If I sound giddy it’s because I got to go to the beach over the weekend.  The kind of weekend that belongs to the beach.  If you’ve been with me since last summer, you know how soothing, joyful, peaceful, and content I feel at the seashore.  I will possibly study the reason the brain can give me optimal feedback just by being tide adjacent.  Or not.  Maybe the sound of the waves do that thing where whispering and quiet sounds turn the brain on.  ASMR?  Or maybe it just returns me to gobs of happy memories growing up on the beaches of Long Island.  Who cares?

Let it not be unsaid, that part of the great pleasure of the weekend was spending time with our friends Diane and Mark (and hi to you, Joyce!) and their son James.  We adore them and look forward to this weekend every year.   


It’s been a giddy time in the art of letters, too. Our guest this week is first-time novelist Taffy Brodesser-Akner, the It girl of fiction this summer, whose novel is called Fleishman Is in Trouble

Critics have raved about her debut, but those of us who are fans of her feature writing in The New York Times aren’t surprised she had it in her. I’m so looking forward to our conversation.

In the meantime, the five things that made my life better this week:


1. The year of one piece bathing suits. We used to call them “tank suits”. (Why? Don’t know. Why did we stop calling them that? Don’t know.). I stopped wearing bikinis in probably the George W. Bush administration, and it has felt dowdy until this summer, when we now see pictures of the stars in one pieces. Thank you Olivia Wilde, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Gwyneth Paltrow.


2. Getting a bill adjusted. I had rented a car from Enterprise Carshare, and thought the ease of the experience was impressive. When I later reviewed my credit card bill, I found an extra charge that confused me. The customer service person I contacted explained the misunderstanding and made the correction. It felt like a victory to me.


3. A baby in the family. A tiny little creature (my son’s son) is truly a connector, a bundle of joy, a reason to be happy. I guess I didn’t understand this until #ExhibitE came along. Just sending a picture of him to my relatives makes us all feel good.


4. Our followers. You are a growing group of attractive and kind people. I sense the rooting for those who are downtrodden, and support for those who are – as we say – making an effort. (That effort could be anything from eating more healthily, looking for work, or putting on mascara every once in a while, to inviting one’s mother-in-law for lunch.). You let me know what you think, and that feedback is invaluable


5. The hunt for the perfect charms. I’m not saying I’m compulsively looking for it. But occasionally I’ll see a charm that is perfect for my necklace. Charms are a form of biography in a way, which is why I like them so much. My most recent purchase was this baby boy’s head


Taffy’s 5 Things:

1. Oat milk

2.  Summer, really for the first time  

3.  Watching TV with my children

4.  Manhattan

5. Room service