Tag: dear lee

Dear Lee — The In-Laws on Holiday

Dear Lee — The In-Laws on Holiday

Dear Lee, This summer, I’m being included in my (not yet) in-laws’ family holidays for the first time. We’re traveling together for a couple of days and staying at a family home with other relatives. I’m nervous, and I want to avoid as many awkward […]

Dear Lee — Caring for Tulips

Dear Lee — Caring for Tulips

Dear Lee, I was surprised to discover in one of your previous columns that one could do so much to take care of peonies! I look forward to applying your advice. I have recently grown very fond of tulips. I’d be grateful if you could share […]

Dear Lee — Friends & Social Media

Dear Lee — Friends & Social Media

Dear Lee,

I follow an old college friend of mine on Instagram, and vice versa.  We are friendly but aren’t friends really anymore, which I don’t mind at all as we are quite different people now.  She regularly posts on Instagram, and it makes me roll my eyes every single time I see a post of hers.  She’s also the type to notice if I unfollow her but I somewhat feel obligated.  Should I just ignore her posts, or is it okay to unfollow her? Has this happened to you?

Thank you,

Katherine

_____

Hi Katherine,

Thank you for writing in.  This has happened to me more times than I can count.  It’s natural to grow up, move on, and find new (better) friends.  Social media has made this growing up awkward, and moving on virtually (joke!) impossible.

First, let’s start with the word obligation.  It’s one of my least favorite words, and when I’m obligated (insert eye roll emoji) or feel obligated, I realize it for what it is, a useless emotion.  Generally, if you are not obligated to do anything, especially something like this that isn’t making you happy.  This is another version of hate following — following out-of-touch old friends from long ago for literally no reason at all except obligation.  I find hate following people a huge waste of time and emotions.  I sometimes slip into this (ask Olivia) and look to see what an old friend of mine is up to and have lots to say but I really try to stay away from it, if I can.

My rule always and always is if something comes up on any social media platform that doesn’t make me happy, or I find myself needlessly dwelling on it, especially if it’s negative, then I unfollow.  I suggest you do the same; your life will improve, trust me.

Your friend may notice that you unfollowed but I doubt she will confront you, especially if you’ve somewhat fallen out of touch aside from social media.

I hope this helps!

 

Dear Lee — Baby Shower

Dear Lee — Baby Shower

Dear Lee, One of my college friends is expecting her first baby.  She’s the first of my friends to have a baby and her baby shower is at the end of this month, but I’m not quite sure what I should get her.  I want to […]

Dear Lee — Heartbreak

Dear Lee — Heartbreak

A couple of weeks ago, one of our number received the following request for advice on relationship heartbreak.  As heartbreak is a many-headed beast, we decided it would be best for a few of the Eight, not just our own advice columnist Lee Clark, to […]

Dear Lee – Anniversary!

Dear Lee – Anniversary!

 

Dear Lee,

My anniversary with my partner is approaching, and I want to start thinking of anniversary gifts. We’ve been together for two years and as we’re in a comfortably solid place, I’m less stressed about finding “the perfect gift.” Still, I would like to come up with something meaningful (and, as we’re both grad students, something that isn’t too expensive). Last year, I made him a photo book of our first year together. I kind of like the idea of doing something similar so that we end up with a book for every year, but I also don’t want to literally do the same thing. Do you have any ideas?

 

Thank you,

Olivia

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Dear Lee | Father’s Day & A Gift Guide

Dear Lee | Father’s Day & A Gift Guide

  Dear Lee, Father’s Day is coming up and I have no idea what to get my father, who already has everything he needs, or he gets it himself.  Do you have any helpful ideas? Thank you, Holly _____   Dear Holly, Thank you for writing! […]

The Weekly Digest: 20-27th May

The Weekly Digest: 20-27th May

The Weekly Digest is a round-up of our (and your!) favorite posts of the week, highlighted together and split by activity for your weekend enjoyment. READ: Literature Editor Olivia tackles Elif Batuman’s The Idiot, a culturally rich novel that explores the uncertainty of university life.   RESIST: […]

Dear Lee | On Peonies

Dear Lee | On Peonies

One of my favorite peonies of all time, I should have taken a photo of this next to my head because that’s how big it was. California flowers don’t mess around, and I’ll miss them forever. West Coast flowers are best coast flowers.

 

To kick things off for my advice column, our very own Olivia asked me a question about her peonies:

 

Dear Lee,

Do you have any peony tips? The ones I got last Friday are still mostly closed, and I’m worried they’re going to die before they blossom.

Best, Olivia

_____

Dear Olivia,

 

Thank you for writing. First of all, yes.  I have a lot of peony tips but before I get to my general tips on peonies, let me address your main concern.

 

Peonies that have yet to fully blossom can be encouraged to bloom by massaging the bud.  Take special care here as you do not want to separate the bloom from the stem.  Peonies have sturdy stems but given the heft of the bloom it can be easy to decapitate them.  Gently touch the closed bloom, and your peony should respond within the day.  If not, continue to encourage it.  Try to encourage the blooms to open within two to three days or else you’ll have a dying peony on your hands without the loveliness of seeing it fully bloomed.  Warm water and a warm room will also help them open up.  I hope that helps!

 

_____

 

Buying peonies while still closed, like Olivia did, is the best way to enjoy peonies.  They are beautiful while closed, and you will enjoy them for a longer period of time than if you had purchased them fully bloomed.  It is tempting to buy them while fully bloomed, as they are gorgeous but do your best to resist.

When you bring them home place the cut flowers in cool water IMMEDIATELY.

Cut stems diagonally and remove any leaves away from the water.  Your enemy is debris in the water. Be mindful of this, especially as you trim the stems over the course of the week, or however long yours will last you.

Change the water daily, or at least keep a watchful eye on it. Never let the water dry out, this is the quickest way to kill them as they drink quite a lot.

Flower food is included for a reason.  If you love cut flowers, like I do, it’s best to buy a large container of flower food so you don’t have to rely on the little packets you may or may not get with your flowers.

Direct sunlight and heat will hasten their dying (unless you want to open them up quickly).  Do your best to keep them in a comfortable spot away from windows and doorways (often sunny and drafty places).  I find my dining room table or my sofa console work best.  Find a good floral spot in your house (or make one) and stick to it.

Every two to three days, you’ll want to trim the stems, wash your vase, and then refill with water and remember the flower food.  This will help you extend your enjoyment of them as long as possible.

Happy Peony Season!





The Weekly Digest: 13-19th May

The Weekly Digest: 13-19th May

The Weekly Digest is a round-up of our (and your!) favorite posts of the week, highlighted together and split by activity for your weekend enjoyment. READ: Feminism Editor Amy reviews Marilynne Robinson’s atmospheric Home. REWIND: Literature Editor Olivia grapples with Anne With An E, the […]