Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

Scotland by Amy Merrick

What are you up to this weekend? We are having family friends spend the night tomorrow, and the plan is to play games after the kids go to sleep. (Hopefully they will go to sleep!:) Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

The secret to enjoying a long winter. Also, loved this cozy photo.

My kids would flip for this stocking stuffer.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge answers all the questions. (There was an alternative ending for Fleabag!)

A tiny London apartment.

A new crop of restaurants is embracing family-style, communal eating, creating a necessary spirit of communication and collaboration for our fractious times.” How cool is that?

All the hats in the Crown’s third season.

The colorful ceilings of Mumbai’s taxis.

Into this Twitter thread about small makers.

Whoa, the ocean!

Typing these two letters will scare your co-workers, haha. (New York Times)

Also, we recently featured Cup of Jo readers’ work outfits, and now we’d love to ask: What do you wear on dates? Please send a photo and short description to joanna@cupofjo.com. Thank you!

Plus two reader comments:

Says Rachael on meeting the parents: “I was SO nervous the first time I met my future in-laws! My now-husband was getting some snacks out for us all to eat while we played a board game and set a bowl of salsa and a package of Oreos next to me, then walked away. For some reason I thought that meant that his family liked to dip their Oreos in salsa…so I did…and promptly gagged just as he came back with a bowl of tortilla chips for the salsa. Trying to save face, I pretended for the rest of the night that I really loved Oreos dipped in salsa. He still teases me about it.”

Says Jacqueline on a first date moment I still think about: “My now husband and I were at a funky little restaurant for our first real date. At some point he got up and used the restroom. When I did later, I noticed that (1) there was only one bathroom for everyone to use, and (2) the walls were covered in chalkboard paint. Next to the sink was a message: ‘Jacqueline, how is your date going?’ It was so cute and out of the blue. I wrote back ‘Great! Hoping for another one…’ and hastened back to the table. He was so excited to have his gesture play out, he ran back to the bathroom to see if I’d played along about two minutes later. Sweet man.”

(Photo by Amy Merrick. Communal restaurants via Swissmiss)

  1. Emma says...

    Those pens reminded me of squiggle pens! A vibrating pen that makes little curls when you write! Best day ever when my birthday twin aunt gave me one as a child!

  2. Mina says...

    There have been commercials for those pens running here in Sweden and my kids’ minds have been blown. We got them each a pen for Divali and they were so so excited. So funny that something so simple that has been around forever suddenly gets a revival like that.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, so funny!

  3. agnes says...

    I bet, in the alternative ending of Fleabag, that she gets pregnant from the hot priest. Or is that too much drama? I don’t think I can sleep now! what IS the alternative ending?

  4. Candice says...

    Just wondering why the Phoebe Waller-Bridge piece was linked to Koettke and not to the originator of the content over at The Guardian?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      To credit Kottke for finding it, hope that makes sense!

  5. kristin morris says...

    I second this!

  6. RBC says...

    I agree with the kottke article about enjoying winter. I grew up in Brooklyn, but now live in Canada (and have for 14 of the last 17 years, and will probably live here the rest of my life). I refuse to talk negatively about winter, since it snows 9 months out of the year here. At 51 degrees north, we have late sunrises and early sunsets come December, but that’s why we have Christmas in December with twinkly lights and all things cozy! And there are good things about the cold weather even beyond skiing and skating and hockey: no need for a bra when you’re bundled up for school drop-off! No rush to bring the groceries in when they’re keeping cold in your car! Don’t worry about your hair when you’re in a toque! Plus the snow cover bounces the weak sunlight around to make it seem brighter! I like to have different seasons throughout the year. All that being said, I’m going to Hawaii in January for a week :D

    • Amy says...

      Hahaha also in Canada (at the 49th parallel, so only snow about 9 days out of the year but constant damp/rain); also skip the bra under my puffy vests and winter coats at school drop offs.

  7. Kitty says...

    I am an RN and the Bic 4-colour pen is my go-to (but I order the fine tip which is orange instead of blue!) and I always kill every colour except the green. Also, I loathe “kk” I usually say “Okay!”

  8. Melissa says...

    I love that your boys will flip over those pens. I remember them when I was a kid and also thought they were the coolest thing. Kids constantly remind me that the world is a magical place.

  9. Owl says...

    Hahaha😂The oreos in salsa story made me Laugh Out Loud!

  10. Olivia K says...

    My initials are OK, my whenever I sign anything, agendas or papers for my children I still think it looks odd.

  11. Mary Wallace says...

    I recently went to a talk on the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. That ocean video brings home what those men experienced.
    BTW, I’m reading while eating migas, which I’ve been making every Saturday morning since Jenny wrote about it a few weeks ago. I eat at a taco place every Friday and it’s a great way to use the leftovers.

    • Sasha L says...

      Oh my gosh, my husband just played Gordon Lightfoot’s beautiful song about the wreck the other day. So sad.

  12. Thank you for the link to the winter article! I SO get this bit ~ “I’ve been depressed because of winter” and felt wonderful for the next 5 months, like a completely different person. ” Having lived in warm climates (CO & CA), I often question why I live in The North now (Minneapolis, MN). Although I ‘get’ what the author is saying, it is SOOOOOO hard to do when you know you ‘could’ be living somewhere warmer. I am a work on progress on Winter, thirteen years and going…

  13. Abbie says...

    Joanna and co, while maybe less commonly talked about I think many of us in warm climates (FL for me but a native New Englander) suffer terribly from the OPPOSITE affliction – endless summer. If you ever stumble across any articles about how to make the best out of 8 some months of oppressive heat and humidity I would be so grateful for any advice about that. “Fall” in FL is my personal hell and sends me into a deep depression every single year.

    • Misty Davis says...

      Totally agree! We live in South Texas where it’s so hot & humid 8-10 months of the year. Our first cool front every year is the sweetest relief and August is such a depressing month. And, I’ve lived in South Texas most of my life!

  14. beth says...

    Those Mumbai taxi ceilings…swoon!

  15. beth says...

    Ha! In response to Rachael’s story about dipping her oreos in salsa, a story popped in my mind about meeting and eating dinner with my first high school boyfriend’s family years ago. My mother had an extreme aversion to seafood so, despite growing up in a southern coastal city, I consequently had never tried any kind of seafood at all until my boyfriend’s family invited me to dine with them at a traditional southern seafood restaurant. I ordered the same kind of shrimp dish my boyfriend ordered and was so overwhelmed by the experience of eating the entire shrimp, tail-shell and all, that I thought I was going to cry, but I also didn’t want to be rude and not eat what was on my plate. At some point my boyfriend laughingly asked where I was putting my shrimp tails, and I swear the whole table grew silent as everyone looked at me and my plate (my shy adolescent self’s worst nightmare). Scanning his plate, I saw all the discarded tails and realized that I didn’t actually need to eat them, but was too embarrassed to admit my mistake so I claimed that that was how my Italian family raised me to eat them, which my boyfriend and his family quietly accepted (while probably thinking, “Whatttt????”). Years later I learned that many sophisticated cultures around the world really do eat shrimp tails, shell and all, but I still chuckle about this to myself when I eat shrimp now.

    • agnes says...

      I’m far too lazy so I eat everyting but the head. That story is hilarious!

    • Lauren says...

      OMG this is so good. I can picture you silently crunching away while not gagging. I grew up not liking any type of seafood. Fast forward to my first interview for a job after law school and the interviewing partner declared that the lobster bisque was the best he’s ever had and everyone *had* to try it. So I ordered it. Lucky for me, it was delicious and I now love most types of seafood. But I will NEVER declare that someone must try something at an interview dinner — so awkward and inappropriate!

    • M says...

      Oh my, this material is gold! Hahaha.

    • h says...

      This reminds me of trying to figure out what to do with a whole artichoke presented to me at my first important work dinner with collaborators!!

  16. M Lisa says...

    A big help in embracing winter is to follow on Instagram @tahoeweather – he and his kids are fabulous!

  17. Laura says...

    In just those short interview answers Phoebe Waller Bridge’s voice comes through loud and clear. She’s one of those women who can knock the wind out of you with just a few words (the same way I feel about Kate Baer’s poetry). I want there to be 500 seasons of Fleabag.

  18. Cynthia says...

    Those pens would be great for anyone’s stocking. I didn’t know they were still being made.

    • Rae says...

      Things that make me nervous at work: an unexpected meeting invite for an internal meeting with just the boss 😖 Mine has a habit of scheduling them a week in advance, WITH NO EMAIL BODY 🤨
      They’re never the ‘you’re not performing’ meeting I expect, but my stomach drops just the same.

    • Karlene says...

      We nurses love them for work! Being able to use multiple colors is so helpful. Guarding them from each other is another story… :)

  19. Emma says...

    We are friends with some folks in Tromso Norway (above the Arctic Circle so it’s totally dark all day in winter) and they are always outside all throughout the year.

  20. Anyone who likes that ocean video should see the documentary Aquarela! It’s a whole film with footage like that set to Finnish death metal and it will really leave you feeling a lot of respect towards the earth.

  21. Amber says...

    Oh goodness, in total agreement with the O.K. discussion in “Typing these two letters will scare your co-workers” — another word that terrifies me is “sure.” If someone replies “sure” to anything I say (especially in text, but also in person), I assume the worst. It’s total lukewarm sentiment… and it reeks of passive aggressiveness. Sob!

    • Emma says...

      I like to go with “Okay!” which somehow, irrationally, seems a lot more gentle and agreeable.

    • Ellen says...

      I’d never heard of “kk” before reading this piece (and I had no idea that “ok” might be construed as rude). Amber, it’s interesting that you see “sure” as reeking of passive aggressiveness…to me it sounds friendly (friendlier and more casual than just saying “yes”).

  22. Grace says...

    Communal dining is my personal nightmare. There’s always at least one loud douchebag at the table and they seat you way too close to your dining neighbors. I need some elbow room!

    In theory it’s a great idea to bring together people from different backgrounds, but some of these concepts are whack. The restaurant where “patrons must visit the open kitchen when they want to order a Waldorf salad or cauliflower melt, navigating their way among the interconnected tables, which they choose themselves.” Nope, not paying that dining experience.

    On a positive note, winter is great. I can find something positive about all the seasons really. I guess I enjoy all kinds of weather :)

  23. Caroline says...

    Did anyone else find “How To Enjoy A Long Winter” incredibly patronizing?

    I was excited to read this article, it was the first link I opened. But this writer was a little obtuse. SAD is an actual disorder. It is caused by an actual chemical imbalance in the brain. I LOVE autumn and winter! I love snow and the cold. I love thick socks and sweaters and soup and hot drinks. The darker nights and cooler days are such a reprieve from the hot summer. But unfortunately, I have SAD every season.

    I truly wish I could just “change my perspective” and enjoy winter! Unfortunately, my brain won’t let me.

    Perhaps this writer experienced a mere longing for summer, but for those of us who actually suffer depression, pills, therapy, and SAD lamps ARE the only solution. “Accepting winter” and having a positive attitude won’t change that.

    Articles like this minimize true disorders and give the public a false view of a very real problem that their love ones may suffer from.

    • Morgan says...

      I get that. I’m someone who totally gets clinically SAD every winter. In the last few years, I’ve begun experience panic attacks and long bouts of weeping in early fall, just in anticipation of the long, dark winter ahead. It’s rough. But I did find this article helpful, particularly because of his re-framing advice. Yes: winter is dark and cold. Yes: I won’t feel the way I do in the summer time. But: winter is just a time to feel different. It’s dark and cold and that’s okay, I will get through. My husband offers me similar advice to this article, helping me to find the small, cozy thing to look forward to, without disregarding my struggle. Obviously, lighting a few candles and having friends over for mulled wine does not cure a chemical imbalance. Of course not. But it can help me at least feel more positive towards aspects of winter and they help me to balance out the truly hard things. The mind truly is powerful and when I think only anxious, scared thoughts about winter, I get anxious and scared; when I think positively and with anticipation towards winter, I feel less anxious and sad. Having a positive attitude won’t cure my seasonal affective disorder, but it does help. (So does taking fish oil daily, I swear!)

      Here’s sending you, and everyone else who struggle through winters, a big hug. We can get through this!

    • Áine says...

      I thought the same! I’m dubious about the but concluding that parole in northern countries just look at winter differently- some of these places so have high rates of depression, but *also* high rates of anti depressants,ie they feel better because they take the appropriate medication …

    • BB says...

      Wait so are you saying she should not have written about her own experience trying to overcome her hardship with winter? Why is it minimizing of your experience for this woman to have success with a shift in mindset?

    • Cait says...

      I hear you on this. It’s like the articles about exercise helping depression. Like, great, as soon as I can overcome the crippling feeling that I can’t get out of bed, I’ll get right to the gym to solve that crippling feeling ;)

    • Erin says...

      I was hit hard with SAD a few years ago, starting in late Autumn, with my chief symptom being feeling terribly depressed, hopeless, and wanting to cry all day for no reason on overcast days. The minute the sun would come out, I felt normal again (which tipped me off that I had SAD).

      I decided to try supporting my neurotransmitters with SAMe and it made a world of difference. I felt like myself again (actually, I felt a little better than I had been feeling even pre-SAD). It was like my brain had access to happiness again.

  24. Maddy says...

    So I just did what I always do on COJ and clicked on every link because I love this blog so much… then clicked on the $2 lunch link in a previous post… and now I am thinking it might be interesting if you did a series about what people eat at work or what they send their kids to school with. I know would be interested in the many new ideas from this crowd! 😃

    • beth says...

      YESSSSSSSS!!!!

    • Abbie says...

      They’ve done this! Search the archives it’s fun stuff :)

  25. MKW says...

    1971 Christmas. I was in third grade. Our teacher gifted us those very pens as we were learning cursive. It was a maturing moment. We had graduated from No. 2 pencils!

    • Eloise says...

      I was just going yo comment about how nostalgic the pens make me feel!

    • beth says...

      Ha! Great memory! Funnily enough, in my mid-80s third grade class my teacher also gifted us with the ability to use ballpoint pen once she deemed our cursive writing acceptable (we weren’t lucky enough to receive these amazing pens, we had to provide our own, but I do remember these pens being quite the hot ticket item at the week-long Scholastic book sale at school, along with kitten posters). What a treat and mark of sophisticated adulthood to graduate to writing with PEN!!! I lamented the fact that my son did not have this same experience in third grade; I felt like he and his classmates got ripped off!

  26. justine says...

    Those reader comments were awesome. Made me smile.

  27. Lauren E. says...

    Communal dining gives me so much anxiety. Introvert problems!!

    • Grace says...

      You’re not the only one!

    • Sarah says...

      I would actively avoid these places! Haha

    • Jillian says...

      Same! Panicking! No! I’ll need a dark corner table for two, thanks so much. Lol.

    • Eloise says...

      Same!!

  28. Liz says...

    Love the “secret to enjoying a long winter” insight. I’ve noticed the power of a shift in perspective working for me in several areas of my life, but always wondered why it worked so well for me. Recently, while doing dishes together in her kitchen, I asked my mom what her least favorite household chore was. She paused thoughtfully and said “I’ve found it’s not helpful for me to think of things that way, since it usually makes it worse”. I had never realized so clearly before then just how little I had ever heard her complain about those types of things. What a gift that was for me – just her example. Now I’m trying to pass that on to my kids.

    • Lia says...

      I love this!!! Will try to shift my mindset to this more….

  29. Tara says...

    Joanna, what board games are you playing these days? Have a wonderful weekend CoJ peeps!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we are loving Wits and Wagers, and we also play apples to apples and a very beginner’s game of poker! :)

    • Mims says...

      We like Dixit…good for all ages, and have heard good things about Secret Hitler

    • Katie says...

      I love your game recs Joanna. Because of you, my nieces, sisters and I love exploding kittens, that donut game and now loaded questions. Oh my gosh do we like loaded questions. So I thank you!

  30. Amber Grady says...

    Jacqueline’s first date moment is so, so sweet! I also love the idea of the embracing winter mindset and find it really does work!

  31. Christy P. says...

    Christmas Markets opened this weekend so we are going to a couple of those!