I graduated high school ten years ago this month. I love this time of year—not just because I love warm weather, but because there is so much optimism about the future. I love graduation speeches and columns—especially Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young—and I love seeing new graduates enter the world with unbridled enthusiasm about where their passions can lead.
I haven’t spent a ton of time thinking about my decade since high school, mostly because I use my undergraduate celebrations as a marker of time now. But one of the things I remember most about the weeks leading up to that big day in 2009 was that I was stressed about what I was going to wear. (Classic.) My high school colors were purple, black, and white—and for some reason, mostly likely a decades-old tradition, all the women were given white gowns to wear, while the men all wore purple. This meant that—by default since our gowns were see-through—all the gals at my high school wore white dresses.
In case you don’t remember the early days of the Obama administration, this was an era before online shopping had really taken off, so my graduating class of around 900 all shopped at the same suburban mall. As you can imagine, this led to a high risk of buying the same white dress as about 40 other people, and I really wanted to avoid this predicament. Since I had such a clear vision of what style of white dress I wanted and was an early adopter of the possibilities of internet thanks to my years coding Myspace pages (RIP), I was able to find the ~perfect dress online. The next step in this online shopping pioneering process was convincing my mom to lend me her credit card number to input on a website long, long before things were encrypted. Luckily, my year on the debate team paid off, and my white dress arrived a week later. It fit perfectly, and was a dress I brought with me to college—and it came in handy at many a sorority initiation.
The other thing that stands out during those last weeks of my high school experience was something special my AP Lit teacher did on our last day of class.
May was a wonderful month for books—I read so many good ones, and I am excited to share those with you here today! Speaking of books, one of my favorite podcasts is called Bad on Paper, and it’s hosted by Grace Atwood of The Stripe and her friend Becca. Initially, they reviewed a different young adult novel every episode, but now they review books once a month and also discuss a wide variety of topics—careers, beauty, dating, fashion, their latest obsessions. They had a live show in DC on Friday I went to, and it was wonderful. If you love reading as much as I do, definitely check out their podcast as I think you’ll really enjoy it.
Like I’ve done over the past few months, I wanted to call out that I’m part of a program where Random House will send me some of their new titles each month. I’m under no obligation to post about any titles I receive, so I really can tell you my own opinion (good or bad!) about them. I’ve starred the books Random House sent me for free below. I’m so lucky to be sent books en gratis and that’s not lost on me! This month, Kristy Woodson Harvey also sent me an advance copy of her latest book, and I’ve starred that one, too.
If you’ve read anything great lately, please let me know—I love shopping the recommendations you all give me. You can also keep up with what I’m reading in real time on my Goodreads—feel free to friend me. Read more “On My Nightstand: May 2019”
Happy, happy, happy Friday! I had a really busy week at my day job and am so glad things are wrapped up ahead of the weekend so I can just relax. (I spent a lot of time anxious about work last weekend—which is never worth it, because whenever I get back to my desk on Monday, I can always work through whatever problem is on my plate.)
Yesterday on my way to work, I cried on the Metro—but not about work. I was reading about the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The largest amphibious assault ever, so many gave life and limb so we could live in the freedom we have today. As more people who were alive to witness the tremendous bravery or serve on June 6, 1944 pass away, it’s more important than ever that we remember. A friend posted these two quotes on Facebook, and they really moved me, so I wanted to share here today:
“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.” — General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s message to the troops before the invasion, 1944
“They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate.” — President Franklin D. Roosevelt on a radio broadcast, June 6, 1944
Truly the greatest generation.
This weekend should be a fun one—tonight I am going to see the Bad On Paper live show here in DC at City Winery! For those of you unfamiliar, Bad on Paper is an amazing podcast where Grace and Becca talk about books and interview guests around a variety of topics—friendships, career, fashion, beauty, dating. I’ve long been a fan of Grace’s blog and so I am really excited to see her and Becca live tonight with a few girlfriends. It’s also Captial Pride here in DC, and so tomorrow I am going to a Pride brunch one of my favorite spin instructors is hosting and then we’re heading downtown to watch the parade. My neighborhood is really the heart of the Pride celebration here in DC, and it’s been really fun to see all the restaurants and businesses put up rainbow displays.
This is my last weekend in town until early July, and as y’all know, I usually get a lot of my blog work done on weekends. So like the lazy dog days of summer, things might be slower around here for a bit, but I’ll pop in when I can! I hope your summer is off to a great start and that you have a great weekend! x