Design

Have a Sweet Weekend.

Anton

What are you up to this weekend? My friend Gemma and I are going to eat pizza and people watch in Washington Square Park tonight. Nothing like watching the world go by. Have a good one, avoid your exes, and here are a few links from around the web…

An incredible poem.

The yummiest salmon salad.

Kate Middleton’s funny reaction to Princess Charlotte.

Thank you to multiple Cup of Jo ladies for recommending this book! I’m loving it so far.

How to give constructive criticism at work.

One great complement to summer dresses, plus a discount.

The legacy of Toni Morrison (New York Times) — and this quote: “I never asked Tolstoy to write for me, a little colored girl in Lorain, Ohio. I never asked [James] Joyce not to mention Catholicism or the world of Dublin. Never. And I don’t know why I should be asked to explain your life to you. We have splendid writers to do that, but I am not one of them… If I tried to write a universal novel, it would be water. Behind this question is the suggestion that to write for black people is somehow to diminish the writing. From my perspective there are only black people. When I say ‘people,’ that’s what I mean.”

Paris from a boat.

A little house that’s ready for a party. (New York Times)

Really into all these looks.

Kids can be such deep thinkers.

Lastly, and most important, what a week it has been in America. It’s hard to know what to say or how to help. After the shooting in El Paso, please join us in taking action and donating for gun safety, if you can. And here’s one way to help the devastated children after the Mississippi raids, and of course if you know of more things to do, we would love to hear. We’ll be sharing more over the next few weeks. Thank you so much.

Plus, two reader comments:

Says Emily on what are you secretly good at: “My secret power is believing that I’m a good mom. Though we all talk so much about mom guilt, I just don’t have it (at this stage of life, at least). I work full time, but I believe that I’m setting a good example and that my daughter is in good hands. And when I’m with her, I give her my attention, to the best of my ability. And I always give her my love. I’m definitely not perfect, but I have no guilt. That’s my super power!”

Says Carolyn on running into your ex: “With my ex-boyfriend from college, it was truly a gutting heartbreak that took me YEARS to recover from. Years later, I was walking near Union Square on a Friday, and he walked directly in front of me. He was on the phone and didn’t see me, so I, being the cool, totally over-it person that I was, slowly backed away with a look of horror on my face. Then I turned around and ran. I’m now happily married with a baby girl on the way, but I would probably react just as ridiculously if I were to run into him again.”

(Photo of Anton from the Cup of Jo Instagram. Flamingo link sponsored by Flamingo, a brand we use and love.)

  1. CS says...

    Regarding giving people at work feedback: I have been a teacher for more than 2 decades. When I was student-teaching, the “feedback sandwich” didn’t exist (at least not to my knowledge). Yet, it was something that I intuitively did with my students – not in a phoney way- but rather as a. Sincere way of pointing out what was going well and what needed improvement. It was an effective and encouraging way to help students improve. I am so bummed that it’s become a thing now, which makes it lose its sincerity. In education they are calling it “two stars and a wish”. I am not really sure how else to approach criticism. It seems so harsh to just hit a teenager (or anyone, really) with what is wrong, without first acknowledging what they are doing right!

  2. nora says...

    Thank you for sharing that actblue link. The shootings, the raids, concentration camps, rhetoric from our “leaders” – this has all been a violent assault on the Latinx community. Cruelty inflicted upon CHILDREN purposefully. It so soul breaking. For those directly affected, it’s hell on earth. For the rest of us Latinx watching it unfold, it’s psychological abuse. If you have Latinx in your life, check up on them and ask how they’re doing.

    • Owl says...

      All of these things that are happening under the current presidency leave me without adequate adjectives to express my concern and worry. The American democracy is at risk.

  3. Kim says...

    Beautiful post. It’s a great reminder to spend less time thinking about how our bodies look and more time focusing on what we are accomplishing because of our bodies. Even though I’m autoimmune and constantly sick, I try to remember that my body still does a lot of good: everything from getting my master’s degree to enjoying a walk with my dog in the park. I am can still be grateful for my imperfect body.

  4. My twin told me about Mrs. Everything, and it has finally come in into my library’s audio book app! I’m halfway through and am really enjoying it. It’s rare to have a book with Jewish main characters and one where one is a lesbian. Looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds.

  5. SS says...

    I love Jennifer Weiner! Check out her other books. An especially good read is Good in Bed.

  6. Melis says...

    Her name is Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge!

  7. Matti says...

    Hi Joanna, I love your weekend lists and as a reader I always check out your book recommendations. I really wish that the links lead to a site other than Amazon though! There are lots of reasons to divest from Amazon—a big one is that Amazon has been selling their facial recognition software to ICE, and ICE uses it to help identify undocumented people. ICE is the organization that recently conducted raids in Mississippi, leaving so many children without their parents. Let’s not support an extrajudicial group that enacts such violence and harm. Biblio, Better World Books, and IndieBound are all good alternatives!

    • I personally would love if it were just linked to Goodreads! I don’t necessarily want to buy it right off the bat, I want to read the blurb and a few reviews (but also not from Amazon)

  8. Michaela SCHMIDT says...

    This. Poem. Is. Mindblowing. Even in Germany.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you! Bless you!

  9. Sara Cotner says...

    Thank you, as always, Joanna! Since you shared a powerful poem with us, I wanted to share this one with you: https://www.facinghistory.org/standing-up-hatred-intolerance/warsan-shire-home. It really resonated with me this week.

    It’s given me more language and ideas to instill empathy in the two white males I am working to raise. This morning we were talking about how white people in the United States are immigrants. We wanted a better life for ourselves. Why can’t we have empathy for others trying to do the exact same thing?

    • Sasha L says...

      Thank you for sharing this piece, I’ve read it before, but I don’t think we can read it too many times. I think often about what may have driven my ancestors to leave Europe – poverty, oppression, tyranny? Fear? Maybe even hope that somewhere they’d be welcomed and valued and free. I won’t believe they’d have had us slam the door shut behind them.

      The web site where it’s featured is very powerful as well. I hope many teachers and parents are utilizing this content.

  10. Sasha L says...

    Re shaving legs. I do sometimes. I don’t like the way my legs look and shaving and a little tan helps me feel more confident in dresses. I like the way smooth skin feels too. But I’ve gone for periods without and it’s fine. I don’t shave all winter.

    What’s interesting to me is how much other women’s shaving (or promotion of shaving) bothers some. I don’t see any particular beauty/grooming habits as more or less tied to feminism or the patriarchy than others. People don’t complain about promotion of dresses, lipstick, earrings, pretty hairdos, cute shoes, serums…….I don’t understand why shaving legs is so egregious??? I guess if you don’t like the promotion of shaving, AND you also don’t participate AT ALL in any routines or rituals or practices to improve your appearance then great. But I have a feeling that’s rarely the case. I won’t judge your high heels and lipstick and hair color, maybe don’t judge my smooth legs (or chin or upper lip either).

    As they say in Raising Arizona, “now, y’all without sin can cast the first stone.”

  11. CC says...

    About running into your ex: I was reading that post yesterday and started sweating at the thought of running into my ex. I went to work last night (I work at a restaurant) and was casually chatting with the host as she looked through reservations and I said, “I am always so scared my ex will come in for dinner some night.” We chatted about that and then I inquired about the private event we were hosting that night. She clicked on the event and MY EXES NAME POPPED up. We hosted his rehearsal dinner last night. So much shaking and sweating, I asked my current beau to bring my CBD oil. I texted my best friend and her coworkers she showed up with two of her therapist friends and sat at the bar. I didn’t have to serve him or anything but saw him from a distance. It was pretty terrible. Bad emotional breakup and he hung out in the rafters of my heart for tooooo long. Soooo, fast forward a few hours and I went to a karaoke dive bar after work w best friend and her ppl. I was hesitant to go to the bar for lots of reasons and had her check out the scene as we walked in but then was like, “there’s no way he’s here at midnight the night before his wedding.” He wasn’t there so we sat and did our thing. Around 1 I noticed a familiar looking dude and was like, “Oh, thats his best friend, shit, maybe he’s just here alone.” (????) I tell my friend, she scans the room for ex and gives me the clear. So I keep bobbing my head to whomever was singing Party in the USA. Given the clear, I look around the room and my goddamn garbage man ex is belting Party in the USA on the stage. We bolted so fast bc he is so terrible. Weird, so weird. Can you believe it? Last night. Universe……

    • Sarah says...

      OMG “he hung out in the rafters of my heart” is just the way to describe it, isn’t it?!?

  12. Stella Ray says...

    On my recent trip to NYC to visit my cousin, we also people-watched in Washington Square Park after grabbing some coffee. We sat there for a few hours until we noticed THE WEIRDEST THING, this guy would take laps in the park using a fart noise machine when he walked by people and waiting to observe their reactions. Once we caught on, watching him in action was HILARIOUS! He looked like a totally normal guy in his twenties, but we had so many questions… is this a weekly/daily/monthly hobby of his? what came first, the idea or the fart machine? do his loved ones know this is his hobby, and what do they think? All in all, it MADE my first trip to NYC, I’ll never forget it!!

    • Mackenzie says...

      Native NYer here and I have seen this same guy in Grand Central. So hilarious and confusing!

  13. Sasha L says...

    Thank you for the poem. Beautiful and heartbreaking.

  14. Marisa says...

    Thank you so much for that poem. I am a midwife who hates guns, and spends a lot of time thinking about how I can help this sick country, and is exhausted from having a really hard job and little kids. The thought the a midwife is the opposite of a gun has actually made my year.

    • Sasha L says...

      Thank you for being a midwife ♥️♥️♥️
      Love, a doula

  15. Rashmi says...

    That poem is incredible. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Thuy says...

    Thank you for the Toni Morrison quote.

  17. Sheila says...

    Last time I crossed paths with THE ex was on a sidewalk on a rainy day. I was 7 months pregnant, watching my 5 year old jump in the puddles. I looked up just as he walked by. No one else around. Thankfully, he didn’t say hi.

  18. Hayley says...

    Hey! Question for you lovely COJ readers! I love Link-Up Posts. What other blogs do you frequent that publish them? I’d love to have more on my list.

    I read: COJ (obvs), Go Fug Yourself, Reading My Tea Leaves, Lindsey Kubly, and Hither and Tither.

    Who else should I be checking in on? Thanks a million in advance. ❤️❤️

    • Sasha L says...

      I like Joy the Baker’s Let It Be Sunday

    • Alli says...

      THANK YOU for asking this question! I want more round-ups blogs in my life too!

    • Kay says...

      Design Mom also does Fri links, with an emphasis on news and social justice awareness.

    • Brooke Barrington says...

      Reading My Tea Leaves has a lovely friday links list!

  19. Ginger M. says...

    You are absolutely right. My 16 year old daughter has a devastating eating disorder, these images of models that are rail thin is NOT ok. Thank you for pointing it out!!!

  20. Ruth says...

    That poem was one of my favorites in last year’s Best American Poetry Anthology. His reading of it at the New School knocked my socks off.

  21. DT says...

    Ugh can we as Americans get over women shaving our legs so I don’t have to feel awkward about my once a week at best half hearted shaving attempts. Such a waste of time and plastic/resources.

    • Anne St.Jean says...

      I switched to a safety razor with replacement blades – creates next to no trash since the wax papers the razors come in are recyclable. It takes a minute to get used to using them, but they’ve saved me so much money. Just a tip in case the plastic really is a concern for you and you still want to shave :)

    • CS says...

      I have started doing what I would have thought unthinkable even a few years ago: leaving the house, in the summer, without perfectly shaven legs or armpits. I think, in part, it’s thanks to this blog! (For example, you introduced us us to a yogi who -incidently-doesn’t shave her armpits!) The other day, I even wore a cute little dress (revealing my legs that were due for a shave ) to a restaurant with my husband!!! Nobody noticed, and I actually looked very nice. The weirdest thing is that my perspective is shifting. I have started to see hair on my legs not as this “horrible” looking thing, but rather as not a big deal. Because it really isn’t. A while back, I heard of a German model who refuses to shave her legs, and did a Nike commercial with furry legs. She outraged people by doing this – getting called the most horrible things and even receiving death threats. So I hate to admit it, but yes… women having to shave their bodies and keep their upper lip hair free is probably a symptom of oppression. We can be “equal” as long as we don’t get wrinkles, and don’t have any “unsightly” hair. It’s kind of nuts, really.

  22. jane says...

    The most important thing people can do re: el paso/mississippi, even before donating, is to speak to their senators. Email, phone, Tweet or use your six degrees for actual contact – but we as individuals EACH need to exercise our democratic participation like, yesterday. But today will do – just do it already. Democracy isn’t broken, we just have to participate.

    • Emily says...

      I would love to see a post on this! I’ve had “call my reps” on my to do list for weeks but I don’t really get how it works or what to say or how to keep up with all the info (i get nervous that the news will all change and i’m the idiot who’s still asking them to work for such-and-such when the whole issue has evolved)

    • Sarah W says...

      The 5 calls app makes calling representatives a piece of cake. Everything is there – the issue, the debate, the numbers and even a script to read if you’re nervous.

  23. Jenny says...

    Alternate entries for best complement for summer dress that aren’t telling you to shave if you don’t want to:
    Sunscreen
    Underwear you could ride a bike in that won’t flash your hoo-hoo at passerby
    Underwear you could ride a bike in with slight flash
    A cake in a pink bakery box, because everybody knows a lady in a sundress with a cake is good news
    A variety of other people also wearing dresses to walk next to so your hems flutter together
    Cherry chapstick
    Your body, just as it is, in the August sweaty zenith of Hot Girl Summer

    • Alexis says...

      100% this.

    • Bekah says...

      Jenny, do you write? Because we all need more of whatever just happened here. I’m cracking up and grinning and just feel a little more content with the world after reading your comment!

    • Isabella says...

      yes! I was shocked to click the link and see that this was is what Joanna is promoting as the “perfect” complement to a summer dress–I definitely expected more/better from Cup of Jo!

    • Sasha L says...

      Jenny, this is such a great list! Made me smile

    • Anna says...

      :) funny! I had similar thoughts. I don’t shave my legs and the trick for me is to just get a summer dress that hits at a flattering length. Midi with ankle showing or above the knee. I started not shaving about 2 or three years ago as an experiment..just to see what I would learn about myself and it was quite the thought provoking journey! What makes me feel beautiful? Is it other people’s opinions? Why am I shaving? What beauty routines do my toddlers see me enjoying? What industries am I supporting? What do my legs look like with hair? What does it feel like? Thoughts about advertising to women…the list goes on! I am researching razors that are zero plastic and zero waste. I would encourage anyone to step out of their habitual comfort zone of beauty standards for a time just to see what arises in the inner being. Then if you decide to go back to your old stand by maybe it will be with new routine! New reason! Possibly an elevated product that suits you better. Maybe elevated confidence that doesn’t necessarily rely on the product.

    • Natalie says...

      I couldn’t love your comment any more, Jenny!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, totally agree, jenny! great points, and i’m sorry for seeming like we think every woman should shave (we definitely don’t). we wrote about choosing to shave or not to shave here:
      https://cupofjo.com/2019/03/best-razors-for-women-flamingo/
      but if you DO want to shave, this is an amazing discount on an amazing razor, just for those who want it! :) thank you so much xoxo

    • Allison says...

      This is my new favorite poem.

    • jen says...

      Yep, I sure wasnt expecting being told to shave my legs. Im true blonde, and do it very seldom! I like your suggestions better.

  24. Laura B says...

    Oh, that poem. A stunningly beautiful punch to the gut <3

  25. Kim says...

    Thank you for mentioning the terrible week we’ve had in the US. It’s a sad time to be an American. Vote! That’s one thing you all can do to effect change. Vote, care, show up, donate, protest. And Godspeed.

  26. Erin says...

    The J Crew model is too thin. I can’t see the clothes because I am too worried about the human.

    • Joaquina says...

      That is body shaming. Would you comment on here that a model
      “is too fat”? Yeah didn’t think so. Let’s get past commenting on a woman’s body, we can do better.

    • HB says...

      Perhaps direct your misplaced worry over this woman’s body to a cause which actually warrants it?

      Signed,

      A woman who is perfectly healthy but just happens to be a 00/XXS ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • C says...

      I had the same thought. That we still hold women to this unhealthy and mostly unachievable standard… that said, it also could be her body type. Right now.

    • Amy says...

      I see these kinds of comments often, and I have to point out, respectfully, that this is a type of body shaming. Yes, she’s thin, but she may still be perfectly healthy, and it’s not your place to speculate unless you know her personally and have evidence of an eating disorder. My body is very similar–tall and lanky–and I have been shamed for it all my life. I’ve had “friends” exclaim in mock horror about how thin my arms and legs are, or about how certain bones poke out. There is literally nothing I can do about it–this is my body, I am healthy, and I have to try to do my best to ignore the judgment of others. There was a time where I really internalized it and would force myself to eat almost twice the calories a normal adult would eat, and I tried so hard to build muscle. It didn’t take. Please, please withhold your judgment if you don’t know someone personally. Similarly, not all bigger people are unhealthy.

    • Tara says...

      Replace “thin” with “fat” and see if that sentence still sits OK with you. Body-shaming works in both directions. For folks who struggle to keep weight on, comments like this can be disheartening.

    • CS says...

      As a naturally thin, but very healthy woman (and with a big appetite), I find it so offensive when people insult skinny women like this. Some people are naturally big, and some people are naturally thin. Sure, a few people are thin because they don’t eat enough, and a few people are big because they eat excessively. That doesn’t give anyone the right to be making these awful judgements. It’s body shaming. Based on preconceived notions. Many thin people (just like many bigger people) are simply that weight naturally. Body diversity and inclusiveness means accepting ALL body types, and not making uninformed assumptions. There are many ways of being beautiful.

  27. Nadine Hughey says...

    1. Wow, Emily!
    2. My Emily is in high school, so I was thinking of her being in the classroom as I read that poem. First poem I remember liking in a long time.
    3. Thanks for the link to HONY, I stopped going to the website a while back because I couldn’t see the stories anymore & didn’t know why. Will bookmark the instagram & very important: just figured out how to scroll down on the text of a post. (And even asked the teenage daughter!)

    • Wynne says...

      I had the same problem with the Instagram link and never figured it out (ha) so called it up on my phone instead. Glad I did, because what a quote!

  28. alana says...

    oh my gosh that poem gutted me.

  29. Kate says...

    Emily and Carolyn both — badass truth telling ladies <3

    The mental image of “slowly backed away with a look of horror on my face” made me laugh out loud.

  30. “Have a good one, avoid your exes” made me think of “Stay sexy, don’t get murdered” from the podcast My Favorite Murder haha. If you ever start a podcast, you have your catchphrase ;)

  31. Lynn says...

    Here’s a fun coincidence- in 2003 when I was a senior in college I interviewed Brendan’s Constantine, the author of those lovely linked to poems, for a class about the poetry of Los Angeles. I found him online and he agreed to meet me at a diner to talk about his work and his process. He was so kind and thoughtful and insisted on paying for my lunch because it was what his mother would have wanted and it was totally not creepy even though I was a 21 yr old woman and he a 40-something man. I sent him the essay I wrote analyzing his poems and he was just as kind in his response! Then, in 2007, years before these were published, I ended up working for the publishing house that looks like it later published his anthology! They were a mess, and I quit after 6 months when my paychecks bounced repeatedly, but glad to see he’s found success as a poet and to see it linked to here!

    • Mim says...

      my goodness, this is such a heart warming story, thank you for sharing it. I hope you have found success too Lynn….or at least work at company where the paychecks do not bounce.

  32. Karen says...

    I love people watching at Washington Square Park! And I love that you listed that as it’s own activity =)

  33. Mary says...

    Thank for the poem.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  34. Mims says...

    my guilty pleasure while eating lunch friday is reading your weekend column. it. is. the. best.
    I found this while looking at french tour boats:
    http://www.missmoss.co.za/2017/09/botanical-by-samuel-zeller/
    would make a good weekend link.
    Anton, sorry we made a world with so many guns for you to grow up in, but really trying to change that for you, plus keep climate change to a reasonable level. gotta get back to work, change doesn’t happen from wishing!

  35. Deana says...

    Ha, running into the ex: I once got in line behind an ex at the grocery store, not realizing it at first. But yes, I quickly changed lines! Then, that same week, he was behind me at an ATM. I just grabbed my money and took off. It was (unfortunate) coincidence, though – we lived in the same neighborhood. With another ex I ran into at a bar, we had a drink together and caught up. I guess it depends on the break-up.

  36. Rachel says...

    “Your death will sit through many empty poems”

    ….oh, that line got to me. Also Toni Morrison’s “If I tried to write a universal novel, it would be water.” Thanks CoJ for Friday roundups that always mix the beautiful and meaningful with Kate Middleton and razors and small silly things in life that we also need. You all are the absolute best.

  37. Meggan Combs says...

    And may we all aspire to be Emily. BOOM

  38. laurelc.hammond@gmail.com says...

    Oh God that poem! The opposite of a gun is wherever you point it. Wow just wow.

    • LS says...

      Yes! That poem stunned me to speechlessness.

    • Jen says...

      Yes. My heart is racing and breaking at the same time.

  39. Annie says...

    You know what. I bet Emily is an INCREDIBLE mom. YOU GO, SISTER! Embracing a guilt-free weekend (and life) in 3, 2, 1…

    • Amy says...

      Here to say the same thing!