Design

Have a Great (Long) Weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We are actually flying to L.A. tomorrow! We’ll be visiting Alex’s mom and soaking up some California sunshine. I’m also packing this new book for the plane; I’ve read great reviews, so I’m excited to crack it. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun posts from around the web…

This illustrator drew on the walls of her apartment.

My grandmother’s rule for love.

Good news: Dermstore is having a huge sale on everything, including Meghan Markle’s beloved mascara.

25 awesome icebreaker questions.

Have you seen Be Right Back? I can’t stop thinking about it.

An Olympian’s techniques for staying calm under pressure. “I used to go out in competition and be like, ‘The weight of world is on my shoulders.’ To get a sense of reality and the things that actually matter in life, I’ll go to my coaches and ask how their family is doing. It reminds me that life is so much bigger than the arena I’m in.” (His Twitter feed is also amazing.)

Six delicious restaurants in New York City.

The sound of skating on thin ice. Yikes!

What a cute T-shirt.

Seven ways to break up with your cell phone. (Loved #1.)

Digging these napkins.

Plus, a great reader comment:

Says Kate on an accidental wedding dress: “I was married in a rose-colored dress, am now divorced but count my ex-husband among my closest family members, and am in a monogamous (unmarried) long-term relationship and full-time parent to my partner’s two step-kids. On the day I got married in that beautiful rose dress, I never, ever would have predicted that a decade later I would find myself here, living a completely different life. And so I offer you this: There will be many milestones but no conclusions. The feeling of being settled is a transient one — regardless of whether we remain married to one person ’til death do us part or spend our lives single, stability comes and goes, and any belief to the contrary is an illusion. There is at once no answer and always an answer: It exists right here, in this essay, inside yourself, in the people you love and places you go and the work you do. You are the answer, the one constant in the cornucopia of happily-ever-afters that will most likely exist within the span of your lifetime. So, let’s let go of the idea that there is one happy ending and celebrate the many happy endings, the shapes of each other’s lives and the many shapes of our own. And let’s do it in whatever damn dress (or jeans or pajamas) makes us feel most like ourselves.”

Have a good one. xoxo

(Photo by Teresa Yang Fung. Illustrator’s apartment via Sarah Jampel. Icebreakers via Jocelyn Glei.)

  1. Katie says...

    Holy smokes that reader comment on the dress!!!!!

    • Erin says...

      I was just scrolling down to say the same thing. I want this comment painted on my walls a-la Angela Hicks. :)

  2. Lindsay says...

    Hi Joanna,
    In was wondering if you are enjoying that book ‘Back Talk’. I’m about to take a 20 hour flight and am looking for some last minute (light but interesting) reads to download. Any other suggestions are welcome! Thank you and enjoy your vacation. xx

  3. Jen says...

    ‘Great reader comment’ is the understatement of the year. Talk about the best comment I’ve ever read here! Thanks Kate, your words are timely and greatly appreciated.

  4. Love your wisdom Kate. I rewrote it ,so I see it often to remind myself that yes, it exists right here inside yourself. Thank you!

  5. The grandmother’s love really spoke to me as did the reader’s comment. I just got out of a 2 year relationship where my “in-laws” never respected me and my partner never understood why it was an issue. He always claimed they were polite but I told him polite wasn’t enough, I was seeking inviting.

  6. Leigh says...

    Black Mirror (Season 1) really made me think for days after each episode. The one you mentioned, plus a few others were so thought provoking. There were also a few that were VERY unsettling for me. My favorite by far was the San Junipero episode. It comes towards the end of the season and definitely was a bit of a relief after some more….anxiety provoking episodes. Starting Season 2 after finishing up Alias Grace, thanks for that suggestion by the way. Excellent show!

    • Hang the DJ in Season 4 also has a Be Right Back and San Junipero feel.

  7. Tiffany D Frias says...

    The reader comment about many happy endings is beautiful and poignant. Things don’t have to be permanent to be beautiful, meaningful, or worthwhile.

  8. Laura says...

    While Lexi is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her baby, I recommend she watch the Netflix documentary, “The Center Will Not Hold,” about Joan Didion. I remember that Didion is Lexi’s favorite, and I thought the documentary was great.

  9. Heather says...

    Be Right Back messed with my brain for days!!!

  10. Laura says...

    be right back was so dark, but it also made me think about how we still keep people in our lives (ex boyfriends or girlfriends, broken friendships) through the online world. i’m sure it’s an unhealthy habit, but i’d be lying if i said i didn’t participate.

  11. Ooh, my twin sister and I will be flying to LA next month to celebrate our birthday. Hope you do a recap of your trip. It’ll be our first time visiting LaLa land ;)

  12. Ally says...

    Be Right Back is my favorite Black Mirror episode. Even better the second time around.

    SPOILER; comment below for those who have already seen the episode:

    That said, I was struck by the thought that so far all the fictional films I have seen show men being totally a-ok with robot women as long-term life/sexual partners (e.g. Blade Runner, Ex Machina, The One I Love), whereas when it’s the woman contemplating a robot man in films *written by men* (The One I Love, Be Right Back), she much prefers a disappointing boyfriend to a considerate and physically perfect AI male. Which is a funnily self-serving take when you think about it.

    I think this topic could use women writers’ take for a change. For example, instead of another film about female sex robots (Westworld, Humans, Ex Machina, etc., etc.), imagine a world where every woman can buy a robot boyfriend/bodyguard she can keep and take with her everywhere. Might reduce catcalls, gropings and assaults… Might make it possible for all women to be out at all hours of the night and to always feel safe in their own homes, for instance… a world sci-fi might consider picturing.

    • Paige says...

      What an interesting insight! If you write something, I’ll read it!

  13. Anna says...

    Absolutely love the reader comment from Kate. Incredible.

  14. One thing that has really helped me with my phone “addition” is to abide by this rule: if I don’t have time to respond or take action on what I see on my phone, I don’t look at it. For example, if I were ducking into the restroom while at dinner with friends, I wouldn’t have time to respond to client emails… so why would I check my work email from the bathroom stall (also, i know… gross.)? If there’s something urgent in there it’s just going to distract me from the evening, and truthfully… if something is truly urgent I’d get a call or text. Similarly, I deleted Facebook from my phone so I can only access it via my computer when I want to use it for my business (and I use a chrome extension called “News Feed Eradicator” anyway, which is RAD). I’m still addicted to instagram though, and am trying to get better there. It’s tough, because I use it a lot for my business. ??‍♀️

    • Jo says...

      Thats a good tip about not checking the messages.

      A simple trick that has helped me is to put the phone face down when I need to focus on a task at work, for example. Just the phone lighting up with a message distracts me briefly, which I now avoid.

  15. Amy says...

    Re: “Seven ways to break up with your cell phone. (Loved #1.)”
    I foolishly read this as “how to break up with [someone over] your cell phone”. I was pretty surprised to see that here, so when you said you loved #1, I assumed that #1 would be “DON’T.” When I got to the actual article, I realized I had misread it!
    I haven’t read the article yet – but I’m going to. Today is actually the first day of habit-breaking for me. I’ve decided to no longer look at the Explore feed on Instagram. I’ve wasted HOURS (hell, likely MONTHS) of my life just scrolling endlessly through things that Instagram knows I want to see. It’s awful. So, today is day 1! I’m 10.5 hours in and, so far, I’ve resisted (and got out of bed much quicker!) I just hope I ultimately don’t replace it with something else (Pinterest, I hear your siren song in the distance…)

  16. Kali says...

    Cup of Jo was just plugged on Dax Shepard’s new podcast. The producer was fact-checking something Dax said and referenced an article written in the NY Times by Alex … thus connecting him to you because she, the producer, follows your blog. Out of left field but it made me smile as soon as they said both your names. I was like, I know them! Oh wait … I don’t, really, but still! <3

  17. Clara says...

    Kate’s comment…I don’t think I’ve ever needed to hear anything more. Thank you, Kate! You wisest of wise women!!!

  18. Alyssa says...

    The Black Mirror Episode is one of only two that I’ve seen but I think about it so much. There’s a great podcast called Life.After that is in a similar fashion to that show. I was hooked on it as well.

    And Kate – thank you for summing up so well what it means to be a human and how to celebrate that along the way.

  19. Absolutely loved reading the article on “My grandmother’s rule for love” – definitely worth a read

  20. Samantha says...

    I watched Be Right Back a long time ago and was in tears by the end of it. Not so much sad tears though, more like disturbed/scared tears – I guess mainly because it feels like we’re not so far away from being able to do that and it just seems so wrong. That episode is when I decided to stop watching Black Mirror.

    I think it’s an amazing show (including that episode) because it can make you feel things you’ve never felt before! The issue for me though is that these are also feelings I never *want* to feel and so I find it hard to ever be in the mood to watch another episode.

  21. c says...

    Kate’s comment- too good and completely what I needed on a day like today. Thank you so much for highlighting that one :)

  22. Laura says...

    Yes, Kate! Yes!

  23. Amy says...

    I love the meat rule! I’m Chinese and whenever we had big celebrations, we always had lobster as one of the specialty dishes. I told my boyfriend (who is now my husband) the best pieces are from the tail. My husband is a real gentleman, and would always spin the table to serve the elders and then my other cousins first (which meant by the time the lobster headed our way there was no tail left!)

    My parents lived in the states and didn’t participate in these dinners. However, a few years ago when they moved back to Canada, at our first dinner together, my boyfriend spun the table to serve my grandma and my mom first. Right away my mom picked two tail pieces and put them on my boyfriend’s and my plate. It was such a significant moment because it was showing that she accepted and respected him. My boyfriend was beaming, chewing on that lobster and understanding the importance of it!

  24. Julia says...

    That article on phone time was great, I appreciated that she mentions sometimes you do actually want to be on your phone but it’s a matter of limiting to when it is fun or useful. Of all things, my dog has taught me more about not being on my phone during every second of down time I have! My dog is kind of a personality and really loves having my undivided attention for a bit, and she knows that phone stuff is really not all that important (she leaves me alone when I’m reading a book, it’s the craziest thing!). So she’ll nudge it away for some pets. I’ve grown to appreciate the time of just thinking about nothing and sinking my fingers into her fur, it’s almost meditative. I’m hoping I keep it up with my baby (I’m pregnant now) since my baby probably won’t be as pushy as my dog is ;)

  25. Love love love that quote about the wedding dress!

    And OMG be right back is one of my absolute favorite black mirror episodes. I am sad because I have watched all of the episodes I wanted to… I skipped a few that didn’t look interesting to me, but should probably just watch those too.

  26. Elizabeth says...

    Oh my god that ice video… I am audibly gasping / covering my eyes / yelling NO, NO, NO!!! at my computer screen! OMG!!

  27. Nina says...

    Love the comment by Kate. Thank you.

  28. bisbee says...

    Dermstore’s sale excludes more brands than it includes. Unfortunate!

    • bisbee says...

      About “Be Right Back”…my husband and I started watching some episodes from Black Mirror recently after his daughter recommended it. I liked some…one really bothered me, so I haven’t continued (“White Bear”). Maybe I’ll give this episode a try…

  29. Have a great trip! Loved the ice breaker question link!

    Did you remember NOT to wear makeup on the flight?
    I didn’t wear makeup on my last flight three weeks ago. It was Zurich to Atlanta when we were moving back to the US. It was such a cleansing moment for me, but maybe I am too much of an Anne Shirley–in that I find significance in really small stuff.

  30. Klara says...

    Thank you Kate, you kinda nailed it!

  31. Sammy says...

    Re: cell phone addiction – I don’t have a smartphone. Therefore, not addicted to it!

  32. Meghan says...

    I just want to know the secret to reading on an airplane when you travel with children…

    • A says...

      Yes!!! Please tell us your ways :)

  33. Anna (in Colorado) says...

    Kate,

    Wrote out your comment in my journal. Thank you, whoever you are!

  34. HD says...

    KATE. Oh my god. Speaking directly into my soul today. Thank you for these beautiful words.

  35. I was sent that book you’re taking with you to read and review for my blog. Haven’t got to it yet. It’s “in line.”
    Brenda

  36. Kate’s comment takes my breath away. Not only is it insightful and important, it is so darn beautiful. I hope that Kate writes and shares often.

  37. Annie says...

    wow, kate’s comment…exactly what i needed to hear!

  38. Cait says...

    Loving “She would cook, but she would also be served” line from the grandmother’s rule for love.

  39. Kari says...

    I watched Be Right Back when I was pregnant with my son, and I spent the majority of it sobbing into my husband’s chest. I loved it though, I think, like the above poster, it’s my favorite after San Junipero. I adore Domhnall Gleeson too!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      domhnall actually lived across the hall from my friend years ago, in the east village. we hung out a bunch and he was SO nice. he was a new actor back then hoping and praying to make it work! :)

    • Laura says...

      aww that’s cute. i’ve loved all the roles he’s taken on that i’ve seen. i got a celeb crush on him after watching about time.

  40. Kay says...

    Wow, that comment from Kate is so sage, and so comforting. I love this blog and its wise, sweet readers.

  41. Laura C. says...

    Presents for Joanna when I’ll meet her:
    #1: Striped t-shirt.
    You’re so adorable, Joanna. ?
    Ps. That comment.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha I CANT STOP

  42. Cheryl says...

    Kate’s comment is truly awesome. Thanks for highlighting it, I would have never have read it otherwise.

  43. Sharon says...

    Another wow to that reader comment. Nailed it!

  44. V says...

    I read Kate’s comment a few days ago with bated breath, saved her comment in Notes. And have been going back to it daily since. It made smile seeing it on here again, so that more people could savour Kate’s wisdom. A close friend and I were just talking about this elusive feeling of settlement, and how different our lives are now compared to 7 years, now as female surgical residents. I immediately sent her what I’d saved in my Notes. Thank you again Kate, and COJ team!

  45. The two pieces of meat rule is sound. I’d like to have met her grandmother.

  46. amanda june says...

    Love the phone article (which of course I’m ironically reading on my phone). And my husband and I have been watching Black Mirror too, which has me thinking even more about technology and its effects lately, though it’s already something I think about often. (Walking through the airport or subway: everyone looking down at their phones — our current reality would have been bizarre enough for a trippy Black Mirror-like series several decades ago.) I used to do a weekly “sabbath” from my phone/the internet: no use whatsoever for a full day a week (my day off). Those close to me knew I wasn’t available by phone, and everything else could wait. It was freeing and gave a lot of perspective and balance to the way I used it the rest of the week, I think. Something I should probably get back to.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love the idea of a full day off, amanda june.

  47. Gillian says...

    I love this blog. I have read it every day for so, so many years but never commented (except to enter giveaways that I never win). Kate’s post was incredibly moving, eloquently written, and timely. Unlike almost everywhere else on the internet, I love reading the comments on this blog. Joanna – thanks for creating such a thoughtful space. And so glad to have Caroline back. Her writing is lovely and real, and I feel like it helped to inspire such an amazing response.

    • Anna says...

      Yes! I love the comment section too! It’s always so good.

  48. Carolyn says...

    Yes to Back Talk!

  49. ‘Forget that one happy ending and celebrate many happy endings’ – couldn’t be more agree with Kate. Such a great reminder.

  50. I’m glad to see you recommend Be Right Back, an episode from Black Mirror. I think Black Mirror is just one of the best things out there right now, so I’m always shocked when *all* of my friends say that they don’t watch it. “It’s too depressing”, they say, or “it’s too dark.”
    I think the show does such a fantastic job at working through potential consequences of our technologies and our humanity, at looking at a perfectly reasonable desire (to know your child is safe from harm) and following the technology that might solve the problem to a logical conclusion. The show makes you look at both your individual humanity and our collective technology in eye-opening ways.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    (And yes, the series is unrelentingly dark. That might be what makes it so great.)

  51. J. says...

    Kate. Wow. Whoever you are, wherever you are, know that your words comforted me immensely tonight. Thank you.

  52. Tera says...

    I too was so touched by commenter Kate. It seems as if many of life’s questions could be answered by “There will be many milestones but no conclusions,” and “let’s do it (I inserted life in general here :) in what makes us feel most like ourselves.”

  53. Kate – that comment. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  54. JessicaD says...

    Oh, Kate, such wisdom! I have bookmarked this page and your words for when I am feeling unsettled. Even in my mid-forties and feeling like things are on track stability is never a constant. Thanks for writing it out. xo

  55. Thank you for the beautiful comment Kate! So beautifully written.

  56. Oh my goodness, that comment!

  57. Sarah says...

    That reader comment… woah. Eloquent and mind-blowing. Thank-you, Kate. I’ll be thinking about this for a long time and striving to make it my reality, too.

  58. Melkorka says...

    Wow! beautiful comment!! I love that sentiment of celebrating the many unexpected & unique happy endings of our lives!

  59. Jax says...

    Be Right Back is my favorite Black Mirror episode, though San Junipero is really good too.

  60. Morgan says...

    How to break up with your cell phone – get it stolen along with your wallet and your minivan and simply don’t replace it. On so many fronts it’s like I don’t exist without a cell phone; however, on others I’m way less distracted in my life and with my kids. This is turning into a forced experiment and perhaps my future holds a burner flip phone a la The Wire?

  61. lydia says...

    the article how to break up with your phone really spoke to me. i just talked to my husband about how i feel addicted to it and i realized it’s not because i love my phone it’s because life just feels so hard and i want to look at pretty things. i’m numbing myself. he said that he heard a story on npr (best beginning of a sentence am i right?!) and they said that our phones’ colors are meant to stimulate our brains. so they suggested turning your phone’s colors to black and white. (did you know you could do this?! in settings go to general then accessibility then to display accommodations, then to color filters and slide it to gray scale) i’ve been doing it a week now and it really helps. looking at IG or beautiful blogs just aren’t as fun in black and white. i have found myself on it much much less this week. consequently i’m having to unravel the REASONS that i want to numb out. and this week in particular has been hard to face. the truth is because life is overwhelming. that’s a good starting point. and one i need to explore further.

    • Jenny L says...

      I just followed your recommendation to remove color. Here’s hoping it lessens my phone addiction!

    • Taylor says...

      I just tried your recommendation and immediately thought, wow this is way less interesting to look at it. Hopefully it stays that way! Thanks for the tip!

  62. Courtney says...

    For Kate, in your reader comment – this resonates so heavily. This is beautiful. I fit somewhere in-between the squiggly lines of a traditional relationship; I am in a long-term, monogamous relationship with someone who has been separated from his wife for a decade. They matter to each other, and I understand that. But we are us, and we live our lives together. I envision us always living our lives together. At the same time, I think one of the most important aspects of life is evolution. I really don’t currently want to think about evolving out of my current, established life. And that doesn’t have to happen (of course, people can grow in tandem). But I think what you’re getting at is that people evolve, and relationships evolve. It can be hard to not place too much pressure on the future, but I think you’ve hit the reality of it. There are many important people and times in our lives. People and moments are important. But that doesn’t mean that once you find one important person, that’s the end of everything, and you have to hang on no matter what. People grow, and you can grow with them, or you can grow alongside but separate from them.

  63. Suzie says...

    I watched Be Right Back years ago and it still finds it way into my thoughts. So haunting, yet beautiful.

    Have a nice weekend in Cali!

  64. Rachel says...

    That reader comment is amazing. Amen.

  65. Mariana says...

    Wow, best reader comment ever!!!

  66. Man, Commenter Kate should have her own column because she hit me right in the heart.

  67. Natasha says...

    Holy shit! The depth of Kate’s comment on the wedding dress, though! WOW! Thank you, Kate! You’ve changed my life! xo

  68. Lindsay says...

    Kate’s accidental wedding dress comment soothed my soul. Feeling “settled” is elusive for me these days. Perhaps always will be.

  69. WendyT says...

    Yay for Teresa Yang Fung!!

    • Thank you Wendy! And thank you so much for featuring my photo, Jo! My sister and I are big fans of your blog :)

  70. That black ice skating video is absolutely mesmerizing! Is liking the sound equivalent to an ASMR thing, do you think? Also I have that Madewell shirt in my cart! It’s so cute! Always such great links. Have a fabulous time in LA! Report back on the book – I love short stories.

  71. Maclean Nash says...

    Wow!
    Kate really hit the nail on the head! So beautifully and eloquently written!
    Happy Friday everyone, sending big love all around.

  72. Jen says...

    Woohoo! Good looking out on the Dermstore sale… finally pulled the trigger on Sunday Riley’s Good Genes.

    • MJay says...

      I replenished my Revitalash stash. That stuff is magic – I have lashes and don’t need mascara any more.

  73. Gina says...

    Thank you Kate,I could not of said it better…Many milestones but no conclusions.
    Love that!

  74. I love that Skating on Thin Ice video! I will definitely show that to my students!

  75. Lily says...

    Have a great trip!

  76. G says...

    Thank you Kate. Your words mean a lot to me.

  77. Elizabeth R says...

    I am finishing Back Talk right now. SO good!