Design

Have a Great Weekend.

Amy Merrick flowers

What are you up to this weekend? I’m exhausted after a busy week, so my plans are to lie low. Luckily, the boys got a crazy clay wheel, so all they want to do right now is make little bowls and snakes (and, in Toby’s case, meatballs, haha). Hope you have a good one, and here are a few links from around the web…

A beautiful pedestrian bridge in Vietnam.

Beyoncé talks about her work, her body, her life. “Right now, my little FUPA and I feel like we are meant to be.”

A wall in Cornwall.

Love all the gorgeous wood in this home.

Is this six-year-old the best running back of all time? (I’m not even a sports person, and my jaw dropped.)

A no-fail formula for summer pasta.

Pretty artwork.

Love this pep talk.

YES! Insecure’s third season premieres this Sunday.

You don’t owe anyone an interaction.”

This gif makes me laugh. That’s all.

Head’s up: Dermstore is up to 25% off with code BIRTHDAY. (Eyeing this.)

Plus, two great reader comments:

Says Jessica on divorce: “I got divorced quite young, when most of my friends were just getting married. In those early days, I was in a friend’s wedding, perhaps the last thing you really want to be doing at such a time. And the wedding day, the father of the bride, very casually came up beside me, put his arm around my shoulders and gave them a squeeze, and said, ‘We’re here for you, kiddo,’ and just as quickly and quietly walked away. That was the best thing anyone said to me, and the only thing I really needed to hear.”

Says Jenny on divorce: “My soon-to-be-ex-husband might always be the love of my life, but he didn’t support my decision to go to medical school. I love him. I loved us. But I’m so proud of the me who, one year ago, packed up her Volvo station wagon full of clean laundry and her dog and hit the road for medical school in California. Thinking about bravely facing those changes now almost knocks me off my feet but resolute past-Jenny just did it. I’m still heartbroken, but I’ve had so many adventures. That love made me a better person and so is this path.”

(Photo by Amy Merrick. Running back via Kottke. Interaction via Jocelyn Glei. Art via Lexi.)

  1. sharon says...

    long time reader and rarely comment but i’m going through something similar as jenny. my ex-boyfriend and i somewhat mutually decided to breakup this spring because i was moving away for med school this past july. he was my first true experience with love. it broke my heart to let him go once i realized he couldn’t support me.

    cup of jo team, i’d really appreciate it if you guys could connect me with jenny. i haven’t met anyone experiencing something similar to me here at school and its been hard.

  2. Lisa says...

    Hi Joanna,
    Do you not use True Botanicals face oil anymore? I started using it after I read your rave review about it last year, and I loved it through the winter when my skin was particularly dry, but I’m not loving it so much in the summer as I’m getting a little mature acne, which I’ve never had before. I think it might be too heavy for summer.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love true botanicals, but was curious to meet with a dermatologist for a few specific questions/problems. i always like trying new things and switching off. i will still use true botanicals once i go through these products. xoxo

  3. Laura C. says...

    Beautiful links this weekend Jo. That six-year-old is awesome, and I just love the wood in the house. I wonder why I can’t build a home like that. I moved myself fifteen days ago but now I am in the countryside, and I won’t be returning back home until September. And then we’ll make an interesting trip to Ikea 😊

  4. This was very eye opening, leaving love to pursue your dream can be difficult but still rewarding !!!!!
    Any advice for an up and coming blogger?

  5. Gretch says...

    The Vietnamese bridge is an hour from where I live, but at a tourist attraction. Who goes to tourist attractions in their city of residence? I am waiting for a friend to visit so that I have an excuse to (go back and) see the new bridge.

    • Laura C. says...

      Gretch, you are right, I live in a very touristic city too, and I always wait for friends from abroad to visit those places!

  6. Wow, Jenny. You are so brave! Kudos to you.

    • Cynthia says...

      Jenny you are a rockstar!!

    • Jenny says...

      Thank you! I could never have survived without my community of women, including here.

  7. Quinn says...

    Joanna, I started watching Insecure on your recommendation (on previous posts) and I’m SO glad I did — I love it and am so excited for the new season!

  8. Carrie says...

    You don’t owe anyone ANY interaction if they’re toxic. Sometimes there is “toxic” that you’re willing to put up with, like my ever-grumpy sister. When I need to, I quietly and temporarily give myself a little space from her to recharge. I do this because her friendship is important to me. But others are so toxic you just don’t need to engage with them, ever. When it is what is best for you- cut them out! It’s not anyone else’s place to judge you! This topic is very near to my heart as I’m living it right now with my own father. On the outside, no one could ever possibly understand why a daughter would cut her dad out of her life. Step in my shoes, and you’ll know why.

    • Angela says...

      Carrie,
      You are so correct and brave to cut your father out of your life. I have a toxic father and have gone to counseling for a very long time. Actually, I still see him (not often) but finally tell him that’s he’s inappropriate.

    • Claire says...

      yes, well said. Wishing you wellness and peace of mind.

  9. AB says...

    Could not disagree more with ‘not owing anyone an interaction’. Certainly we don’t owe anyone interaction excessively and without boundaries but I have had to stop being friends with people who were always ‘too overwhelmed’ to answer my (and everyone else’s) calls, emails, and texts. Apparently they also didn’t feel they owed their friends interactions. It’s just selfish to engage in relationships if you seriously don’t believe you owe anyone an interaction simply for feeling tired or overwhelmed. That is not how relationships work. Relationships are 2 way, give and take. I have had many times where I would like to ignore certain people or comments and unless they’re people I want out of my life, I make every effort to reciprocate and not ignore the people in my life simply bc of my feelings. So selfish and just plain rude. Just the concept of this is destructive to building meaningful relationships.

    • Lindsay says...

      Right?! When I began to scroll through the article, I was looking for validation of my often very introverted self. But after scanning through a few paragraphs, I found myself rolling my eyes. Relationships take thought, consideration and work. Answering a text message or an email is sometimes a chore, but it’s a small gesture. Obviously I don’t *owe* it to anyone, but a response is kind and considerate, and I will always choose that above all.

    • Lena says...

      I’m with you AB. Love, compassion, and empathy mean there will be times (potentially LOTS of times) we go above and beyond and sacrifice our tired and overwhelmed selves to interact with people when we might otherwise prefer to disengage or set up boundaries.

      Make no mistake I’m not a believer in martyrdom – I don’t put myself out there from people who are regularly selfish “takers”, manipulative or abusive. My life is rich in friendships and family where we often go that extra mile for one another and it is a beautiful and fulfilling way to live.

    • Jessica says...

      I agree with your overall comment. I expected the article to be about street harassment, not friends ghosting one another. I understand that we now are bombarded with texts and emails, which is a challenge and can be overwhelming. Maybe that’s why people shouldn’t have 500+ friends on social media. It’s one thing to ignore messages from people you don’t know or don’t care to have in your life. But to not to respond to an invitation from a friend, or not give a “thank you” is so rude. Who would want to be around someone like that? This is especially annoying after all of the articles this summer about how people with depression just need to “reach out for help.” I guess nobody owes you a response if you do!

    • Couldn’t agree more. Lately, there has been such an emphasis on “turning inwards” and prioritising your own needs that, I think, we’re starting to forget that our interactions with other people are the most important things in our lives. Compassion certainly does not mean being available 24/7; at the very least it means offering an apology when we’re genuinely overwhelmed (that’s an interaction in itself) but it can also mean being there for somebody even if it might not suit your schedule. “Sometimes, not interacting is the most loving choice” is what people who ghost others must believe. There is nothing loving in ignoring someone.

    • Darcy says...

      100% agree with you both, AB and Carrie. It takes but 20 seconds to acknowledge a message with a simple: “I’m not in a position to help, I wish I were. Take care & best of luck!” That kind of simple humanity keeps people off the ledge, y’know? I wonder how Caroline Garnet McGraw would have gotten her writing career off the ground without someone who didn’t feel like it emailing her back, making a phone call on her behalf, and giving her feedback over coffee. Probably *many* someones did this. Dressing selfishness up as “self-care.” That’s rich. Easy to do when one never has to imagine what his/her alternate life would have been like . . . as a barista.

    • Azuresong says...

      Hence the rise of Ghosting!

    • t says...

      Absolutely agree. You very well might be overwhelmed and too tired, but your friends are going through things too so don’t be surprised if too much has passed for them while you spent time checked out. You have every right to check out, so long as you understand that they also owe you nothing on your return.

    • t says...

      though I should stress that this perspective is about friendships, not strangers or people who you’re being polite to for the sake of it.

    • n says...

      AB, yes to what you’re saying, but also yes to what the article is saying. I wholeheartedly agree with where you’re coming from, but I may have understood the article a bit differently.

      When it comes to relationships I’m in with family, with friends, with my significant other, my colleagues, neighbors, etc, I go out of my way to respond, and in a timely manner. I’m cultivating something there.

      However, I have a number of ex-flames who I still hear from, at least monthly (it’s been over a year since I last engaged in a two-way conversation with them), and I still receive emails in my spam folder trying to elicit a response from me. Those doors have been closed and I was certainly clear and respectful in that communication, also clear and respectful when I requested to be left alone. As a lifelong people-pleaser, I always wonder if maybe I SHOULD respond. Maybe I should have another conversation about how I’m not available/interested/have moved on. But instead, I remind myself that just because they are choosing to engage, doesn’t mean I HAVE to choose to engage with them. I think the article was addressing these types of interactions, where there’s an undercurrent of toxicity that’s just not good for one person or the other. There is something very loving (self-love) going on when I choose not to respond to a man who knows I’m in a relationship, but continues to send me provocative emails.

      And all of this comes from a millennial who never ghosted a single man I met online, even the worst of dates. I simply told them I didn’t see a future with them and wished them luck on their journey to find their person :) This also comes from someone who was stalked by an exboyfriend (and had to get the police involved) because I felt I always owed him an interaction (and an interaction too many led to him showing up at my yoga class twice).

      *Also, if anyone is wondering why I haven’t blocked these guys, it’s because the police advising me during my stalking incident told me that unwanted emails/texts are proof of harassment. All you need is to say, “please do not contact me anymore. any contact you make with me after this message is considered proof of harassment” and there you go!

    • Rachel G says...

      100% agree with this, AB! Also I love what Ana’s comment below (or above?) mine says–“There is nothing loving in ignoring someone.”

    • lesley says...

      i interpreting this much different. you owe FRIENDS AND FAMILY interaction but not virtual strangers who email you for work advice or bc they think you’re pretty or whatever other reason. maybe it depends what your field is, but i get So Many Emails from strangers and i cannot possibly answer them all. i used to feel extreme guilt but this article and others like it were so liberating.

    • Kriww says...

      I second this. I WANT to be available for my family and friends 24/7 when they need me and I want them to know it. And of course in some way I want them to be available for me too. That’s how relationship works I believe. And people in need, I want to know that to certain limit, I will be there for them too. And I never heard such kind and giving people like volunteers helping people ever feel deprived from helping others, instead they feel fulfilled. That’s how humanity works I believe. I think the article is kind of misguiding… I can understand where this is coming from, but I disagree that interactions are what we have to cut. Maybe it’s busy-ness we have to cut. Or mindless shopping. Or unfulfilling race rat career… I don’t know. But I believe that interaction is the base of any form of relationship.

    • Totally agree! It’s really disappointing to see this kind of behavior becoming normalized. I’m certainly an introvert, but people seem to be turning inward to a point that is unhealthy (humans are social creatures after all and if you read anything about Blue Zones, it’s clear that quality relationships are integral to a healthy life and longevity). I hope society takes a turn and becomes more social again. On a positive note, I will say that when I lived in Brooklyn, I experienced so many groups of people who were actively social and hosted great get-togethers in their tiny apartments. It’s good to know that still happens :)

      I think the only exception is when a person in your life is toxic, in which case they should probably be let go of completely if possible.

    • Carrie says...

      This all figuring you are dealing with mentally balanced, normal people. Good relationship ARE a give and take, you need to suck it up and put in the work. But not all relationships are worth it. Some are need to cut from your life like the cancer they are because all they do is cause devastation. EVEN FAMILY.

    • Anna says...

      I agree. “You don’t owe anyone an interaction” ought to have been “You don’t owe everyone an interaction.”

    • Ro says...

      I think the writer is talking more so about making yourself a priority, instead of handing your entire life over to others. She’s saying it’s okay if you can’t respond to a few things here and there — especially if the communication is draining you, or the relationship isn’t worth it.

      She doesn’t suggest we ghost on friends or not send thank you cards. In fact, she says she *is* polite and does send thank you cards. It’s definitely not okay to ghost, but it is okay to make yourself and your time a priority. And not feel guilty about it.

    • Claire says...

      I find discussions about email and text etiquette sort of fascinating. and agree that communication with friends and family is a priority, a way to love and support each other, and key to building maintain meaningful relationships. But I think this article may be describing a different issue….although it is a little confusing. My interpretation was that it was about feeling obligated to respond to messages from someone who is not a friend but wants to engage in some unwelcome drama that doesn’t directly concern the author. She specifies that she was receiving “troubling emails” from someone she “didn’t feel comfortable keeping in touch with”. That’s not ghosting friends, it’s about discerning which relationships are worthwhile, and who you allow to take up your time and occupy space in your head and your life. (Seems like that piece would have benefitted from some more thoughtful editing.)

    • Beck says...

      Yep exactly! I think it should be “You don’t owe anyone an interaction immediately.”

      If you’re too tired to respond, wait a couple days or the next morning. You don’t have to be instant.

      But not responding at all? To a friend? It’s so hurtful. I just had a big talk with someone who was a close friend, I messaged her on 3 platforms over the course of a couple months with no response, at all. Finally she surfaced and we had this big talk where I had to tell her that her ignoring was really hurtful. She was going through some tough stuff, but she could have said “sorry I can’t talk right now, I’ll reach out to you when I’m ready” and I would have been totally fine with that. There’s nothing wrong with giving people space when they need it, but there is something wrong with ignoring the people you claim to care about when you just don’t feel like it.

      That being said, I don’t owe strangers or casual acquaintances interactions at all. Like no, go away.

    • Sasha L says...

      I agree mostly with what you all are saying here, you don’t owe EVERYONE an interaction, nothing owed to those who are toxic, even if family, and social interactions are what make us human. I could have written an entire article on not owing anyone selling me something from a MLM scheme an interaction. Because I was a doula and birth educator and homeschool mom for decades I count hundreds of lovely women as friends on social media. But the selling of MLM crap makes me want to run screaming and I absolutely don’t reply to the many messages I get that go something along the lines of this : “hey! How’s it going? Been a long time! I want to let you know about this amazing new……….” No, they don’t want to connect or know how I’m doing. They want to sell me crap or even worse suck me into selling their crap. I absolutely don’t respond because I am generally kind and polite and I just couldn’t be if I did respond. Ignore is my only option there, even for women I otherwise like.

  10. Alex says...

    Just when you think you can’t possibly love Beyoncé any more than you already do…

    • Jen says...

      Right?? Wow.

    • Emma Bee says...

      Apparently hers was the first Vogue cover shot by a black photographer. What in the actual F? Its 2018!!

  11. Bethley says...

    She did not just use “FUPA” in a Vogue interview! Whoa!

    • Louisa says...

      I am afraid to google this term. Can someone explain? 😳

    • A.M. says...

      i knowwww!

    • Robin says...

      Lol likewise not wanting to look it up! There are some things it’s probably better not to know, for me and my nursing mama belly ;)

    • Louisa, it means “fat upper p*ssy area.” It’s definitely not a polite term, and not something you would normally see in Vogue, although I think it’s become a word in it’s own right more than just an acronym at this point.