The Crush Letter No 156: DEVOUR & Friendkeeping

The Crush Letter No 156: DEVOUR & Friendkeeping

. 15 min read

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In This Letter. +Hot Thots. By Dish Stanley +Connections, By Text. “The last time I was there it was hard to talk.+DEVOUR: What to do, read, watch, listen to & know about this week. +Social Media I Loved This Week. +Our Song of the Week Love me 'til your next somebody


Hot Thots. By Dish Stanley

kinkeeping / friendkeeping.

Last week I posted the above in “Social Media I Loved This Week.“ I’ve been thinking about this idea of kinkeeping, and its corollary, friendkeeping, a lot this week.

In my immediate family, the person who has most taken on the “kinkeeping” role with me is my brother. If I haven’t had a real conversation with him for a bit he is great at reaching out - always with an accompanying text - “Hey, nothing urgent, just looking to catch up.” The ’nothing urgent’ part is a thoughtful gesture in and of itself because we have elderly parents and he knows I’ll panic until we speak if he doesn’t assure me. As holidays approach he is also the one to coordinate the plans for at least one meal where everybody is around a table together.

It wasn’t until I saw the @dictionarycom post that I gave much thought to who does this ‘kinkeeping.” And if I’m not thinking about it, I am probably taking it for granted, I realized. My brother doesn’t mind the role (he is a natural leader, so part of it is an extension of that), but that doesn’t excuse me for not recognizing and appreciating the effort, and its value. I think that’s big and now I’m ‘on it,’ as they say.

But it also made me think about ‘friendkeeping.’ In the friend context, it means reaching out, coming up with an idea of something to do, making the reservations, getting the tickets, doing the hosting/cooking, planning the trip, sending the update/congratulations/birthday note. When my late husband passed away I was in my 40’s. I had a demanding job and family nearby, but I was a childless widow. Those are the years when most of us are juggling parenting and partnering, and many friends were also juggling work on top of those two. The crunch years. Without a partner or kids, I not only had more time to do the ‘friendkeeping,’ but also more need for company. My friends’ calendars were overstocked; mine needed filling. I began to take on the ‘friendkeeping’ role in most of my close friendships.

I am content in that role, a natural one for me because I like to stay connected. And I truly feel appreciative that busy friends find a way to fit me in when I reach out. But I moved to a new state in the last year and I’ve been meeting a lot of new people. I’ve noticed that these new relationships have formed around new structures of interacting, and most of us tend to be juggling fewer immediate family demands at this stage. On top of that, a number of my new friends are a decade or so older and perhaps semi-retired. So on balance I’ve gotten more ‘incoming’ bids - invites and simple texts for keeping in touch - than I have in the last decade+.

Being on the receiving end more often has been a joy. There’s no other way to say it. It’s a joy to feel thought of, to have people you like reach out, to have them appreciate my company, to feel wanted.

Of course, a balance of initiating and receiving is ideal, but we live in the real world. And in the real world we are dealing with the actual facts on the ground, and the facts are friends with busy lives, different personality types (outgoing/passive/extrovert/introvert and etc.) and different ways of giving and being thoughtful.

What I’ve realized is that the work of “friendkeeping’ is, as much as anything else, a gift. It’s a gift in the form of time and effort and thoughtfulness. Like any gift, it should be given because you want to give, and it should be ‘free of charge‘ - without keeping tabs, without expectation of return “in kind.“ My Mother is absolutely aces at giving. I remember a Christmas when I was young and had given a friend a gift and she hadn’t reciprocated. “That’s not the point, honey,” she said to console me. “You give to give, not receive. Remember that she has more demands on her because her Mother isn’t well. And it doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you back. Think about all the ways she gives - she is such a thoughtful person. She came over to comfort you last week when you and Brian broke up. If you are looking for tit for tat you‘re not truly giving.“

When I’m the one doing the ‘friendkeeping‘ or ‘kinkeeping,’ it brings me pleasure. The pleasure of thinking of somebody else and being in touch – I don’t keep tabs on who reached out last time, who made the reservations, etc. I give in the true spirit of giving, as laid out to me by my Mother. I think I’m pretty good at that. What I’ve been thinking about this week is that I want to be more mindful when I’m on the receiving side. Mindful of recognizing the gift that ‘friendkeeping’ or ‘kinkeeping’ is, and expressive about my appreciation for it.

DEVOUR {things to watch, read & listen to}

In our monthly DEVOUR column, we share all the things we think you should eat up.

Thank you to the CRUSH Readers who sent in DEVOUR recommendations. If you've devoured something you loved, please let us know here!

From Benjamin. Watch. The Gentlemen (the series) (Netflix)

“Highly binge-able, fast-paced, ludicrously fun. A British inheritance story like no other, which is only just plausible enough to allow you to suspend disbelief. Includes all the archetypes we expect in a British “epic” story, in a sort of modern spin on the “upstairs-downstairs” theme. Includes some well-dressed gentlemen, which I always appreciate.”


Happy Valley: Season 3 | Rotten Tomatoes

From Katie. Watch. Happy Valley (series) (Prime Video or Apple TV)

“This is a 2014 series that I just stumbled on and am addicted to. It is a British crime thriller that starts out with a pregnant police sergeant set on getting revenge against a man, recently released from prison, who harmed her daughter. Turns out, it had won a BAFTA for best drama series. Multiple series, so plenty of viewing time.”


Mike Nichols: A Life - Harris, Mark

From Mary. Read. Mike Nichols: A Life by Mark Harris

“A friend and I were just talking about our favorite biographies and I mentioned this one. For any CRUSH Readers who have not yet read this book about the life of the legendary director of the film The Graduate, I highly recommend this book. His story is an absolutely remarkable “only in America” story, and the biography shares the highs and lows of both his personal and professional life.” {Mary, I added this to Up Next: What’s On Dish’s Nightstand. Thanks!}


From Hallie. Watch. A Gentleman in Moscow (Showtime), (but I rented through Prime Video).

This story reminds me of the line from the great Rudyard Kipling poem “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you …” It is a sumptuously set story about a Russian aristocrat who loses everything when the Bolsheviks take control, yet somehow, remains a true gentleman while enduring life imprisonment in a luxury hotel. A reminder about finding agency in any situation, and controlling what we can control.


From Pattie. Watch. Tokyo Vice. (HBO Max). For Japano-files this is the living end. I lived in Japan for two years, and this series captures all the elements of Japanese culture and society - the honor, the rituals, the fetishism - through the eyes of a young American reporter from the Midwest who covers Tokyo’s version of the mafia, the yakuza.


From Tim. Watch. Baby Reindeer (Netflix). It’s dark. It’s very, very dark. But it is so cleverly written, the acting is very fine and everything about it is unexpected. British. Brace yourself, but it truly is so smart. I am not sure what the genre is, but maybe “stalker comedy?”


From Linda. Read. Lauren Sherman on Puck News. If you are into the business of fashion and fashion news, you have to follow Lauren Sherman on Puck. She is THE SOURCE. She used to be a big muckety-muck at the Business of Fashion and knows everyone and everything.

Lauren Sherman
Puck begins where the news ends.

From Paul. Watch. 3 Body Problem. (Netflix) This is some of the best television on right now. It is sci fi for those who don’t think they’re into sci fi. So good. Hard to describe but it involves aliens. Try it!


From Cindy. Watch. The Regime. (HBO) It starts out silly but becomes super intriguing satire. It takes place in a fictitious Eastern European nation and Kate Winslet plays the Chancellor. She’s brilliant. Her character has a speech impediment that is so well done. It gives you a sense of what an amazing actress she is that this character is so different from the detective she plays in the Mare of Easttown. Grew to love this.


Thank you to Lisa Ellex, for curating the following DEVOUR selections.

Watch. In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon. (Apple TV). Late in the Evening. It’s been 30 years since the PBS documentary, Paul Simon: Born At The Right Time and Simon fans have been eagerly awaiting the newest documentary on Simon, In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon. Directed by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney, this two-part series recounts Simon’s illustrious career and captures the recording of his 2023 album, Seven Psalms. In the words of the director, “...it’s not an information drop. It’s an emotional experience; of the moment, but full of memory.”


Book 1.jpg

Read. Highrises: Art Deco Book. If you love architecture, city scapes, or beautiful things you must read Highrises: Art Deco Book.  With stunning photographs captured by drone, the book gets up close and personal with 100 notorious skyscrapers across 49 cities and the stories behind each building.  A collaboration between Pittsburgh writer, Mark House, and Philadelphia artist, Chris Hytha, the books are printed on an extra-large 10” x 15” pages that enable the reader to see the details one can’t see from the sidewalk.


Watch. Carol Doda Topless at the Condor. (Limited run in theaters now.  Streaming soon on various platforms.) Girl Gone Wild. Before San Francisco saw the Summer of Love in Haight Ashbury, they saw the United State’s first public topless dancer, Carol Doda, at The Condor nightclub. Soon, entertainers across the country went topless, and Doda became a 1960s cult figure, performing (clothed) until she was well into her seventies. The film is a nostalgic depiction of the times, and the era of permissiveness ushered in by the 60s and 70s. 


ListenDear Juju Podcast. Just Ask Juju. Just when I was craving something not so serious, actress/choreographer Julianne Waters (aka “Juju”) launches Dear Juju, the podcast she describes as a “lifestyle show where cooking, cocktails, comedy, decor and advice come to dance!”  Always naughty and bawdy, Juju offers tips to lighten our load and answers phone calls posing questions from the ridiculous to the sublime.  Because we all can use some good Juju!

Julianne “Juju” Waters on Instagram: “Cooking & dancing are the ultimate pairing, much like cheese & wine. Recipe for making magic of the mundane? 2 scoops of music, a pound of grooving, a dash of playfulness & of course a sprinkle of sparkle! This feels very apropos for the super new moon total solar eclipse today, vibes in the highest. Bottoms Up, Juju 🤌🏽🍾✨ #SquirtYourSparkle #Dance #eclipse #energy #vibes Turban @juliaclancey Pajama Set @target”
614 likes, 66 comments - dearjujuApril 8, 2024 on : “Cooking & dancing are the ultimate pairing, much like cheese & wine. Recipe for making magic of the mundane? 2 scoops of music, a pound o...”

Listen. Has America gone tipsy? I’ve been known to be a big tipper.  Perhaps that’s because many moons ago, I waited my fair share of tables.  But today, it seems everywhere we turn someone is asking us for a tip.  We’re even told just what percentage we should offer.  If you’re as irked by this as I am, give a listen here to NPR’s Life Kit episode, “To Tip or Not To Tip” as host Stacey Vanek Smith helps to explain the new tipping etiquette.

What is the new etiquette for tipping? : Life Kit
Tipping requests are on the rise. Businesses that never seemed to ask for a tip, like fast food joints, are now asking for one. Here’s how to deal with unexpected requests and more.A previous version of this story incorrectly said the company Square takes a “chunk of your tip.” A representative from Square says while they charge a fee based on the whole transaction, including tip, the worker still gets the full amount of their tip.

Listen. Invincible Threads Podcast. I’ve longed for one of her sleeping bags coats since I was a kid in the 70s so when I learned that Norma Kamali had a podcast called, Invincible Threads, no one had to twist my ear.  In her absolutely fabulous New York accent, Norma talks with guests from all walks of life.  Some of my faves: Ru Paul, David Johansen, Jane Rosenthal, and the late, great Andre Leon Talley (caressing that sleeping bag coat!).

Invincible Threads
Norma Kamali has been in the fashion industry for over 50 years and is known for her innovative designs. She designed the Sleeping Bag Coat on a camping trip in the seventies, as well as multi-style jersey dresses. In 1973 her designs were referred to as ‘vintage of the future’ and are, in fact, part of her line today.

Hello Isaac | iHeart

Listen. The HELLO ISAAC Podcast. When he’s not designing fashion, writing books, or performing in cabaret, Isaac Mizrahi entertains us with his podcast Hello, Isaac. Never one to be shy, Isaac asks very personal questions of guests like Belinda Carlisle, Brooke Shields, Gabourey Sidibe, Kara Swisher, Alan Cumming, Sandra Bernhard, and Jacques Pepin.  Fabulous!


The Husbands: A Novel

Read. The Husbands by Holly Gramazio. Though this debut novel by Holly Gramazio reads like a “who-done-it” it could be marketed as a “who-is-it?”. Set in present-day London, a woman comes home to a tall, dark, and handsome husband she has no memory of marrying. When he eventually disappears, another husband appears in his place. And another. And another. In time, the woman realizes that her attic is producing a revolving door of husbands. Humorous and intriguing, Gramazio’s work will have you wondering just how we navigate what is important in a new world of countless options.


Watch. 9to5: The Story of a Movement (PBS & Netflix). Just Say, “No.” This 2021 documentary follows the birth of the 1970s labor movement, “9 to 5”, initiated by ten Harvard University secretaries who sought equality in the workplace by demanding better pay, more opportunity, and an end to sexual harassment. Their valiant efforts enlisted female clerical workers far and wide, and ultimately led to a union contract with the Service Employees International Union.


You can read our past DEVOURs here

Social Media I Loved This Week

@mohd_danish_mdk

This short video about this little sandhill crane practicing flying is the sweetest thing I saw this week.

Watch it here.

@golfoncbs

One of my favorite players, holding hands with his son at Augusta last week. Heart melt!

@davidshrigley


@debsandidge


@kingsqueensofcool


@andreapicoestrada


@pamelaandedward


@pgatourchampions

Chi-Chi Rodrigues on tour in style.


@femalequotient


@writers


@betchesugh


@jillianturecki

Song of the Week

Don’t Forget Me by Maggie Rogers

Maggie Rogers has a new album out that’s getting a lot of attention from music critics (and etc). This song caught my eye, with its sad but relatable lines:

So close the door and change the channel
Give me something I can handle
A good lover or someone who's nice to me
Take my money, wreck my Sundays
Love me 'til your next somebody

Listen Here

Let me be the one to remind you to reach out to a friend or family member today. Thanks for being here.

Dish Stanley XO,
Dish

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Three Things I’m Crushing On.
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PrimeCrush & Chill: Steamy Films Worth A Re-Watch. By Christian Pan
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