The Crush Letter No 156: DEVOUR & Friendkeeping

The Crush Letter No 156: DEVOUR & Friendkeeping

. 15 min read

The Crush Letter brings love to your inbox weekly on Saturdays. To make you, your love life and your weekend, more compelling. Hell yes, sign me up.}

Hello Crush,

Welcome, new CRUSH Readers! And thank you to the CRUSH Readers who sent The CRUSH Letter on to friends. So happy to have all of you here.

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, “’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


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

Watch it here.


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







Chi-Chi Rodrigues on tour in style.





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,

Spring Awakening. By Lauren D Weinstein
A short series on Spring renewal for our bodies and souls. Pt 1: Update Your Skincare. Spring is a season of renewal; birds are chirping, flowers are slowly beginning to bud and blades of grass are miraculously pushing through the hardened earth. Our skin is also emerging from a cocoon
Cottagecore. By Dish Stanley
“There’s something about having to share the only cramped couch on a steamy summer afternoon that encourages closeness. And discourages panties.“ For the last thirteen years I stayed in a small cottage on an island 30 miles out to sea. It’s a pain in the ass to get
Three Things I’m Crushing On.
In this series, readers like you share recommendations for the things they love the most, right at this moment. SHARE THE 3 THINGS YOU’RE CRUSHING ON HERE Three Things I’m Crushing On: From CRUSH Reader Mieke Westman Atelier Love this product/makeup, especially the Gucci line. The product is simple
PrimeCrush & Chill: Steamy Films Worth A Re-Watch. By Christian Pan
In this series from Christian Pan, we hook back up with our favorite ex’s--as in classic steamy movies worth a re-watch. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) Starring: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagpher, Laura San Giacomo Released: January 20, 1989 (USA) Basic Plot: A web of deception and infidelity is
Dear Dish ...
From the Crush Letter No 155: “Dish, Maybe relationship compatibility can handle differences on specific issues, as long there is sufficient alignment on political sensibility? Perhaps not the best example but, let’s say, maybe a couple where both have, generally, say, a libertarian sensibility, can manage to disagree on

If you love me as much as I love you (and I really do love you!), then please help me grow by forwarding this {love} Letter to a friend! And I'd love to have you join us on instagram.

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter from Dish Stanley curating articles & intelligence on everything love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. If you’d like to take a look at some of our best stories go to Read Us. Want the Dish?


'Merci'! to Emily in Paris for one of the most riverting women in pop culture "Divorce, Baby, Divorce" by Liza Lentini "Don't Touch My Hat.*" Midlife Men & Loneliness "This is a Tale of Modern Love ..." 2022 2024 Hit List 3 things I'm crushing on 5 Books to Help You Chill TF Out 5 Great Boutique Hotels Around NYC. By Jeanne Bosse 5 things that turn our crush readers on A Book That Could Unf*ck Your Relationship: I Want This To Work By Elizabeth Earnshaw. Reviewed By Angela Kempf. A Circle of Crones. By Elayne Clift A Roman Love Affair. By Lady Verity A Turntable and a Candle: F-ing Classics About Face: Skincare Essentials for Men An Upbeat Playlist for the Divorce-curious And I Wondered ... Do We Really Need A SATC Reboot? And Just Like That... Who Are These People?? By Jeanne Bosse And so this is Another brother gained and lost. By Jeanne Bosse Ask Dish Bedtime Rituals for Couples. By Lauren D. Weinstein Bisexually Anxious Among the Noodges. Review: shiva Baby Bloody Good Sex Book review Book Review: A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers Book Review: I'm With The Band by Pamela Des Barres. Reviewed by Evie Arnaude Book Review: Maurice Book Review: Norma Kamali: I Am Invincible Book Review: Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina by Georgina Pazcoguins. Reviewed By Lady Varity Book Review: The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It Every Time By Maria Konnikova' Book Review: The Lover. By Marguerite Duras. Book Review: The Story of O Book Review: VOX by Nicholson Baker. Reviewed by Christian Pan Building The Perfect Music Collection Calm App Review: “If I Traveled Or Worked In An Office, I Would Rely On This App Heavily”. By Evie Arnaude Christian Pan CRUSH Summer Reading List! From CRUSH Reader Sharon Weinberg, Owner of The Chatham Bookstore Culture/Comments Dear Dish devour DEVOUR {things to do, have & know about} Devour: Reads we think you should devour Dish Gets A Kink Assessment. Dish Stanley Dish Stanley's Rules for Polite Society Doing Nothing With Friends Effortless, Natural Holiday Makeup. By Lauren D. Weinstein Emily In Paris Extended Encounters. By Lisa Ellex F*ck Songs. Three Best Jazz Albums for a Sexy Night In. By Lisa Ellex Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style and Attitude: Mireille Guiliano. Reviewed by Evie Arnaude Five Best Jazz Clubs Around The Country. By Lisa Ellex Foria's Totally Useful Guide to Sexting Four Indie Bookstore That Stayed In My Life Long After I Left Town. By Dish Stanley French Kiss: French Girls Do It Better, Right? friendship Fun in the sun skincare tips get your spy thrill on Girl Crush. By Lady Verity Grief. By Lauren D. Weinstein Healing Through Change. By Lauren D Weinstein Heard It at The Grammys: Dishs Crush on Silk Sonic Hefner. By Bob Guccione, Jr Hide A Love Note In Their Pocket. Hit List Holiday Invites Holiday Perspectives. By Dean Christopher Hook Ups Hot Thots How to Be the Most Charming Person at a Holiday Party. By Evie Arnaude How to find porn thats actually good I am my own family I just turned 60 but I feel 22 I redesigned my closet. I'm Dish, the Master of Ceremonies Im glad my mom died In Good Hands. Kathy: This Is A Love Story About Three Friends La Mia Famiglia by Lisa Ellex Lamentations on the Lost Art of Kissing. By Elisabeth C. Lamotte Leave the husband, bring the cannoli. By A.K.A. Darla Let's Reconsider, with Adam Grant Love & Mike's "Bad Girl Pasta" Love/Sex/Moon Magick By Lynn Eaton LXIX. By A.K.A. Darla Meeting Across the River Melissa Biggs Bradley's New Book Safari Style Makes Me Want To Go On A Safari midlife MIDLIFE CRISIS: When Reality Strikes, By Dean Christopher Movie Magic. By Amy Ferris My First Solo Trip: Mexico, Part I. By Dawn Larsen My Prostate Journey: A Personal Story My Tits Contain MulTITudes Naked & Not afraid by KC Roth Oasis in the Desert. One woman's honest journey through vaginal rejuvenation. OMG Yes. Pamela Anderson: What Her Story Says About Us paris Pillow Tawk (or NOT)? Play well with others. By Dish Stanley Playing Games: A Review of Esther Perel's New Sold Out Card Game. Podcast Review: Dying for Sex. Why You Need to Listen to Molly's Journey. political thrillers PrimeCrush & Chill: Movies Worth a Re-Watch PrimeCrush Bookshop PrimeCrush Cocktail Coaster Giveaway! QUIVER. Sexual Debut Stories. recommedations Red Flags Reports from the edge. By Jane Boon separate bedrooms Sexual Frustrations. By Elisabeth C Lamotte Shameless Quick & Easy Mac & Cheese. By Evie Arnaude Sighs & Moans. By Ralph Greco SIP. Best Lines from the Double Dates Podcast Hosted by Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue Six Ways to Get the Friends Who Count Snapshot Rec: Get Yourself Sexify-ed on Netflix. Snapshot Rec: Read Liza Lentini on the Indigo Girls in SPIN Solo in my Sixties. By Jeanne Bosse Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck. Stanley Tucci Is Paradise Stories to Read Aloud to a Lover. By A.K.A. Darla Tell Me More. By Dish Stanley The 3 Things You're Really Fighting About The 4 Most Common Skincare Issues for Men (But Were Afraid to Ask). By Lauren D. Weinstein The Crush Letter 44 The Crush Letter 51: DEVOUR The Crush Letter 58 the crush letter 72 the crush letter 73 The Crush Letter 75 the crush letter 77 The Crush Letter Its a tune The Crush Letter No 33 The Crush letter No 36 The Crush Letter No 39 The Crush Letter No 40 The Crush Letter No 41: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 42 The Crush Letter No 43 The Crush Letter No 45 The Crush Letter No 46: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 50 The Crush Letter No 53 The Crush Letter No 54 The Crush Letter No 55 The Crush Letter No 56 DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 57 The Crush Letter No 59 The Crush Letter No 60: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 61 The Crush Letter No 62 the crush letter no 63 The Crush Letter No 64 The Crush Letter No 65: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 66 The Crush Letter No 67 The Crush Letter No 68 The Crush Letter No 69 The Crush letter No 70 The Crush Letter No 74: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 78 The Crush Letter No 80 The Crush Letter No 81 The Crush Letter No 82 The Crush Letter No 83: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 84 The Crush letter No 85 The Crush Letter No 86: The Toy Tester Report The Crush letter No:71 DEVOUR The Crush Letter No. 79 The Crush Letter No. 94 The Crush Letter: Culture / Comment The Dynamics of Friendhip By Lauren D. Weinstein The Friendship Files By AKA Darla The Golden Bachelor The Hole. By Kiva Schuler The Holiday Anti-Checklist By Liza Lentini The New Menopause By Dr. Mary Claire Haver The Perfect Snowy Saturday. By Jeanne Bosse The Ritual of Comforts. By Lady Verity The Sex Position Report. By Dish Stanley The Solo Series Thee Timeless Travel Books. By Bob Guccione Jr. Things To Let Go Of. By Dish Stanley This must be the place To get all of us, subscribe. Top Ten Jazz Albums To Soothe Your Soul. By Lisa Ellex TOPIX Transitions Travel tips Treats: A Sex Toy Tester Update Under The Radar Series. By Dish Stanley Valentines day what dead to me taught me about family. Who Are CRUSH Readers Grateful For? Women of a Certain Age Whose Style I Admire You're My Medicine Your Big Green Heart. By Liza Lentini Your Love Is King & Queen, GQ Zits a poppin Zoning Out in Comfort. By Dean Christopher