Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread and Links

Happy Cinco De Mayo! I always love May 5th because not only is it a great day to drink margaritas, but also it’s also my mom’s birthday (happy birthday, Mom!) and the anniversary of when Drew and I met on a blind date. Today marks 17 years! It feels like it could’ve been five years ago, and it also feels like I’ve known Drew my whole life. But it kind of felt like that when I met him. We’re going out to dinner tonight at a restaurant in our neighborhood that we haven’t tried yet and that was on a recent list of best 100 restaurants in NYC. And this weekend I’m going to work on our deck garden a bit. I’m also going to finish Lucinda Williams’ new memoir, which I’ve loved reading (I’m a big fan). Hope you all have a good one, and here are some links that might interest you, including: tips for breaking up with a friend, a formula for saying “no” that eases anxiety, and a so-called new dating trend that sounds very familiar.

In case you need to break up with a friend at some point, here are some good tips for how to do it.

Are you watching the show Somebody Somewhere? It’s “The Best Show No One Is Watching Is Back on HBO.” I love it so much.

Are you an overexplainer when you have to say no to something? I am – overexploiting is common among high-empathy people who worry a lot about other people’s feelings. I found this advice really helpful: Emotionally Intelligent People Use This Brilliant 5-Word Phrase to Say No With Confidence (and Stop Talking). I realize I’ve been following the 5-word formula regularly for a few years now and that it’s cut down on my anxiety quite a bit. The formula is “Appreciation + the no + well wishes” and looks like this:

“Thank you so much for thinking of me (appreciation). I actually don’t have time in my schedule right now (the no). I know it will be a great event (well wishes).”

“Thanks for sharing what you’re up to (appreciation). Right now, I’m not in the market for [this product] (the no). I wish you the best with this (well wishes).”

“I love that you’re passionate about this (appreciation). I won’t be able to make it (the no). Let me know how it goes, though; I know you’ll crush it (well wishes).”

Is this a formula you already use? It may feel weird at first, but the key is to keep practicing and it will begin to feel more natural.

I’ve noticed a weird trend lately – mostly online – of defending one’s choice to either not have kids or to have them – to the point that people are getting super defensive and aggressive about their lifestyle. This highlights what I mean: ‘Good luck dying alone’: Couples on TikTok are showing off their ‘double-income, no-kids’ lifestyle — but also face harsh backlash. Here are the pros and cons of being a DINK. For the record, I love being a mom and I’m glad I was able to have kids and that I have the resources and support to raise them in a pretty comfortable way. That said, the early years were really challenging and exhausting and there were times I wondered if I made the right choice, if I was cut out for parenthood. Now that the kids are older, it’s so much easier and we all have a lot more independence and freedom. But I’m still a parent; my life still pretty much revolves around my family and kids, and I know and respect that that’s not for everyone. I also know it’s not forever, and so I’m just enjoying the good parts while I can and tolerating the less ideal parts knowing they will soon pass. I don’t understand why we can’t all just respect each other’s choices and carry on. It’s not a competition for who has the best life!

Have you heard of “spread dating”? I read this explainer and… it sounds like dating? Or, at least, what we called dating back in my single days: “instead of investing several months in a single relationship and trying to see if it finally works out, you spend more time dating and exploring your options before you settle down with that special someone.” When did dating morph into something that isn’t that?

Here’s the No. 1 thing successful couples never do, say psychologists: It can ‘destroy a relationship’

I love these! The best picket signs of the Hollywood writers’ strike.

Aw, these kinds of stories restore some of my faith in humanity (sort of. I mean, it would be a lot better if the kid hadn’t been banned from prom in the first place!). A Nashville senior was banned from prom for a suit, so a local business stepped in

5 comments… add one
  • Avatar photo

    Copa May 5, 2023, 1:10 pm

    Happy birthday, Wendy’s Mom!

    I find myself on the parents vs. DINK side of TikTok regularly and I beeline to the comments often. I don’t perceive those videos as flaunting a lifestyle, though it’s clear from the comments — which range from, “You’re so selfish and are going to die alone,” to “You’ll never know real love if you don’t have kids” — that some parents (though, really, it seems to be women vs. women) perceive it that way. Getting married and having kids always felt like the prescribed path and in my 20s I often felt alone in not wanting kids. I got plenty of push-back from people in my life, including one boyfriend, who were quick to tell me I didn’t know what I wanted and that I’d change my mind. So, I don’t mind seeing the childfree by choice life represented online. I’m happy with my choices, I respect others’ choices and try to be there for my mom friends. I love that women actually have a choice these days. The parents who leave nasty comments do nothing but make me feel glad I don’t have kids.

    Reply Link
  • TheOtherOtherMe May 5, 2023, 2:45 pm

    I think that article about “spread” dating is trying to make the distinction between serial dating, and dating multiple people simultaneously. Some people put all their eggs in one basket when they date somebody, and wait to see if that person will become a more serious, long-term partner before they move on to someone else.

    Reply Link
    • allathian May 8, 2023, 4:46 am

      Yes, that’s definitely me. I’ve had FWBs with no emotional romantic attachments at all (until they broke down when one party wanted more than the other was willing to give), but when I dated, I was exclusive from day one, and what’s more, I expected the same thing from my dates. So online dating definitely wasn’t for me because I couldn’t deal with the idea of my date going on a date with someone else the next day, or even later the same day.

      Reply Link
  • allathian May 8, 2023, 4:49 am

    Congrats on your anniversary Wendy and Drew!

    In September, my husband and I will have been together for 18 years and we celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary in March.

    Reply Link
    • Avatar photo

      Dear Wendy May 8, 2023, 1:38 pm

      Thanks, and congrats to you guys too. Drew and I will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary in July.

      Reply Link

Leave a Comment