Design

Four Great Things

Have you seen the new trailer for Beautiful Boy? The movie stars Timothée Chalamet as a drug-addicted teenager, and Steve Carell as his worried father. (The story is based on David Sheff’s memoir, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction, and his son Nic Sheff’s Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines.) Mark your calendars for October 12th.

J. Crew point sur pants

Recently, I’ve been spotting women wearing easy drawstring pants around the city — a cool type of joggers that are perfect for trips and adventures. I’d love to wear this pair all summer, and they also come in linen, khaki and with extra pockets.

Formal portrait before dinner

If you have friends or family over, wouldn’t it be fun to take a “formal” pre-meal portrait? I love the idea of having those straight-faced snapshots to remember fun nights. (Side note: I like that the only smiling guy is towering over everyone on a chair. Such a little brother move.)

Brick by Joshua David Stein and Julia Rothman

My friend Julia Rothman just illustrated the loveliest children’s book, Brick, about a young brick trying to figure out where she belongs. A school? A mosque? A home? The boys have asked to read it over and over this week, which is always the ultimate two thumbs up.

P.S. More fun things, and how to not cry when chopping onions.

  1. Callie says...

    WOW, that movie–cried through that trailer! I’m pretty sure both Timothee and Steve could make me cry at the drop of a pin, so the two of them together would utterly break my heart! A couple of the most powerful actors of this time.

  2. The movie trailer is something I don’t think I can watch, even the trailer. I’ve long had a phobia regarding drugs, and then a loved one became addicted. I’ve learned so much through this experience, of watching a loved one go through this. For anyone who may be loving someone suffering with addiction (or for anyone suffering him/herself), Gabor Maté’s work was really helpful, soothing and enlightening. Having grown up in the era of Just Say No and with that attitude that drug addiction is merely a poor choice, Maté’s writing and philosophy helped me reshape my beliefs and opened me up to a different, more human perspective regarding addiction. I’m reminded of the Arabic proverb: do not mock a pain you haven ‘t endured. Here’s a link to the first video I watched of Maté, while I cleaned the house and cried hard. :) https://youtu.be/x9cvEa5qFQc

  3. Kate says...

    Thank you for sharing that Beautiful Boy is becoming a movie! Such a phenomenal, moving, and interesting dive into addiction and all that goes with it. The movie looks bomb.

  4. I absolutely LOVE the dinner party photograph idea. Actually, I just took one of a huge group of friends brought together because of our favorite coffee shop in Indianapolis (kind of like the Indianapolis version of Friend’s “Central Perk”), most of us met because our significant others work there. Anyway, two of our favorites (who make the absolute best meals and host the best versions of our supper club) moved to Texas a few weeks ago. So at our very last Quills Indy Supper Club, I had everyone pose in our own version of The Last Supper. We now have this grainy, but absolutely wonderful photograph to treasure always and remember how fantastic these dinner parties in our late 20’s always were.

  5. Shena says...

    That trailer just annihilated me. How wonderful…bu don’t know if I’ll ever be able to watch the whole movie and survive.

  6. sasha says...

    I have to stop reading reading the comments because I am running out of tears.

    To all those hurt by addiction, you are not alone. It is a monster that will come for you and rip your life apart. My husband and I are decades clean and sober now, but make no mistake that monster never ever leaves you. It is chronic. And we will never leave the grief of losing his brother, and leaving three other brothers, and other family members too, who are active addicts. Sometimes the only thing you can do is try and save yourself. Love and courage to everyone struggling. Keep fighting.

    • judith says...

      Thank you for saying this, Sasha. I read this book and will make myself see the movie. Addiction has touched me in a way I would not wish on my worst enemy. It effects the entire family, not just the addict. I found hope in your message.

  7. Love these things. The book “brick” seems so cute! Gotta find it. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Alice says...

    That film looks incredibly powerful. My immediate family hasn’t suffered through addiction, but there was plenty around my world as teenager and sometimes I wonder how I managed to scrape past it, just. I’m so glad this film has been made.

    I bought Brick on Monday, found it in a local art gallery bookshop here in Edinburgh. What a coincidence! Love it :)

  9. Alexia says...

    I’m seeing many comments my parents worried about addiction and just wanted to share my thoughts.
    I’m in my late teens, and have lost close (young!) family friends to the recent opioid crisis, one of which was a widely publicized case in my community (this was at the beginning of the crisis).
    I wear a string on my backpack in remembrance and am frequently asked about it. I’ve had many parents ask me what could have been done, from a parenting perspective, to prevent these tragedies.
    To be honest, this question always pisses me off because it implies fault on the part of the parent. The parents of those who died that I knew were wonderfully loving and caring. Yes, you should make sure that you lock your medicine cabinet, and all public places really should keep Naloxone on hand, but besides basic safety practices there is nothing you can do. You can lock your child in their bedroom, set the strictest rules imaginable, tell them about the dangers of the world until you are blue in the face—but things happen, and it is not the fault of a caring parent. Addiction is as much a disease as cancer. Sending lots of love to those who have lost loved ones due to addiction today ❤️

    • sasha says...

      Thank you for this thoughtful comment Alexia. As someone who, like countless multitudes, has suffered because of addiction, your words feel like a hug. Thank you. The pain of being an addict never leaves you. The grief of lost loved ones never leaves you. There is so much hope in sobriety, there is happiness is a clean life, but the pain doesn’t leave. It’s a daily struggle (hourly sometimes), so worth it, never something to be taken for granted.

      Hugs to everyone else out there touched by this monster.

    • Alexia says...

      Sending you lots of love, Sasha.

  10. Heather D says...

    I bought my husband a pair of joggers, thinking he could wear them on weekends. The size tag was mis-labeled, but I had already taken the tags off so we had to keep them. They are giant!! He can cinch the waist, but the butt and legs are huge. It looks like he’s wearing a diaper. He wears them around the house for “ultimate man area comfort.” I call them his baby butt pants.

  11. Megan Flowers says...

    The movie made me bawl…. my little sister who is 25 is currently living on the streets addicted to heroin and meth. The film looks really good but I don’t think I can watch it yet. I never understood what it meant when people would say how addiction can tear a family apart until it happened to us. I have a 9yr old son who watched the decline of my sister who was living with us. It terrifies me that he will go down this path. Seeing my sister fall into it I see how out of your control it is when someone falls into the grip of addiction. I try everyday to not think about her… not sure if that is the right thing to do… I hold hope but it’s hard to.

    • Leah says...

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this, Megan. This happened to my best friend’s little sister. All I can say is – we’re with you. There are no right answers and you have to preserve yourself.

    • Jamie says...

      My little brother (16yrs younger) who I helped raise and care for is now in the same situation as a 20yr old. It’s horrible and the main reason why for so many years I didn’t want kids. To see my happy, smart little boy brother turn into something completely foreign due to addition is so terrifying and emotionally draining. Like you I’m not sure I can watch this movie even though it looks amazing.

    • sasha says...

      Oh Megan, (((hugs))).
      I know you may feel terribly lonely in this, but you are not alone. When the monster addiction comes for you, there is precious little anyone can do other than hope and keep loving.

  12. Em says...

    I found great solace in “Beautiful Boy” and “Tweak” after my brother died of a heroin overdose 10 years ago. The trailer looks like a beautiful adaptation. Thank you for sharing, I look forward to seeing it.

    • Katrin says...

      Dear Em, dear Megan, I am so sorry you have to live through this. I was already crying because of the trailer, and now to read these responses, it’s heartbreaking and frightening. It’s humbling to read these stories, it shows how little control one has as a parent once your kids get older (mine are still little). Sending you much love.

  13. lori says...

    I lived my own version of “Beautiful Boy” for 8 years with my son, my own beautiful boy. He is now, thankfully, a 32 year old sober man-something I am grateful for every day.
    Thanks for sharing this Joanna.
    There’s lots of us out here. ❤️

  14. Katie says...

    Beautiful Boy is my favorite book, hands down. I have read it probably almost 20 times…such a true portrait of a father struggling to help his son. It’s a story of love just as much as a story of survival. Tweak, the follow-up, is also a great read – highly recommend.

  15. Stef says...

    Thanks for featuring that trailer – I wish A Cup Of Jo would do a piece on sobriety/addiction. I think you have a fair amount of sober readers (myself included!!!), readers who might be struggling with active addiction and family and friends whose lives have been affected by addiction. Please!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, absolutely, stef. thank you so much for your note, great idea.

    • Beth says...

      It may also be helpful to mention, in such piece, how difficult it is for addicts to get into rehab. I know because I am in the throws of a vicious addiction to meth and heroin. I, like many addicts, don’t have insurance so facilities won’t even give me a second thought. A human, medical detox is a pipe dream. I have begged places to take me; I am literally dying to get better.

      My deepest sympathy to those with friends or family that are going through this with their loved one. Know that you do matter to us and please don’t give up hope. That “tomorrow that never comes” could be just beyond this 24.

    • Cait says...

      Beth, I’m so sorry. I had no idea insurance was an issue for rehab. That’s horrible. I pray you get the help you need, very very soon.

  16. Flo says...

    Just ordered the book, thanks for the reccomendation!
    For all, have a wonderful day! Hug a tree today!

  17. Kim W says...

    Beautiful Boy looks moving and powerful, but I was instantly distracted and excited by the fact that Amy Ryan plays the wife–Michael and Holly are still together after all these years!

  18. sarah says...

    Just like everyone else, I shed lots of tears watching the trailer. I’d like to read the book too, but am not sure I can handle it…yet. Addiction runs in my family, I’ve watched people close to me struggle so much. It’s one of my worst fears for my boys, who are both still so little (only 6 and 8), and also touches on what feels like a terrifying lack of control as parents. Oof. On a lighter note, I’ve been nearly living in jogger-style pants lately! Mostly Athleta: these (in two colors) https://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=596344092&vid=1&locale=en_US&kwid=1&sem=false&sdkw=trekkie-jogger-2-0-P596344&sdReferer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.athleta.com%2Fproducts%2Fjogger-pant-finder-bottoms-C1089602.jsp; these https://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=348620052&vid=1&locale=en_US&kwid=1&sem=false&sdkw=metro-jogger-P348620&sdReferer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.athleta.com%2Fproducts%2Fjogger-pant-finder-bottoms-C1089602.jsp (so soft!); and these capris https://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1058485&pcid=1058485&vid=1&pid=438858002

    • Julie says...

      Can’t wait to try these. Old Navy makes a cheaper version and I have been choosing those out of my closet for months—I don’t think I’ve worn jeans since it snowed. Haha!

  19. Danielle says...

    May I HIGHLY recommend the Lululemon “On the Fly” pant? I’m not always a super fan of Lulu, since I’m not a size 2 by any means, but I gave these pants a try when I was looking for cute joggers for work that could also be used for fun/hikes. They are UNBELIEVABLY comfortable, lightweight, cute, and stylish. I bought 3 pairs (maroon, army green, black), and I never spend that much on clothes :) if you’re in the market for joggers, check them out. pro tip: they also usually have at least one pair on “we made too much” – their sale section.

  20. Melia says...

    PSA- the linen pants are currently 71% off!

  21. Paula says...

    YES to playful photos! For my wedding, I wanted to recreated some old fashioned photos that I saw from my grandparents-where the groom sits and the woman stands behind-NOBODY is smiling and it’s black and white. The photographer was resisting but I got my way-today those are the pictures that are on my mantle and are a source of great conversations when friends come over.

    My other playful photo-my youngest one was born on Christmas; we took a photo of her straight out of a hospital in the middle of our gorgeous and full Christmas table, on a pile of straw/hay-with all of us sitting around-looking serious. It was our Christmas miracle (she came early) pic. A birth of Jesus, if you will (and for any seriously religious readers-please don’t take offense in that. It was our personal humour).

    • hahaha Paula! I love your sense of humor! I wish we could see the photos!

  22. Cynthia says...

    The pants look so comfy! I really liked the lavender ones, as I am drawn to all shades of purple. We have taken before dinner photos before. My husband puts his camera on a tripod and sets the timer so he can be in the picture.

  23. Shirin says...

    Umm, is the couple in that film Michael Scott and Holly Flax from the Office??

    • Laura says...

      Shirin, that was the first thing I noticed too! So bizarre…it will be so hard to not think of them as Michael and Holly.

    • Hannah says...

      Yes!!! I thought the same thing.

  24. Summer says...

    I am now crying at my desk!! I can’t wait to see the movie. I love the pre-meal photo idea. My family started taking a random photo on holidays right before everyone left for the night. We would all stand by my Grandparent’s back door and snap a quick photo and then head home. I must have at least 20 of these photos.

  25. Lena says...

    I have similar pants from the gap in a bunch of colors and I love them. They’re like dressed up sweatpants and are so comfy! But I must admit my husband hates them :)

  26. Sara says...

    Back in the early 80s my parents invited friends over for dinner, totally last minute and informal. The friends all conspired somehow to show up in ballroom attire (no idea how this was possible in pre-cell phone age but they pulled it off!). My dad set up the tripod and snapped a group portrait just before dinner – a grainy photo of serious faces with feathered haircuts, sequined dresses and top hats, and 9-month old me right there in the mix. It’s still one of the best family photos to this day and always makes us laugh.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s amazing, sara! love that you’re in the photo.

  27. michelle f says...

    Welp didnt expect to cry before 9am today but here we are. That trailer pulls at every heart string but that movie looks amazing. Will def be watching with tissues and ugly crying!
    My boys would love the Brick book. Adding it to my list of books for them.
    Thanks for always sharing amazing recommendations!

  28. Kate says...

    The guy in that photo, second (standing) from the left…his expression is cracking me up!

    He looks so bored. He has zoned out for the group shot. Through gritted teeth…just take the flipping photograph!

  29. Amy G. says...

    My friends and I have been celebrating a Friend Thanksgiving every year for the past 9 years, and thankfully we thought to take a picture before the first year’s meal, which has become tradition now. I have all of them hanging on my living room wall – it is so fun to see how the group has grown from 9 of us that first year to 26 of us with kids and spouses and new friends!!

  30. shopgirl says...

    Oh, can’t wait to see Beautiful Boy! But not Maura Tierney again !! That constant suffering expression at her face and that trout pout… so distracting. I find her annoying already from The Affair.

    • judith says...

      HAHAHAHAHA! Trout-pout! And she is SOOOO annoying in “The Affair,” but I cannot stop watching it. Thanks for the laugh, to distract me from the sad trailer.

  31. sania says...

    Um I just ugly cried at the end of that trailer. I ask/tell my kids that same question/answer constantly.

  32. Juliette says...

    I have a random request – I’d love to hear from the writers and in the comments what to do when you just don’t get on with someone, in the workplace or a friendship circle. Cup of Jo always seems so graceful and kind to me, and I get the most useful tips from it. At the moment I’m struggling with a colleague where we just don’t click, and every interaction leaves me feeling a bit awkward and uncomfortable, where I normally get on with most people. I don’t know. Any advice on how to gracefully manage situations where you struggle with people through no fault of them or you would be most appreciated!

    • Patricia says...

      That is the worst! I once worked with a woman who I didn’t click with either and it was so uncomfortable. She seemed perfectly nice, but I felt like a total dud around her and I thought she was a total dud…no easy back and forth. We were both always friendly (civil?) and professional, but zero chemistry. I think that is just how it is somethimes…no fault of anyone’s, no blame to be placed. I don’t really have any advice (besides the Golden Rule, or my version “Give love”), but I can relate!

    • Sarah says...

      I am struggling with something like this too. Sometimes realizing that it may just be that person’s personality and it’s nothing personal (sometimes I wonder if they aren’t opening up to me because they don’t like me, but then realize that’s just how they are with everyone and some people don’t mind it) helps me. If you tend to get on with most people, it may be something about them (I wonder if others feel similarly?). I realize I am drawn toward certain personalities as good friends, and others not, and that’s okay. I can still be kind to those that I don’t click with. It’s frustrating though but changing expectations helps me a lot. Sorry you’re feeling uncomfortable…

    • Candice says...

      I work at a graphic novel publisher that is rife with socially awkward folks. Here’s what has worked for me:
      -Because I grew up in a family where information isn’t volunteered easily, I pretend awkward people grew up that way and I keep some open-ended questions ready to use in case of interaction.
      -I pick out a trait or a feature that I like about them and focus on that.
      “I love your new hair color. What inspired you?”
      -No matter how short the interactions are, keep them genuine. Sometimes a smile and a nod are enough.

      I’m never going to be best friends with them, but it’s nice to get to a point where you both can contribute something positive to your respective days. Eventually, you’ll find common ground even if it takes a while. You’ll get there. Good luck!

    • Beth says...

      I struggled with a roommate like this. My good friend said it was because we were both Leos and clashed. I’d never experienced it before (or since) but I chalked it up to her being a strong Leo (me being perfect of course 😂). It was definitely weird and disorienting but just remember to not take it personally.

  33. beth says...

    Oh man…that trailer hits on one of my deepest fears for my son…I am so worried about addiction, and trying to teach my little baby boy healthy ways of living. Addiction does not run in my family, but given our current addiction and mental health crisis in this country, it’s on my mind a lot…I’ll watch this movie but probably cry my way through it, as a mother does…

  34. I’m really looking forward to that movie! It’s not often that I see a move trailer that really makes me want to go see it in theaters but it sounds like a really important topic that so many go through. No doubt it will pull on my heart strings.

  35. orna says...

    ummm how cute is that book? it is a coming of age story of a brick. ;-)

  36. megan says...

    oh man! that trailer kills me. can’t wait to see it but will plan to be ugly crying in the theater:)

  37. Do you have a source for the sneakers in the pant’s photo?

  38. Susan says...

    The pants look so comfortable, and I love those shoes! Do you know the brand?

  39. Lesley says...

    Timmy T forever.

  40. I read Beautiful Boy after I saw TC was going to be in the adaptation! It is a really moving story told with a surprising amount of compassion given how much has changed over the past 10 years about how we see addiction. I am very interested in how the movie balances both the father and son’s point of view.

    • Sarah says...

      Ah!! My friend has these and I borrowed them for like 5 minutes and became obsessed with them… but then I couldn’t find them online! THANK YOU! Totally made my day!

    • Marianne says...

      These are lovely! I *may* have just bought myself a pair along with a skirt that I definitely don’t need!

    • Yay Sarah!! Glad you finally found them! A tip, for you and anyone else who buys them, they shrink a bit after the first wash. I personally loved that they get a bit smaller (I’ve found it to be a bit more figure flattering for my XS petite frame), so be prepared for that. I wash cold and dry on delicate and they still shrunk. Wish I’d written that in my first comment!

    • Alexia says...

      These look so comfy! How short would they be on someone 5’11”? Can’t find the inseam online!