I’m currently making my way through a popular beach read People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, and there was a great throwaway line by one of the characters about how “an easy laugh is one of the world’s most underrated qualities.” I immediately thought of my girlfriend Elizabeth, who was just that way, with laughter always close at hand. It was one of the many ways in which she made you feel at ease in her company. Her quick laugh was a gesture of her warmth, receptivity, generosity, and open-mindedness. I specifically recall the kind of surprised and delighted chuckle she’d issue when I’d say something out of character, or snarky; her laughter in those moments was shorthand for reassurance: “It’s OK to say something out of character. Just be you, and I’ll meet you wherever you are and love you for it.” I have been thinking a lot about her after moving back to the D.C. area, where I grew up and where we attended the same all-girls prep school. She had so many underrated traits, easy laughter among them, and one of my girlfriends summarized these qualities poignantly in a comment on one of my posts a few years back:
“Her gift was her attention — she never rushed you through a story, always laughed at the right places, and had an uncanny intuition about what was important to you.”
(This is a far better portrait of the woman than I have ever painted.) The attentiveness she is describing strikes me as another vastly underrated trait. It wasn’t just that Elizabeth was a great listener, which she was. It was that she was an active, percipient listener who had the emotional intelligence, expressed through well-timed giggles and knowing looks, to make me feel as though she was complicit in whatever emotional gambit had taken hold of my teenage mind. My God, she was a gem — just beautiful in every way. Missing her today.
What are some other underrated traits you value in loved ones? Let’s shine a light on those today.
+I saw an interesting graphic a few weeks ago that said something like: “It’s a fallacy to think that grief shrinks over time. We just grow around it.” Strangely, I feel reassured by the sentiment.
+On observing the loss of my aunt at a young age. Still think a lot about my grandmother’s empty social diary.
+Something a bit brighter: when was the last time you felt really happy? Loved the comments on this post!
+How great is this inexpensive velvet jewelry box?
+This top comes in such great colors (under $100).
+I’m always on the lookout for non-wicker/non-straw laundry hampers after a reader asked for one a few months ago and I realized how difficult they are to find. This one is chic, this shagreen one is glam, and I adore this one, which I have in blue in micro’s room and which my mom also now bought and loves on my recommendation. She actually mentioned to me the other day out of the blue: “I don’t know why, but it brings me joy.” I know what she means — it’s sleek, streamlined, and stylish. I love the nearly upholstered finish, and it comes in great colors! Plus, you can easily remove the laundry liner bag to carry to the laundry room. I found a very similar style available for $15 at Target!
+This new Kule tote is beyond adorable. I feel like I want it just to style it on micro’s bookshelves! TOO CUTE with some toys sticking out…but also, just so cute to carry.
+Speaking of La Ligne, a lot of the La Ligne sweaters I mentioned in this post are a part of the Anniversary Sale, which is now open to everyone!
+Peony placemats for an outdoor dinner.
+I seriously considered buying Mr. Magpie this Hermes x Apple watch for Father’s Day, but was too worried because a watch is a commitment and I couldn’t tell if he’d be down with going digital in that regard. I LOVE the look.
+Check out this adorable striped funnel neck sweatshirt for a little lady!
+Look at this repositionable wallpaper! Would be so fun against the back of a shelving area, or in a closet, or in a nursery!
+Super love this elegant and va-va-voom white dress.
+Inexpensive bins for basement toy storage in a pinch. I am really struggling to figure out how to organize all the children’s toys and gear in our new home — I think I need some bigger (i.e., furniture and cart) solutions, but, in the meantime, these are handy for keeping different types of toys separate, and would also be good in the large closet we have upstairs for keeping bulky stuff we don’t need out all the time in categories. As an example, I have a collection of Christmas books and toys for the children that I want to stow away for winter!
+This $128 top is amazing. A good Zoom option with the interesting collar/sleeves.
+More statement tops here.
+I didn’t realize they made Rothy’s in little girl sizes. How cute for school in the mustard yellow!
+My children have been very into playing with shaving cream at bath time. I just spray a bunch (of the cheap, foaming kind, like Barbosol) on the wall and they go to town “painting” and the like. I just discovered this colored bath foam and I think they are going to lose their minds.
+Bow shouldered tank in $55! Love it in the black.
+So sad these lobster swim trunks (currently on sale!) sold out in micro’s size. Meep! Too cute.