Thursday’s TPS Report: Textured Cotton Pea Trench

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

ASOS Textured Cotton Pea Trench
iconToday I’m liking this pea trench from ASOS. I love that it brings a bit of fun and whimsy to something you wear every day (in cooler weather, of course) — and as always, I love a good sale. This jacket was $120.67, but is now marked to $60.34 in teal (pictured) and navy; it’s also available in mustard yellow for $103.43. ASOS Textured Cotton Pea Trench

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.



  1. That coat is really pretty. I particularly like the mustard color. I think it would be perfect for fall. But I’m not in the market for a new coat.

    • Yes to the happy looking model!!! Why do models so often look so mad? That’s not helping me picture myself in the clothes.

      • I agree. I know that men like women who are pouting, but since we women are the one’s who are buying the clothes, we should determine whether they should be smiling or pouting. I vote for smiling too. Also I think that the models should look more like us too.

      • agree

      • True. But:

        I’ll take a pouty moddle over Broken Doll Pose or Peepee Stance any day!

  2. I think this coat is super cute! Love the teal (teal to me is like purple to you, Kat :) ). I also like that the model looks happy.

    Of course, the high in Texas is supposed to be 104 today, so looking at coats seems a little premature….

  3. Love the coat, the colors, and the price! Don’t know anything about the label, though??

  4. Curl Friend :

    Very cute (especially in navy), nice price. The buttons might look a little cheap and tarnish quickly, but what do want for $60? They could be replaced.

  5. dress fanatic :

    Why sold out in my size? Why? Why? [gnashing teeth!]

  6. Thoughts on fake nails? I just finished the bar and want to celebrate, but I’m starting my clerkship a week from Monday and I’ve never had fake nails before in my life (seriously, 29 and never had them.) Which type should I get? How do I find a good place to get them?

    • Nail related question.

      I get a pedicure on a regular basis. I went to a new place, and the woman free-handed two tiny flowers on my big toes. I think it looks adorable (I picked a griege so it’s actually almost subtle). I sometimes wear peeptoes in this very casual community.

      Thoughts? Too tacky? Even though I love it? Please break it to me gently.

      • happyfunball :

        No! It sounds adorbs! Rock it!!!

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Especially if my memory serves me in recalling that you just moved to a town in the SIerras. Rock it.

      • Darn it, now I want flowers on my toes!

        (I agree that it’s perfectly fine.)

        • I would love to have flowers on my toes, you can smile each time you fetch a fallen pen or go to yoga class

      • Aw, the place I used to go for pedicures when I lived in TX always did this… now I’m nostalgic! Definitely rock it!

        RE: fake nails… Don’t do it. I think those are MUCH tackier than flowers on toes. Short nails are not necessarily ugly nails. At least I like to tell myself that; I have to keep mine below my fingertips because of some hobbies.

        • Same – I have to keep my fingertips very trimmed and I don’t think it is ugly at all (as long as other basic maintenance is kept up re: rough edges, cuticles etc).

      • I get small flowers on my toes every once in a while, and I think it lots of fun! I live in Texas, and things are a bit more casual here, but I’m sure you’ll be fine.

      • AgencyCounsel :

        I love it! I say enjoy it. I’m oh, so conservative and don’t like polish on my fingernails, but have no problems pushing the edge on my toes. Right now I have a shatter pedicure. Its a pink base with a silver top coat that looks cracked so the pink peeks through.

      • Love it. Would love to see a picture.

      • Not at all. Nail salons in California and Hawaii that I’ve been to always ask if I want flowers on the big toes or not – and I always go for the flowers. :) Although I’m always going to Vietnamese-run places, so maybe other nail salons don’t do it?

      • Maybe I’m the lone dissenter, but I want my doctor to come off as incredibly competent and professional, and cutesy flowers on your toes don’t really say that too me. Possibly my perception is skewed by the fact that where I work, I only see nail art on administrative staff, and it’s inevitably on the staffers who spend most of their time gossiping and little of it actually working. Besides them, I only see nail art on people who don’t work in an office or professional setting. Nail art just doesn’t seem to go well with a serious, attentive personality, at least among people I know or interact with.

        • What region are you in? Because in warmer West Coast places, you’ll see it on professional women quite often. Not big fake nails with rhinestones, but little flowers/designs incorporated into pedicures (not so much manicures). I’m curious to know where you are so I’ll be ready for harsh judgment should I venture there.

          • I’m on the east coast, and I’d hardly call my comment “harsh judgment.”

          • Not necessarily your comment being harsh, but I think it’s harsh to assume that if someone had a flower painted on their toe, that they may not be competent or professional, and that they may not have a serious, attentive personality. I would not think that – clearly others would. So, I would hide my flower toe on the East Coast, and enjoy it on the West Coast.

        • I’m on the West Coast too (a born & raised California girl), and I don’t find nail art flowers particularly professional either.

        • This is so interesting to me. I just find it crazy that people (not just you, I know you’re not alone in this opinion) would base their assessment of competence on something like flowers on a person’s toes. The idea that there is absolutely no room for overt whimsy or expression of any kind of “non-professional” humanity in the life of a professional woman is pretty damn depressing.

          • I think it’s a quite a stretch to get from “no nail art” to “no room for overt whimsy or expression” (although, I’m not sure that whimsy has a place in settings where you want to be seen as professional and authoritative – whimsical is defined as “playfully quaint or fanciful”, which is the opposite of how I want my clients to see me).

        • I agree with you. Love the idea of cute flowers, but I have never seen it here (NYC). I’d think it is unprofessional…but maybe something to consider for the fall and winter when I’m in closed toed shoes at the office.

    • Just a thought….they can be difficult to type with if you are not used to them, so if you are starting a new job, you might not want to have your typing skills hampered.

      You could still get a pretty manicure though.

    • I’d get Shellac instead. It’s a nail gel made by CND that is applied on your nails and last 2-3 weeks. Seriously, there’s no chipping. It’s that strong. There are other brands that fall in this long-lasting nail gel category (e.g. Axxium by OPI) but in my experience the other brands are much, much harder to remove.

      • SA-lit-gator :

        I second getting Shallac. I got a french manicure Shallac before my wedding and it lasted without one single chip throughout my entire honeymoon (approx 2.5 weeks). This is also much less damaging to your nails than fake nails. Only downside is having to take it off with 100% acetone (you can get it at Sally’s Supplies Stores).

      • Shellac Fan :

        Definitely get Shellac! I am a huge fan – it really does last at least two full weeks, and if your nails are weak and tend to peel like mine, the Shellac is actually strong enough to protect and strengthen the nail. So – it looks great and bonus – my nails are stronger when I remove the Shellac!

      • spacegeek :

        Tried gel color for a vacay–but it was a warm weather vacation, where I spent much of my time in the water. My nails felt “tacky/sticky” much of the week and then the color peeled. Turns out that the gel color (it was Shellac, as a matter of fact) breaks down in water! :-( If you are used to acrylics, then going to have the shellac color removed isn’t a problem, but I usually get my fingers done once/month and then apply my own colors for the rest of the month. So there are pluses and minuses to this new-fangled stuff. :-)

    • Anon in NC :

      Just curious – why you think you need fake nails versus a nice manicure?

      • My nails are extremely thin and short. No way around it. =( I keep them buffed and cuticles clean but they don’t even reach to the tips of my fingers. Just isn’t very pretty.

        • I have the same. I’d suggest getting a natural manicure (at a nice spa, where they don’t use anything mechanical on your nails that might damage them) and then spending the next two weeks gently filing the tips and applying Nailtiques daily in accordance with the directions. You will be surprised what your nails look like at the end of that two weeks.

          • I also recommend using a cuticle treatment daily, such as Burt’s Bees or the Sally Hansen pen, after the polish dries.

          • Ooh, I love Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. It smells like Country Time lemonade (maybe a negative to some, but a plus to me!) , is easy to apply, and works really well.

        • that was me until I started getting shellac manicures. now they don’t break and they look good until I get them re-done (every 2.5 weeks or so). Seriously, it has solved my always-ugly fingernails problem. Total convert.

        • If your nails are thin and weak, getting fake nails will only exacerbate the problem. I had them for a year and after I took them off, it took several months for my real nails to grow out. I second the recommendation for Nailtiques.

          • MaggieLizer :

            This! I’ve only gotten fake nails once (for a wedding, the bride’s choice not mine) and my nails were atrocious for months after. They were paper thin, would crack and bleed, and they looked like something out of a horror movie. They HURT too – both when I got them on and when they would inevitably rip off. Never again.

        • Anon in NC :

          I have had the Shellac and gel polishes and would be careful if you have thin nails. The removal process is hard on the nails and can be a bit drying. Have you tried some of the nail hardeners out there? If your near an Ulta or similar type of store they have great treatments you can purchase and apply your self – OPI has a kit.

    • anon-oh-no :

      dont get fake nails. but do get a nice manicure. and if you want it to last like fake nails do, get the gel or no chip type. before you know it, your nails will be long and pretty.

    • Please don’t get fake nails. They are a breeding ground for bacteria and just ruin your nails. Several of my doctor friends have said that they are one of the most unsanitary cosmetic procedures you can do because it’s really hard to clean under the fake nail.

    • Always a NYer :

      I got silk wraps done for my senior prom and high school graduation. I’ll admit, they were done up with a French manicure and probably a little bit longer than anything I’d rock today but I loved them.

      You’re betting off going with silk wraps rather than tips because the plastic will look cheap very quickly after getting them done. Also, the silk wraps conform to your natural nails and I think they look better. They are definitely more expensive and need to be done every 3-4 weeks but go for it, you deserve it!

      My suggestion would be to go with nails that are 1/4″ (that’s how long my natural nails are and I have no issues with typing but I do when they’re longer) and any color of your choice.

      Search nail salons on google and check out the reviews. The ones that don’t have anything bad written about them, call and get their prices. Also, ask around, it’s always best to get a recommendation from someone you know.

      Good luck with your clerkship and enjoy pampering yourself before you start!!!

    • Fake nails damage your nail, so unless you plan on keeping them forever, it’s going to be a lot worse than it is now in the recovery process (thin, breaking/splitting/cracking, etc.). They actually sand down your nail quite a bit to make it even thinner before adding the tips/silk wraps/gels/whatever.

    • Valleygirl :

      Just want to add my voice to the don’t get fakes/get a no chip one. If you want to grow your nails out and have them get stronger – I’ve heard from several people that taking pre-natal vitamins helps with that.

    • Thanks, everyone! I decided to forgo the fake nails and try some of the tips for making my nails stronger.

    • Don't Do It :

      Short, clean natural nails are both more professional and healthier than fake nails. If you are concerned about your nails being thin and weak, try Nailtiques Formula 2 instead of fake nails.

      • Don't Do It Again :

        This may be classist, but fake nails just scream uneducated and unprofessional to me.

    • Related… I’ve had the worst habit of picking at the skin on my nails since I was a child. It tends to be dry and just peel. I have tried everything from moisturizer to vaseline to cuticle cream to bandaids. It heals then cracks and peels again. Any suggestions?

      • Can you get regular manicures? Having your cuticles trimmed and pushed back will leave you with nothing to pick at. I have this habit too, and try to get manicures so that i won’t do it.

  7. Cat in the bag :

    I’m in-house at a midwestern company with midwestern values. My office is relatively small and we’re all on friendly terms. My problem? I recently got engaged, and for whatever reason, I can’t bring myself to tell anyone at work. I’ve told all my family and friends about the engagement; my issue is only with telling people at work even though they’ve all met my now-fiance and see him a few times a year at company events. I really don’t know why I can’t do it! It’s clearly all in my head – maybe I’m worried that they think I’ll spend all my time planning my wedding? Or that I’ll run off and have 10,000 babies and never come back? I just don’t know! But I do know that I have to tell them soon because if they discover I kept it from them, they’ll find it so very, very odd, perhaps even insulting! Help?!?

    • Sometimes I find myself holding back on stuff like that because it feels like such a *big* announcement that I can’t find an appropriate time to make it without feeling weird about drawing too much attention to myself. But a lot of times in a workplace, that sort of news just leaks out- maybe you can find one or two people you are close to, casually stop by and make small talk, then add “So, I have news! . . .” (And show off your ring if you have one.) The news will spread to everyone else pretty quickly.

      • Cat in the bag :

        Maybe my problem *is* just about unwanted attention. I like your suggestion of just telling one or two people and letting it leak out, but I’m already thinking of what will happen as other people hear about it. I’m pretty sure they’ll stop by my office, make a big deal, talk about it whenever we’re having lunch in the kitchen together. The support staff has even been know to organize surprise showers attended by the entire office. And there’s a gender issue somewhere in all of this, complicated by the fact that almost half of the office is female but there’s only one woman at the senior executive level (she’s great but I don’t see myself going to her about this specific problem).

        • Sometimes it is hard to accept attention or others wanting to do things from you. You need to realize that the congratulations, parties, etc, come from a place of genuine happiness and excitement for you. It won’t affect your standing in the workplace. Your colleagues will be genuinely thrilled to hear of your engagement.

    • Aren’t they going to figure it out when they see the engagement ring? They will definitely think it’s odd if you don’t tell them. Are you worried about the extra attention?

      • Cat in the bag :

        I haven’t worn the ring to work yet!

        • haha, oh it’s funny because it’s me — I felt very much the same way about telling people at work. I even felt kind of the say way about telling my family, honestly. I’ve never been the type that would call up and squeal “I’m engaged!!!” to anyone, so it was lucky I got engaged while visiting family and I could just let my parents see the ring at breakfast the next morning.

          I think your best solution is to just wear the ring in to work. One or two people will ask “Oh, what’s that ring for?” *wink* and you won’t need to make an “announcement.” They don’t have to know it happened last week instead of last night, but even if they do, people will understand that your engagement something you wanted to share with friends and family before coworkers.

          And best wishes to you and future-husband!

          • I think it’s weird to not say anything. Get over yourself and just tell one or two people rather than making people guess or be put in the awkward spot of trying to figure out if they should mention.

            Besides, how they find out won’t change the reactions you’ll get if the fear is some sort of surprise party (which again, you can leak out that you’re not into that sort of thing with one or two folks and it will be squashed). I have a colleague (male) who got married and didn’t tell anyone in our office for months. It IS odd. I’ve heard some of the office gossip questioning the legitimacy of the marriage (he married someone from abroad) or his feelings for her. I hate giving these stupid gossips more power. But it makes me really sad every time I hear it.

            Just put the ring on and tell someone. It’s honestly not that big of a deal. Folks will congratulate you or maybe ask a question or two about planning the wedding to be polite and move on to their own concerns.

        • my colleagues have generally broke the news just by showing up in a ring. People note it, warmly congratulate them, and then everyone gets back to work.

          • I had a coworker whose wife got pregnant. He didn’t know how to tell us at work, so he would come into someone’s office, and say, “Hey, check this picture out on my phone” and hand his iphone to us. It was a picture of the sonogram.

            Adorable. :)

    • I was worried about this too when I got engaged. It turned out to be irrational. As long as you don’t turn into one of those squealing sorority girl types who can’t talk about anything but the color of their flower arrangements, no one will care or think any less of you. They will be happy for you. Just continue to conduct yourself professionally, and keep your personal life separate.

    • I hear you – I really hate being the center of attention. Like others have said, just start wearing your ring to work and don’t worry about it. People will be happy for you and that’ll be that. (And if getting married causes people to think less of you, they are really odd people.)

      • I hated this attention too. It’s so unfair that women wear a visible marker of the engagement vs. men don’t.

        But yeah, just wear the ring, tell one or two people, and ask someone to tell the support staff that you don’t want any surprise event.

        • Since when is an engagement ring a requirement? I know quite a few women who never had a ring, and others had rings without diamonds that might not be identified as an engagement ring.

  8. Random question – can anyone recommend a corporette type blog for plus sizes? I have read a couple of the posts on here, but need more help on how to dress well. Although I am on a weight loss plan, interview season for my field is coming up and I can’t afford to be looking like a frump in my too-tight clothes or too-baggy clothes. Thanks!

    • One website worth checking out, although not all the recommendations would be acceptable in a workplace environment, is The blog author has a very distinct point of view, which may or may not be to your liking, but she has a classic sense of style with a twist, and she often recommends sites and styles I might not otherwise think of. The posts have been a bit thin of late, but check out the archives — lots of great suggestions based on body type, fabrics, etc. etc. etc.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I visited a blog a few months ago that was linked to the Already Pretty blog. It’s written by a French plus size women who essentially posts her daily outfits, and she is GORGEOUS. Just amazing, beautiful style. I wish I could track it down but a search did not lead me to it. Perhaps someone else knows who I am talking about?

      • Legally Brunette :

        Found it

        Definitely not a corporette type of blog, and the text is all in French I realized. :) But the pictures are wonderful and I think it would be helpful to check out her style.

        • I love her look, too! The best of all the plus-size blogs I’ve seen (granted, haven’t seen that many).

    • is not a plus-size blog, per se, but when the blogger (Angie) gives clothing or style recommendations, she almost always includes links to a few plus-size options.

    • Makeup Junkie :
      This has been discontinued, and it’s generally business casual, but you might like some of her outfits

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      My post with suggestions got added below.

    • Beauty tips for ministers

      (yeah, different line of work, but she is short & round and has lots of good tips for making the most of that type of figure)

    • Try adventuresinsuits. She is in the legal field. SHe had stopped blogging for a while, but it looks like she has just picked it back up. I’m so sad that she appears to have taken all the pictures she had taken of herself in various outfits down.

      Madisonplus is also a good all around blog for plus size women.
      Also try dealsfortheshortandcurvy.

  9. Any tips on getting rid of (or powering through) menstrual cramps? I only get them really bad 2-3 times a year, and it looks like my number came up this month. I’d go home and sleep them off but I have a huge project going on. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    • Maddie Ross :

      Heat always works for me. A heating pad is best, but a space heater aimed at my belly (I balance it on my upside-down trashcan) or even a cup of hot coffee held in my lap helps. That along with pain reliever and caffiene is the best plan for me during the work day.

      • second the heating pad or equivalent. if you’re near a drugstore, i think you can find heating gel packs (people use them when they go skiing) that should do the trick — hopefully still avail in the summer.

        • LadyoftheLake :

          Third this. I swear by those Thermacare heat wraps. They used to make a version marketed for cramps, but I’ve had trouble finding them lately. The neck/shoulder version works in a pinch too. They last 8+ hours and I don’t have trouble with them showing through clothes so it’s constant relief for that time.

    • If you want to use medication, try an NSAID like Advil or Aleve. I know in my case, acetaminophen/Tylenol (which seems to be in Midol) do absolutely nothing for the pain.

    • Always a NYer :

      Advil every 3-4 hours, coffee, and those stick on heat pads are what get me through. I’ll admit that the best is to sleep it off at home in bed while curled into the fetal position but that’s not an option while at the office. If I have time, I try to take a quick walk if I can. It’s painful for the first few minutes but after that I do feel better.

    • Heat. I get killer back cramps and 30 minutes under my rice-filled-one minute-on-high-in-the-microwave heating pack makes it possible to get out of bed. Then take Advil (for some reason, generic ibuprofen doesn’t work as well for me, it may be the candy coating).

    • Because nsaids (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) and acetaminophen (tylenol) are totally different drugs you can “layer” them, taking alternate types every two hours. Post surgery, this strategy managed my pain better than narcotic pain relievers. Add some caffeine to make them take effect more quickly. I find diet coke and Aleve the perfect cramp cocktail.

      Hope you feel better soon!

    • I’ve noticed over the last few years that I’ve started getting menstrual cramps actually in my vagina (rather than in my lower back). It’s a whole new level of weird for me. Can’t exactly put heat on it, either …

      • Me too. Hurts so much, and I actually went to my gyno b/c I was concerned and didn’t know it was normal. Who knew this could happen?

    • Ponstel – available by prescription from your OBGYN – is the only thing that works for me. Advil and tylenol don’t cut it. A heating pad also helps.

    • Thanks ladies! CVS run at lunch and a heating pad has made the afternoon bearable.

      • There are these awesome homeopathic pills, I think they’re called Cyclease. They’re available at my local drugstore, and to my amazement they really work! I use them in combination with Ibuprofen, but ever since I started using these I’ve probably cut my Ibuprofen consumption in half (very good news for my liver).

    • You might try taking evening primrose oil capsules every day. It won’t provide instant relief like heat or midol (both of which I also recommend), but you should gradually notice an improvement over a few cycles. I had horrible cramps when I was younger, and this was recommended to me and it really really made a difference. I don’t need this anymore, thankfully, but I recall I took one or two capsules every night for years. Try googling it and I’m sure you’ll find more info. (I remember reading one article where they recommended alternating evening primrose for 2 weeks and flaxseed oil for 2 weeks, and it had to do with helping normalize your cycle, but I can’t remember at what point of the cycle you were supposed to take which…) Also, while my cramps haven’t been too terrible the past few years, I noticed that after I started using the DivaCup they decreased even more. Not sure why, but I’ve read that many DivaCup users have this experience.

  10. super anon for this :

    Suffice it to say that I am working on what in all honesty (and as observed by third parties) is the most urgent, significant, time-consuming work endeavor that I have had or am likely to have for quite some time. I am relatively new to my position and this project has shot me up the ladder in terms of what I am entrusted with, given me tons of quality time with the boss, and boosted my resume, skills, reputation, and confidence.

    AND. I found out yesterday morning that I am pregnant for the first time. (A happy thing.) Yesterday, the work kept my mind off of the pregnancy; today, I am having to consciously focus on not exploding into a hot mess of happy tears of general overwhelmed-ness just to keep on trucking and not melt down in front of said boss. DEEP BREATH!

    • Deep breath and congratulations!

    • Congratulations! Two blessings at once

    • Congrats!! Good luck dealing with the fatigue and nausea – I’ve found that on days when I simply don’t have the option to feel crappy (because I’m so underwater in work), I tend not to dwell and feel better.

  11. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    To prevent getting caught in moderation, I’m going to give you blog names to Google.

    1. Stylish Curves
    2. Fatshionable (Love her!)
    3. Frocks & Frou Frou (Hasn’t updated in a while, but her archives rock!)
    4. Low Fat Dressing (More on the causal side of business casual)
    5. The Curvy GIrl’s Guide to Style (I use this for out of work inspiration)
    6. Gabi Fresh fka Young, Fat & (Love her style and positive body image attitude)
    7. 26 and Counting (on the smaller side, but still very helpful)
    8. Wardrobe Oxygen

    Hope this helps!

  12. PSA: Dillard’s is having an extra 40% off already-reduced merchandise, which includes a lot of their Antonio Melani stuff. I would get over there fast, though – the stuff I selected sold out after I put it in my shopping cart but before I checked out. They’ve got some great deals!

  13. anonymous brag –
    after years of dealing with gov bureaucracy, bosses that cant use outlook, and navy suits, i finallllly got my GS-13 today! woot!

  14. Hi ladies – I mostly lurk but love the great community and advice given here. I’m going through an extremely painful breakup (we dated for 18 months, I thought he was the one, the breakup was pretty much out of the blue, for me at least) and to make matters worse, we work in the same office (though different floors/departments at least). I’ve been talking to someone and am on a low dose of antidepressants (which I was on pre-breakup anyway), but I cannot shake my unhappiness. I’ve been spending all my free time w/friends and family and trying to stay busy, but I am pretty much non-productive at work (thankfully it is slow right now) and it’s hard for me to think about anything else. Other than time, is there anything else I can do to make myself feel better? Even my usual favorite, retail therapy, doesn’t seem to be working. :( thanks in advance…

    • Big hugs to you.
      How about indulging into things that make you feel sassy and delicate just by yourself to give yourself time to heal.
      Maybe you should go into cocooning phase where you start doing things at a slower pace, enjoying slow cooked meals, doing manicures, reading a book you always said you wanted to start, take walks in the park etc.
      If you are indulging in a ME time, you don’t have to put on a happy face for friends and family but just take the time to slowly heal at your own pace.
      I hope you get over this soon

    • It will pass, but while you’re waiting, a few ideas:

      1) focus on taking excellent care of yourself. Physical strength will give you mental strength. Get exercise, eat right, get enough sleep. If you like spas and massages and the like, now’s a great time to indulge a bit.

      2) Put limits around the drama. Permit yourself one good cry every few days (or whatever it is), but then set some rules and focus on something else. Resist any urges to drown yourself in ice cream or wine or cigarettes or whatever – it’ll just make you feel worse. (I mean, one night of Bridget Jones is OK, but that’s it.)

      3) Go somewhere. Plan a little getaway with a girlfriend or two, and spend the time reading, chatting, wind0w-shopping, whatever. Reconnect with old friends, pick up an instrument you haven’t touched in years, take a short trip to visit a college friend. Go on a weekend road trip.

      4) Play with someone’s kids. Maybe your nieces and nephews – there’s nothing like time with kids to make you live in the moment, if only because they demand so much attention. Might also make you glad that you’re not a mom yet.

      5) Do some volunteering and shift focus onto something/someone entirely different. Work at a soup kitchen for a day or two, help build a Habitat House, etc. This is a great way to distract yourself, to give yourself some perspective, and to do some good at the same time.

      6) Don’t even think about dating again until you feel closer to 100% (maybe 85%). If people want to take you out, go, but don’t force yourself into dates or going online until you feel better.

      7) Finally, don’t be your own worst enemy. Don’t re-read old emails, haunt his FB page, read breakup stories online, re-hash the story over and over to your friends … you need to move on, so help yourself by not looking backward. It’s tough that he’s in your office, but do what you need to do to avoid him if at all possible.

      Good luck and you will definitely get past this.

    • Run. That got me through a breakup. And I never ran before. Now I’m training for a marathon and have never felt better about myself. So, in a way, I thank the breakup.

    • I’m sorry. Breakups really effing suck. You should get yourself a copy of the book Getting Past Your Breakup. One of the key messages in the book is that being in pain and being unhappy is part of the healing process, and not to beat yourself up about it too much. Sometimes just accepting that this is a really painful and sad time will help you feel a little bit better.

      Also, be very very nice to yourself and your body. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, eat fruit, exercise if you can… treat yourself like you are sick, basically, and do what you would do to heal.

      Hang in there and keep us posted, ok? Breakups are so painful, but you will start feeling better soon.

    • Some people need to have alone/reflective time to recover, not friends/family time. When you’re with friends, you’re either venting or pretending to be okay, which can be taxing/exhausting. You may be better off picking up yoga, running, or some other solitary fitness activity that will help you feel better about yourself but give you time to reflect. When I’m feeling unhappy, yoga or going out in the sun and hiking/walking really lifts my mood.

      • Anonymous :

        A similar suggestion from one who has been through this: Consider taking a fun class of some kind where you will meet new people who will not know about your relationship. I suggest something active, rather than academic and contemplative. I found a sailing class at my local university’s community education program. Most people there were in the class alone. It got my mind on something fun that I’d always wanted to do, and gave me a chance to talk to people about something other than the break-up. It gave me some perspective that there was a real future for me without my ex and that I could take control of building that future. Plus, as an added bonus, it killed my ex that I was hobby-shopping in the wake of our break-up.

      • Second the advice for running. Especially if you’re angry, or have stress building during the day – a good run can be like a good cry.

    • Thanks so much for all that advice – i will give the new hobby stuff and also fitness suggestions a try. I’m just so tired of going to bed and hoping that I don’t wake up in the morning…I know these feelings will pass, but it’s times like this I wish I could be like the characters in eternal sunshine of the spotless mind so I could erase all the painful memories. :(

      • My heart goes out to you. I hope you feel better soon! Is there something you enjoy doing that feels especially comforting to you? After a long day, sometimes cooking a meal from scratch feels like therapy to me. Going for walks in a beautiful place can be nice – it doesn’t require a ton of energy but can really raise your spirits. I love listening to podcasts too. You can just lay on the couch snuggled up and relax and be quietly inspired. I recommend Kimberly Wilson’s Tranquilty Du Jour (available for free on itunes). She interviews all kinds of fascinating women and is so upbeat and kind and wonderful all at once. I also recommend guided mediation podcasts by Meditation Oasis (I love the Deep Rest and the Let It Be episodes the most). A great book that is a quick easy, enjoyable read is The Bounce Back Book by Karen Salmansohn. She has tons of ideas to help you feel better. Hopefully one of those ideas will inspire you just a tad. Take care. I’m sending you all good thoughts.

    • the not-bride :

      When that happened to me, I read this book called “There Goes The Bride.” It was written by a woman who cancelled her wedding (or maybe her fiance did?) at the last minute. It was one part “how to get through the blues” and one part “here is a list of all the people you have to call and ask for refunds etc.” Even though we weren’t engaged, it helped me.

  15. The “hivemind” gave me some wonderful advice once before, so I’m back. Yesterday, two of my grandparents (mother’s mom and dad’s dad) were sent to the ICU in two separate locations. (Grandpa – massive stroke; Grandma – they are running tests but possibly pancreatic cancer.) Obviously I can’t be two places at once, and my mom wants me with my dad and my dad wants me with my mom and I am at work because there is nothing I can do sitting at the hospital. I report to the CEO and she has told me to go home and be with my family, but I have a new staff member starting today and I feel guilty leaving. I’m sitting at my desk right now trying not to run out in the hallway and cry, so I’m not any better use here.

    Has anyone been through this? Does anyone have any advice? How do I figure out where to be, as both locations are 250 miles apart?

    Thank you for listening. Even though I never comment, I have to say that I learn so much from all of you, and in fact my CEO told me yesterday how professional I was looking lately. :)

    • karenpadi :

      Take the CEOs advice and be with your family. You aren’t going to the hospital to “do” anything besides sit quietly in the hospital room and support the parent you are with. I might decide to spend a few days with mom, then a few days with dad (or consider your parents–which one “needs” the support more? Is there other family with either one?)

      Delegate the new staff member to someone else. The first day/week is usually training and meet-and-greet anyway. When you return from your leave, take him/her out to lunch.

      It sounds like your CEO understands that life happens, so I’m betting the people in your office do too. Let them pick up the slack for you. I am sure you pick up the slack for them already when their lives intervene.

      Take care of yourself!

    • Ouf, my condolences. What a situation to be in. I would welcome the new hire and explain that you had an emergency situation come up and that you are sorry not to be there for their first few days. Ask a colleague to check in with them while you are gone. Then get out of there. The CEO is right – be with your family and do not feel guilty about it. As for whether to go to mom or dad, can you guage who is in worse shape emotionally? Having seen my parents both lose parents, I know it was much rougher on my dad. I have heard that to be true from friends, as well. This is a gross overgeneralization, but I think we women are more resilient, and more likely to seek support when we really need it. Which ever way you go, see if you can connect with the other parent’s friends and ask them to check in with that parent and call them as often as you can.

      Lastly, be extra careful while driving!

    • Definitely be with your family.

      1) Simply being at the hospital (and afterward, at home) and providing your physical presence are a lot, so don’t discount that. Not to mention more mundane things like being able to help drive your parents/grandparents back and forth, helping provide meals, calling other relatives as needed, researching medical options, dealing with domestic tasks, etc. There is a lot you can do, in addition to being a loved and warm presence.

      2) In terms of who to see first … yes, consider which parent may “need” you most and which situation may benefit most from having you there (i.e. are there other relatives around too? do you have siblings that you can split the visits with?). All else equal, I would want to maximize my time left with my grandparent … so if one is in more critical condition than the other, I would go there first.

      3) Regarding work, this is one of those situations where you simply need to be with your family and your office needs (and seems) to understand that perfectly. So will your new report.

      Hoping for the best!

    • Also, if I were your new report, and I found out you were sitting at your office out of guilt for leaving me to fend for myself on my first day versus going home to your family in a time of need, I’d tell you to get the h*ck out. He or she will be just fine, and in a year’s time, you won’t care whether or not you were there on their first day (or first week). You will, however, care whether or not you spent this time with your family.

    • Go home. Don’t give it a second thought. Bookmark a few things for your new hire to read or catch up on and don’t worry about him/her any more today.

    • About two years ago, I was in a shockingly similar situation. Grandpa had a stroke, grandma was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I felt there were more decisions early on to my made with respect to my grandfather – rehab, etc. whereas there wasn’t a whole lot they could do for the pancreatic cancer (which was fairly late stage by the time it presented).

      Fast forward a couple years and grandma has passed away, and grandpa continues to get better/stronger.

      Very sorry you’re going through this. I’m sure your newbie will enjoy having a slow first week so take off and don’t feel guilty!

    • I’m so sorry, this just sucks.

      My two cents – finish up at work. Develop a list of things for the newbie to read, review, write and have another person check in on them while you’re out. For me, sometimes work is the easiest place to be when you’re dealing with something terrible (forces you to focus on a task), so if you think it will be helpful, bring something light with you.

      Once you leave to be with your family, I would try to start with the parent who will be less emotionally taxing. Go, sit, listen, grab non-hospital food, etc. If you have the opportunity, before going to your second parent, take a nap (maybe book a hotel in town two, go rest, then hospital and then your parent could go take a break). Keeping yourself as healthy as possible during an emotional time is important for you and your parents.

      Finally, as someone else said earlier, drive carefully!!! Any car accident I have been in (that’s my fault at least) I can directly link to being upset. If you need to take a moment, pull over.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      GO! Earlier this year I had a dear uncle in the hospital and I hemmed and hawed about getting out of the office…..when I finally asked my boss to take the time, I got the call that evening that he’d passed….. Now, if I even think any of my older family members need checking on, I am there, without a second thought!

    • I’m so sorry that you are in this situation and hope that everyone will get better soon. Is your mom or dad tech savvy enough to take a laptop (or netbook/ipad) with them? You can do skype for the grandparent who you can’t visit in person. This way, at least they can see/talk to you “face to face” and know that you wanted to be there.

      Take the CEO’s advice– don’t stay around just to shepard the new staff member. The time you have with your loved ones is precious– I took two weeks off (with my CEO’s blessings) when my dad was diagnosed with cancer (and eventually passed away after these two weeks) and the memories I have of this time are so precious to me.

    • Go be at your grandpa’s bedside for a few days. A massive stroke means you might not have much time left, and even if he does survive for some time, he will never be the same again. Visiting him should be your first priority. I hate to be so blunt, but I lost 3 of my 4 grandparents this way. One lingered for 3 years but was never herself again, one died within a month, and one died immediately.

      I lost my 4th grandparent to pancreatic cancer. If the diagnosis does turn out to be pancreatic cancer, you have some time although the prognosis is usually not good over the long term. But you will have weeks and months and maybe even years to visit your grandma.

      I’m so sorry for you. Life’s a b—h.

      • Marketeer :

        Thank you to all of you. Really. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

        I am headed to be with my dad – my mom said it would ease her mind, and even though I feel like I should be with my grandma, I know it will make her feel better to think that my dad is in good hands.

        This really is the best community out there. I can’t say thank you enough.

  16. Is anyone in the “National Association of Professional Women”? I just got a mailing from them. No fee to join. I’m supposedly pre-approved or whatever. What is this group?

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