my week in objects (mostly).

February 1, 2019

1. these dried herbs.

{and conversations with friends that remind you of what you forgot you knew.}

2. these pilly socks.

{because they were in the very back of my sock drawer and i found them just when i needed them most, pills and all.}

3. this perspective.

{because i know i’ve mentioned this for the past three weeks, but— switching the furniture around, man. who knew?}

4. this book.

{and climbing into bed early to read it.}

5. this humidifier.

{because i finally did it. signed, sealed, delivered, and helping me feel much better.}

other things:

q: what’s on my butt?

a: happy hearts!

gone in a generation.

who needs a rain jacket (?).

wrapped up in fur.

you know what you can get for $2.75 instead?

the formative nature of debt.

race women.


ferocity and vulnerability.

if the intended message of a statistic is “you’re not alone”…say exactly that.

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  • Reply Lee February 1, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    The “What’s on my Butt” game made me laugh! I’ve been babysitting for over 15 years (no kids of my own yet) and my favorite games for when I am really tired are (1) Doctor: I play the patient who lies down and they take my temperature (2) Mama/Baby: I play the baby who needs to take a nap. These games usually give me a solid 5 minutes to stay in one place and close my eyes.

  • Reply April Best February 1, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    That book looks so good – I can’t wait to check it out. I’m always inspired by your week in objects!

  • Reply Jen February 1, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    The article on student loan debt is excellent. Thank you for linking it.

  • Reply Karen February 1, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Erin: For articles from the NYTimes or digital media that only allow a certain number of free reads per month, can you inform us (Ex: “wrapped up in fur – NYTimes”) so that we know what we are clicking on and don’t potentially waste one of our free reads for the month? Thanks!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE February 1, 2019 at 8:59 pm

      I struggle with this! You’re not the first to ask, but if you hover over the link you should be able to see the url in the lower left hand side of your browser!

    • Reply Iris February 3, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      Not that I necessarily advocate not financially supporting news platforms, but you can also open these links in an Incognito window if you run out of your free reads for the month!

  • Reply Danielle February 1, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    I loved your link to the student article. Just curious (if you don’t mind me asking), do you and your husband have student debt? My husband and I live in Manhattan with a 4.5 yr old girl and 6 month old boy (holla) and we’re soon to start paying back our grad student debt. If you guys do have student debt, would you ever right a post about that? Particularly bc the cost of living is so high in nyc.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE February 1, 2019 at 8:54 pm

      Mostly me, but yes! Tons of it! Went to private college and grad school and had huge financial aid support but still saddled with debt!

  • Reply Baltina Valente February 2, 2019 at 12:05 am

    Oh my gosh…what’s on my butt. Genius I’m so grateful for that little game. So clever.

    Also pilled socks…in case your looking for the best tool for pills on any garment. May I recommend the Gleener I tried 6 or 7 electric shavers for some old sweaters and a fleece before I finally gave the non motarized option a try. It’s wonderful, and I used it on a cashmere sweater that I had not been able to wear outside of the house in 5 yrs.

    I bought mine at bed bath and beyond just in case.

    Thank you for your always lovely posts. Have a great weekend. Ps. Really loving the stories on IG.

  • Reply MR February 2, 2019 at 8:19 am

    The fur article was an excellent read. It’s certainly a perspective that we don’t seem to see or hear often if at all.
    It gives voice to a long-standing concern of mine: That PETA, too, seems to be all too comfortable likening POC with animals other than humans, but then concerns itself just with the non-human animals.

  • Reply Lauren February 2, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Good morning! I’d forgotten about drying herbs! Any tips? P.S. Love your blog, and the photography is beaUtiful!

  • Reply Alexandra February 4, 2019 at 10:05 am

    That student debt article is outstanding. I almost didn’t read it, since I feel vaguely “sick of” articles about student debt and also since I have something of a chip on my shoulder about it. I do not have a college degree, and this has gone from being a shameful and embarrassing thing when I was 20 to something people want to clap me on the back for, now, imagining me as some Mike Rowe-esque rogue who saw through a stacked system and went into the trades instead. I did go into a trade instead, but this path was not my choice; it was the result of family illness and needing to work, and it actually entailed giving up a complete scholarship. I still pay for my lack of degree, in both actual financial ways and in harder-to-measure social ways, professional ways.
    And so I often feel weirdly bitter about the conversation. Life is so hard, for my generation, and I feel vaguely ashamed, like if so many people are struggling because of student loan debt, but I have none, then what’s my excuse? I know logically that that isn’t a fair way to frame it, but I still feel like I am a shining example of the fallacy of the “don’t take out loans for education if you won’t be able to pay them back” argument: I did not take out loans, and yet here I am, struggling right alongside everyone else. Logically I know that this is because the struggle to be financially successful without a degree is perhaps even greater than the struggle to pay off loans, certainly at least equal. But I can still feel like a unique failure, instead.
    This article touched on the shame and guilt surrounding the entire conversation. The themes of retribution and redemption. Me casting about for a “reason” I’m still struggling, despite not having a loan payment on top of the other payments, looking for a moment of personal failure or weakness or poor decision-making to point to, is akin to someone casting about for a sin they have committed that has caused God to punish them with illness, or crop failure, or any number of things. The reality is that I am skilled and experience-rich; I have segued nicely into a management track alongside colleagues who all went to college; I work efficiently and make money for my company – there should be no reason I struggle QUITE this much to pay both rent and preschool fees, and yet the reason can’t be merely personal weakness, as these struggles are emblematic of my generation. The difference between us and a medieval society ruled by religion is that health and weather are largely outside human control, whereas the social and financial infrastructure of our society is within our control. This system is constructed, deliberately, and can be rebuilt, deliberately.

  • Reply Starla February 4, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Thank you for the article on climate change, it was very good.
    Having watched the skies be darkened for days by the Carr Fire (70 miles away) in the summer, and having our property burn in the Camp Fire a few months later, I can tell you firsthand how horrific the fires out here are, and how anxious I get when I think about what the future of Northern California will be. The effects of the Camp Fire remind me of the ripples when you drop a stone into a pool of water–but these ripples will keep going for years, decades, and it’s just one of many stones.

  • Reply Elizabeth Kang February 4, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    How do you keep your rug so white? Do you know if it’s flannel or cotton?

  • Reply Diane February 6, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Loved “the best $2.75…”
    Very funny!

  • Reply Crosby March 12, 2019 at 8:43 am

    Hello! Our very utilitarian and ugly drug store humidifier just stopped working and I remember all the research you had done into purchasing one for your apartment. Do you have any sense of the durability of the one you purchased? I am tired of buying things that only last a few years. Thank you!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE March 12, 2019 at 9:22 am

      I really don’t know any more than what I shared in my humidifier post. My sister’s had hers for a little over a year and it’s still working so we took the plunge.

      • Reply Crosby March 12, 2019 at 2:18 pm

        Thank you!

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