The Best of September
It's Cuffing Season, Baby.
Greetings! Time to look back on the month behind us and optimistically towards the one ahead. There’s a lot going on in October, not the least of which includes Mercury Retrograde, the return of Succession, *and* the arrival of both Decorative Gourd Season/Cuffing Season, respectively.
According to this viral schedule, the single among us are in “tryouts”. Though I’m not currently single, I’ve spent plenty a season sans plus-one — including during quaran-times. It was lonely. I ended up swan diving headfirst into Zoom therapy to tackle the core issues that tripped me up in the dating world — rough trauma from my past was colliding with the expectations thrust upon me in my 30’s. I wrote a soul-baring essay about that here, which I had the pleasure of working on with legendary Editor Atoosa Rubenstein.
A few recommendations if you relate: first, this brilliant book on Attachment Theory, which revolutionized my romantic relationships for the better. Second, my friend Merritt Beck recently launched a podcast where she also discusses the decision to remain single into her thirties. Third, Chrissy Rutherford’s must-read revealing interview with her ex — a stroke of genius to do this, tbh.
Past age 25 or so, being single is hard work! You feel like the spare part in a system designed for pairs. If you’re currently in the dating rat race, my heart goes out to you. You got this. And hey — if you’re not currently single, don’t be a smug asshole. Former Match.com Director-turned-dating-Podcaster Lakshmi Rengarajan put it well last month in Vanity Fair:
"There’s this divide between people who are in a relationship and people who are not. Why are we on opposite sides? Nobody knows how long they’re going to be in a relationship. It’s hilarious that people are like, I’m in a marriage. I’m like, you’re married now."
“Mercury Retrograde… [is] a three-week-long opportunity to rest, revisit, and re-evaluate.”
Now that the COVID cloud is lifting, dating’s returned full-force. Just ask the Internet’s Most Eligible Bachelor, Nicholaus Braun. (You may know him as Succession’s beloved fuck up, Cousin Greg.)
Braun spoke to The Cut in June, an interview which codified his reluctant playboy persona. In the article, Braun muses to writer Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz, “…you’re like, God, what can I do to make this girl care more about me? What can I do to feel better in this relationship? I don’t feel like I have power or leverage at all. I’m the one trying to get something, get a text back or get a call back or anything.””
“I wonder if this is bullshit,” Singh-Kurtz deadpans. After all, she reasons. “He’s a well-known actor who famously dates normies. Plus, he’s six-foot-seven. Is he really out here waiting for a text back?”
According to Deux Moi, he most certainly is not. The notorious gossip account thoroughly documents his (very active) dating life. Paired with the return of his hit show, it seems like he’s poised for a very good October.
"There’s this divide between people who are in a relationship and people who are not. Why are we on opposite sides?”
But! This month, six-foot-seven (and famous) or not, there’s a big cog in the proverbial dating wheel. After all, beloved Astrologer Susan Miller repeatedly warns us not to begin anything new during Mercury Retrograde, including a romantic relationship. (This does not, by extension, grant permission to text your ex — though if Retrograde lore is to be believed, your ex might text you first.)
Mercury Retrograde is often painted as a dark, looming cloud that rolls in specifically to cast chaos upon your life. But I’m actually of the camp that thinks it isn’t to be feared; I agree with modern astrologers like Chani Nicholas, who see it as a three-week-long opportunity to rest, revisit, and re-evaluate. So perhaps it’s time for self-care and a break from Hinge/Raya?
Astrology app Sanctuary recently issued a Retrograde Challenge that strikes a similarly positive tone: “Day 1: Get that inbox to zero!” It says. “Day 4: Meditate for 5 minutes.” “Day 12: Text anyone other than your ex!” (See? Told ya.)
In that spirit of revisiting, here’s what you may have missed on The Love List last month.
I exhaustively recapped every hard-won (and expensive) skincare lesson I’ve ever learned. Many a well-vetted, inexpensive product rec!
We made Erewhon’s ubiquitous kale salad — an iconic lunch, if I do say so myself.
We assembled every ingredient for a perfect night in by yourself, including the “Dinner Popcorn”, which I down with a half-bottle of red wine.
Did you know there’s a correct way to burn a candle? (According to analytics, we are still collectively obsessed with this one.)
If you’re working from home, I have some advice. Including: get one of these notebooks.
I love these boots.
So many tagged me in their Hot Girl Walks, and I loved it!