Nature vs. Nurture

I have a new byline!!

Hey folks!

Chuck and I have been on our own for the last 10+ days while my stepson is on a two-week vacation without us. We kind of didn’t know what to do with ourselves, but I made a giant to-do list and took a week off work to get some things accomplished. I got roughly 75% of my errands done and 25% of my writing, so. You know!

I also managed to do a bunch of meal prepping. I’ve been doing this thing lately where I buy just a shit ton of produce on Sundays and chop it all up to grab by the handful throughout the week and it’s been pretty successful. I’ve had roasted veggies with most lunches and dinners, and berries at breakfast. The fresh, seasonal produce is one of my favorite parts of summer but this is the first time I’ve felt like I’m actually making good use of what I’m buying. It’s so easy to go nuts at the grocery store and buy everything you see, but then you get mad at yourself when it starts growing its own fur and you have to toss eleven dollars worth of leafy greens in the trash.

Chuck and I basically stopped going out to eat, even though we are vaccinated and could pretty easily go back to going to our usual bar for half chicken night on Fridays. For a while, I was taking quarantine solace in regular takeout orders from the barbecue place or the Italian joint by me, but then we just got really into cooking. Thanksgiving was our finest moment, even though it was just me and Chuck making five courses from a pre-packaged Blue Apron meal kit. It convinced us we love collard greens and ~fancy~ honey-glazed carrots, both of which we have replicated many times since.

When cooking as a team, it seriously helps that one person doesn’t mind chopping stuff and the other doesn’t mind handling gross raw meat. You can probably guess by that description which one I am.

If you have any great summery recipes, I’d love to hear them!

But enough about that – Let’s move on to the matter at hand:

What I’ve Been Making for the Internet

What I’ve Been Reading

  • This was a wild read on The Daily Beast, about how three women together exposed a man who was living multiple lives and maintaining several relationships and families. Who has the time??

  • I will admit, I have not yet *finished* the Britney Spears conservatorship New Yorker piece by Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino (it’s super long, ok) but I heard both writers interviewed on Lovett or Leave It last week and the highlights were terrifying. I’m glad to see in today’s news that Britney won the right to choose her own attorney, at least.  

  • Are we addicted to Twitter? Maybe! I officially gave up Facebook last month and I will never look back, but TWITTER. I literally had a dream about tweeting something stupid about the Spice Girls last week, what is wrong with me? They’ve got their meat hooks in me and I know this writer is correct about how I need to step away. Plus, I’ve looked up Ben Shapiro’s tweets enough times now that Twitter sends me notifications of his vitriol even though I have no intentions of following him??

  • I had been stalking the Parenting section of the Washington Post while I waited for my own article to run there this week, and in doing so, I found this great piece by a woman who, along with her young daughter, is hard of hearing. She wrote about her efforts to get her daughter the support she needs.

  • If you are freaked out about the delta variant, I hear you. This newsletter did a pretty good job giving a rundown on it and what we know as of this week. 

  • I, for one, cannot wait for the downfall of Tucker Carlson. May it be swift! And may the rumors about him someday entering politics be way off base!

  • Please read this lovely essay my friend Harmony Cox wrote. It’s an excerpt from her book, Nothing is Ever Over. If you are a member of the Dead Parent Club or if you have a sister or even if the pandemic has taken a toll on your mental health, go check it out.

  • I love a deep dive into personal newsletter culture, and here is the latest one from The Cut. It makes me realize I should be more timely in responding to you all when you reply back to this newsletter, and I am so sorry I’ve been so slow in the past!! (Also, if you dig The Sleeper Hit, forward it to a friend!)

What I Loved This Week

  • A lot of the things I have loved recently have been IRL experiences: Meeting a new friend of a friend, biking around Athens, Ohio, visiting breweries, having old friends over for dinner to enjoy the patio furniture we got during quarantine, and going back to my regular workout class in-person. I am very thankful for the COVID-19 vaccine and I know America is very lucky to have the supply it has. I hope readers in other countries are either able to access vaccines already, or will be able to do so very soon.

  • If you have issues with your inner thighs rubbing together and it makes you hate summer, try this. Trust me!

  • I moved my home office from our cold cold basement into what used to be our guest room. I love it!

~Writing Stuff~

The Deeper Shit Snippet

Just a reminder, there is now a premium version of The Sleeper Hit! It’s called The Deeper Shit and it is a new personal essay delivered to your inbox each week. Here is a lil’ preview of what a recent one was about:

“For two weeks in June, my attention was uniquely focused on a flag stand that had cropped up near my house. It was a tent set up across the street from the nicest restaurant in town, in an abandoned commercial lot. It was where people like my neighbors could buy Trump 2024 flags, blue lives matter flags, and even Confederate flags. It was a huge source of annoyance for a lot of reasons, the biggest of which being ...”

Subscribe to read more. Paid subscriptions to The Sleeper Hit are $5 per month, or $35 for one year!

Okay, that’s all for this installment! Hit reply if you like this newsletter and I’ll write you back. Or, hit forward if you’ve got a buddy you think would be into it. Later, folks!

About me: I’m a writer based in the Mid Ohio Valley after having lived in Chicago and Portland for a few years. Follow me on Instagram (@merylkwilliams) and Twitter (@MerylWilliams) for social media posts about recording an episode of my podcast with Chuck as the guest host, the satisfaction of quitting Suddenlink, and trying out multiple coffee cake recipes.

Like this newsletter? Reply with some nice words and/or forward it to a buddy! (Said buddies: Subscribe here to get this newsletter every two weeks.)

Thanks to Dot Dodd for making my sweet banner art!

$ Consider supporting this newsletter via this digital tip jar $

Tip Jar

Reminder: You can now upgrade and become a paid subscriber to The Sleeper Hit: The Deeper S#!t, a more personal weekly missive!

Loading more posts…