Design

Four Great Things

postcard thank you notes

Our friend Ameer does something wonderful: During dinner parties or games nights, he’ll take a couple casual snapshots with his phone. Then, the next day, he’ll print them out and send them as postcards to the hosts to say thank you. It’s such a surprise and delight to check your mail and find the cutest memories of the evening! — Joanna

madewell cropped sweatshirt

I am fond of saying that I love cropped clothes because (at 5’2″ on a tall day) I am a cropped person. Cropped jeans, cropped tees, cropped sweaters… on me, they don’t look cropped, but rather the way they’re supposed to. Sweatshirts especially can often swallow my body whole, but this one is absolutely perfect. (It looks especially great with high waisted jeans.) And the color lights up your whole face. — Caroline

sleeping giraffe

For your moment of cuteness on this Wednesday afternoon, have you ever seen sleeping giraffes? Six-year-old Anton and I happened upon photos the other day and loved how their necks wrap onto their bodies. That’s all! — Joanna

Quit Like A Woman

Last summer, at a friend’s wedding, I drank a glass of water at dinner. A rumor started that I must be pregnant. (I wasn’t.) Why else, everyone wondered, would someone not drink at a wedding? The simple truth is, I don’t drink much. Alcohol just doesn’t sing to me the same way other things (like, say, chocolate) do. So, when this book (Amazon/Indiebound/Books Are Magic) wandered into my consciousness, I was intrigued. Well researched and tell-it-like-it-is, the book is written by a founder of a woman-centric recovery program. She breaks down everything from the history and science of alcohol usage, to how alcohol is marketed to women, to tactical advice for quitting. An interesting read for people in recovery or contemplating sobriety, but also for anyone who has ever questioned the role of alcohol in our culture. — Caroline

P.S. More fun things and the hardest tongue twister.

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  1. I’ve never had a sip of alcohol and I’m 29. And I never will. My decision is because the cons don’t outweigh the pros. With so much addiction in my family and with an addictive personality I don’t think it’s worth it to try. I get soooooo many looks when I tell people this. They look at me like I have three heads

  2. Evelyn says...

    As a 5’10” woman with a slightly longer torso, I am ready to start a club for not-cropped, not-boxy shirts! Anyone want to join? The clothes on stores’ racks that I can actually wear to work are becoming few and far between!

    • Emily says...

      I will join your club! Amen

    • MJ says...

      Please tell me what store you are finding these shirts in because they sound perfect for me. Signed 5’4 but all legs.

  3. Catherine says...

    Thrilled to see “Quit Like A Woman” reviewed here! Such a great read for anyone who wants to understand the facts about Big Alcohol, addiction as a feminist issue, addiction as a social justice issue or anyone at all who wants to explore their relationship with alcohol. It is especially enlightening with respect to learning about the insidious ways alcohol has been marketed to women and ingrained in our culture. Even if you have zero interest in giving up alcohol, I recommend the book so you can be educated about your choice.

  4. 5'2" too says...

    Caroline! Thank you for your your tips for all of us crop-loving people! I would love to see more please!!

  5. Rachel says...

    Thank you for linking to a local bookstore (here, Books are Magic)! I hope you will continue to do this more often–and direct non-Brooklynites to a local bookstore near them via https://www.indiebound.org/, (or powell’s (union!) or other non-amazon sellers online). I’m often bummed that you link to Amazon all the time: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/11/amazon-warehouse-reports-show-worker-injuries/602530/ and https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/19/technology/amazon-sellers.html

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes, we have been linking at least half the time to indiebound and/or books are magic — we definitely appreciate the feedback! thank you so much xo

    • Sarah says...

      I love addressing the topic of not drinking and the social pressure around it. As a woman married to a man that is in recovery part of the promise I made to us was to be sober with him (it started off as just a year, but has now become a lifelong commitment). In the beginning of my non-drinking days I had a lot of questions from friends that weren’t meant to come off judgmental but did, even work “mixers” brought up tons of questions from my peers, and don’t even get me started about the questions I received from my dad’s family at my grandmother’s celebration of life party. The hardest part was doing girls nights in the beginning and yearning to feel included (which was more a reflection of how I felt about myself at the time and not that I wasn’t actually being included). After years of not drinking I would say my friend group has changed a bit, yet my life is still just as fun a fulfilling as it was when drinking. Maintaining being sober is the responsibly of my husband, being sober together just takes one of those barriers away. Thanks for the amazing community here and all the diverse topics COJ writes about!

  6. Anonymous says...

    I’ve been hesitating to post this, because I don’t want to be critical of COJ, which I love — but I just keep wondering why Quit Like a Woman is in THIS post. I’m glad to see COJ talking about it, but a “fun thing”? Not for me. My sister just read the book and has stopped drinking, though not for the first time. I’m really glad; many members of my family have unhealthy relationships with alcohol and it can be painful for them and for me. I’m very happy for COJ to foster discussions about why alcohol plays the role it does in our social lives, and I think I may read the book myself and ponder whether I might be happier if I just cut alcohol out altogether. But again, this isn’t a “fun” topic for me, and I suspect it’s not for many others.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your note! the series is called “four fun things,” but i see your point for sure. i’ll change it to “four great things.” also, you might like this post, too, about sobriety: https://cupofjo.com/2019/05/why-i-decided-to-quit-drinking/

      thank you so much for your comment!

    • Sasha L says...

      I agree alcohol should be treated seriously.

      But I have to say, sobriety IS fun. At least for me. I’m never hung over or regretful or in danger or throwing up because of my drink choice, and that’s all fun. I have money to spend on cake or vacations, my body feels cared for, my relationships are healthy, again, all really fun. I have time and energy for things that truly lift me up, also fun.

      I do absolutely get what you are saying, but I just wanted to add that sobriety isn’t all seriousness. Truly, being sober is fun, and I just don’t think that’s a message we get much in our culture.

  7. Marie says...

    I’d love to read a post about women who’ve struggled and overcame substance abuse or just substance over use.

    I haven’t drank since January 1 and it’s really changed my perspective on why I though I need to drink, and the foundation of some of my friendships.

  8. Kirsten says...

    As someone who enjoys an occasional glass of wine or beer, but has never been drunk in her life, I’m loving all the positivity for light or no-drinking here :).

    College was ages ago for me now, but I remember being baffled and annoyed that so often the plans for the weekend were “get wasted.” It made me angry. Like, the plans couldn’t be “hang out and enjoy each other’s company, even in the presence of alcohol,” the plans were just “get drunk.” I never understood it.

    Luckily in my work and life I’ve happened upon a mix of friends that includes drinkers and never-drinkers and so I’ve never felt much pressure to imbibe beyond my desire in adulthood, and I’m so glad for it.

  9. Sasha L says...

    I’m so encouraged by all of the positive comments about Quit Like Woman. Alcohol just isn’t worth the vast cost to us all.

  10. I also don’t drink anymore. Did the college drinking thing, but after I realized I just… don’t like alcohol. Wine has never been pleasant to my tastebuds, and it can give me killer migraines (sulfate is a migraine trigger). Two years ago I decided I would just stop trying to force it and accept that I hate alcohol!

    • Taylor McNeil says...

      Yes! After experiencing painful hangovers after a night of stupid drinking (shots will never pass my lips again!) and debilitating migraines from wine sulfites, I decided that drinking just isn’t worth it. I don’t care for the taste of alcohol anyway so, why? I’m very happy with mocktails made up of seltzer and juice or a simple glass of water with a slice of lime. On the rare occasion when I do have a glass of hard cider or split a dirty gin martini, I enjoy it but that is all I need and I’m done for months. There have been times when I’ve had wine or beer forced into my hands by hosts that think I’m being polite when I ask for water (DON’T be one of those hosts!) so I just put down the drink and go in search of water or seltzer. Not worth the argument.

  11. Kate says...

    I’m intrigued by the book rec. I’ve recently just not felt like drinking. ::shrug:: I’ll order a glass sometimes and just not finish it, or be offered one and it just doesn’t appeal to me at all.

    That did also lead my family to believe I was pregnant, which is super annoying and so interesting that alcohol and the not drinking of it is so culturally linked.

  12. Em says...

    I just wanted to second that Madewell sweatshirt. I’m average height (5’6ish) and I have long arms. I just bought that sweatshirt last week and I’ve worn in 4 or 5 times since! It’s structured enough to wear out, but also cozy enough to lounge around in. I also bought it in store for 40% off, so well worth the price!

  13. Steph says...

    Re: alcohol

    I distinctly remember being 23, working my first grown-up job, and realizing that I wanted a “wind down” tradition for after work each day. It was summer, so I was usually overheated by the time I finished my 30 min walk home. Each day I’d head to my fridge and think, beer or ice cream cone? 80% of the time I chose ice cream. It spoke to me more. I think this was the first time I thought about consuming alcohol as a thing I sometimes did only because others around me were doing it (duh, but I was young). And while an ice cream cone (sometimes with sprinkles!) made me feel a little juvenile at first, the fact that I was following my instincts completely made me feel very grown up in a way I really liked.

  14. Sharon says...

    My husband and I don’t drink…I think I had half a margarita at a wedding in the last 5 years. Most of our extended family drinks…mostly wine. When we attend family functions (i.e. holiday dinners) we tend to leave right after dinner…the other stay and drink wine. It is not fun for us…we’d rather go home. One person made a joke about it…that we should nap during the day. I finally told her we don’t leave because we are tired…we are BORED!

    • Emily R says...

      I think that’s really too bad. I think the best part of holiday dinners/get togethers is everyone sitting around the table afterward talking, laughing, and playing games. Some of our friends/family drink, and some don’t, but it’s always fun.

    • liz says...

      … and you don’t think that’s rude? I hardly drink (2 glasses a month maybe) but also think people who don’t drink but for some reason can’t be around others while they enjoy alcohol is equally as off putting as those who think somethings up when someone chooses not to drink. you’re probably missing out on more than you realize

  15. Lara says...

    I LOVED that book! Life changing in a way that I didn’t know I wanted my life changed! I was a 1-2 glass per week social drinker and it came into my life when I was questioning why I drank at all. Now the answer is I don’t!

  16. Denise says...

    I don’t drink either and I’ve found there’s nothing more distrusted in a gathering than to be the one not drinking. People spend effort and time making up stories why you’re not drinking alcohol and reasons are demanded. ‘You don’t drink? Why not?’ It’s pretty rare(I have never heard) people say, ‘You drink? Why?’ And I wish I had the wherewithall to say that in the moment instead I shrink and clam up and feel judged and othered. Why is it a social betrayal to not drink alcohol? Maybe I should read the book.

    • Em says...

      Same here. I’ve never drunk. When I’m situations with drinkers, I tend not to make a big deal of it, but I find I have little patience for those who partake. My dad is European, and I saw first hand how socially dependent he was on alcohol. I consider myself a foodie, but I have zero interest in alcohol. It looks so sophisticated and cosmopolitan in media, but I have to say, up close and in real life, there’s nothing I respect less than seeing a grown adult act irresponsibly and/or inauthentically because of alcohol. Even people drinking casually don’t seem all there anymore.

  17. Deb in Oklahoma says...

    Oh, that sweet sleeping giraffe is EVERYTHING. About the alcohol–I barely drink at all, so when I’m asked why I’m not having a drink at an event, I just state that I would rather waste all those calories on really great dessert and coffee. That tends to change the topic of conversation, anyway, and makes it clear that it’s really nobody else’s concern as to why I’m not imbibing.

  18. Kate says...

    I have an app on my phone that I can take snapshots of my daughter and have them printed out as postcards to send to my grandma. She loves getting them and lets her avoid trying to see them on her phone or my mom having to print them for her. The app does everything – I type in a message and then the app/company prints the postcard and mails it for me. It’s awesome. It’d be fun to use itfor more people than just my grandma!

    • mj says...

      what app? love this idea!!

    • Elizabeth says...

      I would also love to know the name of this app!

  19. Nadege says...

    I appreciate that when citing a book you’ve expanded your links beyond Amazon! Can I suggest you consider doing what the wonderful Maria Popova over at BrainPickings does and include a “public library” link? She uses worldcat.org which lets you search the collections of libraries in your community and thousands more around the world.

    • Emily says...

      What a cool idea!

    • KC says...

      I really love the multiple-options link method (although I recognize that probably none of the links other than Amazon [which I loathe] return revenue to cupofjo).

      Relatedly, I ran into the existence of bookshop.org for the first time this week! Affiliate link cash, sales go to independent bookstores. (but they really don’t have *everything* yet, and they’re still smallish – but they do have this particular book!) Here’s the article that introduced me: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joanverdon/2020/02/14/advocate-for-local-bookstores-takes-aim-against-amazon-with-new-website/#e0c692340776

  20. Laura says...

    There’s a wonderful documentary out in select theaters now called The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, which is about an amazing woman who went to South Africa to study giraffes in the wild, in the 60s which… was not done. It’s partially about the struggles she had to overcome (and continues to as a woman in academia!) and about the endangerment of giraffes.

  21. Colleen S says...

    I hardly drink alcohol, and it’s interesting how when you tell people you’ve never been drunk, they don’t believe you. I would probably drink just slightly more if I knew I wasn’t going to face The Inquisition with my id. I have a youthful face, so no one ever believes I’m 36, and so I don’t buy alcohol in stores or at restaurants because I hate having people stare at my id wondering if it’s fake.

  22. Janine says...

    That someone would start a rumor based on what you drank makes me so annoyed for you, Caroline! Plus, everyone knows that when you’re pregnant, you don’t decline the glass of wine, you just sneakily switch it with your partner and they drink it for you.

  23. Cynthia says...

    The picture of the sleeping giraffe is so sweet. I always thought they slept standing up, but this shows how little I know! I’m short, too, and cropped pants are just the right length on me and I don’t have to hem them. As for not drinking at a wedding or any other occasion, I would never comment on what someone does or doesn’t drink. We have friends who don’t drink and I make no comment, but I always have a fresh pot of coffee for one, and ice water for the other friend. It’s not my place to judge.

  24. B says...

    I love giraffes and everything about them. Sleeping baby giraffes are the best. I am tall so cropped looked EXTRA cropped on me. I love perspectives ;)
    And alcohol, hmm it used to be fun now it isn’t so I don’t partake. No one has ever asked me why I generally always have water or a yummy tonic soda spritzer. I like myself more when I am me and feel good!

  25. Sarah says...

    Ameer is a genius. And gives me another excuse for a photo printer…

  26. Claire says...

    I just love these fun things posts. what a great idea on the post cards! In general I greatly appreciate having this site to come to for respite when I am just completely over news reports, contention, and the ongoing crisis. Enough already. There is more to life. Send in the cute sleeping giraffes!

  27. Kaysie says...

    It’s not that I’m a non-drinker; I’m more of a rare drinker. Thank you, Caroline, for articulating something that I’ve spent years trying to explain at social events: “Alcohol just doesn’t sing to me the way other things do.” That’s going to be my go-to line from now on as I skip the open bar and head straight for my second piece of cake.

  28. Sarah says...

    There’s a great app called Ink Cards that allows you to use photos off your phones and prints them into postcards and mails them. I keep my addresses loaded in the app and then easily send updates to grandparents and celebrate birthdays and not-so-major holidays with cute pics. It’s $2 per card, but seeing that i don’t have to do anything but make it in my phone and it’s mailed for me – it’s a total steal. It’s so great!

    • liz says...

      thanks for sharing!

    • Robin says...

      Ooh and they deliver worldwide! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • M says...

      Incredible! Thank you so much for this info!

  29. Sarz says...

    Thanks for the sweater recommendation, Caroline. I’m 4’11”, myself, and a 0 or 00. What some manufacturers don’t seem to realize is that such a size doesn’t necessarily equate extreme thinness. (That clothing size looks very different on runway models!) Just as I’ve heard plus-size friends complain that clothing companies presume that their bodies are all shaped the same, it feels earth-shattering to come upon a brand that fits in all the points that a piece of clothing should. The cropped trend really has served us well – any more content on this topic would be wonderful!

  30. Katie Boyle says...

    Thank you so much for including links to buy that book from independent sellers!!

    • liz says...

      seconded! thanks!

  31. Melanie Gehman says...

    Caroline, PLEASE do a post about PETITE clothing. I find it so hard to find interesting clothes in the right proportions, and I seem to be stuck with the same 3 stores. I am petite but with curves (full C cup here) so it is more about proportion rather than size. I recently discovered that my 12-year-old daughter’s jackets and sweatshirts fit much better, so now I’m scanning the kid’s section! What are your favorite petite brands?

    • jane says...

      Banana Republic has a great petite selection, cut very well for the price. Very good for basics that you can add more style to with other pieces.

    • clare says...

      check out the blog called extrapetite. she’s quite small but still focuses more on proportion than size, and has clothing reviews, alteration tips, etc.

  32. Simply love the post-party postcard idea. Will definitely copy it!

    • karen says...

      agree! It’s so thoughtful and FUN!

  33. Ana says...

    I live in Austria where drinking alcohol is huge. At my second job, it is a habit to stand in my chefs office in a circle and to drink sparkling wine in champagne flutes, when there’s something to celebrate. As I don’t drink alcohol, I knew it’s going to be a big deal to explain to everybody, why I don’t drink alcohol. So, the first week I was suspected to be pregnant. :) But sometimes, I must say, it is really ridiculous how everybody is giving in to drinking, being pressured by their peers. I also watched closely, how everybody in that circle is holding their glasses – observe next time you are at a party – some hold it super awkward and oh so festive, holding the left hand to their right elbow and the right hand up with the glass. It’s a weird thing sometimes. I often think: What weird cultural game is that?!?! :))

    • Sabrina says...

      Ana, I live in Austria (Vienna) and don’t drink either! Let me know if you ever want to hang out and not drink. :) (My Instagram name is hothitsshortypants).

  34. jules says...

    Haven’t drank since Jan 1 2019 after being a couple-glasses-of-wine daily drinker (often far more) for pretty much my adult life. I literally heard a voice in my head telling me I had to quit drinking if I ever wanted to get my life where I want it to be. (TBH, the voice had to repeat itself several times over months.) It was scary to accept all the months maybe years of my lifetime I spent buzzed, often just because I was stressed out, uncomfortable or bored.

    Original goal: a full year sober. Just kept going, because it’s been so good and so shockingly easy, which is bizarre considering what a committed drinker I was. I still go to happy hour and host parties.

    I don’t say I’ll never drink again. I do say I’ll need a really good reason. Hard to see what would be good enough to give up how much better it is, though.

  35. Ibti says...

    I love giraffes! I live in South Africa, so we do have opportunities to see and interact with these beautiful creatures. They also have really long purple tongues and a new born giraffe falls on its chest from a height of 3(?) metres, the impact “kickstarting” the heart.

    • KM says...

      How lucky you are :) That little fact gave me chills. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Julie says...

    Touchnotes! it’s an app, and it couldn’t be easier to use, especially on your phone where your whole camera roll is! I discovered this lovely app months ago, and started sending thank you post cards….it’s not cheap, but I don’t send that many. My DIL picked up on my habit, and began sending them herself. I appreciate getting her thank you postcards of our new grandson! I have found that putting these on my frig using magnets is a wonderful replacement to the many I photos I used to put there. The way these postcards are printed make them very durable and probably much longer lasting than just putting regular print photos on the frig.

  37. K says...

    1. Giraffe sleeping makes my neck sore just watching them!
    2. I think I’ve griped about this before on here but alcohol is so stupid to me!!! I easily opt out because I have an intolerance, but it makes me so mad the whole zombie culture of it if we don’t question it.
    -How we want to blame alcohol for helping us do things we would want to do sober anyways just in case it doesn’t work out (like talk to that crush or dance badly)
    -How people pregame because they don’t want to be left out of the “alcohol Matrix”
    -How there’s people with alcohol intolerance trying to “game” it by taking whatever supplement or medication which is unhealthy and can be dangerous if you have an allergic reaction
    -How you’re a square if you don’t drink, a hot mess if you’re sloppy drunk. The only time people seem to be respected for not drinking is if they’re a recovering alcoholic. How messed up is that?
    -How half the people I know who drink totally wouldn’t if other people didn’t, it’s purely peer pressure, and then they might even become unintentionally dependent on it.
    -How irritable most people get on alcohol. Just recently I was at a party and I watched the whole arc of the night, from giggly tipsy to pissed off drunk couples snapping at each other, bffs instigating fights with backhanded compliments…it’s like, why do we put ourselves through this???
    -Not to mention the safety issue of having your wits about you as a woman, especially when you don’t even enjoy drinking!

  38. CS says...

    The sleeping giraffe just breaks my heart, it’s so sweet.

    Also, I hardly ever drink, even though I enjoy the taste of wine, mostly because it just doesn’t sit well with me (even one glass leaves me groggy and foggy and just wanting to sleep). Without much thinking about it, I just kind of stopped drinking. At this point, no one even cares or notices anymore. If you don’t enjoy drinking, don’t bother doing it! Forget social pressure. And if you drink moderately and enjoy it…enjoy guilt free. Life is too short to deprive yourself of a glass of wine on Friday night! Lol!

  39. Aahhh…that photo idea is ingenious and so sweet!

  40. J says...

    Omg that sweet giraffe. Going to show my 3-year-old in the a.m. He’ll love it. I’m glad I checked back to see if there was more content published today, haha.

  41. Caiti says...

    Does your friend use an app/website to print the postcards? I would love to do this for my kids’ thank you notes!

    • CMD says...

      Touchnote! you can make a postcard right on your phone and they print and send it. When the kids are at camp without electronics for a month we send them the kind of shots that we’d normally share over text, and they love it.

      And YES to the thank you note photo! Seeing a kid playing / wearing your gift is a huge hit

      Don’t work for them or have any connection other than using it for the last 3 or so years

    • Rebecca says...

      I use and really love the “Inkcards” app! It has cards for everything from thank you to valentines day and it’s super easy to upload your photos and send straight from the app! You can do postcards or larger foldable cards. A postcard runs you about $2!

  42. Laura says...

    “Last summer, at a friend’s wedding, I drank a glass of WINE with dinner. A rumor started that I must be pregnant. (I wasn’t.) Why else, everyone wondered, would someone not drink at a wedding?”

    Is that sentence supposed to say water (or something else non-alcoholic)? I’m confused why drinking wine would make people wonder if you’re pregnant? lol

  43. Elizabeth says...

    I love the sleeping giraffe pic!! I teach dance and I once had a 3 and a half year old very politely raise her hand and ask me how giraffes sleep, completely out of the blue. I didn’t know so we sat in a circle while I googled it and now we all know how giraffes sleep!

    • Madhura says...

      This is the sweetest!! :)

  44. Robin says...

    Also, YES to normalizing not drinking alcohol. I drink a little but mostly due to social pressure. I’d rather have my spritzer without the wine. I feel better, it’s tastier, it’s cheaper. It’s what I feel like drinking. Why does anyone else need to care?

    • CS says...

      Remember, it’s not really whether they care. It’s whether you care what they think. If you feel better without the alcohol, I say honour that. After a little while, people will hardly notice that you aren’t drinking.

    • Sasha L says...

      CS, I’ve been sober for decades, and people really do still notice that I don’t drink alcohol, and often say something. And vegetarian for even longer, and they notice that too. Anything you do outside of what’s considered the social norm can be cause for comment, unfortunately. But I’ve gotten used to it. And people’s often inane comments definitely don’t make me reconsider what’s the right choice for me.

      I’m so grateful for Holly’s book, for how well she speaks about alcohol in our culture and the impact she’s having.

  45. YES on Holly’s book! Her entire program (Tempest Sobriety School and AC.E aftercare) is PHENOMENAL. To say Holly’s had a transformative impact on my relationship with alcohol would be a massive understatement. Three cheers for featuring Quit Like a Woman!

    • Ellie says...

      Coming in to say the same thing! If anyone is in the UK, Club Soda are also great.

  46. Robin says...

    What kind of paper are the photos printed on? Can you send regular photos as a postcard? They seem too flimsy. Canada post used to have an app that did this which was AMAZING but they’ve discontinued that function. I think there are still some US apps you can use. If anyone knows of one that works in Canada, please share! Or any app developer want to make one???

    • CMD says...

      Touchnote says “anywhere in the world” so I think it works in Canada

      (see my rave above)

    • Rebecca says...

      I left this company as a comment above, but Inkcards works in Canada!

    • SB says...

      There is an app called Postagram that makes the sweetest photo postcards – I love to send them, and they’re so easy! They’re associated with Sincerely, which I think sends “real” birthday cards?

    • Robin says...

      So many options! Going to send myself some at work to test them out. cube decoration + real mail thank you habit = win win!

  47. CaraM says...

    I think in Caroline’s post about not drinking, the word didn’t is missing… Should it read “I didn’t drink a glass of wine with dinner”?
    I will have to check out that book recommendation. I have been straight edge since my punk/hardcore obsessed teen years (I am 36 now) and would love to read more about others opting to not drink.

  48. Megan says...

    I have posted this before, but I will say it again: anyone looking to explore alcohol and sobriety should read Blackout by Sarah Hepola. (
    Really, anyone who likes reading excellent memoirs should read it, regardless of your interest in the topic! It’s such a thoughtful, well written book!)

  49. Katie says...

    Simple question- the last item, re: wine at weddings – is it meant to read “…at a friend’s wedding, I declined a glass of wine with dinner.” It just reada weird to me, right now. (But I’m having an out-of-work day).
    But also, go you for drinking less, because you choose too.

  50. I also love the cropped sweater trend for the same reason, Caroline! The postcard idea is adorable. I wish I had the personal organization to pull something like that off. It’s so thoughtful. I am proud of myself if I manage to text my heartfelt thank you in a timely manner. :)

  51. I am so excited to see Holly’s book here! I am a little over 2 years sober and quit drinking with the Tempest program. I am now a Certified Recovery Coach! The thing with alcohol is that it is impossible to selectively numb, you numb stress and pain, you also numb joy and happiness. Life without alcohol is a very beautiful thing!

  52. Jess says...

    Ameer seems like a delight, what a thoughtful friend…
    One quick thing, Caroline I wonder if you meant to write that you *declined* a glass of wine with dinner?

  53. Faith says...

    I’ll have to check out that book! I am 37 days sober (yeah, baby!) and was inspired to take the plunge by another book called “This Naked Mind” (written by Annie Grace). I highly recommend it to anyone who is sober-curious or is worried they’ve become dependent on alcohol. ♥

    • Hi Faith! I LOVE Annie Grace too! Congrats on 37 (38 now!) days. Have you listened to her podcast? I love the short little QA episodes.

    • Court says...

      Congrats, Faith! 37 days is amazing!

  54. Amy says...

    I love the photo postcards as thank yous! So fun to get “real mail” these days. My kids and their cousins are the age where they like to send each other random pieces of mail and I love it.

    Also – is there a missing word in the first sentence of this paragraph?
    “Last summer, at a friend’s wedding, I drank a glass of wine with dinner. A rumor started that I must be pregnant. (I wasn’t.)”

    • Kat says...

      As an alcoholic, I actually didn’t care for Quit Like a Woman. I picked it up because of this post and was disappointed. I appreciate a feminist approach, but didn’t find it to be very nuanced. The author largely wrote off the role of genetics and mental health in a fairly probelmatic way (said as someone who comes from a family riddled with substance abuse and who has seen even young family members lose their lives to it). I understand that a myriad of factors contribute to alcohol abuse, but that’s certainly an important one. I also took issue with her total dismissal of AA (especially since she has never taken part in it). It’s certainly not for everyone (there’s no one fix for everyone), but I don’t think it’s un-feminist to believe in a higher power or divinity of some form that you can turn to you when you are struggling with a sense of powerlessness to addiction. (It’s also ok not to!) It’s helped millions of people gain some control over their lives when they lacked other tools to do so, and helped people find community. The more cynical part of me also wondered how much of that was fueled by the drive to build her recovery brand. Anyway, long story short: there’s a HUGE difference between a casual aversion to alcohol and the struggle to recover from (often hereditary!) addiction. I felt this book wrote off the truth about addiction despite the wealth of scientific research available on it.

  55. Sarah Faye says...

    I write a chips and books review Instagram (yes, chips and books). I wrote a bit about women and drinking and the books I’ve read to remind myself of alcohol’s mighty range of power and destruction, amidst a cultural landscape hellbent on happy hour…

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bzgt1X9l_pU/

    • Sarah says...

      I would LOVE a hobby as a chips reviewer, and I love books and am in two book clubs. You are my person.
      Visiting your Instagram now…(I don’t have Ig so I won’t follow you but I’ll check in!!)

  56. B says...

    Thanks for the book recommendation. My brother struggles with alcoholism and over the past 5 years as our family has learned more about the disease and spent many years and tears trying to help get him into recovery, I’ve been examining my own relationship with alcohol. I learned I’m at extremely high risk of substance abuse disorder. As I continue to examine why I drink, why I want to drink, and how I feel when I drink, I feel like it’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that alcohol is not a positive addition to my life.

    I also think non-drinkers or light drinkers get a ton of flack from friends whose intention it is to get tipsy or drunk (I used to be that friend goading/shaming non-drinkers) and it’s such a weird and difficult dynamic.

    • jules says...

      Try it. Give yourself a set amount of time (longer than a month) and see what happens. I had a couple of tricks I used at first, like drinking Kombucha on the rocks out of a high ball glass at my normal “wine time” – after a month or so, I didn’t even need that cheat.

      If you go into it as an experiment with an end date vs “I will never be able to drink again!!” you have power and options. You are curious, not deprived. I haven’t read any of the books but I’m sure they have lots of similar ideas.

      Some friends will get uncomfortable, be weird about it, even pressure you to drink. Let them chirp. It’s really more about a fear they have that either they couldn’t quit or that you’re judging them. After a while, they’ll get buzzed and forget to bother you.

  57. A says...

    Lovely, as always–and Caroline, as a 5’2” shawty myself, let it be known that I. Drink. Up. any and all clothing recommendations you suggest. Thank you!

    One quick note/thought–was there a slight typo here below? Did you perhaps mean to say “glass of *seltzer*” or something to that effect?

    Last summer, at a friend’s wedding, I drank a glass of wine with dinner. A rumor started that I must be pregnant. (I wasn’t.) Why else, everyone wondered, would someone not drink at a wedding?

  58. Katie Weltner says...

    Did Caroline mean to say she drank a glass of water with dinner, hence the rumors?

    P.S. GIRL I can relate! But my reputation for generally avoiding booze made it easy to be sneaky when it came time to hide my actual pregnancy :)

  59. em says...

    fun fact- giraffes only sleep less than 30minutes per day (like, including nighttime). the things you learn watching videos with your toddler

    • Angela says...

      So true! I was woken up, before the light of day, one morning only to be asked what wasps eat. I guess parents before Google had to make shit up. Additionally, if you ever want to drive the point home of good dental hygiene do an image search of tooth decay. My kids CRY to get their teeth brushed.

    • jane says...

      Wow Angela! The “google tooth decay” idea is brilliant! lol I will definitely try that next opportunity!

  60. Jules says...

    If I could sleep like that giraffe maybe plane rides wouldnt be so terrible!

  61. Suzanne says...

    However does Ameer do this so quickly and easily?! This sounds like an amazing way to follow-up!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      He has a photo printer! But you could also print them at the drugstore. Love the idea so much.

  62. M says...

    I also do not drink. I just about said “I also choose not to drink” but my non-drinking is far less interesting than someone taking a position on the issue. I’m constantly asked for my reasoning. I don’t have a reason. I usually go with “Meh, other things taste better.” It does affect one’s social life, though. I used to go to the pub with my ex and would be so dismayed when after HOURS he would opt for another round. Another round is 45 minutes! There is only so much water a person can drink. For the drinker, everyone gets more interesting and funnier with each drink. For the non-drinker, things often get less fun. We broke up for other reasons but I wasn’t sad to wave the bar scene goodbye.

    • KC says...

      Yes, I know exactly zero people (out of the set of people who I have interacted with when they were tipsy and also when they were sober) who are more interesting/fun when they are tipsy than when they are sober. There are a few who are about equivalently enjoyable to interact with, although with slightly more awkward-feeling moments (the “I… am not sure this person would have told me that if they were in full possession of their faculties, but on the other hand, maybe they really wanted to let it out? As a friend, what do I do with that – change the topic in case of morning regrets, or follow it up to allow emotional sharing?” sorts of things especially) . But lots of people just get duller – the personality and wit gets damped down – or cranky/defensive. I’ll still hang out with people – I mean, there are lots of friends I’d happily hang out when they are cranky and sleep-deprived and slow for non-alcoholic reasons! – but alcohol is not an *improvement* to the social interaction any more than jet lag is, generally?

      For the record, while *I* get stupider and more easily confused while slightly tipsy, my preferences regarding conversation remain the same; maybe other peoples’ don’t, though? But I can’t drink anymore anyway, due to a health condition, so my own drinking is not really relevant except insofar as people in a lot of contexts are very expressive of their distrust and dislike of there being *not drinking* going on around them and I really wish that were not the way this culture works.

      Regarding rounds of water, though: I will happily nosh round after round of steak fries while other people drink, if it’s a location that has food as well as beverages. :-) And the drinkers will often help out a bit!