Labor Day weekend approaches, and with it your last chance to wear Summer whites away from the tennis court. If you’re listening to This American Life as you read this; if you know what your grandfather likes to drink; if you often contemplate the probability that other people think you’ve done something wrong? Consider hosting a WASP-Off!
Last year, I put together a battle royale to prove who among my friends was WASPiest — regardless of religious, political, or regional affiliations.
I’m officially using a comic book as a relationship reference guide. Philippa Rice’s Soppy is just dreamy.
Hello! Remember last year when I was doing my charity:water fundraising for Camp Mighty? If you donated with the notation “Maggie Mason finds me attractive” and sent me your address, you should have received a letter from me — or a package if you donated over $100. A reader mentioned that she hadn’t received hers in comments, and I want to make sure no one else fell through the cracks. If you should have received something from me but didn’t, will you please drop me a line (and include your address) at maggie at mighty girl dot com? Thanks.
For the third year, Camp Mighty attendees, including me, are raising $20K for charity:water before we meet up. If you’d like to donate this year, you can do that here. Just add “Mighty Girl” to the notation field so we know where you came from. And thank you, nice person.
Thomas Lynch is one of my favorite authors, so I wrote him a thank you note a few months ago. To my surprise, he sent me a few of his books as a gift, thereby cementing my affection for him. I’ve been working my way through them.
Lynch is an undertaker, so much of his work deals with mortality. My favorite poem from Walking Papers by Thomas Lynch:
Some days the worst that can happen happens.
The sky falls or evil overwhelms or
the world as we have come to know it turns
toward the eventual apocalypse
long predicted in all the holy books —
the end-times of old grudge and grievances
that bring us each to our oblivions.
Still, maybe this is not the end at all,
nor even the beginning of the end.
Rather, one more in a long list of sorrows
to be added to the ones thus far endured,
through what we have come to call our history —
another in that bitter litany
that we will, if we survive it, have survived.
God help us who must live through this, alive
to the terror and open wounds: the heart
torn, shaken faith, the violent, vengeful soul,
the nerve exposed, the broken body so
mingled with its breaking that it’s lost forever.
Lord send us, in our peril, local heroes.
Someone to listen, someone to watch, someone
to search and wait and keep the careful count
of the dead and missing, the dead and gone
but not forgotten. Some days all that can be done
is to salvage one sadness from the mass
of sadnesses, to bear one body home,
to lay the dead out among their people,
organize the flowers and casseroles,
write the obits, meet the mourners at the door,
drive the dark procession down through town,
toll the bell, dig the hole, tend the pyre.
It’s what we do. The daylong news is dire —
full of true believers and politicos,
bold talk of holy war and photo-ops.
But here, brave men and women pick the pieces up.
They serve the living, caring for the dead.
Here the distant battle is waged in homes.
Like politics, all funerals are local.
I cannot resist elementary school teacher chic, or maybe it’s the grin. Either way, I’m pro any look that says, “I have a distinct personality, and I like to read.”
Also, curly hair with bangs! So it can be done.