Friday Faves: In Which I Hate Everyone and Everything

Sugar Says so many great things.

Sugar Says so many great things.

In a strange turn of events, after loving practically everything I came into contact with last week and writing about proposing to any number of inanimate objects, this week I hate fucking everything.

I actually joked about this phenomenon with another mom last night as we stood on a grassy hill, teary-eyed, watching our middle school’s graduation ceremony. And I didn’t even know one kid graduating. But three of my children have participated in these exercises and while many of the faces standing up at the podium and handing out diplomas have changed, nothing much else about the ceremony has changed in decades. The girls are decked out in pastel-colored dresses that brush along the grass as they wobble on high heels toward their seats, and the boys swap out their gym shorts and soccer jerseys for elegant white dinner jackets adorned with a single red rose on the lapel. Years ago I hated the getup but quickly drank the Kool Aid after my oldest child slipped on his jacket and joined the legion of young men who came before him to graduate from the town’s tiny middle school whose photos now line the walls of the school’s main floor. It’s a lovely tradition and on a clear June evening — as it thankfully remained last night — many residents, of former and future graduates, come out to stand along the sidelines and cheer for the newest batch of eighth grade grads.

I think all the crying was in anticipation of another graduation ceremony I will attend tonight but this time, I’ll have more skin in the game. This time my own child, Kid #3, will be handed the diploma and frankly, I’m pissed. I’m really not happy that this child — the one who came so confidently into the world and whom we referred to as “The Boss” from a very early age — is graduating from high school. And so I just kind of hate everything today.

I hate this totally adorable tote bag I just bought her (which I found on this adorable blog) to carry her books around this summer as she starts her college adventure four hours away.

I’m cranky that I’ll be slipping on an adorable dress I picked up this spring at Athleta a lot like this one, which can be dressed up with heels like these from Aerosoles (spoiler alert: my aging toes require me to now gravitate towards wearing more old lady-friendly heels) or worn more casually with this summer’s ubiquitous sandals.

When one is feeling cranky, there is nothing better than a handful of these divine morsels whipped up by the evil experts at Trader Joe’s.

With everyone home for the summer, the house has gotten kinda smelly between all the late-morning egg frying, trampoline jumping and sandy/wet shit my 12yo pulled out of a recently-uncovered beach bag. I made a special trip to Target this week to stock up on these amazing candles that smell super-clean and give the impression that my house is clean as well.

As if the candles weren’t enough to keep my home smelling fresh, my girlfriend — home from Hong Kong for the summer — brought me a bottle of the most divine room spray (note: for some reason I can’t find the spray here in the U.S. but you can get a candle or “pebble”) that evokes an elegant evening we spent sipping fancy cocktails at the Captain’s Bar at the Manadarin Oriental Hotel when we visited her in Hong Kong in April.

There’s been a lot of cooking going on around here with the crew home and that means, a lot of pots and pans that need to be cleaned. I’m over it. However, if one does have to keep cleaning up after people, and that same cleaner wants to keep her fingers from drying out and gel manicure from chipping, one should rush out and buy herself these dish gloves that are strangely fabulous (tip here courtesy of my favorite product tester, my mother).

Finally, in an effort to keep it all in perspective — that my babies are growing up and I am in turn growing old — I have latched onto a line I recently read in Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things in which she responds as “Dear Sugar” to a question posed to her wondering “what the fuck” life was all about. It’s heartbreaking and powerful but the bottom line loops through my head quite often nowadays: The fuck is your life.

Chin up people.

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Friday Faves

Limit your "always" and your "nevers."

Limit your “always” and your “nevers.” You can buy this cute banner here on Etsy:

Here’s the thing about my mom: when she likes something she really likes it and really wants you to like it, too. Whether it’s a book she just read, new way to steam clean clothes with ice cubes or the chickpea salad she made the night before, she’ll mention it in a conversation and send a follow-up email — maybe a review in the Wall Street Journal or something — as a reminder. She wants me to get onboard and enjoy something am much as she did.

She’s helping me enhance the quality of my life.

The good part about her strong recommendations is that my mom is like my very own Faith Popcorn and has her finger on the pulse of  all that’s new and hot. If it weren’t for her, I never would have found and loved “Call the Midwife,” Moon and Lola jewelry or My Pillow. I generally like a lot of the things she likes. Sometimes I joke and ask her if she’s working for the companies she’s really pushing, which currently would be the producers of “Wayward Pines.”

The bad part about her behavior is now I find myself doing the same thing, especially with my kids. Sadly, as they are still young and, let’s face it, have fairly unrefined tastes, they do not really appreciate many of the things I’m enamored with. They could care less about the fuckmazing Cheryl Strayed book I just started to read or the tasty packets of frozen quinoa and kale I picked up at Costco last week.

And so dear readers, that is why I have decided to take a few minutes each Friday to share with you here some of the things I’ve been into because I know you’ll appreciate it. It’s shit I’d like to marry if I only could. A lot of us should probably just gone ahead and married, say, a great piece of pizza or bag of Trader Joe’s chocolate covered potato chips rather than a person. Worst case scenario if things don’t work out is you can toss it in the trash. Cheaper than divorce.

  • For many years, I’d end each day lying in bed between my children and reading a book out loud. We had lots of favorites. We laughed at the moose in “How to Give a Moose a Muffin” and loved anything by Kevin Henkes, especially “Chester’s Way.” We sat night after night reading “Charlotte’s Web,” “Harry Potter,” and the Roald Dahl canon and always made time for a few ditties from “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” But probably the book I am most sentimental about is “Where the Wild Things Are” whose main, naughty character shares the same name as my oldest child. “Oh, please don’t go—we’ll eat you up—we love you so!”  So wasn’t I thrilled, and a little sad maybe since none of my kids would want it in their very-grow-up-rooms, to see this print crop up in my Facebook feed the other day.
Somebody please buy this.

Somebody please buy this. Find details here to do so.

  • I recently connected with a blogger who’s also named Amy and while she might be significantly younger than this-here Old Amy, she’s way better at this blogging thing. Like, the girl is a blogging boss. She’s cute and bubbly and has adorable taste, to boot. And while I’m a little long-in-the-tooth to wear a majority of stuff on her site, I did immediately download this desktop wallpaper she recently posted about because it’s not only pretty but reminds me that I need to GET SHIT DONE. 
  • Got any long car rides or flights this summer? I did a lot of driving this spring and loved two very different audio books. The first was Amy Poehler’s “Yes, Please” and no, I don’t only endorse things created by fellow Amys but see your point. It’s funny and engaging and probably more fun to hear the author read it herself. The kids and I loved it (Warning: there is cursing) and listening made the gruesome drive south for their brother’s graduation not as terrible as usual.
  • In a very different vein, I listened, by myself, to Jeremy Irons read — although he really performs  — Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita.” Whoa. I mean, I knew the basic premise but not the EXTENT of Humbert Humbert’s creepiness. Drags a little bit towards the end but Irons’ reading kept me listening through all 10 discs. Highly recommend.
  • Lest you think I’m becoming too much of a smartypants over here, I’d like to share the latest Gilmore Girl gossip because I love me my GGs. Not for nothing, a “Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge” I found online, containing books mentioned during the many fast-paced, whip-smart conversations on the show, contains Emily Dickinson, Toni Morrison, Dante and Judy Blume.

Happy weekend!

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