Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

Amy Merrick flowers

What are you up to this weekend? Today is Alex’s birthday, and we’re having cheesecake with the boys. Then tomorrow night we’re going out to dinner, and I’m wearing this and this. (Just have to remember to shave my legs:) Hope you have a good one, and here are a few links from around the web…

Have you seen the movie Mid90s? I’ve heard great reviews.

What a beautiful neutral apartment.

Um, THESE PIES.

How beautiful they go to their graves!

The one piece of advice every young woman needs. (Hear, hear.)

Two penguins in love.

Great weekenders for fall trips.

A husband did a daily doodle to Twitter to help with grief after his wife died. Really beautiful.

Also loving this book about a marriage with lots of twists and turns.

Six fun things to do on email, haha.

Good news: Winc, the wine club, is offering Cup of Jo readers $26 off your next purchase, through this link. (That equals two complementary bottles of wine!) Cheers!

Plus, two reader comments:

Says Emma on things that inspire you: “I don’t have any background in music, but the first time I heard Beethoven’s 9th (with student tickets at the Boston Symphony Orchestra), I had such strong feelings that I started bobbing and sobbing at the same time. When my boyfriend asked if I was okay, I looked around me and couldn’t believe all the quietly sober people in the dim light, yawning and suppressing coughs. Were we even listening to the same music!?! Now, I save it for rare occasions so that it never loses its ability to make the sublime come into view and lift me up beyond buoyancy.”

Says Jennifer on things that inspire you: “My son turned six last week. He has never been into typical ‘boy’ stuff – he loves princesses and unicorns and castles and rainbows. In past years, the presents his friends brought to his birthday party were things like Lego speedboats and Marvel action figures. I don’t think they knew enough to explain to their parents that my son didn’t like those things. This year, though, he ended up with a riot of gifts that were perfect for him. Just looking at our couch after the party, covered in gift wrap, princess dolls, mermaid pencil cases and unicorn crafts, made me tear up. His friends know him and love him.”

(Photo by Amy Merrick. Twitter doodles via Kottke.)

  1. LG says...

    Thank you for the great reader comments you post. I love seeing the beautiful insights and experiences other readers have being highlighted.

  2. AlliHold says...

    The career piece… My husband and I met in grad school, we have the same degree and work the same position at different companies. I have flexibility at my job and I can work from home, so in addition to my full time job I am also responsible for school drop-offs and pick-ups, doctor appointments and mid week playdates. He started his job after me and already makes double of what I make, in just under 4 years. I resent it sometimes, not because he has the freedom to focus on his career full time, but because I can’t’ really give my 100% to either. It just constantly feels like I am failing at both.

  3. Emily says...

    I fully understand the piece about finding a partner who is as committed to your career as you wish to be. I have a very supportive husband and he has prioritized my career over his due to my fantastic work opportunity. This is not an argument for or against the piece, and I don’t think there is a right solution here, it’s just food for thought:

    A missing piece is that the article does not consider the change in a female career drive (or maybe just a personal problem?) after having a child. I have always been professionally driven and take pride in being successful. However I struggled emotionally when I returned to work 2 months after having a baby. At that time, I did NOT want to continue working. My professional drive was gone. My mind was not at work, it was thinking about my baby and sobbing during my breast pump sessions. (Also, perhaps it was a short term problem that wouldn’t have happened if the US didn’t have terrible child/family leave policies.)
    Regardless, my husband expected me to jump right into the saddle (work related) and did not understand why I was not motivated to work and an emotional wreck. I am in sales so if I don’t work, the money doesn’t come in, so he would get upset when I left early to pick up my daughter, etc. He admitted to not understanding why I could not focus on work like I used to do, even after explaining post-partum feelings, mother-baby attachment, etc.
    Three years later I have learned to compartmentalize my yearning to be with my daughter and focus on work (most of the time). But it would have been nice to have the opportunity to choose between a career or stay-at-home-mom.

    • Jessica says...

      Just wanted to say I really relate to this. You articulated my struggle so well. I was a super career-driven woman until I became a mother, and then my priorities shifted in major and unexpected ways.

    • Martha says...

      I agree there are some secondary problems not brought up in the article. Now more women are encouraged to pursue their career after having children, which of course is great and I am for 100%. But I don’t think men are stepping up any more than before to help raise the children. Someone needs to be raising these children…not saying it should always be the woman…but so many households are now struggling with childcare, EVERY working parent I know expresses often how they wish they could have more time with their kids or feel like they are missing out on their kids’ lives, while those kids are being raised by nannies. Not saying everyone has the option to stay home, DEFINITELY not saying it should always be the mom, but I feel like now that two working parents are the norm, no one has come up with a great solution for how our precious children should be taken care of.

    • Nicole says...

      Completely agree. There was no doubt in my mind that I would work full-time after my son was born. And, then he was born…… 8 weeks later I could not even fathom leaving him for a few hours, let alone every day for 5 days in a row. Not that I wanted to give up my career (AT ALL), but I didn’t even see it as an option to return to work so soon. My husband was fully supportive of me whether I went back to work or decided to stay at home, and I ended up going back only 2 days a week. I felt very lucky to do that, and it worked very well while my son was an infant. Now, he is over a year and I wish that I could work more, though fully time is not an option for me currently due to my husband’s current job schedule.

      I think that were we (women in US) given more generous maternity leaves, it would certainly be easier to return. Though, as many have mentioned, it is hard to be 100% committed to work when you have a sick kid, a daycare issue, or any of the other plethora of things that come up with kiddos. It limits us in terms of promotions, makes us seem less dedicated, etc. But, even if I could be super dedicated to my career, I’m not sure I would want to be- I want to spend my extra time and energy with my kid.

  4. Ivy says...

    The pies! Immediately started following her on IG.

  5. bisbee says...

    Jennifer…how wonderful! So heartwarming that your child’s friends know him like his family does. I am touched.

  6. Shena says...

    Unexpected sob fest after looking at the daily doodles…very powerful.

  7. JulieB says...

    I have the same feeling described above with music and dance. I’ve been lucky enough to see both regularly. I think it’s a combination of the way the art makes me feel and admiration for the talent and hard work of the individuals. I’m often moved to tears. My husband also thinks I’m crazy ;)

  8. Heather says...

    Wow. First the widower’s doodles and then the last comment about the little boy whose friends gifted him so much more than toys…so many tears this morning! But also a warmed heart.

  9. Meredith says...

    Just ugly-cried at those daily doodles. Wow.

  10. Tara says...

    Jennifer’s comments made me smile. Everyone should be seen and loved as they are. ❤️

  11. Heloise says...

    Beautiful words from Jennifer about her 6yr old’s birthday gifts, and much respect for supporting him being him. His friends sound wonderful!

    Our pre-k boy lives in dresses, identifies as a girl, & mainly plays with pink sparkly unicorn type things! We 100% support him, and are relieved & thrilled that he’s growing up in a generation that will (hopefully) respect his choices in life.

    Love the addition of ‘two reader comments’ on these posts, C of J team 👏🏻😘

  12. Rose Mary Swart says...

    I felt the same way as you at the BSO for Beethoven’s 9th when, for the first time, I heard Luciano Pavorotti sing in person. Could hardly catch my breath!

  13. Leah says...

    Those pies!!!!

  14. Cynthia says...

    I hope Alex is having wonderful birthday. My youngest turns 33, today Oct. 27, and she and her friend took a personal day to come down for a visit. We had pedicures, and I treated us to lunch at a nice restaurant. Then we did a lot of window shopping. We had so much fun!

  15. Cydney says...

    I would seriously avoid engaging with Winc- we received 4 month gift card for our wedding last year. The company refused to validate any of the gifts outside of the first month, after which they charged my credit card on a month basis despite multiple attempts to contact the company and cancel the “membership”. It took me calling my credit card company and putting a block on their company to finally get Winc charges cleared. The whole process took over 5 months to sort despite weekly e-mails, calls, and (hilariously, their preferred mode of contact) Facebook chat.
    Even if you consider my review as n=1, take a look at the comments on their Facebook wall- it is littered with customers trying to sort out these “memberships”.

  16. Akc says...

    I think I just posted a comment about” advice every young woman needs to hear.”. . and I just reread her piece. “This is not just about “getting ahead” or lucrative boardroom positions — it’s about who gets to be dedicated to their work or passions, and who doesn’t.”. The author points to many truths. I fully agree with her. I think that my original comment was based on my feeling that women (and men) need to feel supported and valued for when they choose to not be career driven in a traditional/financial sense. Everyone needs someone to manage household duties. Everyone needs to be raised by someone at home … So decide how much you want those roles part of your life and what type of career allows you to try to pursuit that life. If you do want a companion in life it’s important to discuss what you envision your future will be along those lines.

  17. Akc says...

    Re: “The one piece of advice every young woman needs to hear” . . . I feel there are quite a few perspectives missing from this argument. Cheifly, how big a role do you want your career to play in your life? (married or not. ). Do you primarily identify yourself by your career and does this bring you the most joy? Would like to have the ability to pursue other talents/ volunteering/ work:life balance. Perhaps you want to have children and you want to be able to spend more time with them and the sacrifice to your proffessional life is worth it for the time you spend working raising your children.

  18. Nice flower image!
    Have a great weekend too!!
    I’ll be sure to check out those links.

  19. Have fun this weekend! Also, those pies look incredible!!

    Rebecca

  20. Sharon says...

    For anyone considering the Cuyana weekender linked above, I wanted to share. I purchased the khaki one (along with a navy leather tote) after seeing them in a previous CoJ post. I love the look, but the weekender has not held up well. I think it’s because of the material (a canvas of sorts). It’s pilling almost like a sweater would. I love my leather tote from Cuyana, so I would recommend others stick with their more durable exteriors. Otherwise a great tote. Great space, pockets and zippers. Great handle length too.

  21. Sally says...

    Jennifer, please keep telling that story to your boy as he grows up, because he’ll forget.
    Perhaps he’ll need reminding in the future that there are ALWAYS people to be found out there that understand you, with no judgement. If you haven’t found your tribe yet, keep looking. They’re there.

    Aren’t children wonderful?

  22. Gabriel says...

    The article re advice for young women citing Avivah Wittenberg-Cox is spot on. I am fortunate enough to have Avivah as my mentor and her advice for a 35 year old mother of two with an exciting career but ALL the guilt, is just as good. Avivah is a feminist fairy god mother and I would urge anyone struggling with balancing career and parenthood to read her work.

  23. B says...

    Let me say I rarely cry, but as I’m sitting in the early morning dark, snuggling my 18 month old for the first time since I got bronchitis and had to ween her three nights ago and would have never been able to do this without her insisting on nursing to fall back asleep…well I have tears rolling down my cheeks from your comment section! Particularly inspiring the comment from Jennifer regarding her son.
    Hugs and inspired tears from Italy.

  24. Marie says...

    Really loved the daily doodles. My husband is away for work for a few months and I have to admit, the experience often makes me think what life would be like if he died and I was raising three kids on my own for real.

  25. Rachel says...

    “His friends know him and love him.” How special to find people who understand you and see you for who you are.

  26. Ashley says...

    The children’s book “and Tango Makes Three” is about a similar pair of penguins in love at the Central Park zoo. Great book for little kids <3

  27. Ingrid says...

    I was disappointed not to be able to see the dress(?) you’re wearing. (Sold out.) Hope you let us see a picture of you in it! Hope you have a great birthday, Alex!
    Loved Jennifer’s comment, and the links, especially the nightly doodles. So lovely and so sad.
    Thanks!

  28. Susan says...

    I came hear to applaud Jennifer’s comment about her sweet son and happily saw that others beat me to it.

    Just perfect!

  29. AC says...

    jennifer’s comment gives me hope for the future! what a lovely story of acceptance from both children and parents.

  30. Sophie says...

    Yes, those pies are amazing! I follow her on Instagram and am bowled over every time.

    Those doodles made me tear up. So loving and moving.

  31. Ro says...

    Oh, those daily doodles. I’m sobbing!

  32. t says...

    Jennifer, thank you so much for supporting your son as he is. We have a 5 year old who likes the same things. As much as my parents love him they still give him gifts that they think he “should” like. They are slowly coming around though. Maybe for his 6th birthday?

    • Erin says...

      When my son turned 5 recently, one of the moms at his birthday party said “We’re giving you a little box of odds and ends.” It turned out to be highly popular with the birthday boy … there was a tiny plastic alien and a quarter and I don’t know what all else, but all of it had been chosen by a good buddy who knew what my kiddo would like. It was quite touching to see the reaction produced by this little collection that would have looked “worthless” to a grown up.

  33. Charlotte K says...

    The comment about the kids and the birthday party–SWEET.

    And the comment about the BSO–when I was in elementary school I lived in a very, very small town in rural South Carolina. The local “big” city sent their orchestra to play in the high school gym. I have no idea now many years later what they played, but I remember probably 50 years later how I felt–and it was the way that Emma felt. I was completely transported! And now I’m living in Boston and I go to the BSO and I still feel that way!

  34. Gabriela says...

    Oh my heart, that last reader comment. I am *sobbing*.

    • Kate says...

      Likewise :’-]

    • Kathleen says...

      Same. Hats off to Jennifer, her son, and his lovely friends!

  35. amy says...

    Jennifer’s quote about her son’s birthday gifts is my favorite thing I’ve read in ages.

  36. Ivy says...

    I promptly ordered that dress – looks very comfortable and great for holiday parties!

  37. Glad I’m not the only one who bawls at Beethoven’s 9th!! I had to sing in a performance of it once and it was a struggle.

  38. Kristin says...

    Coffee with friends, volunteering at a library book sale, and then off to a local demonstration for transgender rights. That will fill Saturday nicely, and I haven’t thought about Sunday yet!

  39. Natasha says...

    Love the comment from Jennifer. My son, now 15, always used to say he wanted to be a “beautiful princess” when asked as a young child what he wanted to be when he grew up. Why not?!
    How meaningful for your son to have friends who really get him.

  40. Carrie says...

    Jennifer’s comment… I actually clutched my chest. I imagine as a mother that just felt so, so wonderful.

    And Emma, thank you, I’m coming to the end of my 10 hour work day and my music was getting stale- Beethoven’s 9th it is!

    • Amy says...

      Yes, all these feelings, too!! Best reader comment highlights in a long time. And, Jennifer, as a fellow mom I felt this vicarious rush when I got to the end of your comment and realized what a happy twist ending. Hugs to you, your son, and all of his friends, from a fellow unicorn loving family.

    • Lucy says...

      I am playing it at work now too! It definitely makes a change from my 2000s playlist.

  41. Megan says...

    Wow! Do you have any more information on the neutral apartment? I love all the furniture and am wondering where she bought it ….