The Crush Letter No 159: Skincare Products I’m Crushing On, A Reader’s F*ck Song & Re-reading Lolita

The Crush Letter No 159: Skincare Products I’m Crushing On, A Reader’s F*ck Song & Re-reading Lolita

. 12 min read

The Crush Letter brings love to your inbox Saturday mornings. To make you, your love life and your weekend, more compelling. Hell yes, sign me up.

Hello Crush,

Happy Saturday.

Here is an absolutely exquisite short video of Harry Baker, the World Poetry Slam Champ, reading “Atlas.” It’s a lovely, taut poem about how contributing small, ordinary acts of “life maintenance“ in a relationship are a meaningful love language. It’s a celebration of the often under-appreciated ”sensible side of love.”

“There is a kind of love called maintenance

which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it

which checks the insurance

and doesn’t forget the milkman …”

Watch it here

I particularly love this poem because this is how my family shows love to each other. I am a very romantic person and I fall big for big and small poetic gestures: holding hands, touching toes while watching movies on the couch, putting on a sexy dress for dinner out (or at home). I’m not sure where I got that from because the love language of my parents—and family—is doing lots of ordinary things for each other to make life run smoothly, or easier. I think of my Father putting on his heavy coat and gloves every winter morning to scrape the ice off my Mother’s car for her. I think of my brother, who just called to say that he went ahead and took my 10+ year old mini cooper convertible to the shop because he doesn’t want me driving it around this summer until it’s checked out. And my sister, who has made me two beautiful embroidered belts for golf, one with an orange dragon (a favorite animal print).

And, of course, I think of my Mother, who got up early EVERY.SCHOOL DAY.MORNING to make my siblings and me a full home-cooked breakfast—eggs, toast, bacon, orange juice, all of it. And then, as I was heading out the door, handing me lunch while she said “Honey, I looked at the cafeteria schedule and they’re serving meatloaf today. I know you hate their meatloaf, so I made you a turkey sandwich with Swiss cheese.”

To my Mother, who has always nailed "the sensible side of love" with so many acts of quiet giving—and all the other mothers who did, too: Happy Mother’s Day!

And to everyone who puts the quiet, “sensible work of love“ into their relationships with others, I celebrate you.

In This Letter. +Hot Thots. Improbable Love. Emma definitely wants the Verdura! +Three Things Dish is Crushing On. This year I have doubled down on my skincare routine. +Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck. A Compendium from the Readers of The Crush Letter. Submitted from CRUSH Reader Mieke +Re-Reading Erotic Lit Classics: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Reviewed By Christian Pan Written in a style lush with complex meanderings and eloquent digressions, Humbert´s story is designed to seduce his imaginary jury (and by extension, the reader). +Social Media I Loved This Week. +Our Song of the Week I’m hot just like an oven

Hot Thots.

Improbable Love.

Crossing the street at the corner of 72nd Street and Madison Avenue last week I was thrilled to bump into a dear friend, Clara, and her son Tate. It was a gorgeous spring day, the crowd outside Ralph’s Coffee was buzzing and Clara and Tate were laughing when I approached them. Such a happy, serendipitous moment.

The last time I had seen Clara was in March over dinner at Brasserie Cognac. That was a new spot we were trying out because Orsay, our previous go-to, “isn’t what it used to be,” in Clara’s view. The thing about Brasserie Cognac is that the tables are so close together that you can overhear your neighbor’s conversation, as we learned while we shimmied into our spots. It turned out to be a gift that night. To our delight, we were seated next to an older couple in their 80’s who appeared very much in love. He was dressed in a handsome tweed sport coat and tie and she was in a lovely navy cashmere dress with pearls. Very smart. The moment we took our seats Clara and I nodded to each other knowingly, as in, “Look! What an elegant, romantic vignette we’ve got going on next to us!” They were seated at a corner table holding hands, looking into each other’s eyes while they spoke.

Their conversation caught our attention because, remarkably enough, this couple in their 80’s was getting married. They appeared to be negotiating their pre-nup. They were so loving toward each other, using soothing tones and leaning in as if to assure the other that they wanted to take care of the other’s needs. There were a lot of: “Yes dear, you’ll need that,” and “won’t you be more comfortable if …” At one point they discussed what would happen to their apartment if she pre-deceased him.

“It has to go to my kids when I die,” she said “it’s a major asset and they’ll need it.”

(She must own the apartment, Clara and I whispered to each other.)

He responded, “But my dear, where would I live after over a decade living here with you? I gave up my beautiful place in the Village where I could walk to NYU because you wouldn’t leave the Upper East Side. I am 85. I am not moving again! I can’t imagine that you’d expect me to. Couldn’t your kids hold off until I croak?”

“Of course, of course. That’s what I meant. You’ll live there until your death and then my kids will get it. Of course, honey. What else?”

“Well, there are my Mother’s pearls, and the Verdura,” he said. “They are so lovely on you, but I would like them to go to Emma ultimately, not your daughters. That’s what my Mother would have liked, for her granddaughter to get her jewelry.”

(Emma must be his biological daughter, Clara and I whispered to each other. And also: “the Verdura! Emma definitely wants the Verdura!”)

Clara and I were so enchanted with this older couple and their upcoming marriage. “They are so divinely optimistic!” “And it’s all so improbable,” we thought. To find yourself so madly, irrationally in love in your 80’s that marriage—and all the negotiation involved—would worth it at that stage. “What prompted them to marry now, in their 80’s, after living together for over a decade?” we wondered to each other (under our breath).

We were so captivated by this couple’s unfurling love that we hardly got around to sharing updates on our own love lives. When we finally did mine was a simple “Yes, I’m dating and it’s mostly fun.“ Hers was “Everything is same, same. Edward is adamant about not wanting a divorce and I can’t bear pushing it. It obviously complicates dating. So I’m really not. I’ll be in my 80’s like this couple by the time I fall in love again!” (Clara and her husband Edward have been separated for over five years.)

Her report over dinner in March was the last I knew about the state of Clara’s love life. After running into her and her son Tate on the street last week I sent her this:

Clara’s reply:

What I love the most about Clara’s text is that she isn’t ambivalent; she didn’t hedge. She didn’t say “I’m dating somebody.” Or “I‘m in a relationship.” She went all in—said the most romantic thing imaginable, the most romantic thing anyone could possibly say. “I have fallen in love.“ That’s so Clara, and I love her so much for that.

I wrote her back:

And then she sent this, god love her.

Isn’t love so often improbable though, really? It’s an extraordinary miracle to find that person. And it pays off to believe in miracles! Just ask my friend Clara.

Three Things I’m Crushing On. By Dish Stanley

Let’s Talk About Skincare.

I haven’t always been serious about my skincare, but this year I have doubled down on my health and wellness across the board. That has included adding these products to my routine—all recommended by reliable sources as “effective bangs for the buck.”

The NourishMax Stack on my dresser
  1. NourishMax Anti-Aging Skincare

A friend who obsessively researches everything told me about NourishMax, and I am a convert to their suite of natural, powerful, fairly priced products (relative to other popular anti-aging skincare lines, like Skinceuticals). I use all of these: Hylauronic Acid Serum, Vitamin C+B+E+Ferulic Serum, Hylauronic Moisturizer and their Lip Plumper. I love the lip plumper! It makes me feel sexy before I go out—I put it on first, let it soak in, then put on a lip color or gloss over it. I also love that NourishMax offers a buy-in-bulk option for even more savings.

DRMTLGY Anti-Aging Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 46. Universal Tint. All-In-One Light Sheer Coverage Tinted Face Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum Protection Against UVA and UVB Rays. 1.7 oz
  1. DRMTLGY Anti-Aging Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 46

I started using this tinted moisturizer everyday a few months ago because it covers so many bases—it has a very light tint to it, so it gives some coverage but it is natural looking. I use this for running to the grocery store and other errands when I don’t want to feel or look made up. It also has spf in it. Whenever I can combine three products in one, I’m pleased. I use a heavier moisturizer at night, and in the morning I use this as a quick and easy moisturizer-foundation-sunscreen blend. (If I’m going out to dinner or somewhere special, I use a regular foundation for more coverage.)

Supergoop! Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50 with Sunflower Extract PA++++ #1
  1. Supergoop PLAY Sunscreen

I have been using this product since it came out. I love that it stays on (because I play golf and tennis) and that I can use it on both my face and body. It feels light and goes on smoothly, leaving a nice glowy finish (with no white cast). This brand’s Glow Screen gets a lot of hype, but I don’t understand why—it is more expensive than the PLAY formula and doesn’t last as long. This one is the winner.

Want to tell us three things that you're currently crushing on? We would love to share it. Let us know here!

Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck. A Compendium from the Readers of The Crush Letter.

An occasional pop-up where we share the songs that make the readers of The Crush Letter want to bang. Got one you want to share?

Submitted by Crush Reader Mieke:

Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye

What about this song musically does it for you?

It’s slow and sexy.

Is there a memory you attach to this song?

Maybe too many lol.

Who/what are you thinking of when you listen to this song?

A bit of a blur. In fact it makes me wonder if perhaps I groove too much on the song … not the lover? hah!

Anything else…?

Thank YOU Crush🌺

Re-Reading Erotic Lit Classics: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.

Reviewed By Christian Pan

Lolita - Nabokov, Vladimir
Book linked here

In this series Christian Pan re-discovers classic erotic literature from a current perspective.

The title of Vladimir Nabokov´s most famous and controversial book is practically synonymous with transgression and taboo: say “Lolita” and most likely images of a precocious young girl sexually involved with a significantly older man will immediately spring to mind. According to Humbert Humbert, the novel´s unreliable narrator, these “nymphets” possess an almost daemonic power to force educated and rational men like himself to become literally insane with lust. In fact, Nabokov's book opens with a crucial Foreword by the fictional Dr. John Ray, who contextualizes the manuscript that follows as being authored by a dangerous and deceptive criminal attempting to justify his actions before an impending trial. Written in a style lush with complex meanderings and eloquent digressions, Humbert´s story is designed to seduce his imaginary jury (and by extension, the reader), to garner sympathy, to somehow prove that Lolita and all of the other nymphets of the world did this TO him. On one level, then, how we react to Nabokov's prose becomes a kind of test. 

Continue reading here

Social Media I Loved This Week








Song of the Week

This is CRUSH Reader Mieke's f*ck song recommendation! You really can’t go wrong with a Marvin Gaye song for making love. Enjoy!

Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye: Sexual Healing (Music Video 1982) - IMDb
Listen here

Have a wonderful week, CRUSHes. Did you like today’s CRUSH Letter? Then PLEASE forward it to a friend. I’d be so grateful.

And—got a favorite f*ck song? Share it here:

Be kind!

Dish Stanley XO,

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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?


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