’ dresses, which were sleeveless and kind of low-cut, so I felt entirely at ease wearing a cocktail dress with short sleeves and a pretty floral pattern (large floral, not Laura Ashley).

      If anything, I felt a little underdressed by the bright colors and extremely ambitious heels of the other female guests.

  17. Where to go to dinner in Palo Alto? :

    Paging the foodie Bay Area people – I get to have dinner with my long lost uncle tonight (I haven’t seen him in six years!). I have been to Palo Alto approximately one time and it involved college sports and too much beer, and my food knowledge is limited to the city. He is down in MV for work so we are meeting halfway. Where should we eat?


    I am a(n excited) banana.

    • Birch St (formerly Bistro Élan) and Tamarine are by far my favorite nicer places. Evvia is another local fave but I think it’s really overrated (and pricey, most entrees $30+). Other good places that are not as fancy as the aforementioned ones are Patxis pizza, Oren’s Hummus for authentic Israeli food, Gravity Bistro and Wine Bar, Lyfe Kitchen for casual, healthy food, Crepevine, Sprout has really good salads..there are some good Thai nd Indian places too. Is there a specific cuisine/price point you’re looking for?

    • Not sure what kind of food you’re looking for, but I think Evvia is pretty reliably good. Birch street is kind of ehhh IMO, but it’s fine. Tamarine is good. I also like La Bodeguita (cuban food).

    • More suggestions, but I second all that LH wrote above….Agree that Evvia is difficult/overrated/price and often hard to get a last-minute reservation. They do have bar seating, but you have to get there before 7pm. If you don’t want fancy, Darbar Indian is awesome. On CA Avenue (not University), there’s a great sushi place called Jin Sho. Pampas is pricy, but good. If you want a steak house experience, Sundance is all right (but not downtown). And, if you want to go vanilla, we now have a Cheesecake Factory downtown. If you want to go cheap and cheerful but delicious, there is an amazing salad bar place called Pluto’s on University too, but it’s very cheap ($7), but you get a huge portion.

      I would choose Oren’s out of all of LH’s suggestions–it’s really yummy and not too fancy.

    • Agree on Tamarine and Eevia, both very nice and quiet for conversations. Joya is a fun tapas place, but it can be expensive. Reposado is an upscale Mexican place that has really good food, but it can be noisy sometimes. It is kind of old school, but MacArthur Park is a nice place for a quiet dinner if you aren’t in a hurry (they cannot seem to do dinner in under 2 1/2 hours). There is also always Il Fornaio, nothing special but I think they are consistently good. LOVE La Bodeguita, which is on California Avenue. You might want to make a reservation if you think you want to go there, or Eevia, Tamarine or Reposado for that matter.

    • I think everything at Tamarine is way too sweet and find the atmosphere pretentious. I strongly prefer Three Seasons if you’re going asian-ish. Jin Sho is great if you don’t care about atmosphere (very casual and REALLY good), and Kampai and Fuki are also excellent for sushi with a nicer setting, with accompanying prices. Tai Pan is very good (but not Koi Palace good), very expensive Chinese in a nice atmosphere. Bodeguita is hit or miss, but great empanadas. I think the Thai in PA is awful. Evvia definitely skews much older, but some of the food is good and it can be a lot quieter in there. NOLA is hip and loud and really tasty faux-creole/cajun. Osteria makes its own pasta and is also tasty. On the casual side, I adore Howie’s pizza (they also have really great salads) and Oren’s. I’d eat at Howie’s or Oren’s multiple times a week if I could. Sprouts, Plutos, Bistro Elan, and Mayfield Cafe are also good.

    • I am a banana. :

      Thank you so much for all of the wonderful suggestions! I think we are going to go check out La Bodeguita.

      (Bookmarking this post for future use, I really appreciate the recommendations.)

      • Empanadas. Some people, I have no idea who, order one set of empanadas as an appetizer and then order another set of empanadas to take home later. Trust.

      • Yes plenty of excellent suggestions for our next Bay Area meet-up ;)

  18. thanks to the ladies who recommended the secrets of a former fat girl. I’m finding it an interesting read and something I would have never picked up otherwise.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      You’re welcome! It really resonated for me so I’m glad you are enjoying it. Good luck with your journey!

  19. Sorry for a whiny post, but I am just having a bad day. I despise my job 90% of the time–I stand around like a piece of furniture, listening to my head teacher completely fail at teaching English, and then b*tch at me about how they don’t know enough. Sorry, if seven out of eight classes aren’t at an acceptable level, it’s not because they’re all lazy or bad students: it’s because your teaching methods are not working.

    I am also leaving for vacation tomorrow (Italy! hooray! why am I feeling like an emo 15-year-old!) but I just cannot seem to muster the motivation to do the three tasks I absolutely have to do before I leave: clean my bathroom; pack my bags; and get my pup’s stuff organized for the puppy-sitters.

    My current gardener’s ex-girlfriend is arriving in town tomorrow for a week-long visit, booked before they broke up. We’ve been friends for a while, but only started an, ahem, gardening relationship recently–we haven’t even talked exclusivity yet, fer crissakes–so I have absolutely no grounds to be stressing out or unhappy over this. But lo and behold, I am!

    Also I was running today, and slipped and fell in front of a bunch of people, and now I have skin on neither my palms nor my left knee. I am hardcore playing my pity violin right now, y’all. Someone tell me to snap out of it and go put some sweaters in my carry-on.

    • Start with puppy stuff and snuggle your puppy every time you get something done for the sitters. Then go to your packing and envision what you’ll want to wear on your jaunt around Italy. Daydream inspired packing is the only way to actually do it. Can’t offer you any help on the bathroom!

    • But just think – starting tomorrow, you can EAT ALL THE GELATO!!!!

    • I seriously read this through the first time and my thought was “why is she so concerned about her gardener’s girlfriend? Does she need some sort of serious landscaping done while she is in Italy and is concerned that the gardener won’t get it finished in time?”


  20. Looking for travel advice, Savannah or Charleston

    Planning to meet up halfway between Chapel Hill and Tampa at the end of March. There will be 3 kids 9-12 and 3 adults. I’d rather do Savannah because it’s closer for me, but we are finding more to do in Charleston.

    Can anybody here compare the 2 cities or recommend things in Savannah?

    • Hey, I’ve posted before about some of the stuff to do in Savannah but I think most of it is geared to adults. What are the kids interested in? March will be too cold to swim, but you can always drive out to the beach. There are several cool old forts worth looking at. There is a children’s museum but I think they are too old for it. The train museum is fun. I’ve heard good things about the Mighty Eighth Airforce Museum and Oatland Island Wildlife Center but we haven’t gone to either. The Girl Scouts were founded here. It’s a walkable city with lots of history and you can do tours/trolleys with they might like. Certainly enough for a couple of days.

      • Merabella :

        Savannah was great when I was there in September. A Ghost Tour would be fun for all involved, and I really liked Juliet Lowes House when I was a girl scout – seriously my girl scout troop went on a ton of trips.

    • Anonymous :

      I vote Charleston, but I don’t have kids, so have no idea about family-friendly activities.

    • TheAmazon :

      I’m biased, because I went to school in Charleston, but I think it’s a better choice than Savannah if there are kids involved. The city has done a lot to bring in tourism dollars, and it’s a fantastic place for all ages. When my 11 year old brother came to visit, we went kayaking, hit the aquarium, went to tour the ships at Patriots Point and generally had an awesome time. The lower downtown area (everything beneath Calhoun Street) is very safe, so depending on how responsible the kids are and how comfortable the parents are, it might be fun for them to just wander around downtown.

      Savannah is a beautiful city, but I think it’s more geared towards adults.

  21. Well, it’s off to the reproductive endocrinologist for Mr. TBK and me. The ob/gyn already lined up a bunch of tests for me (which all have to be done on specific days of my cycle — fun to explain last-minute time off for dr’s appts at work). I realize this is the just the first step and there are so many treatments, and most people wind up with a baby, but ugh, why can’t Mother Nature be more cooperative? I’m just trying to do what I thought was her dearest wish for me — carrying on the species!

    • Hugs! Going through similar issues and I can commiserate. I recently started to do yoga (20-40 min. at home per day) and it has helped enormously with stress relief from all of this!

    • Yes Hugs!! It is frustrating, emotional and bizarre to go through. I’ve been through it myself. As for all the appointments, and yes there are many, when you get to the point of daily or every-other-day monitoring, many places have early morning appointments. I would have my appointments at 7:30 and be into the office early. When it comes to “procedure days,” I would zip over and back in not too much time. And I know there are differing opinions on this one (to tell the boss or not), but in my book, a little white lie never hurt. My excuses varied from, “oops I tried to put potatoes down the disposal and now it is clogged. the plumber is coming at 1:00. I’ll be back by 3:00.” to “eye appointment” to just “appointment”. Best of luck!!

  22. So….have any of you ladies done a boudoir shoot before? Tell me about it! I am thinking of doing one and am interested in your experiences.

    • Cornellian :

      I haven’t. My much riskier younger sister has (and has it on facebook… which I don’t recommend). I might poke around on craiglist and see if there’s anyone looknig to boost their portfolio to get your feet wet and see how comfortable you are/what you’re looking for in a photographer before you go all in and pay a full professional. My sister had fun, but I would, honestly, take someone with you so you feel safe, and make sure there are clear rules about nudity, etc.

    • anon for this :

      I did, for a 10th Anniversary gift for my husband. One of my friend’s friends is a boudoir photographer, so I used her. It was an amazing and empowering session. Something I never thought I’d do. I felt totally RAWR. It was bizarre, but a lot of fun. Plus, I gave my husband quite the shock when he opened his gift!!

      Do it!

  23. Threadjack:

    How do you wear a black dress suit for court? I’m really not confident wearing all black (suit, jacket, tights, & heels) to court, but what are my alternatives? My only ideas are bad: I worry gray tights with black pumps will look blocky and weird, and that a colored silk scarf will make me look like a flight attendant. PLEASE HELP. I have to cover a restitution hearing tomorrow last minute and my other 2 winter-appropriate suits are at the cleaners.

    • Nude for you tights and some chunky jewellery? (But I think grey tights would be fine too.)

  24. This is as good a place as any to report that I got the blue and silver tweed skirt and jacket from a while back. It does NOT fit. Boo hoo. Back it goes.

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