Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Reader of the Week: Meet Addie Pray

There was such an overwhelming response when I asked readers to introduce themselves on a weekend open thread that I decided to give you all a weekly column to do just that. I’ve always said this site wouldn’t be what it is without the engagement and participation of its readers and this column is the place to learn more about who you are what makes you tick. After the jump, let’s meet Addie Pray.


1. What’s your name, age and whereabouts?

On DearWendy.com, I’m Addie Pray, which is the name of the main character in my favorite movie, “Paper Moon.” In real life, I’m named after an ancient Assyrian city. I’m 32, and I live in Chicago.

2. What’s your relationship status?


3. How do you spend your weekdays?

I’m an attorney at a large law firm. That means I spend my days in suits (or, jeans if it’s Friday! Oh, the small things in life), at my desk, where I research, read, write, and track my billable time in six-minute increments. Then, after a day of that, I have a glass of red wine, or three.

4. How do you spend your free time?

When I am not working or traveling to visit family/friends on the weekends (which I seem to do often), you’ll find me in one of three places: at the gym, at a bar or restaurant with friends, or on my couch catching up on my DVR’d shows (e.g., The Good Wife, Mad Men, 30 Rock, True Blood, Big Love … and, shhhh, Sister Wives and Keeping Up with the Kardashians; ok, maybe True Blood should be moved to the “shhhh” list). Sometimes, but not often enough, you’ll find me at the grocery store stocking up on red wine, peanut butter, chips, salsa, and cheese (i.e., the five basic food groups).

5. What are your top likes and dislikes?

Likes: dive bars, Bikram yoga, “Vanity Fair,” hiking, biking, documentaries, Jon Krakauer’s “Under the Banner of Heaven,” road trips, Tina Fey (I want to be friends with her; how can I make that happen?), small town diners, Paris, tennis shoes, and my sweet nephews/niece.

Dislikes: shopping, pretentious people, trendy places, Nancy Grace, Fox news, men in skinny jeans, The Bachelor, and tapas (i.e., plates that are already smaller than average and that I have to share with others!?! That seems inherently wrong).

6. What’s the best relationship advice you’ve ever been given?

He’s just not that into me. Painful, but true.

7. What’s the best relationship lesson you’ve ever learned?

This question is really hard for me. I keep skipping it and coming back. There are a few lessons I’ve learned – or am trying to learn – such as: I can’t force “it”; I shouldn’t waste my time on unavailable/uninterested men in hopes they’ll come around; and I need to do a better job at communicating what I want – which, to that end, means I need to do a better job at understanding what I want. That last one is a difficult one for me, for some reason. Each year I understand myself a little bit better.

8. Besides DearWendy.com, what are some of your favorite websites?

For celebrity gossip, my favorite site is What Would Tyler Durden Do? I also like reading everything my friend Sam has to say; he’s funny and clever and has a good heart. So let me take this moment to plug Sam. Last but not least, I enjoy reading Tyler Coulson’s blog. I’ve never met Tyler, but we have friends in common and email frequently. I first read about Tyler on Above the Law, the “Perez Hilton” of law-related gossip. Above the Law featured Tyler, a former attorney at a big law firm in Chicago – just a couple of blocks from my firm, actually – because he decided the law wasn’t for him, sent a funny “goodbye” email to his firm (world-wide!), and quit on the spot. Tyler boldly walked away from his big pay check … to take a walk across the United States with his dog Mabel. Say what you will about that decision, but he’s doing it! He started out in Delaware last spring and is nearing his destination in San Diego. Tyler is interesting; I like reading his posts and emailing with him about his journey and about life in general.

*If you’d like to be a Reader of the Week, shoot me an email at wendy@dearwendy.com with “Reader of the Week” in the subject line and I’ll send you some questions to answer.

56 comments… add one
  • bethany November 1, 2011, 12:06 pm

    Hooray for Bikram! I’ve been going for about 3 years and LOVE it!
    And I also believe that wine and cheese should be their own food groups 🙂

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    • SpaceySteph November 1, 2011, 12:54 pm

      I just took up regular yoga this summer, but because its been so hot outside, I’ve been avoiding trying the Bikram Yoga place by my house.
      Now that its getting cooler (a whole week in temperatures below 85 degrees!) I was thinking of trying it. But I’m scared. Can you tell me why its awesome, convince me to go…?

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      • bethany November 1, 2011, 2:16 pm

        I’m going to try to keep this short- My apologies if I don’t!

        First- Bikram is NOT for everyone. If you try it a few times and hate it, that’s ok. You really need to give it at least 3 classes to make up your mind about it.

        What drew me to it initially is that it’s HARD. Sure, “regular” yoga can be hard, but when I first found it I was an injured distance runner and was looking for a tough workout. Class is 90 minutes, you do 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises. Class is the exact same every single time. The poses are designed to primarily strengthen your spine, however you do get a full body workout. The heat allows you to get deeper into poses and really open up parts of your body. The room should be somewhere around 105 with 85% humidity. You’re going to sweat- A LOT. I like how every class is the same because you really get to practice, and see how you’re improving from week to week. Some days I’ll feel my back bend in a way it never has before, or I’ll stretch something just a little farther than the last time, which is pretty cool.

        My favorite teacher often says that his goal for us is to be able to bend over and tie our shoes when we’re 85, or to be able to play ball with our grandchildren. Class is about maintaining health and wellness, not necessarily losing weight or toning certain groups of muscles. Give it a try!

      • SpaceySteph November 1, 2011, 3:23 pm

        “The room should be somewhere around 105 with 85% humidity. You’re going to sweat- A LOT.”
        I live in Houston, you just described my entire month of August.
        If I survived that, I can probably survive this. So I think you’ve convinced me, I’ll give it a try!

      • Caroline November 2, 2011, 9:41 am

        Are you taking about the Yoga One Studio in midtown Houston? I think that’s the name of the place. They have free Bikram Yoga lessons on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 8 am and I’ve been to a few classes. THAT was quite a workout, especially that early in the morning. I would have kept going, but I live about 20 minutes from there and I’d rather sleep in on the weekends, being a college student and all….

      • SpaceySteph November 2, 2011, 10:24 am

        I don’t live in town but there’s a Bikram Yoga place in Pearland that’s close to me. But the idea of trying it for free kinda appeals to me so I might give that one a try even though its farther.

        Sometimes on the weekends my bf and I go running or biking in Memorial Park so it gives us an excuse to try a new restautant downtown. Maybe I could lure him to yoga with the promise of brunch afterwards.

      • va-in-ny November 1, 2011, 3:38 pm

        You’ll have an amazing sleep! I’m serious, AMAZING. The sweating is the big dealbreaker for some. I’m not one who sweats a lot and I had it pouring down in Bikram. I agree with bethany to give it 2-3 classes before you decide if it’s for you. She’s right, it can be REALLY hard, but I remember the first class I got through the entire thing without having to sit down or compose myself from the dizziness, I was so proud!

        It’s challenging, but how you feel afterwards is worth every drop of sweat!

      • Caroline November 2, 2011, 9:42 am

        It’s true! I fell asleep after my Bikram yoga workout and when I woke up I felt sooooo good!

      • 6napkinburger November 1, 2011, 4:29 pm

        I just took up Vinyasa(?) yoga too. Once a week. (I’ve only gone twice, but if I say “I do it” rather than “I’ve done it” maybe i’ll keep going!). The first day, I finally understood why the people who walk around NYC with yoga mats always have such good bodies. It kicked my ass and a half; sweat pouring down, even though it wasn’t a hot yoga thing. Turns out, I can’t balance on one foot, at all. Like, at all. Which was illuminating.

        But maybe this hot yoga is on to something.

      • SpaceySteph November 2, 2011, 10:28 am

        I know its so cheesy but I think even just doing yoga for a couple months has taught me alot about my body. Like how bad my balance is… and how really really tight my hamstrings are.
        When I hurt my foot and the Dr gave me stretches to do, I found myself doing them in a yoga-ish way (like trying to root my heel down and breathe into the muscle and kooky stuff like that).
        I always thought people who were like “yoga changed my life” were nuts, but now I guess I’m one of those crazy people too!

    • Addie Pray November 1, 2011, 9:34 pm

      Echoing Bethany – Bikram is not for everyone. I love it. I love to sweat. I love to get my heart rate up so high I feel like it’s going to pop out of my chest. I love to stretch. And I love how with each class I get a little bit better. But I had to figure out a few things the hard way. 1) Do not do bikram hung over. You will come close to dying, if not die. 2) Bring water. And some coconut water, or gaterade – something so that when you get so dizzy and feel close to faint, you can take a swig of that and it will help. 3) You will sweat and look like shit; so do not take a boy you are interested in to bikram. It’s not pretty.

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      • Addie Pray November 1, 2011, 10:04 pm

        Continuing No. 3 – Really, do NOT take a boy to bikram. Maybe if you’ve already been married for several years – and perhaps purchased a home – you know, some security so he can’t leave you after he sees how gross you look doing bikram.

  • Kerrycontrary November 1, 2011, 12:15 pm

    yay! My brother is a lawyer in Chicago. Oh and I JUST finished “He’s just not that into you” (the book) last night. The movie literally changed how I approached men and relationships its crazy.

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  • amber November 1, 2011, 12:31 pm

    you’re supposed to group chips/salsa together so you can add chocolate as the fifth food group! otherwise i agree 😉

    nice to ‘meet’ you too 🙂

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    MELH November 1, 2011, 12:42 pm

    I loved Under the Banner of Heaven! Great book! And I totally watch Sister Wives too….I think its kind of related to reading Under the Banner of Heaven…

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    • Sarah November 1, 2011, 1:51 pm

      It is such an incredible book! I want to hand copies of it to everyone I know. I know what you mean about sister wives. I couldn’t help noticing that Robyn has daughters from a previous marriage and I wondered if Kody would take them on as new wives when they got old enough, like what happened so many times in the book.

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      • ReginaRey November 1, 2011, 2:24 pm

        I’m obsessed with all things polygamy, so maybe I should read this book, too?

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        JK November 1, 2011, 2:34 pm

        It does sound good, I´m going to have to see if I can find it here. Or get my Dad to send it to me.

      • Addie Pray November 2, 2011, 8:28 am

        Where are you, JK? If you’re somewhere Amazon can deliver, you should be good to go… I’ve read the book like 100 times. (Ok, twice.) It’s that good.

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        JK November 2, 2011, 8:38 am

        I´m in Argentina, so it´s tough finding books in english (and I don´t like reading translations), my dad still lives in NZ though, so I usually ask him for any books I want.
        The book does sound intriguing!

      • Caris November 5, 2011, 10:56 pm

        Where in Argentina do you live? Maybe you have a Kel bookstore nearby? They only sell books in English 😀 which is where I buy most of the books I read

      • honeybeenicki November 1, 2011, 2:45 pm

        I’m with you on that. I had a friend loan that to me but its at the bottom of my stack of “to read” books, so maybe I should move it to the top.

      • Sarah November 1, 2011, 2:58 pm

        You MUST read it. It is a fascinating book. I hate to admit that I am much more of a fiction reader than a non-fiction one, but this is incredibly gripping.

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        MELH November 1, 2011, 5:01 pm

        Its a great book if you’re interested in polygamy, because it really goes into the history of it along with the stories of the featured people in the book. and its interesting because if you watch sister wives, you see a whole different version of polygamy than that featured in the Under the Banner of Heaven. And totally off the subject, Into Thin Air by Krakauer is awesome in a totally different manner!

      • Addie Pray November 1, 2011, 9:36 pm

        I too am obsessed with polygamy and mormons – and polygamist mormons. You are going to love this book, RR.

      • Christina November 2, 2011, 12:08 am

        Into Thin Air caused me to be obsessed with all books and movies about mountain climbing. All of them.

  • honeybeenicki November 1, 2011, 12:43 pm

    I love Sister Wives, so I won’t judge 😉 But I agree True Blood should probably be in the shhh category. I love the Charlaine Harris books (including the Dahlia stories), but I am not a fan of the show.

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    • honeybeenicki November 1, 2011, 1:55 pm

      On a note related to Sister Wives – last week (I think?) Our America with Lisa Ling was about polygamy. It was extremely interesting.

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      • Addie Pray November 1, 2011, 9:37 pm

        Damnit, honeybee, you gotta tell me these things in advance so I can DVR them. Tsk, tsk.

      • honeybeenicki November 2, 2011, 8:03 am

        I automatically DVR Our America. I’m sure they’ll play it again 🙂 She went into a few different polygamist homes and communities and showed many sides of it.

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    bagge72 November 1, 2011, 12:53 pm

    Nice to meet you! You should never hide your love for True Blood!

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      BriarRose November 1, 2011, 2:37 pm

      I completely agree! No way does it belong on the “shh” list! 🙂

      Also, I cannot agree more about wanting to be Tina Fey’s friend!!

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      • Addie Pray November 1, 2011, 9:40 pm

        Not to sound too stalkerish and cray cray, but, well, I just can’t help but think we’d be the bestest of friends. Sigh.

        A perfect night: dinner and drinks (and laughing) with Tina Fey, Kristen Wig, and Amy Phoeler (sp?). That would be like, the most fun ever. Then I’d go home and have sex with Jon Hamm, who would have been home waiting for me the whole time. Hey, a regular, non-celeb girl can dream, right?


      • callmehobo November 1, 2011, 11:17 pm

        I can’t think of Jon Hamm without imagining him with the hook hands from 30 Rock.

        A man that beautiful should not be that funny and charming; it’s just not fair!

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    JK November 1, 2011, 12:54 pm

    I imagined you so different!
    I love this feature.
    Totally agree about Tina Fey (she´s amazing), and men in skinny jeans (absolutely disgusting!)

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    • Addie Pray November 1, 2011, 9:41 pm

      Like, a little taller? Yeah, I get that.


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        JK November 2, 2011, 6:54 am

        haha, I actually pictured you more Miranda-ish 🙂

      • Addie Pray November 2, 2011, 8:32 am

        Definitely a Miranda, who looks more like a Charlotte, has sex like a Samantha, but who wishes she were a Carrie. I’m not proud of any of that, mind you.

  • ForeverYoung November 1, 2011, 12:54 pm

    You seem to have the same perspective on life/sense of humor as the author or my favorite book – bitter is the new black! I always love your posts. And we have the same exact food groups.

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    • Addie Pray November 1, 2011, 10:07 pm

      I’ll have to check it out, FY. I hope I like it. Otherwise, add “how I come off” to my list of things RR needs to help me sort through.

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  • HmC November 1, 2011, 12:55 pm

    Yay Addie Pray! You are definitely one of my favorites! I first noticed you because we’re both attorneys, and I always like your comments. You’re always humorous and dry and smart. And logical!

    Now I feel like kind of a stalker…

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    • HmC November 1, 2011, 1:00 pm

      p.s. I’ve read all about Tyler on ATL… seems like an interesting guy. You must not read the comments on ATL though, they’re the most evil, pretentious horseshit ever and make me hate fellow attorneys.

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      • Addie Pray November 1, 2011, 9:44 pm

        1) You are my new best friend. 2) Tyler is so interesting. He could write a treatise on foot sores (which, after his hike across country, I’m sure he actually could), and I would be captivated – “wow, and then what do you put on it??”

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    mandalee November 1, 2011, 1:19 pm

    Yay, I always loved your posts, I’m so glad you were featured. I love Sister Wives too, even though I am always end up being embarrassed and or disturbed by the fact that I love it so much haha I love your basic five food groups, change the red wine to white and I am right there with you!

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  • Eljay November 1, 2011, 1:27 pm

    Hey Hey Addie Pray! So great to “meet” you! Love your posts – and basic food groups. Doesn’t get any better than that. 🙂

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    TaraMonster November 1, 2011, 2:24 pm

    Don’t hide from your True Blood love! You could have a way worse guilty pleasure, like I do: Ice Loves Coco. My boyfriend and I watch it obsessively… we have a problem. Lol.

    And how can you not love tapas?! You get to try so many different things when you order tapas like different kinds of ceviche and bacon wrapped, cheese-stuffed dates! I’m salivating just thinking about it. Nomnomnom.

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  • ReginaRey November 1, 2011, 1:54 pm

    Yay AddiePray!!! Love it! Also, please don’t be ashamed of your Sister Wives love….that show fascinates me!

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    • va-in-ny November 1, 2011, 3:40 pm

      Me too! I have to stop myself from starting new episodes too late in the evening because I’ll stay up all night watching it!

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      • 6napkinburger November 1, 2011, 3:41 pm

        I kinda liked it until the new wife. I couldn’t get on board with her. And her kids.

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    Savannah November 1, 2011, 3:31 pm

    Not gonna lie, I love dudes in skinny jeans. There are definitely some that cannot pull it off, but I <3 the ones that can! Otherwise, great to meet you.

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    • 6napkinburger November 1, 2011, 4:58 pm

      If i could thumb down all the images you just put in my head, I would. Ehwksdh… shakes off the image of the hipster in the plaid button down, skinny jeans, ironic glasses (probably not even prescription), fedora, messanger bag and perrier…shudders.

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      • AKchic November 1, 2011, 7:18 pm

        If I could smack you through the internets, I would. Don’t give ME those horrible images! I see enough of those idiots running around this town, trying to appear “trendy” and shake off the last vestiges of a roughneck family by being as nonconformist as possible (by conforming with another group, naturally) without going goth. Usually these idiots are between the ages of 16 and 28.

  • Addie Pray November 1, 2011, 9:30 pm

    I’m late to my own party! Hi, all. I was out of town today sans internet – the horror! It’s nice to meet everyone. This feature is so fun. You should do it. Do it, do it!

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    • TheOtherMe November 6, 2011, 4:42 pm

      I’m late too !! So sorry, I was in Italy for 8 days 😀

      So glad to meet you, you are as lovely as i expected. I think you’re dead on with # 6 & 7, those fall into my “if I only knew then what I know now category”.

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  • Christina November 2, 2011, 1:31 am

    Nice to meet you, Addie Pray. I enjoy your posts too. We share the same logic on a lot of subjects. Nice to know more about you and the other commenters. You are so brave to do this!

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  • Nadine November 2, 2011, 4:36 am

    I was hoping you would be introduced! I love your comments and usually agree with you. And I love Paper Moon.
    I agree with you on tapas. I spend all my time worrying about whether to order another dish, and being a vegetarian doesnt help because if someone takes some of my veges or cheese and they order the tiny chicken plate I cant share……

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