Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

We’ve Reached Peak Wellness. Most of It Is Nonsense. Here’s what actually works.

Meet the Influencers (the agony of overexposure to the things we love)

A reader shared this link of an excerpt from a forthcoming book about growing up with an abusive, alcoholic, suicidal anti-nuclear activist who timed her showers and made her eat mold. (And you thought your family relationships were complicated).

“The Middle-Aged Woman on the Train: Commuter Rachel Watson catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple from her train window. After the conductor ignores her complaints about being subjected to a daily millennial lovefest, she makes a sign that says “it won’t last, assholes,” and holds it up every time she passes the lovebirds. The couple breaks up.” — Girl, You’re a Middle-Aged Woman Now

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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30 comments… add one
  • Skyblossom August 23, 2019, 10:00 am

    This quote from the peak wellness article makes me sad.

    “YouGov found that 30 percent of millennials say they feel lonely and 22 percent said they have zero friends.”

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  • Bittergaymark August 23, 2019, 10:15 am

    Hah. Yikes and Yowsa! This week’s links are profoundly depressing. Though (admittedly) dead right about how stupid and fucked up modern life has become. Perfectly befitting the relentlessly grim world in which we are all slowly dying. Happy weekend, everyone. Rest, relax, unwind. You know… get ready for another bleak.

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    • Skyblossom August 23, 2019, 10:56 am

      Of course all of the books mentioned in the middle-aged women article are depressing. There has to be conflict and growth to have a book. A happy story is boring reading.

      If they are truly depressing I don’t think I’ll see them circulating much at the library. Our patrons want a happy ending. If the book is too depressing they will refuse to read it.

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    • Kate August 23, 2019, 11:00 am

      You guys know the New Yorker thing was satire, right? Those were all best-selling books about “girls” and I guess someone thought it would be funny to re-cast them with middle aged protagonists?

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      • Kate August 23, 2019, 11:01 am

        But yeah, it is really sad if one in five millennials feel they have no friends.

      • Skyblossom August 23, 2019, 11:04 am

        I didn’t know it was satire.

      • Skyblossom August 23, 2019, 11:08 am

        What is happening that so many millennials don’t have friends? Do those of you who are millennials know?

      • Bittergaymark August 23, 2019, 11:26 am

        Actually, after my recent professional experiences with millennials I remain genuinely surprised that any of them have friends…

      • Skyblossom August 23, 2019, 11:55 am

        I rarely see any books go out that are written for the young adult to twenties age groups. Either they don’t do much reading beyond what is demanded by school or they use electronic media and we don’t see them.

      • Prognosti-gator August 23, 2019, 2:30 pm

        Side note, but I see a lot of stuff that talks about “millennials” (generally negatively) but seems to be talking about younger people (“post-millennial”).

        Millennials are generally considered as the generation right after Gen-X but reaching adulthood in the early 21st century. So, that has them being born from about 1980 into the mid 90’s. That means that the oldest millennials are in their upper 30’s now, the youngest being early 20’s. Some of the oldest millennials are going on college visits with their kids now.

        The YouGov poll didn’t define their age ranges, so it’s hard to tell what age range they used. But that would put millennials more in the “no friends of my own because I’m spending all my time doing all sorts of kid stuff” rather than the “no friends of my own because I’m too busy with my studies and eating avocado toast.”

      • Kate August 23, 2019, 2:35 pm

        Agree, Millennials are roughly 20-38, while Gen-Z are today’s teens. I wonder if Milennials, in addition to having kids, maybe move to new cities and have trouble making friends after college? I don’t know why that would be though.

      • Skyblossom August 23, 2019, 3:08 pm

        We’ve made some of our best, longest lasting, friends through our kids. Kids don’t prevent you from making friends. When kids are at activities the parents are together talking and sometimes you find one that just clicks with yourself. You meet a huge number of people through your kids who happen to be at the same point in their life that you are.

        My son is in the middle of the millenials. He still has his college friends. He lived at home and was a commuter student for college. He met other kids from the greater city area and they all stayed within the city area and they all get together to socialize. If he had moved after college I think it might have been more difficult.

        Many of our friend’s kids who have graduated from college have gotten involved in community theater and made friends that way. One has been doing theater and local independent films. I think it’s a matter of finding people with similar interests which means finding time to go out and do something you enjoy. None of them are socializing with people from work. They like their coworkers but they aren’t socializing with them. If someone is used to going into a new situation, like college, and meeting a group of friends who are all looking for friends, they will find that work isn’t the same as college.

      • anonymousse August 23, 2019, 3:25 pm

      • Kate August 23, 2019, 3:27 pm

        Interesting about not making friends at work. In my 20s I made a bunch of close friends at grad school and then work. I feel like THAT gets harder when you’re older, because when you’re young no one at work has kids yet and you’re not senior so you can go out and act crazy with your peer group.

        As for church, idk, my parents and grandparents definitely socialized with church people, but I didn’t go to church regularly as an adult. Aside from work friends, I made friends through my boyfriend.

      • anonymousse August 23, 2019, 3:28 pm

        I don’t think it’s because people have turned away from church. It’s probably mostly social media.

      • anonymousse August 23, 2019, 3:30 pm

        I wonder how and where this poll was conducted.

      • Skyblossom August 23, 2019, 4:30 pm

        I think not making friends at work has been due to two things. Some have gone to smaller workplaces and so there aren’t that many same age peers. One of my friends has a son who has worked at a place for four years and all of his same age peers have moved to other jobs with other companies so the turnover has been high enough that lasting friendships aren’t forming at work. I think the millennials are changing jobs more rapidly than we did at the same age. They often have to change jobs to get a promotion.

      • Helen August 24, 2019, 1:34 pm

        Millennials are older than people seem to think. I’m one of the oldest at 38. If you wanna shake your fist at kids these days you’re looking for Gen Z

      • Helen August 24, 2019, 1:38 pm

        My teenage son often complains of having no friends. But he has a tight group of friends. His problem is social media. He sees everyone else’s perfect online life and is convinced he is missing something. He thinks he should be farther in life even though he just finished his first week of college

    • Prognosti-gator August 23, 2019, 2:45 pm

      As a non-religious person, it somewhat pains me to say this, but I think some of it is an unintended consequence of the lower levels of religiosity in younger generations.

      One thing that church has always been effective at is fostering a community among its members. Talk to elderly people and they always refer to their “friends from church.” So, I think it comes down some on there being fewer secular communities that have the same power as the churches did to form community among their members.

      People are still free to foster their own friendships, but that’s harder to do on an individual basis compared to being in the middle of a group of people who feel they have a shared identity. It’s something that could happen if you join special interest clubs (hiking group, moms group, etc) but is a little smaller and requires more work on your part to get things going.

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      • Ange August 23, 2019, 9:50 pm

        That’s a particularly American thing though, church has mostly just been a minor sidebar in life over here but young people are still lonely.

  • Bittergaymark August 23, 2019, 11:15 am

    Oh, I knew the books thingy was satire. I just thought that piece was more depressing than funny. I dunno. It simply wasn’t very clever. Aging sucks. Surprise, surprise. Not exactly witty or fresh or new.
    I’d love to know the age of the author cuz frankly? It read like tired, vacuous, penned-by-a-millennial ageist crap.

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    • Bittergaymark August 23, 2019, 11:22 am

      Whoops. I stand corrected. The authors are themselves middle aged women. So it’s vacuous penned by a self-loathing ageist crap. ?

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    • Skyblossom August 23, 2019, 11:52 am

      It seemed depressing to me too. Not very funny.

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      • Kate August 23, 2019, 11:59 am

        It’s a head-scratcher.

      • Skyblossom August 23, 2019, 12:53 pm

        When my kids aged into the YA books they both quit reading for the most part. The books in that age group are too angsty. They assume everyone is angry and depressed. I see that over and over. We have kids coming in and reading prolifically and then when they outgrow the Juvenile novels they quit showing up. They will browse the YA novels and not find anything they want. The exception is the fantasy. The kids who like fantasy will sometimes transition to the YA fantasy. I don’t think the kids want what the market assumes they want. The sets (books and movies) that have been popular are the Divergent series and The Blade Runner series. They also like the Marvel movies. Both boys and girls like action adventure. The kids all like Stranger Things.

    • Kate August 23, 2019, 1:00 pm

      Oh, the books they’re making fun of in the article aren’t YA. They’re like, Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. Which are about 30-something women so I get pointing out the irony of them being titled “girls,” if that’s what the joke is, but I’m not sure it is.

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      • Skyblossom August 23, 2019, 4:00 pm

        I know. The thing I’m trying to say is that we lose kids at about age 13 and they are just gone. We finally get women back in their 30s when they have kids and they come in for picture books. Then they gradually begin getting things for themselves but usually more like yoga and cookbooks and craftbooks and movies. Fiction books about that age group have no demographic for us. I don’t know how well we reflect the US. My age group isn’t interested and our most prolific readers are retired and they aren’t interested. We do have a large demand for Amish authors like Beverly Lewis and Wanda E. Brunstetter. The women checking them out aren’t Amish but they will say that they read them because they are clean.

      • Kate August 23, 2019, 4:08 pm

        Oh, got it. Well, there’s a LOT of fantasy YA stuff. But it sounds like there’s a niche for teens that’s not being filled by anything, and some authors should figure out what the unmet need is.

  • d2 August 23, 2019, 8:45 pm

    I didn’t find the “middle aged women’ article to be depressing. I caught on that it was a spoof of “girl” books/movies. Some were a stretch for humor, but others had me chuckling. It’s Friday and I was easily amused.

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