Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

Isa Isa Floral

What are you up to this weekend? We’re heading upstate with our old friends, who are visiting from northern England. Their sweet kids were in our wedding — and are now teenagers! Time flies. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few links from around the web…

The very American killing of Nia Wilson. (New Yorker)

10 useful foreign words without direct England translations. Love the Iranian one.

We recently got this weighted blanket, and it’s truly so calming.

Made me laugh.

What do 90-somethings regret most? “‘Do you wish you accomplished more?’ He responded, ‘No, I wished I loved more.'”

A touching surrogate story. (And congratulations, Piera!)

Digging this cool jacket.

Damn, elephants are amazing.

11 women remember their most embarrassing moments as 13-year-olds.

Domee Shi thinks kids can handle dark stories. (NYT)

Plus, two reader comments:

Says S. on four things: “I read an obituary once that said, ‘In lieu of flowers, please return your shopping carts to the store, don’t leave them all over the parking lot – that drove Larry crazy and it was his one wish for humanity.'”

Says Lauren on hobbies: “For the past four years, I’ve volunteered for four hours a week at the Housing Works Bookstore and the Wild Bird Fund (NYC’s only hospital for sick and injured wildlife). I wandered into them knowing no one and with few or no related skills, and my social circles and relationship with the city have exploded. Volunteering has blown the dust out of corners of my heart I tend to forget about, and in a town that can make you feel like the only person in the world, I feel like I have homes all over the place.”

(Photo by Isa Isa Floral. 90-somethings via Kottke.)

  1. liz says...

    “I run my horn into my crush’s eye backstage” – this made my day!!!

  2. Roxana says...

    This is a fantastic set of links. All of it.

    The weighted blanket. Want/need! I’ve been using a heavy blanket for the weight, but it makes me sweat like a pig; my son needs this, too. Thank you for sharing!

    The elephants. They have ALWAYS been my favorite animals. That video made me cry.

    The surrogacy story? Made me cry.

    The Nia Wilson story is so sad, and so true. So much more I could say, but thank you for sharing. We all need to get out of our bubbles.

    The 90-somethings story. So beautiful and eye-opening.

    The TP “story.” Haha! So true!

    Lauren’s comment about hobbies? Really beautiful!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      <3 <3 <3

  3. There really needs to be a Cup of Jo book of the best readers’ quotes!! They are SO good and remind me of what you might find in Oprah’s The Wisdom of Sunday (i.e. life-changing insights).

  4. Sasha L says...

    I’m curious if anyone has used this weighted blanket and also sleeps with dogs? Wondering if the blanket itself will stand up to dog wear? My dogs do that circle around, scratch and build a nest thing with our blankets.
    Thanks!

  5. meli says...

    #sayhername, again and again
    thank you for including Nia Wilson’s murder for a second week.

  6. Laura says...

    Nia Wilson’s death has really shaken me. Then, reading this, I am reminded that her death is nothing new: “…the C.D.C. has found that black women die by homicide at nearly three times the rate that white women do.” There is no justice until there is justice for all of us. May there be justice for Nia Wilson and the countless women like her.

  7. Anna says...

    I have thought about the 90-sth regrets since Friday and.. It turns out I’m not a fan. It feels very selective and even manipulative to choose to showcase an elder with an advice to love more. As I think back to the last years with my granny, what she regretted was not having the chance to continue her education and have the opportunity to live a full life both at home and at work. Being stuck in a situation where you work a lot and have to save money while trying to provide the best you can for your large and beloved family is not something she wished for herself or her kids and grandkids. Her advice was to study and build the foundation for love and family the way you want.

    • jsk says...

      dear anna,

      i’m with your granny AND with the article—i felt that pull quote deeply about loving more rather than accomplishing more, but the way i interpreted it was as a clarion call to love myself more.

      i don’t know if you relate at all, but as a person who struggles immensely with trying to give myself and my own desires value in the face of so many things saying otherwise, i whisper as determinedly as possible to myself (when i can!) that i will not only continue to try to value myself, but that i will dare to give my desires precedence when needed in order to let me bloom.

    • Anna says...

      JSK,
      Thanks for your reply and your interpretation is both beautiful and touching! I’m sure that my granny would agree. x

  8. Tessa says...

    I’ve said a prayer for Nia Wilson and her family so many times over the last week. I have a daughter her age and I just cannot imagine losing her.
    It’s shocking to me that people want to talk about a whale with such compassion and not a word for the beautiful young lady. It hurts my heart that they called it a very “American” crime. After reading the zero heartfelt COJ reactions from the article… I concur.

    • kaye says...

      same, but what can we expect from white feminists who don’t see how their complicity is directly tied to the continued brutalization and marginalization of WOC.

      They just don’t care, because they don’t HAVE to care–and asking them to be more than performative in their ally-ship seems impossible on a mass scale.

      sigh–this is america.

  9. Anna says...

    Lauren’s comment is so beautiful.

    “Volunteering has blown the dust out of corners of my heart I tend to forget about, and in a town that can make you feel like the only person in the world, I feel like I have homes all over the place.”

    So well said. This makes me want to volunteer :)

  10. I saw that short movie and enjoyed it. Hundreds of miles, her pod is helping her and the only baby in many years.

  11. I am a 38-year-old Iranian American and to this day if I so much as complement my mom’s dress she is immediately like, “take it it’s yours.” When my husband and I were first dating I had to explain to him all about ‘ta’ arof” and if he wasn’t careful my dad would be handing over the keys to his car. :)

  12. Marisol says...

    I am seven months pregnant with my firs baby girl, and watching that baby elephant being helped by his family got more than a few tears out of me. Such beautiful animals!! Thank you for sharing that video.

  13. Courtney says...

    Those embarrassing 13 year old stories took me right back to that time. No matter how different we all are, I guess none of us escaped the mortifying middle school years. So many feelings!

  14. Hey! I’ve been reading CoJ for years now and I love what you guys do, especially these weekend link posts :) I am curious – why do you guys sometimes link to an article that is a summary of another article (ex. 10 useful foreign words), instead of linking directly to the original article? When I read ones like that, I get bummed when I get to the end of the article and realize I have to read the whole other article to get the rest of the information. Just wondering! Thanks :)

  15. Angela says...

    When I was 13, and in 7th grade, I was still not wearing a bra. In gym class, we played a game called “British Bulldog 1, 2, 3”. I was running from one side of the line to the other when the bulldogs captured me, grabbing my legs. A well meaning teammate grabbed my arm to try to pull me to safety. First she had my arm, then my sleeve, then my whole sweatshirt! I fell to the ground crouched over half naked, and the girls in class all surrounded me while I put back on my shirt.
    My handsome male gym teacher walked up whilst I was getting redressed, “Are you OK?” he callously asked. I thought. I. would.die.
    I got back to the locker bays, where a boy asked, “Aren’t you the girl that lost her shirt in gym today?”
    In tears I went home and told my mother of the indignities I had suffered because I was (in her estimation) not yet old enough for a bra. I told her I could not return to school! We went to JC Penny that night and got me coverage. Even now, I really do like a fancy Chantilly lace bra. :)

  16. Julie says...

    Damn, that elephant video made me tear up! They’re such special, intelligent beings.

  17. JC says...

    I was raised in typical Italian family which as everyone knows is very matriarchal-we just let the men think they are in charge (like Everybody Loves Raymond :).

    To this day I can’t leave the house without my hair and make up done and dressed appropriately. Also enjoy my house and entertaining in a certain way. When people ask I reply it is the Italian way.

  18. Monica says...

    I was also a Housing Works (bookstore!) volunteer for some time! Reading Lauren’s comment made my heart swell. Volunteering has also become a hobby of sorts for me. I’ve met some truly incredible people and walk away feeling really happy each time.

  19. Tiffany says...

    There is a fantastic This American Life (https://www.thisamericanlife.org/428/oh-you-shouldnt-have) – Act 3 where Nazanin Rafsanjani details the phenomenon of Ta’arof. My parents never discussed this specifically growing, up, but I just knew that no one could enter the house without my dad promptly placing rice and lentils, bread or fruit in front of them before they could sit down.

  20. Denise says...

    tsundoku! I have needed this word all my life.

    • Sasha L says...

      Abesha, thank you for sharing about Crystle’s death. Ugh, heartbreaking. Another black new mother dead, another family losing their loved one needlessly because of racism. I hope other COJ readers will read this too, we have to seek these stories out and share them because they are happening to our sisters and it’s deliberately being hidden.

    • Wendy says...

      This is such an upsetting story and I hadn’t seen it before; thank you for posting it.

  21. Anna says...

    Couldn’t agree with the volunteering comment more ! I am volunteering at Camp Erin this summer (after reading a reader’s comment on THIS a blog – i think it was a post about dealing with grief). It’s a camp kids dealing with grief – many of them have lost parents or siblings or guardians. It’s making me feel so grateful and thankful and i think my heart has grown two sizes since committing to this. Thanks CoJ for the great community, suggestions, amazing posts, etc etc

  22. June says...

    Gah! I know Lauren in NYC! (Hiiii!!) The fact that we live on opposite ends of the country but share the same space on this vast Internet just warms my damn heart.

  23. Heather says...

    ELEPHANTS!!!!!!

    • Carrie says...

      elephants!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • Hannah says...

      ELEPHANTS!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Manuèle says...

    This week-end… I’m going to New York!!!
    So happy ! I leave Paris tomorow morning 😃

  25. Sue says...

    I’m almost 50 and definitely adopting the mantra “love more” starting today…”love more”–my husband, kids, our dog and cats, neighbors, coworkers, parents, inlaws, siblings and their spouses, nieces, nephews, friends, and everyone else! I don’t want to be a 90 something year old looking back at my life with regret wishing I had loved more. Thank you for sharing this wisdom. Really, is their anything else more important in life than Love?

    • Renee says...

      <<<<>>

      Me too Sue!

  26. Lucy says...

    I third the request for information on the weighted blanket. I have a four-year-old daughter with mild sensory processing disorder and she rocks herself to sleep at night. Sometimes she even bumps her head against her headboard, although she is valiantly trying to stop doing this at our request (but it’s a hard habit to break). I’m wondering whether you or any of your readers have any experience with using a weighted blanket under these circumstances. We worry about the long-term effects of her rocking and banging her head, but are being sensitive about how we address the issue. Finding an alternative solution that reduces her need for the sensory input that rocking provides would be ideal.

    • t says...

      Hi Lucy, i just want to say that my wife rocks once in while and she is 40. Sometimes she just goes to our room when she is feeling overwhelmed and rocks. it has no negative impact on our lives.

      If the blanket doesn’t work out maybe consider a padded headboard?

    • mindi says...

      Lucy, I’m a teacher and had a conversation about this with a parent whose student has SPD. Yes – the blanket can help! She also mentioned other things they tried that helped, like a bath with epsom salts (I had no idea!). Have you tried a weighted vest or belt, too? Those can help in situations (like school) where a blanket isn’t going to be available. Rocking won’t hurt, either, but it does help to have other “tools” for different situations. :)

    • Lucy says...

      Thanks for the perspective, T. It’s really the banging of her head I worry about and we have padding on her headboard, but sometime she does it so hard I still worry. I think it soothes her, so we aren’t pushing too hard for her to stop, but gently suggesting she put a pillow in the way and just rock on her bed. But thought the blanket might also be soothing, so I guess it’s worth a try!

    • Abesha1 says...

      I wonder… how might she sleep in a hammock (a more traditional one, not flat like you see in backyards) ? Rocking, being cradled by the fabric.

    • Megan says...

      There’s no harm in trying a weighted blanket, but the stimulation she’s getting rocking is different than what the blanket would give. Could you read bedtime stories in a rocking chair? Trial a waterbed? If she’s getting OT, your therapist might have ideas. Good luck!

    • Liz says...

      Hi Lucy, my almost 4 year old son also has sensory processing disorder and rocks himself to sleep. Even once he is asleep, he still tends to thrash around in bed and can be quite restless and wakeful. We were advised by his OT to try a weighted blanket and while it hasn’t been a miracle cure it has definitely made a big difference. Due to the constant pressure of the blanket he doesn’t feel the need to move around as much to fall asleep and can stay asleep for longer periods of time. Other things that helped him was ensuring he had enough sensory input during the day, warm baths with Epsom salts and deep pressure massage before bed. Good luck, I know that bedtimes with a sensory child can be difficult x

    • Sarah says...

      We use one for our daughter with mild spd. My daughter did not rock but had a lot of nighttime issues. I believe it has been helpful. She requests it when we are on vacation (sadly, I can’t travel with it-it’s so heavy!!) The blanket was recommended by her ot. Be careful to get the right weight for her body weight and size. There is some calculation that needs to be done so it is comforting instead of crushing.

    • Lucy says...

      Thank you for the comments, COJ readers! Liz and Mindi – I’m going to try the bath with epsom salts as well. I’ve never heard of that before. My daughter used to have an OT but they “graduated” her. At the time, they gave us advice about providing her with sensory input during the day and before bed, but I never noticed much of a difference either way. I really appreciate everyone’s responses and will definitely try the blanket.

    • Laura says...

      Another voice in praise of the weighted blanket. My 7 year old son has ADHD, anxiety and sensory issues. He doesn’t rock but he just does not stop moving … while not a silver bullet, a weighted blanket has been very helpful in helping him settle for bed. Another thing we do is use an exercise resistance band around the legs of a chair so he can ‘bounce’ while sitting at the table to eat dinner.

  27. LAURA says...

    SAVE THE ELEPHANTS! SAVE THE ELEPHANTS! SAVE THE ELEPHANTS!!!

  28. Tricia says...

    Reading the article on the inner thoughts of older people tugs at my heart strings today. I got gas this morning and the pump was confusing. I couldn’t find where to insert my card. I saw a very old man waiting in line to pay in the store and hesitated to ask him for help because he just seemed so… old. But I did, and he walked me back over to the pump and showed me. Then the woman at the car next to me didnt know how to get the gas to start flowing so he walked over and helped her. I told him “you’re everyone’s hero today!” He replied “It’s just nice to feel like I’m still useful for something.” My chest is still tight thinking about it.

    • colleen says...

      I just read out an article about how you can rent out middle aged Japanese men for all things not sexual in Japan when you need help. 70% of his clients just needed someone to talk to. He gets paid the equivilant of $9/hour but he feels useful. Your gentleman did it for free. :)

    • Angela says...

      This story made me cry. Man, older folks are such treasures.

  29. Patricia says...

    I’m probably not alone in thinking that I would love to hear more details about the weighted blanket. Do you use it every night? Or just when anxiety is particularly high? Do you use it on the whole bed? (I saw a description saying that for some people it works best up around their shoulders.) How comfortable is it to use if you move a whole lot during sleep? Maybe you could do a full post?

    • Bobbi says...

      Yes please to a whole post! Maybe a round up on little things people do or buy to manage anxiety?

    • Sasha L says...

      Bobbi, that’s a fantastic idea!

  30. Sam says...

    Oh god, the sending-a-friend-to-ask-a-boy-if-he’d-go-out-with-you-only-to-be-rejected-and-then-announced-in-front-of-everyone-else brings back all the (mortifying) feels!

  31. Nicole Wight says...

    Your links are always great, but the comments you select each week are AMAZING. Thank you!

  32. Kaela B says...

    I volunteer for a rabbit rescue 1-2 hours a week and those fluffy butts heal me!

    • Brooke says...

      This was the most delightful thing ever! Fluffy butts! 😂Rescuing you… Oh so good.

    • Becky says...

      LOVE!!!!

  33. Mk says...

    I think the second link description should say “English” and “Iranian.” :)

  34. K says...

    The four things comment made me laugh out loud. Hopefully my husband’s obituary is decades away but I’m saving that one for sure.

  35. Patty says...

    Indeed elephants are amazing, thoughtful, intelligent creatures that do not deserve to be hunted to extinction!

  36. Hannah says...

    Oh my goodness, that story of Piera had me tearing up at my desk. How beautiful!!

  37. Katie says...

    Thanks for the recommendation on a weighted blanket. I’ve been wanting to get one for our son as recommended by his OT, but have been put off by the high prices I was seeing as I’m not sure he will like it. This one is very reasonably priced. Am going to give it a try!

    • Isabelle says...

      Katie,
      You can make
      your own weighted blanket using rice on ziploc bags, for example. It’s a bit of trouble, but it works well. I use these with kids who have autism or cerebral palsy at work (I’m a PT) ans they are great. Also used one on myself occasionnaly when too anxious and it was a great help.

  38. shade says...

    I saw that short movie and enjoyed it. Was fascinated by it. Although I have to disagree with her comment. All kids are different. Some can handle dark stories. Others, not so easily.

    • mindi says...

      I loved spooky books as a kid, and as a teacher librarian, have realized that I probably wasn’t alone – my most popular books are Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (with the original illustrations, of course).

      Every October, I spend a week telling spooky tales. I bring in a ceramic jack-o-lantern with battery operated candles, dim the lights, and tell tales like Mary Cullhane, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Taily-Po. One year, I told the Taily-Po to a group of 3rd graders like I always do, and my tale-telling skills must have been a little too good: I got an email from a parent saying that her son would not go to bed that night, afraid that the Taily-Po’s monster would visit. Poor thing. From then on, I offered students the option of a quiet place in the library to read magazines or do puzzles if they were not into scary stories!

  39. Heather says...

    I’m so interested in the weighted blanket. 2/3 of my kids don’t sleep well (nightmares, frequent wakings, waking up in the morning already cranky and weepy) and you know I’ve been doing some googling. I’ve seen recommendations for these, but they’re expensive so I’ve been on the fence about trying them. Do you think it would help us?

    • Hannah says...

      We use a weighted blanket for my 3 year old to fall asleep. He is a terrible sleeper (we’re lucky if he wakes up only twice a night), but the weighted blanket has helped with him falling asleep initially and then falling back asleep after he wakes up. Ours says to not pull it up past your armpits plus he starts sweating so much if we leave it on him, so we only use it for about 10-15 minutes at a time. He has sensory issues, so without the weighted blanket, all his limbs would be moving around constantly. It’s much better than me having to maneuver myself into gently sitting on his toes while holding both hands in mine and pushing on this butt to keep him steady and with gentle pressure to fall asleep.

    • Jeanne says...

      I read about this tragic scenario just yesterday and it broke my heart. Hundreds of miles, her pod is helping her and the only baby in many years. It reminds us that animals feel so much more deeply than we give them credit for.