Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

flowers by marmalade floral

What are you up to this weekend? We are finalizing the boys’ Halloween costumes (VERY important work) and talking walks around the neighborhood. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few links from around the web…

Wow, here is Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones’s casting “chemistry read” for Normal People.

Is this the coziest sweater for winter? I love how chic it looks.

Cool glow-in-the-dark drinks for Halloween.

What if friendship, not marriage, was at the center of life?

Kristen Welker was the best debate moderator.

Flowers in the kitchen.

How Liz Lemon, Leslie Knope and other TV characters would handle the pandemic.

An interview with a death doula. “[When I die], I want to have a soft blanket and a pair of socks because I hate it when my feet are cold. I want to smell nag champa incense and amber. And I want to hear the sound of running water, like a creek. I’d love to enjoy all those senses for the last time. And when I die, I want everybody to clap. Like, ‘Good job. You did it.'”

How pretty is this houseboat in Cornwall?

Five things I DON’T buy at Trader Joe’s.”

6 styling tricks learned from Princess Diana.

Family photos, reimagined.

Plus, two reader comments:

Says Hali on five fun things: “Trends are so funny. Currently, the slouchy bag thing is a hard pass for me — they remind me of weird 90s shopping malls for some reason. But watch: in three months, they’ll wiggle their way into various carts I’ve compiled across the internet until one finally makes it to my doorstep and I’ll be so pleased with it. Why does that happen?! I’m asking it not to happen! Someone hold me accountable to my own taste!”

Says Elle on finding my own expressions of Blackness: “KIM!!! This hits me deep. I, too, have had the same experiences growing up Black in white spaces. I remember being excited to go to college to finally meet other Black students, only to be disappointed with ‘Why do you talk so white?’ ‘What is that weird music you’re listening to?’ Questions that never go away but the pain of hearing them has. I’m me, unapologetically. And I’m so proud to be raising a teen daughter who proudly wears a big afro and plays guitar in a punk rock band. We proudly wear our Van Halen, Pink Floyd, and Red Hot Chili Peppers T-shirts when we’re out and about.”

(Photo by Marmalade Floral.)

  1. KL says...

    I loved the article on intimate friendship. Fascinating to read how cultural conceptions of marriage and friendship have changed over the years.

    I co-own a house with my best friend, and he and I also have a joint bank account (for repairs). Many outsiders do no understand our companionship. I once briefly dated a very jealous man who flat out said, “It’s him or me” So I chose myself, which included my best friend.

    My ex-boyfriend’s best friend of 15 years was also a woman and they ended every conversation with “love you” and owned a business together. I see these friendships as more like sibling relationships. They may strain or wax and wane but we are truly constant in each other’s lives. After going through a recent breakup I have come to appreciate the role of my friends even more.

    • emily r says...

      Yes to all of this. I have a very close-knit group of friends both male and female. They will always be with me, although a romantic partner may come and go. And hopefully one day a romantic partner will join that close knit group of friends, but in the meantime – my friends are my constants. And I love them all very much.

    • Anon says...

      So fascinating. It is the exact opposite of how I’ve always seen it: friendships may come and go, but my husband/my family is the constant.

  2. Mimi says...

    Great roundup CoJ! I come back to this all weekend reading a link here and one there until it’s Monday again. Thanks!

  3. Rachel says...

    One thing I really appreciate about Trader Joe’s coffee selection is that they carry several Fair Trade options!

  4. Roxana says...

    Great list of links!

    I’m a conservative and don’t agree with CofJ politically, but I completely agree that Kristen Welker was the best moderator. She really did a great job. I thought she was fair and asked substantive questions, and I personally liked her manner. Watching her was refreshing.

    Also, I found the death doula article fascinating. I wonder if there is a connection between our culture’s desire (need?) for a death doula vis-a-vis our increasing secularism. It seems that traditionally the death doula’s role would have been fulfilled by one’s family or faith community, and then ultimately by a faith leader (E.g. a priest giving last rites, a rabbi or pastor praying with a person, etc.). So many existential questions (e.g. “What happens when I die?”) are addressed by religion. I can’t help but think of how one of our pastors was the first to visit us in the hospital after we lost our first son (my mom was there for his birth). I’ll never forget how he came into the room and sat and cried with us. Anyway, I don’t think our needs fundamentally change, but our methods of fulfilling them do.

    • Meredith says...

      I’m also a person of faith (though a progressive one) and found the death doula article sort of disturbing. I’m sure it’s true that we need rituals, religious or not, to help us navigate death, and I’m glad that people are finding resources like this to help them do so. But I was really put off by the title! How she “gets it done”? What does that mean? Maybe I’m misreading the intent there, but it seems strange to me that even an article on a death doula has to put things in terms of accomplishment. My priest was one of the first people I called when a family member was murdered. The gift of her presence wasn’t about getting anything done — it was about enacting the ancient religious practice of lament. Maybe that’s what people of faith can and should offer the world right now.

    • Andrea says...

      Meredith–the title is just the NY Magazine column name. How ___ Gets It Done. It’s an interesting series, but I can see where the title is off-putting in this context.

      Also a person of faith. I would rather someone from my religious community help shepherd me and my family through the sacraments and rituals of dying. Having to pay someone to do so seems really odd to me. Like we are adding a commercial element to finding meaning.

    • Becca says...

      I love both of these comments. Just wanted to add that the series on The Cut is called “How I Get it Done” so all of the interviews are titled the same way. It’s obviously a bit weird in the context of the death doula, but I’m glad they chose to stretch the series and include her in it. If a priest were included, the title of their interview would also include “get it done” in this context because it’s the name of the series!

    • Cora says...

      I wonder if as a member of a religious community anyone sees tithe or offering as a form of payment? Is that not payment for services? If someone is not a member of a religious community or close with their family should they not have access to a shepherd at the end of their life?

  5. Marta says...

    I love CupOfJo and I have the impression that Joanna and the editorial team is trying to fulfill the wishes of its readers on important issues such as racism, inclusiveness and women’s rights. After the comments, I can also see that many readers are foreigners. Can CupOfJo also raise important issues outside the USA? At the moment, women in Poland are fighting for their reproductive rights after the introduction of a law banning 98% of abortions. Despite the pandemic, thousands of people took to the streets in protest. It would be great if at least in the weekend recommendations there were links to such topics.

    • Alex says...

      Yes I agree (woman from Slovakia here )

    • Becca says...

      Honestly I’m torn on this. Obviously I think it’s important to get the word out about important news from all around the world, and historically the US has been silent on issues we should have been more involved in. However, as a US reader, there is SO MUCH happening here at the emergency/SOS level (we’re trying to keep our institutions alive! Black people are being murdered in the street! Immigrants are being forcibly sterilized! Our own abortion protection is under attack in the most insidious of ways across the nation!) that I think this is a tall ask, to have a group of less than 10 people expand their coverage to the entire world. I’m open to seeing it, but I don’t expect it here because of the size and scope of the team.

  6. Quyen says...

    The products at Modern Citizen look great, but the materials are not sustainable not to mention bad for our bodies (polyester is riddled with chemicals). I can’t understand how a ‘modern’ company does have ethically or sustainably made products. Climate change is real and we all need to do our part…even the way we dress! Cup of Jo, I love you but this is the second brand you have recently mentioned or partnered with in the past few weeks that do not seem to align with your actual values. We need to walk the walk.

    https://medium.com/all-things-fashion-fun/stop-wearing-polyester-clothing-17098f4a5256#:~:text=Polyester's%20harmful%20effects%20on%20human%20bodies.&text=Synthetic%20materials%20are%20heat%20sensitive,are%20reabsorbed%20by%20the%20skin.

    • Antipodean says...

      Agreed. Polyester et al are horrible for the environment and suck to wear.

  7. jane says...

    This week’s list is somehow incredibly epic.
    – the friendship article: several times from grade school into my 20’s, boy’s/men accused (teased etc) me and whichever friend it was of being lovers. Once, when leaning deep into a delightfully engaging conversation where we barely came up for air and alongside a delicious bottle of wine at a restaurant, a man our age at the table next to us leaned over and said, “are you two lovers or what?”. It was so rude it took my breath away haha. I believe I gave him a long look and a dismissive, “No. Seriously?”, and went back to conversation without pause. I mean, we just rolled our eyes and carried on because we were enjoying ourselves too much to be interrupted by that attitude. We were living in DC at a time when the saying was, “if you want a friend in DC get a dog”, and later I felt a little sorry for him realizing that he was probably super lonely. Still, no reason to be rude.

    – that newsletter dalia post! Would love to see a house tour – looks so cozy with all that sunlight and wood.
    – ‘The reason our kitchens aren’t cheap is because everything is made in the UK, and that’s how much it costs’. Yep. Love her life!
    – Death Doula: WOW. Vital. Should be covered by health insurance.

  8. Elise says...

    Replying to Anon:

    Death Doulas aren’t limited to help dying people ease through the final stages of their life, they are also able to assist families who are suffering surprise bereavements, help families in conflict over funeral arrangements for terminal and unconscious patients and help people express their ideal scenarios for their own deaths and funerals (obviously this might not be 100% achievable but families of people who have made funeral arrangements report feeling a huge weight lifted in knowing how to even START planning making arrangements). It’s not micromanagement, it’s peace of mind.

    Death Doula’s are also available to help with very practical tasks for the dying, deceased or their families, things that might just lighten the load that tiny bit.

    As with Birth Doulas it IS often an unaffordable luxury for many, but increasing numbers of both kinds of Doula are offering affordable options for those in low-income families. Also, just having these people in the community (even if we’re unable to use their services ourselves) means we are talking more about birth and death. and sharing knowledge within our communities about both of these things, removing stigma and shame, can only be a good thing in my opinion.

  9. Akc says...

    I recently went to trader joe’s and did something I’ve always wanted to do… I bought a bunch of snack food that looked interesting. jerk flavored plantain chips, puffs, crackers, chips, everything nuts, chocolate hummus etc. I have a friend who has had a terrible health crisis and I thought it would be fun for her kids to try out all the stuff too. It was all SO Disappointing. Even some candy was bad. I agree bad coffee.

    Good things: baguette. Cornichon. Dijon. Cheese. Belgian chocolate. Wine (not trader joe brand)

  10. Whitney says...

    But what if your partner IS your best friend?! I’ve had a lot of great friendships but none as devoted (and fun!) as the one I share with my husband.

    • Krista says...

      I’m just the same way with my husband, Whitney. I think for a lot of people it’s not true that their female friendships are the “true” friendship.

    • Sage says...

      That’s good too! Happy for you! :) I am one where I think the relationship I have with my sister is the most fulfilling in my life. I am very family oriented and get a LOT of joy and fulfillment from the relationships with my husband and my son too, but my sister and I will always have a connection that can’t be replicated, and in quite different arenas than I have with the other people in my life.

      The point I took from the article wasn’t “you’re an idiot if you don’t put friendship first,” it was more like, “there are so many kinds of intimate relationships out there that people may value, and none outweigh any other so long as they’re rooted in love and respect.”

    • M says...

      Yes Sage! Your interpretation of the article is spot on!

    • Helga says...

      I thought the same thing! I have lots of great friends but sometimes I feel sad that I don’t have a ‘best’ friend and then I remember that I do – I married him 32 years ago.

  11. Mimi says...

    I totally disagree about the marinated meats at TJs – they are one of my favorites! That rosemary steak, in particular, is amazing – so quick, easy, and flavorful.

  12. Elise says...

    The Death Doula interview was fascinating; what a beautiful characterful soul she is! I particularly loved this:

    On winding down after an intense day:
    I’ll drink wine and hang out with a lover.

    It made me smile :)

    • Kui says...

      Oh yes. Never heard of death doulas before, but I think they are SO SO necessary. A listening ear and understanding soul is priceless when one’s bereaved.

    • celeste says...

      Oh man, I’d love to give jewelry to everyone attending my funeral. :)

  13. Am says...

    If a sweater is going to cost $104 I’d expect more natural materials than acrylic, polyester, and spandex…

    • Katy says...

      Sounds like it isn’t the sweater for you!

    • jane says...

      Especially considering that polyester and acrylic are super toxic – with breast cancer a giant concern I am very careful about the fabric that will be under my arms next to my lymph nodes all day long.
      The designs are beautiful though – time to learn to knit.

    • Quyen says...

      I just made a comment on ethical and sustainable materials…

    • o says...

      me too!

  14. Abesha1 says...

    Trader Joe’s is not a store on my list except for one item… Ethiopia Yirgacheffe whole bean coffee. It is the BEST. Even my Ethiopian family and community, when they can’t get it from home, this is what they buy!

  15. Amy says...

    Noooo – LOVE Trader Joe’s Pancake Mix. We add pureed sweet potato or pumpkin and chocolate chips to make the best pancakes. No syrup needed. We make them every weekend. And TJ’s mix tastes the best – I’ve tried them all.

    • Alexandra says...

      I so agree! TJ’s gluten free pumpkin pancake mix is my favorite. I add a dash of cinnamon and cardamom for extra yum.

  16. Emily says...

    In defense of Trader Joe’s coffee: they have lots of options, fun flavors (pumpkin) and is the only place I get groceries that has coffee grinders in the store! I know I should just get my own, but I like that I don’t have to.

  17. Lisa says...

    Whoa! That chemistry read almost made me want to be young again;). Not quite, but almost.

  18. Mary says...

    Is it really true (!!!) that Daisy Edgar-Jones of Normal People has been cast as the lead role in the Where the Crawdads Sing film? Anyone else losing their minds about this?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes!!!

    • jane says...

      ooo cannot wait!

    • Emily says...

      Wait, there’s going to be a film of that book? Oh goodness I have such high hopes. Fingers crossed.

  19. Whoa!!! That chemistry read almost made me want to be young again:). Not quite, but almost.

  20. Karen T. says...

    The ‘family photos, reimagined’ brings me to tears. Missing so many loved ones (my mom, gone going on 13 years) and those photos are so evocative of times and people gone by. Beautiful.

  21. Jules says...

    Yes! TJs produce spoils sooo quickly. I need to learn to stop buying it.

    Also, as an avid dahlia and flower grower – I loved the short story shared. Every year is different in growing and the lessons seem never ending, but it is the thing that gets me through the winter and the spring and the lonely days and it is so rewarding. Thinking about tomorrows is always worth it.

    Have a great weekend!

  22. Andrea says...

    Most baked goods at TJs suck so hard.

    • Anon says...

      That death doula quote really rubbed me the wrong way. I mean sure, under ideal circumstances, you can plan your death, like you plan your babies birth, but both of those events are often sudden and unpredictable and trying to micromanage the hell out them just seems like the height of human hubris to me.

      Some people get murdered. Some die in car accidents. Others in plane crashes, or they get attacked by a shark, or (more commonly) they have a heart attack or a stroke and bam! that’s the end. Quite a lot of people don’t have the time to position themselves near a creek, get out their fuzzy socks, and gather all their kinfolk around them. At best, this reads as hopelessly naive and romanticized.

    • Denise says...

      Andrea, sorry to comment on your baked goods post, but I want to address the Anon reply. Anon, my husband dropped dead in my kitchen on a sunny June evening. No planning, no beauty, no nothing. But a month later, when we’d had time to process, we had a beautiful sunset paddle out into the Pacific Ocean for him. When I read this article, it all just SPOKE to me. I have a lot of widow friends, and with a couple we’ve even talked about starting a nonprofit to help widows and widowers after the death. I absolutely was floored reading how I could help before too. There are so many options to show up. We all don’t get to have our choice, but we can all try to make it better – better financial planning, better support, better at death all around. I wish you well <3

  23. Jeanne says...

    I am so fortunate to have a friend like that. It’s hard to explain that she is more understanding and supportive than any family member or spouse. We have stood by each other through the joys and traumas of our almost 30 year friendship. We’ve always joked that we are like Oprah and Gayle and that if we are widowed, we need next door apartments in our old age. What an amazing gift this relationship has been and I honestly don’t know if I could do it without her.

  24. Claire says...

    The death doula piece just changed my perspective on death. Wow.

  25. Kristin says...

    My mother is an end of life doula and also plays the harp for end of life patients in hospitals around her state!

    • M says...

      That is so beautiful! Your mom is awesome!

  26. T says...

    Never have I ever purchased a sweater so quickly.

  27. Michelle says...

    This poem best sums up friendship rather than marriage being the center of your life:

    I want a world where friendship is appreciated as a form of romance.

    I want a world where when people ask if we are seeing anyone we can list the names of all our best friends and no one will bat and eye.

    I want monuments and holidays and certificates and ceremonies to commemorate friendship.

    I want a world that doesn’t require us to be in sexual/romantic partnership to be seen as mature let alone complete.

    I want a movement that fights for all forms of relationships not just sexual ones.

    I want thousands of songs and movies and poems about the intimacy between friends.

    I want a world where our worth isn’t linked to our desirability, our security, to our monogamy our family to our biology.

    • Emily R says...

      I love this.

  28. liz says...

    Hell yeah to that article about friendships. I’ve always found how many people grow up to isolate themselves (to varying degrees) with their partner a little disappointing (and maybe even boring).

    • K says...

      Well, isolating oneself is never a good thing.
      But as someone who never had this one best friend (like described in the article or any romantic movie or comedy or…) or a close-knit group of friends that does everything together (as in said movies and apparently some peoples lives) the article kind of … how do you say? … turns the knife in a wound and/or rubs me the wrong way.

    • anne says...

      K, as someone who has never really had a long term romantic partner, but has had a lot of friends disappear into their relationships, I understand the feeling of the twisting knife. It’s kind of everywhere all of the time always in this culture… I suppose we always want what we can’t have?

    • Amy says...

      K – Same. I’m with you on that one.

    • katie says...

      Not “apparently” some people’s lives. A lot of people’s lives.

      Why does talk or articles that finally shed a light and bring to the forefront close friendships twist a knife?

      In our society and for a long time, emphasis is placed on building a life around a partner and children, especially for women. We’ve made strides in that an unwed person isn’t automatically looked down upon. What everyone fails to talk about or give voice to is intimate relationships outside of marriage or partnering. I’m happy people are finally giving voice to this.

      If someone’s closest friend/confident/person is struggling or passes away, why aren’t people allowed to grieve the same way as if a spouse dies, or help the way they’d be allowed if there is an illness? The loss can be just as devastating, but in society we’re expected to move on within days.

      The article isn’t an attack on people who choose to make their spouse the center of their life. It’s showing there are different kinds of intimate relationships that are just as meaningful.

    • liz says...

      K, I hadn’t thought about your perspective and see where you’re coming from. I still hold my opinion though! I’ve had lifelong friendships, but the truth is romances come and go. I find it sad when I watch my friends make their worlds smaller because they got married. Not saying that a marriage isn’t an extremely important relationship to have and nurture, but there’s no reason to fall into the trap of letting it make your world smaller or putting your non-romantic or familial loved ones on a lower pedestal than before, or not recognizing that your friendships may actually be more persevering and more accepting of you without needing you to be “the (only) one” to anyone. I think many people learn this lesson when a marriage fails and that person they’ve prioritized is no longer in the picture, but their friends are still there. Obviously, though, there’s no one size fits all formula to life, but I don’t think one type of relationship is a replacement for the other. And I would also add, it’s not to late for you to find amazing friendships if you want them! But I’m making this comment to push against the conventional narrative the article is also pushing against.

    • K says...

      Katie… I’m sorry you felt so offended by what I said. I did not in any way mean to depreciate the value of close relationships outside of marriage. All you said is true! And I don’t even live in a society where the emphasis on marriage is a high as in the US apparently. I didn’t read the article as an attack and neither did I attack anyone.

      Why does it twist a knife?
      I don’t know a better expression.
      Because not having a friendship like this is another form of loneliness.

      Liz… I understand what you mean and I totally agree. One type of relationship is not a replacement for the other and it never should be. But again this isn’t even what I meant.

  29. Tania says...

    That interview with a death doula was so beautiful. I was kind of scared to read it, but I knew I had to. Also — yes to the “boho bag” trend comment. Mom jeans! Glove shoes! Cocoon coats! I don’t even know what to believe about myself anymore :)

  30. Emiley says...

    The dahlia link really resonated with me. For one, the photos are so stunning. But also, I grew my first cutting garden for flowers this year. It gave endless blooms steadily for three months and warmed my heart literally every day. They were the perfect COVID-era hobby. Beautiful, resilient and easy to give away. They brought so much cheer to me and my neighbors. I’m so grateful for flowers. I’d been intimidated by dahlias for some reason. This makes me think I should give them a try.

    • Emma says...

      Definitely try dahlias! I put two tubers in last year, after my husband and I had a disagreement at the plant store about spending $8 for one variety or $15 for two, and I fully expected the ground to stay cold and barren. But green shoots came up so fast, and then in a couple of months I had plants taller than my kids with blooms for days. It was thrilling! And highly rewarding.

    • Jules says...

      I was also intimidated by dahlias at first, but you can DEFINITELY handle them. Just give them a little space, a sunny spot, and put the tubers in ‘eye up’ and they will perform.
      If you’d like a suggestion – I LOVE my Linda’s Baby tubers. I have all sorts and start some from seed to see what I will get each year, but she is just a very reliable grower with nice long stems and the peachy pink color goes with almost everything else I grow. You’re going to love having them to cut!!

  31. Eloise says...

    The old/new family photo/slide mashup!!