All posts tagged: Summer

June Issue: You Glow, Girl

Hey you! We’re back with a new issue and it’s a hot and spicy scorcher. Our theme this week is Glow — as in “Glow little glow worm glimmer, glimmer.” As in fiery pink and orange lights blazing across a June night. Embers in a summertime campfire. The afterglow from some afternoon delight. Al fresco dinner by candlelight, feeling flushed with some red, red wine. Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (G.L.O.W.) power slams, then and now. The dazzling rainbow of Pride. Fireflies. The light in a child’s beaming face. Our own ambition, our own happiness, our own dynamic glow. When we hit that midlife mark we think we lose a certain glow — a rosy, just-pinched freshness. We sallow. We fade. That’s oh so much bullshit. I turned 50 last week, and have never felt a more intense inner and outer glow. Maybe it was resurfacing a year after a scary health crisis, maybe it was singing karaoke and then getting an unwanted lap dance (don’t ask), or maybe it was that final shot of Fish …

Snapshots of a 100+ Person Family Picnic

When I was a teenager I loathed family reunions. “How is school?” “Where do you plan to go to college?” “Do you have a boyfriend?” Questions that have no real answers. Adolescent hell. I loved my aunts and uncles, and even when I was at my most socially awkward, “I hate it,” “I don’t know,” and “hell no” seemed like dismissive answers, and would have for sure gotten me in trouble. I opted for “Fine,” “I don’t know — University of Maryland, probably,” and “Uh, no.” Simple and marginally true. Our summer picnic on the Chesapeake Bay and the yearly Christmas party were non-negotiable family obligations, however. And even at 15 I knew that these huge events — and my family — were too important to skip, no matter how I felt about it. My grandfather was the oldest of 18 siblings born over a span of 20 years. No one in his generation moved from the DC area, so these gatherings were glue for them and their children, and eventually my generation, the great-grandchildren. …

What’s With the Damned Scarves?

I am not a fan of winter. Frankly, I’m not a fan of seasons in general. You know those people who “love the seasons!” Those who enjoy the temperature variations, the brisk autumn days, snuggling by the fire in winter, the beautiful blooms of spring. That ain’t me. I like it when it’s warm, period. Ok, I do love boots and sweaters, but only as a necessity for weathering the anti-summer. I do have many beautiful pairs of suede and heavy leather boots that sit and wait for those times of year I have to tolerate the cold. Perhaps I should start wearing them in the summer. Right? I mean, I do love boots, so why not wear them when my spirits are high, the sunshine is overhead, and I can actually come out of the house long enough for people to see and envy them. Hell, no. Which is why I take issue with people who wear scarves in the summer — a phenomenon that appears to be happening more and more. And it’s not just women in bulky …

The Microcosm of Bunk Life

In many ways, life inside a summer camp bunk is a microcosm of the adult social world, especially for females. The atmosphere can be simultaneously congenial and competitive, intimate and exclusionary. In a space the size of typical two-car garage, a variety of personality types are thrust together, forced to navigate an often-complicated jumble of events and emotions. And, if you were like I was some 40 years ago, you loved it. For me, camp was a place to both be myself and test myself, to slip into my beloved pair of broken-in Tretorns even as I tried out new skills. Those dusty, musty cabins provided us temporary inhabitants with stability and solace even as we pushed boundaries during the day. At camp, there are no parents around to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, or catch you when you fall. It’s a place to figure out stuff on your own, be that how to soothe yourself to sleep on a homesick night or stand up to a snooty bitch. But it’s also …

If You Were at Camp Kweebec, You’d Be Home By Now

“Welcome home.” You’ll find this simple greeting on a wooden sign at the end of a short and very bumpy dirt road in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. Schwenksville (zip code 19473) is as epic as it sounds — it’s a hilly, leafy town in the exurbs of Philadelphia that had a small cameo in the book The Corrections. Schwenksville is also home to Camp Kweebec, an overnight camp for boys and girls founded in 1935, and, for more than a decade, my summertime “home away from home.” I both attended and worked at Camp Kweebec in the 1970s and 1980s, spanning ages nine to 19. Once school was out every June, I jumped on the camp bus from a Lord & Taylor parking lot in suburban Philadelphia and never looked back. My sister and both of my brothers went to Kweebec, as well. So did at least five of my cousins. I’m not trying to one-up my fellow campers, but I also got married at my camp, in a gazebo overlooking the lake. Anyone who was there will …

Real-Time BFF: A Blissful, 20-Something Bond

I met Emma during a pop raid at a Wisconsin girls camp. Camouflaged in black, we crept stealthily toward the vending machines. I don’t remember what movie line I whispered, but it prompted Emma to ask shyly, “Isn’t that from Garden State?” Instant connection. We talked for hours that night on a tiny twin bed. I admired her bottomless cheer, compassion, artistic skills, cheekbones, and spot-on impressions. We were attached at the hip for the next three summers. The staff referred to us as “Shira n’ Emma.” They commissioned our antics to write songs and emcee talent shows and didn’t question our schedules when we attended every activity together. Emma played with the worms as I fished. She laid on the tennis court as I practiced my backhand and whenever a ball hit her, she said, “thank you, may I have another” to no one in particular. In the arts and crafts building, I haphazardly slid beads onto string as Emma made intricate lanyards and stunning paintings. Saying goodbye after each eight-week session was painful. …

Front to Backlist

Buried in the Sand: 3 Novels Explore Fraught Friendships

In Front-to-Backlist, we take one or more present-day titles (sometimes bestsellers/buzzed about, sometimes not) and tell you why they’re terrific — then share another book from the past that you might enjoy too. There are so many angles to friendship, which really means there are so many sharp places on which to injure one’s self. Good friendships, from the kind that are purely fun and superficial to the deep, lifelong ones, feed us and help us to grow, while bad friendships, including nasty frenemies and toxic hangers on, can lead us to the brink of madness. Emily Gould’s new novel, Friendship, talks about the stuff of modern friendships. Thirty-something besties Bev and Amy have seen each other through some tough times, but are now in such different places they might not recognize each other’s Instagram feeds. Referring to a social-media site is deliberate, of course; much of former blogger (Gawker, etc.) Gould’s life has been lived out loud online. While this book shows her still yakking (there are many thinly veiled references to her real …

Shop the Beach: Suits, Sprays and Perfect Totes

“Let’s go to the beach, each/ Let’s go get a wave/ They say, what they gonna say?” We still can’t get that dang Nicki Minaj song out of our heads from two summers ago. And now that we mention it, we’re still singing that line from Jonathan Richman’s “The Beach,”  “Where it’s not what you have on, but what you have not.” Right? And that was like, almost 30 years ago…. Sigh. Anyway while we’re humming and reminiscing, let’s go shopping: Here’s a sampling of our latest gathering of goods on GREAT.LY. Beach-inspired and beach-ready. Suit up. Love + Salt Beach Mist by Julie Wray, $24 Love + Salt is a vegan, volume-enhancing mist that gives hair sultry beach waves. You can spray it all over your body for beautifully hydrated skin thanks to “good” hydrating salts like Himalayan Pink Salt.   Two Tickets to Paradise High-Waisted Bikini by Bombshell Bay Swimwear, $99 We dig this psychedelic, high-waisted bikini, with its totally on-trend tropical-jungle print. U.S. sizes 4-12.   Turtle Claw Pendant Necklace by Adelia Mae, $44 We …