Design

Have a Relaxing Weekend.

Veronica Olson

What are you up to this weekend? We’re heading upstate with some friends, and I’m glad that the boys will just run around in green grass for a while! It’s nice to get some fresh air sometimes :) Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

I’m too much of a wuss to get a tattoo, but this one is gorgeous.

In praise of eating dinner in total silence.

Benjamin Brush is a brilliant idea!

Oprah’s obsession with her garden is the best thing on the internet.

A cool way to serve a pizza.

6 actually helpful interview tips from an HR specialist. (I wholeheartedly agree with #1.)

People of craft. Thumbs up.

How to get soft skin this fall.

Have you ever felt clueyness? I was nodding my head in agreement.

This intrepid two-year-old stole Prince Harry’s popcorn.

Taking a knee.

Plus, two great reader comments…

Says Meg on writing vows: “My husband and I wrote our vows. Writing them was easy, but in the weeks leading up, I practiced reading them aloud and cried each time. My anxiety was at an all-time high as my turn to read them during the ceremony approached. As I read, I choked up and could barely speak. A few sentences in, I said, ‘When I practiced I cried much later,’ and as I looked out everyone was crying and laughing. It’s an unforgettable moment that I always think back to.”

Says Natasha on exercise habits: “Gretchen Rubin’s ‘habits’ archetypes (Upholders, Obligers, Questioners and Rebels) are great for building an exercise routine. (She has a quiz to find out which one you are). I loved the story she tells of two Obligers who came up with an ingenious trick to make sure they both kept exercising: at the end of every gym visit, they’d swap one running shoe, so if one of them didn’t turn up the next day, the OTHER one also wouldn’t be able to exercise! Hilarious, genius, brilliant.”

(Photo by Veronica Olson/Instagram.)

  1. At the risk (or guarantee) of sounding hyberbolic, the clueyness article is the single most out-of-the-blue-relatable article I’ve EVER read. I was laughing/crying/cringing/just plain dying inside at the recognition by another of a feeling I’ve dealt with my entire life and never knew how to articulate (let alone with some amount of humor, too! It’s always felt inexplicably, albeit momentarily, tragic to me). Then, of course, I couldn’t tear myself away from reading every single reader comment about their own share of clueyness. UGH I love this blog. CLUEYNESS 4EVER (at least now I know I’m not alone).

  2. shade says...

    I LOVED the clueyness article. The further I read the more I nodded and laughed. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Oh man the cluey article! I’ve felt this so many times but one that stands out happened when I went to kindergarten. It was during the days of those weird fat crayons (are those even still a thing?). They were a required school supply. My mom was really young (25 at the time) and also we were really poor. She reasoned that I already knew how to use regular crayons just fine and already owned them so it would save the expense if I just took those to school. She put them in a box and sent them with me.
    After school the teacher approached my mom holding out the cardboard box with the regular crayons told her they weren’t appropriate. She needed to buy the right ones. The thought of my mom being so young and likely struggling to pay for all the expenses of a child starting school being called out by the teacher just kills me. I just turned 40 and I still think of it all the time.

    • shade says...

      Ugh. Stupid teacher. As if it even matters what type of crayons you have! Now I’m feeling so cluey for your mom!

  4. Kristina L says...

    When my dad was 9, he had an early morning paper route. One morning his stomach hurt so bad he had to turn his bike around and go home. He sat on the front step, doubled over in pain with his paper bag beside him, but not wanting to go inside and wake up his mom at such an early hour. Turns out he sat there for an hour or so with acute appendicitis. This story has given me clueyness my whole life!

  5. Madeline says...

    My husband (so crazy to write that–we were just married 3 day ago!) and I often have silent dinners without even realizing it. He’s the chef of the house and makes these INSANE meals that are so mind-blowingly good that talking would be an interruption. We call silent dinners “the conversation of hungry people.”

  6. Erica says...

    Oh man… I suffer often from “clueyness.” It sneaks up on me when I’m falling asleep or doing something by myself and I remember something that I did that I feel ashamed about (talked badly about someone behind their back, cracked a joke at someone else’s expense, said something mean to my mom) and I feel SO horrible! Things that have happened over 5 years ago, like the author’s FedEx incident, will HAUNT me. I think it’s good to feel clueyness sometimes so we can avoid doing similar things in the future, but at some point it’s no use ruminating on them for so long. You just end up torturing yourself.

  7. I’m a wuss for tattoos, too – but I follow like 400 tattoo Instagram accounts.

  8. ALI says...

    Oh my word I literally laugh cried the entire way through the Cluey article. Every word was so freaking true and yet so hilariously written at the same time. Thank you for always finding and sharing gems like this!

  9. emmy says...

    I really really hated that “clueyness” article. Anyone else? I actually think there are valid reasons to feel badly in those situations…”cluey” is just a word that diminishes the actual feelings of the other people involved by saying that they probably weren’t that affected by your actions. Maybe that guy should have just gone back and opened the door for the fed ex man, or taken a few minutes to play with his dog, or should just generally do nice things for people and step outside of himself and his needs for others. It felt like he was patting himself on the back for being nice because he feels bad about something that doesn’t matter, instead of taking some time to think about how those tiny things actually do matter, because they add up and can make a huge difference. Yuck! it left a really bad taste in my mouth. Sorry for the diatribe…

    • Lydia says...

      I don’t think he was saying you shouldn’t feel bad in those situations and I don’t think it diminishes the feelings of the people involved at all. To me, “clueyness” is about the sort of day-to-day sad things that most people can relate to, so we can really empathize. To use the Clue example, going to war and seeing your friends be killed is an objectively worse thing than your kids leaving to play with their friends when you planned to play Clue with them. But when you tell both of those stories, almost everyone can relate to getting excited to do something with someone and then it not happening and being disappointed and lonely. We actually feel that disappointment and loneliness, sometimes strangely strongly. Going to war and seeing your friends killed is less relateable to a lot of people, so we can sympathize but we can’t empathize the way we can with the other story. The paradox he is talking about is not that we feel sad when we shouldn’t, it’s that we feel sad about things we can relate to, which are often mundane events that we have all had.

  10. Jayme says...

    But when Tim kneeled to pray, outrage!

    • Madeline says...

      The NFL is a private organization and can operate on their own terms (assuming, of course, that those terms are legal). If the argument is really about freedom of speech, the NFL has the right to determine their own hiring and firing standards.

      Tebow made a statement about his own personal beliefs; Kaepernick made a statement about racism in America. Both made public statements as private employees. To be opposed to one (Kaepernick) and not the other (Tebow) is hypocritical.

      If you celebrated Tim Tebow’s actions but are upset with Colin Kaepernick, I’d kindly suggest that you ask yourself why your reactions are different. You may also consider reading how the two men’s actions are actually very similar (beyond an exercise of freedom of speech): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/09/24/colin-kaepernick-vs-tim-tebow-a-tale-of-two-christianities-on-its-knees/?utm_term=.b72023c51eb9

  11. Lisa says...

    My cluey story is one passed down to me from my mom, and I STILL feel guilty.
    We lived far away from my grandparents, so on one visit, she’d arranged to meet my grandfather (with me – I was a toddler) in town. Apparently he was really excited about bringing his daughter and granddaughter in to meet his colleagues, but apparently I was acting up so my mom took the bus home early instead. It still breaks my heart, the thought of my grandfather waiting for us to turn up, but to no avail (even though I have a toddler now and can TOTALLY understand giving up and going home)

  12. I love how you include some of the best comments in your posts!

    Sometimes I try to browse through the comments on people’s posts, but sometimes they are just SO MANY to go through that I often just leave my own and forget about it, but you get some really interesting and insightful comments, and I love that you share them with us.

    Perhaps I’ll try to make more time to have a read through your comment sections!

  13. Em says...

    For the take a knee article… I know people who seem to be more upset that it’s happening during a sporting event than about it being disrespectful.

    I’ve heard them say, “football players are there for my entertainment and I don’t want to have to watch them protest. Can’t they just play the game and leave politics out of it?”

    I never know what to say back! I just get incredibly steamed.

    • Andrea says...

      I ask them if we want the player’s sacrifice of their bodies and minds, and not their experience or ideas. I also ask if we don’t want people respectfully raising issues of importance in the United States. I also ask if there might not be racial implications of football fans, who are majority white, implicitly telling players, who are a majority not white, when they can raise issues and what they can say.

  14. Eliza Hall says...

    I always say my little sister’s super power is extreme empathy (“clueyness”) and I’m saving every text she sends me about things that make her sad (old people counting change in the grocery store “what if that’s the last of their savings?!” , a middle aged man buying flowers “what if his wife doesn’t forgive him?”) to make it into a book.

  15. Meghan says...

    This was by far the best Friday post you guys have put together! I loved every article which included lots of cries, laughs and ah ha’s! I also sent some of the articles to my mom, dad, brother, girlfriends, and much to my boyfriend’s dismay, read them all to him as he was trying to sleep in Saturday morning after returning from a week long work trip (he loved them too from under his pillow)!
    Have a lovely weekend Cup of Jo ladies! I always look forward to this post!

  16. L says...

    My friends and I have our own phrase for clueyness! We call those situations ‘Danger Kitty’ after this commercial from several years ago:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RTElVMAsyDI

    I know it’s supposed to be funny, but… those faces at the bar mitzvah!

    ‘Danger Kitty’ has been part of our little group’s lexicon ever since (as in, “Good episode, but that scene at the end was too ‘Danger Kitty.’”). My husband has adopted it now too!

  17. Kate says...

    Cluey! I feel like children trigger so much of this. My son’s smallest unfulfilled hopes and dreams stay with me and make my heart ache. Just that little face of expectation as he works tirelessly on a card for a friend (that I know may be rejected or thrown out in front of him), or the trauma of a balloon floating away, or getting snubbed by the cat he’s in love with. It’s almost unbearable.

  18. Alexis says...

    The clueyness article though! Finally, my feelings artfully shared!!
    Also, I was laughing out loud at the Oprah article. How abundant is her little world?!

  19. Maria says...

    That tatoo is amazing indeed! I too am not into tattoos but have never seen such a beautiful one. Thanks for letting us know about this tatoo artist.

  20. This list is amazing!
    Especially love the beautiful tattoo and adore the True Botanicals packaging!
    Hope you have a lovely weekend <3

  21. Alda says...

    Those flowers give me so much warmth! Thanx again to all the team of Cup of Jo. Such an inspiring blog!

    Have a great weekend y’all!

  22. Kate says...

    Are you recommending the whole line of True Botanicals products for soft skin this fall or a certain one (or ones)? Because I could use all the help I could get with dry winter skin. Thanks!

  23. Sarah W says...

    Re: the tattoo. The artist is copyrighting reproductions his tattoo? Does that mean you have to commission an original drawing from him and buy it in order to get one of those tattoos, or he can sue for your reproduction? Is the tattoo artist liable? What is happening!? I was miffed at first but he is an artist and it is his work. But now terrified to get a tattoo I did not design or purchase the design for?!?!?!

    • Tracey says...

      Lots of artists offer “tattoo tickets” in their online shops where you basically just buy the rights to the artwork for your tattoo.

  24. Natalie says...

    *poor! Oops

  25. Natalie says...

    Oh my gosh yes to the clueyness. So well said about a phenomenon I experience all the time – never even occurred to me other people might too. I’m not even that much of an animal person but my heart breaks into pieces and I feel sad for much longer than I should whenever I see a dog try to drink out of a bowl that no longer has water in it. What a horrible feeling to be thirsty! How many times has this happened to this pour innocent soul?

  26. Stephanie says...

    Cluey: My husband wears contacts during the day and takes them out at night. Every now and then I’ll forget that without his contacts he’s essentially blind so, as he walks toward the bed, I’ll ask him to find something for me. He’ll pat around until, finally, I remember and jump right up to help.

    I always feel SO sad when this happens. Like I cannot handle that there are a brief few minutes before his head hits the pillow, and he falls right to sleep, that he can’t see.

    I’ll even imagine what life would have been like if he were born before contacts are glasses and I can feel almost heartbroken for a moment.

    Whenever I tell him all this . . . He laughs.

    • KylieO says...

      Oh my god, I laughed so much at this, because I AM the blind contacts wearer and my husband never feels sorry for me, even when I remind him how blind I actually am!!

    • Sharol Florence says...

      Laughing so hard I’m crying! I’m a blind contacts wearer too. I can relate to your poor husband.

  27. Raquel says...

    Thanks for all the link Joanna. Now, one more thing, I do really value your blog as a place that does not shy away of current events. I wish you would have mentioned Puerto Rico lately, or give us a website where we can donate or so. Please do it. Our compatriots need all the help they can get. THANKS!

    • Alex says...

      I did some research recently and decided to donate to United for Puerto Rico (http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/), organized by the First Lady of Puerto Rico. That’s where donations routed through One America Appeal are being sent. I figure if it’s good enough for Obama, it’s good enough for me!

    • Alex says...

      Addendum! A friend just turned me on to this, but I think it’s an incredible (and creative!) effort from a local brewery (Oskar Blues in Colorado) and worth sharing. They’ve suspended canning beer to can water to send to Puerto Rico, where drinking water is one of the biggest needs. A $10 donation covers a case of canned water, and they will be matching all donations up to $50,000. You can donate here: https://candaid.giv.sh/9a10
      (More info on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CANdAidFoundation/)

  28. Anya says...

    Ha! I see the clueyness really resonated with a lot of people! I was sad for YEARS because my dad once mentioned that he sometimes got sushi for lunch at the hospital cafeteria where he worked, but then commented that it was mostly rice. I couldn’t shake the thought of my dad sitting alone at lunch eating bad sushi. My brother finally outed me about it and my dad’s response… “I love rice!”

  29. Cherie says...

    Cluey! Yes, add this to the dictionary right away! I have always felt this way and recognise this trait in my nine year old daughter. Recently the family was watching a YouTube clip that showed a young child, presumably on Christmas morning, playing with a flying fairy toy that flew straight into the fireplace and was lost. We all laughed and passed the clip around. When my daughter watched it she gulped back a tear and said ‘I can’t laugh, this is just so sad’. Oh my love, you have a bad case of the Clueys!

  30. Maria says...

    Okay this is silly but I read the interview piece and now I’m questioning whether I know what “business casual” means for women if it’s not flats and a blazer. I’ve been in casual nonprofits workplaces my whole career so perhaps my formality scale is skewed! Anyone have any dress code insights? In the next few months I’m going on the job market for the first time in a while and could use some tips!

    • Leigh says...

      Can someone answer this? Great question. Thinking “aloud”: I get the professional dress being dark/neutral colored, conservative tailoring, long/long-ish, matching suit top and bottom, closed-toe, etc. So a step down from that for business casual is…all of this without the matching top and bottom? Or maybe some more fun color? Or the suit bottoms without the jacket? Maybe by “Flats and Blazer” she meant you could have on dark jeans? Or Khakis?

    • Julia says...

      I’ve worked in business casual workplaces for years, and I’m not sure that the blazer is necessary. I generally wear one if I have an important meeting (and I would wear a suit to an interview at a business casual workplace), but that’s it. Cardigans over a blouse/dressy tee with slacks are a go-to. You could wear a button-up shirt or a sweater with no blazer. Personally, I wear a lot of skirts with matching tops but not jackets. For shoes, flats or wedges or even sometimes dress sandals are all acceptable. If you like heels, wear heels and if you don’t, don’t. I worked at a more casual environment with a lot of engineers…engineers like wearing jeans and sneakers, haha…and for the business side of the office, as long as we weren’t wearing jeans, anything else that looked nice was acceptable. HR should have a dress code with more specifics, too! I love business casual…I don’t really have to have separate work and after-work clothes other than jeans.

  31. Catherine says...

    Yes! Thank you for the word “cluey!” When I was a child, my dad told me a story about when he was a little boy. He described how, as his sweet mom was tucking him into bed, he told her he was thirsty. So after tucking him in, she went to the kitchen to get him a glass of milk, and when she returned my dad was fast asleep. Even though many years had passed by the time he was telling me this story, he still felt sad or, “cluey,” about the thought of his loving mother returning with a full glass of milk but no one to give it to. Being the sensitive child I was, I too felt “cluey” for my grandmother. Sadly, she passed away before I was born so I never got the honor of meeting her. My dad says I would’ve loved her and I have no doubt he is right.

  32. Amy says...

    I used to waitress, and seeing people eating alone would get me feeling very cluey. But when I became comfortable enough to enjoy eating out alone, I realized I may have been projecting my own feelings at the time. Or maybe I just told myself I was projecting because the clueyness was too unbearable!

  33. Julia says...

    My god! Re-reading “Sad Paw Paw” made me cry and then laugh all over again. I feel very cluey right now ;)

  34. Courtney says...

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The article on taking a knee is spot on. I have heard way too many people disagree with taking a knee and it breaks my heart that I know that many people who can’t show empathy.

  35. Laura says...

    A+ weekend roundup this week!
    The tip about interviewers being real people is such a good one. I recently had to interview people for an open position in my practice and it felt like such a joke. I mean, yes I’m 30 years old, but they let me deliver babies and conduct interviews? HOW?? I had no idea what I was doing but found that I really enjoyed the process. I basically just got to have conversations with bright, professional women who share my interests. The question in the back of my mind throughout all of my interviews was, “would I enjoy working with this person?” and my favorite candidates were those who seemed relaxed and sincere.

    • Anne says...

      Not trying to play devil’s advocate here, but I find this type of generalization bothers me…that because people believe differently, they must be unempathetic, racist, blah, blah, blah. Couldn’t we just as easily say that the “kneelers” are not showing empathy for those who lost a loved one in defense of our flag and our national values? We must recognize that both sides can actually be well-intentioned; instead, we too often take the “holier than thou” stance.

    • Eliza Hall says...

      This comment is for Anne(who I think accidentally responded to the wrong comment): Empathy is very complex; it can be overextended and under extended, it can be used by bullies who use it to their advantage to prod someone’s deepest hurts. Empathy is also biased based on how much you identify with a person/group. You can also make an action that shows empathy for one group per person and not another. Empathy isn’t the emotional response, it’s the ABILITY to share the feelings of another. I will never be ABLE to empathize with a member of the KKK because of my empathy for black americans. I cannot and refuse to identify with them. I can empathize with both fallen soldiers and black americans (of which I am not a soldier, black, or an american) and I don’t think those empathetic responses cancel each other out or are warring with each other. The devil doesn’t usually need more advocates.

      Separately but similarly, “Clueyness” is another word for empathy! The author has empathy for her grandfather but we assume the grandfather also showed empathy for his own children because he didn’t bring it up or make them feel badly. He probably said to himself, as I regularly do about my children, “good – something to distract them that they enjoy!” and then read a magazine he’s been trying to read for weeks. I’m assuming CLUE came out of the cupboard after that and they enjoyed a game or two together another time.

  36. Sheila says...

    Two things: 1) Yay! To anything Oprah. I don’t have her in my life as much as I used to, and I miss her. Today I. The car, my 9 year old daughter asked me to name the 5 people I would like to meet, dead or alive. (She’s in a phase: Name 5 best hair-dos, name 5 scariest movies I’ve seen, Name 5 favorite sandwiches. Exhausting!) I said I’d like to meet Oprah, and she didn’t know who she was! I have failed as a parent. All hail Oprah!!
    2) To the person who said dill and fennel are the same, they aren’t. Different veg, very different flavors, fronds and all.

  37. Your Friday posts are one of my favorite ways to start the weekend! I always have a good laugh, tell my husband about at least one of the posted links that I find fascinating, and then I go start making supper with a smile on my face! Have a fantastic weekend!

  38. Al says...

    The clueyness article makes me thoughtful but also something else. I can see some of my family members telling a story like this so everyone would feel sorry for him. They would leave out the part about being really bad people and not deserving of attention from their family. We love to romanticize old people, automatically blame younger people for poor behavior, and often forget that there are often many sides to a story.

    And the whole “we put the story on Facebook and now gazillions of folks are coming over for burgers” is just so insincere. Are those people going to actually build a relationship with the people they “save” or will they just bask in their savior moment and forget, thus making even more clueyness situations?

  39. Kim says...

    Oh my GAH to the clueyness article. Dagger in the heart.

    A few other folks said this was co-dependency. I think it’s a result of being a “highly sensitive person.” This is a real thing! Here is a quiz to determine if you are: http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/. Once I realized I am, everything made perfect sense: why commercials make me cry, why action and horror and thriller movies make me so anxious, and why sirens and balloons popping make my skin crawl!

  40. SK says...

    I couldn’t even finish reading the clueyness article because it evoked too many feelings for me!

  41. Shawn says...

    I’m not against peaceful protest. That’s what this country was built on- the freedom to oppose or speak out against anything or anyone you deemed unjust. I do take issue, however, with protesting whilst “on the job”. I’m a physician. I can’t imagine “taking a knee” or equivalent in protest during surgery. That would be incredibly inappropriate. There’s a time and place to make your voice heard. And a stadium full of patrons that paid to see athletes do their thing is not it.

    • t says...

      I would have to say that a football player’s job is not to stand up during the national anthem; it’s to play football. So equating taking a knee to a physician protesting during surgery isn’t accurate.

      A more accurate metaphor would be if a hospital had the policy of standing up and reciting the pledge of allegiance prior to performing surgery and the physician was unwilling to stand as a sign of peaceful protest. And I would also support that.

    • Al says...

      I agree with T. Shawn, you would never be put in this position at work, so why try to compare the two? And thanks to all those who have participated in the labor movement for the past 100+ years and protested while on the job, we have made some progress.

    • Maria says...

      I think this is crazy–If people did not show respect for our country because they didn’t agree with something the government was doing or societal flaws, then no one would take a knee, no one would salute the flag. Of course there are always going to be issues that are protested as we continue to progress. Showing respect isn’t about agreeing with a political movement, it’s much more than that. Shouldn’t we be thankful we live in a country that gives us the freedom to have discussions like this?

  42. t says...

    I have been waiting for you to mention the #takeaknee movement. Thank you.

    I love our flag, our anthem, our military (my god I am grateful to our military), and our country and taking a knee doesn’t mean you don’t love those things; it is a symbolic, peaceful and public way of declaring that some things need to change.

    I relate it to a time-out for child. You don’t love your child any less when you are enforcing a time out; you are just saying that behavior or action is unacceptable. Right now, our country needs a time out because we have some very unacceptable behaviors/actions going on.

    • Maggie says...

      Well said!

  43. SR says...

    I have an interview for medical school on Tuesday – which I decide to finally pursue after reading “When Breath Becomes Air,” based on your recommendation and familial ties! – so these interview tips are super well-timed. Thank you!

    • t says...

      good luck!!

  44. Michelle says...

    Thank you for sharing that video link on taking a knee. I’ve had so many thoughts and feelings about this topic and really love the clear way Dale articulates what’s so wrong about Trump’s message.

    • Cari says...

      I feel the same way! He did a wonderful job; thank you cup of Jo!

    • Lindsay says...

      I saw that on insta! So funny

  45. Queen with a plain face says...

    The clueyness post is definitely spot on in articulating a certain emotion, but am I the only one who thinks it’s backwards in tone/approach? I don’t agree that there’s sooo many people going through life feeling terrible about things that barely affected the other person–quite the opposite, in my experience, most people go through life glibly unaware of how they’ve been casually cruel to others while also nursing memories of the moments they have themselves been hurt or rejected. And if your actions are the cause of clueyness, it’s not irrational to feel guilty, it’s an appropriate reaction to having acted (minorly) like a jerk. We’ve all done it of course, but I’m in the camp of seeing it as motivation to be more compassionate in the future, not less.

    • Charlotte says...

      Yes! Thank you! My thoughts as well. Empathy (that is the express emotion they are trying to describe, isn’t it?) certainly isn’t a comfortable feeling but it is what gives us our humanity and fuels our growth and kindness towards others. I don’t at all think it’s something that we should try to hush up in ourselves. And I hate to make things so topical, but seriously, in these times, we all need a bit more empathy (clueyness), don’t we not?

  46. Julia says...

    Don’t you feel like cluey-ness only works for kids, as they’re learning what’s socially acceptable and the nice thing to do? I definitely remember having that specific feeling from things I did to my parents as a kid, but the author’s story of not getting the door for the FedEx man just made them sound like a jerk! Once you’re an adult you should know better, and I would argue you really should feel a bit guilty about behaving that way.

    • Michelle says...

      Thank you I agree the author was so rude to the Fedex guy. Jerk was the right word I was looking for and it seems they have been a jerk for many years

  47. I have a newfound appreciation for Oprah’s garden posts after hearing her speak this summer. She talked about growing up poor and how her grandmother made her work in the garden to save money and that they would try to eat only what they could grow instead of buying fruits and vegetables in the store, since it would save them money. She always envied other kids who got to eat packaged fruits and vegetables from the “Jolly Green Giant” instead of having to harvest them. As she got older, bought her own property, and learned to appreciate healthy living, she now sees herself as privileged to be able to harvest fruits and vegetables in her own backyard. Plus she said she enjoys eating her dinner more when she knows she grew it herself. (And if you were curious I heard her speak on the O Magazine Holland America Cruise this past July and she is as spirited in person as she appears in her Instagram posts!)

  48. Chrissie says...

    OHMYGODCLUEYNESS. I read this article a while back and it resonated hard. In my house we say “it was so fucking cluey” constantly.

    There are many stories of my own childhood clueyness that just break my heart as an adult looking back. For example, when I was 11 my 12 year old brother had a best friend, Aaron, who was the coolest kid in school and whom I had the biggest crush on. I had glasses (extremely dorky, cluey ones of course) but I had stopped wearing them outside of class and Aaron not being in my grade wouldn’t have known. Anyway, Aaron was over my house for a sleep over and I remember hanging out in my little 11 year old dorky ass nightgown in the living room watching tv with him. At one point I got up to get my glasses from the fire place mantle and I said to him “I actually have to wear glasses if you want to see”. Right then he cut me off as I was about to put them on and said “no, I know, nobody cares” and went on with his life. The cluey part is little 11 year old me going “oh…” folding up my glasses and having to walk over to the mantle and put them away. Yeah it was a little douchey what he said but grand scheme of things not too bad. But I’ll never forget forget because of the sheer clueyness!! Heartbreaking!!

  49. Amy P says...

    As an obliger – that would totally work for me. I need to set up more things like this in my life!

  50. Rae says...

    This list! So good.

  51. Em says...

    OH MY GOD clueyness describes my life. I can even get sad when something sad hasn’t even happened… like an old person eating an ice cream cone. Why is that so sad to me? God help me if it falls on the floor… an old person looking down at their dropped ice cream cone. I can’t.

    I also get this feeling when I imagine my dog with his ball, when I think about my parents eating dinner at home without me– the list goes on and on. It’s nice to have a word for this, but geeeez I’m about to cry.

    • Cherie says...

      Yes! I get sad watching old people do food shopping alone. I can’t even. But I love that I have a word now:

    • Olivia says...

      Totally feel this way when I see old people working at a grocery store even though they’re probably just doing it to pass the time. Lol

  52. Bailey says...

    I JUST CAN’T HANDLE CLUEYNESS. Almost burst into tears at work just reading that.

  53. Clueyness. Indeed. But thanks to the commenter who pointed out the link with codependency. Makes total sense. I really am not in charge of everybody’s happiness.

  54. Mara says...

    Yes to the clueyness article! Seventeen (!!) years ago, when I was just two weeks into my freshman year of college, my mom overnighted me a birthday care package to arrive right on my birthday. In it was a full cake, candles in a box, matches, streamers, balloons, hats, blowers, etc. So I was told. I was having so much fun meeting new people and partying that I NEVER PICKED UP THE PACKAGE. My mom missed me terribly and called me crying because she missed me, and asked about the package. I said “oh I’ll get it real soon” and didn’t. A couple days later when I made a lame excuse about still not getting around to picking it up, she sadly said, “There’s a cake..and candles…and decorations inside.” When my lazy butt finally got around to getting it at the campus post office, they said they had to throw it away because it was marked as a perishable food item. My poor mom tried to make my first birthday away from home wonderful, and I blew it big time. All these years later my heart breaks thinking about it, and I’m nearly crying writing this up now! Since then, I have always been very conscientious about these things, plus multiple thank-yous.

    • Abby says...

      Oh I can’t handle the clueyness of this one…I want to cry

    • Caitlin says...

      omg…my cluey heart is crying right now.

    • Jayme says...

      Don’t be so hard on yourself. Your mom could have told you there was a cake inside the very next day when she called! : )

  55. Stephanie says...

    Reading about “clueyness” makes my heart ache.

  56. Marisa says...

    I too am afflicted to a life of clueyness. The other day I saw an awkward preteen walking up a hill alone carrying a heavy backpack and I burst into the tears. How do we get over this??

  57. Katie says...

    these all work, per usual. thanks for the ‘take a knee’ link. i’ve never heard more 8th grade boys talking about the first amendment then i have at work (teaching 8th grade) this week. girls were fired up about it, too. thanks.

    • Katie says...

      ROCK! i mean, ROCK!

  58. Carol says...

    My dog is socially ambivalent, and seeing other dogs get SO excited to play with him and run up with great glee just to have my dog totally ignore them BREAKS MY HEART. #cluey

  59. A.M. says...

    You guys… Clueyness is real! After a year of therapy I can say with near certainty that I think that the author is actually describing codependency – where you feel overwhelming responsibility for others. I am still trying to work that out for myself, because I have too many “cluey” moments to count – and they are mostly with my parents. As a result, I catch myself often telling my daughter she does not need to feel responsible for me. I don’t want her to have that burden.

    • Lisa says...

      wow, right on! I think clueyness might be a form of co-dependency. It totally exists.

    • Em says...

      I think it’s also an over-sentimentality. I don’t necessarily feel responsible for anyone’s happiness in these cluey situations, but I do feel an intense empathy. The things that make me the most cluey are situations I can imagine myself in, and thus feel what they’d be feeling — like loneliness.

      There’s also the care that goes into these things and how sweet it is… think about an old many slowly making burgers with his old man hands. This won’t I can’t quite put my finger on or explain.

      They’re also reminders of the passing of time, and how fleeting life can be. That’s probably why so many seem to be centered around old people. Deep in our brains, we probably think, “Will they ever have the chance to play Clue again?” Waaaaa :(

  60. Amanda says...

    Wow I really liked that “Why it’s Okay to Eat Dinner in Silence” article! I guess I’ve never actually thought about it but when my fiance and I are out to dinner and the conversation lulls, I’ve kind of panicked, thinking “are we already out of things to say to each other? We’re not even married yet!” But she’s totally right, we talk on and off all day, so why does dinner need to be full of conversation without pause? Just stepping back and realizing that is a relief!

  61. Em says...

    I am also crying with clueyness over the lovely, lovely burger-making grandpa and the photo of him manfully chewing on his burger by himself. I may NEVER get over this story.

    • Mara says...

      Me too. It makes me miss my beloved grandparents terribly, and I think how lucky people are whose grandparents are still alive. I suppose that’s a life lesson, you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. Well, at least this story has a nice ending, though! :-)

  62. The Clueyness one is so good! It made me nauseous, with an anxious stomach ache and I started audibly crying at work. It is such a visceral emotion that I could never fully describe until now. So good, but yikes rough on the ole psyche. Gonna head to my grandparent’s house then some art shows at the library and offer to play clue with everyone.

    • Carol says...

      Oh my gosh I feel you!

  63. shashi says...

    Clueyness…that is SO me

  64. Alexandra says...

    Oh my god I teared up at my desk reading the Clueyness article. I was on the bus once and we were at a stop while passengers got on. An elderly Chinese woman (with more than a passing resemblance to my grandmother) was walking up the street, saw that the bus was about to leave and broke into as fast a run-walk as she could manage with her grocery bags. Just as she got to the door, they closed right in front of her. She put her hand on the glass but the driver started the bus anyways. This was over five years ago but probably once a week I still think of her face and how she looked with all her grocery bags, alone at the bus stop—and now I have a word for it.

    • Heather says...

      Oh my gosh, heartbreaking!!!

  65. Thank you for teaching me the word for the straw that broke the camels back of my post-college relationship — “clueyness” is exactly how I wish I could have articulated it, at the time. The anticipation and excitement in planning to surprise someone with something you know they would love, and how it arcs through anxiousness, anger, sorrow, and feeling an absolute fool, when realizing they aren’t just a little late… clueyness. I am so grateful to have a word for that.

    The links to Pawpaw’s cookout and Grandma Magdelene’s art show made me cry, and call my grandma, so things aren’t all bad.

  66. The Clueyness really got me too. Yes, yes, yes. :( I’ll probably spend the whole weekend thinking of examples of this.

  67. Lana says...

    Hahaha! I follow Oprah and her garden on instagram and my favorite was the dill picture. She’s like, “What do you do with so much dill?!” And it’s fennel. Lol! I love her so much.

    • Alexandra says...

      I learned recently that dill and fennel are the same plant! Fennel is the bulb below, while dill is the herb made from the leafy part above.

    • Lindsay says...

      Alexandra– the tops are called “fennel fronds” and taste like fennel

  68. How exactly am I supposed to have a relaxing weekend after clicking on the Clueyness link?! Oy, my heart is bleeding. When I was in my early 20s and broke, I would take my Ford Escort to a local mechanic named Jed who was super sweet and, despite not having much money himself, always cut me a deal. One Saturday he invited local folks to come to his shop, have some BBQ and learn the basics about car care – all his treat. Well, my mom and I were the only ones to show up. I’m 45 and it still creeps back into my memory. It’s almost unbearable. And very cluey.

    • Heather says...

      Oh my gosh, that story is heartbreaking, and I totally agree!

      I remember on a college tour of William & Mary with my siblings and parents, we randomly saw that the late, great Mitch Hedberg was performing on campus, so we went to see him. There was a W&M student sitting on the aisle a few rows ahead of us, and he kept looking back up the aisle towards the door the whole night, clearly waiting for someone he was expecting who never came. We still talk about this and wonder what happened!

    • Oh! This affects me so much, too. Whenever we go out to eat and I see someone eating alone, I swear it throws off my entire evening; I worry about why they are alone, if they’re enjoying themselves or not, if WE should invite them to sit with us, what their life is like, etc. My fiancé always counters with, maybe they want to be alone just for a couple hours tonight. That gives me a tiny bit of solace but if they are sitting there without a friend, no book/phone/magazine, I just think about them nonstop.

    • A says...

      I have read through all the cluey examples on the original story and all the comments on CoJ and this, this is the most cluey one of all. My heart is breaking for that mechanic.