Issue #96: How My First First Date in a Decade Went
I'm officially on the apps.
Morning Person is a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations and ideas—let’s get to it!
📚 Banyan Moon by Thao Thai: It’s finally here! I have been waiting to talk about this novel since I fell in love with an advanced copy last fall. In it, Ann has just discovered she’s pregnant when she learns that her grandmother Minh has passed away. Though estranged from her mother Huơng, she moves back to Florida into the crumbling Gothic mansion where she was raised by the two women. In chapters that alternate between the perspectives of the three women, Thao translates enormous themes into highly readable, beautiful prose: mother-daughter dynamics, the role ancestors play in our lives, what home is, and how to find meaning while drowning in grief. Read on for my interview with Thao, below!
🎧 “Classy with Jonathan Menjivar” Podcast: In this new podcast, longtime radio producer Jonathan Menjivar explores class—what it is and the insidious, invisible ways it announces itself and keeps us apart. Crooked teeth, for instance, became for Jonathan a “literal emblem of my class status stamped right on my face,” even as he developed a taste for oysters and cashmere later in life. Once you look through the lens of class, everything—our bodies, style, taste, teeth, homes, goals—can be informed by it. Give it a listen.
📺 “The Perfect Find” on Netflix: Jenna Jones’ entire life—her career as a fashion editor and relationship—has fallen apart at the seems when she moves back to New York at 45 to pick up the pieces. Right before taking a job as a creative director for an old work nemesis’s magazine, she sleeps with a guy who turns out to be said nemesis’s twenty-something son. It’s mostly true to the Tia Williams’ novel it’s based on (she also wrote Seven Days in June, an all-time favorite), especially in the chemistry between the two leads, played by Gabrielle Union and Keith Powers.
Also enjoyed Black Mirror’s latest season on Netflix, but holy smokes I could have skipped the “Loch Henry” episode—so scary!
Like every Millennial who met their spouse pre-Tinder, “the apps” always held a sense of alluring promise to me. I imagined technology-enabled meet-cutes among the troves of eligible dates, even as my single friends told me a different story. Some dates were alarming (like the match who hid behind a tree and jumped out at my friend last month shouting, “Did you think I left you?? HA HA!”). Others hit gold on their first-ever Tinder date, as a couple I know in Portland did. But most were “totally fine.”
I share all this to tell you, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I set up my Hinge profile last month.