J.Crew – I was rather harsh on Jenna Lyons a couple of years ago, when I wrote her an open letter complaining of the scarcity of garments someone like me – her ideal customer – could choose from. Now, every time I receive J Crew’s catalogue, I must restrain myself from whipping out the credit card and start ordering. So many pretty and easy things for the Summer!
Art – Tate Modern in London is about to open a retrospective on Barbara Hepworth. A contemporary of Henry Moore, Dame Hepworth might not be a household name but the sculptures she produced during a career that spanned 4 decades, starting in 1930s, pepper many cities on both sides of the Atlantic and they represent the epitome of modernism. Almost entirely devoid of sharp angles, Hepworth’s sculptures always struck me as visceral, primal works that began as gut feelings.
Pampering – Spas are indulgences I hardly yield to. And I am so very wrong, I thought, as I bobbled in a jacuzzi at the Canyon Ranch Spa in Las Vegas a few days ago. While it’s nice to get extravagant treatments once in a while (I had a micro-dermal abrasion facial), it’s much cheaper and just as much fun to invest a modest sumo n a day pass (most are around $25) and use the facilities, with either a like-minded girlfriend or alone. I sweated in the sauna, frolicked in the jacuzzi, shivered in the rainforest mist (!) and took a long shower, followed by the slathering of every single product available – all the while drinking tea and munching on pears and apples. Four hours later, I felt new.
Strong women – If you are one of the ten people who hasn’t yet read the essay on grief Sheryl Sandberg posted on her Facebook page, I invite you to do so here. Thirty days after the sudden death of her husband, the “Lean In” author is coming to grip with the permanent void in her life. It’s also a great lesson on how to deal with other people’s grief: those odd times when you would like to be of help and don’t quite know what to say or do. We never get over losing a loved one – yes, the pain becomes bearable, things do get better but it’s a matter of readjusting life around the hole and the scarring that never disappear.
How to say no – My friend Luisa pointed out that, if someone asks me for help, I am pretty much incapable of saying no. I can refuse people but not if they ask for help. This might sound noble but, sometimes, it leaves me scrambling for time and patience. Spotted on Austin Kleon’s newsletter were some literary examples on how to say no: my favorite happens to be E.B. White’s. It reminded me I don’t have to have a reason for my refusal or, at the very least, I am not obligated to share it.