Issue #26: I Need to Start a Garden
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🎧 Normal Gossip: Over the course of recommending this podcast to everyone who would listen, I learned that there are two types of people in this world: Those who heard the concept and immediately went to listen, and those who cannot understand why inconsequential gossip about complete strangers would interest anyone. I (an apparently very nosy person) fall squarely into the first camp and loved listening to the host Kelsey McKinney spill the tea on the low-stakes, reader-submitted gossip. The stories are the kind that would start, “So the craziest thing just happened to this girl I know…” I started with this episode then quickly breezed through them all! (Big thank you to the reader who recommended I listen to this on walks!)
📚 The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan: When a social worker questions Frida about why she left her toddler Harriet alone for nearly two hours, all Frida can say is that she isn’t like “those bad mothers in the news.” She isn’t abusive, she isn’t unhinged—she insists she just made a mistake. Every parenting decision she’s ever made is analyzed until she’s sentenced to a year in an experimental facility where they must practice their mothering skills on robotic babies. The system (like a lot of systems in the States…) seems set up to fail them, and begs the questions, “What is a good mother, and who gets to decide that?”
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