The TueDo List: Midlife TikTok + Harriet the Spy + Renee Simms


Hello from the other side? Adele is hosting SNL this week with H.E.R. performing — a duo not to be missed. Speaking of SNL, we felt seen in last week’s faux ad for eBay as pandemic project dumping ground. Adding to queue: 15 fall shows for feminists. Rock out your election anxiety with Margit’s Vote 2020 playlist and join an Ice Cream “Joe-cial” with Jerry of Ben & Jerry’s, a batch of comedians, Ample Hills and vote for a name for the Biden/Harris Ice Cream flavor! Can’t remember the name of a song? Hum it into Google. Unlearning what the patriarchy taught me about the pecking order of women. RIP Tab. Wear a mask like Mary Tyler Moore, not like randos on the subway. Sade and Patti Smith as fashion inspiration. Stevie Nicks on art, aging, and attraction. Alicia Garza on how to build a multiracial movement. Lean Cuisine and making amends with my mother. Samantha Irby on her last normal day before the pandemic started. How to conquer pandemic winter dread. Behold! Simone Leigh’s breathtaking art, the Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom trailer, and OREO’s proud parent video.

(Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

STORY: I Learned Everything I Know from Harriet the Spy

By Fran Mason

“Solitude and writing helped me manage the dread of growing up without my mom. Harriet the Spy illustrated the value of these tools, and I trusted them (and myself). I resolved I would not let my mom’s death define who I was. Writing, like a secret weapon, made me feel unique and interesting. My notebook expanded my mind and gave me a bigger inner life to explore.”

Keep reading...

(Psst: Want to write for us? Pitch us here!)

OBSESSED: TikTok I Can’t Stop

The only reason I downloaded TikTok, which I’d previously dismissed as a silly time waster for people half my age, was because the president threatened to ban it. “Oh, you don’t want me to have it?? I’m gonna download it right now.” But once I opened the app and started scrolling, I was hooked. I can scroll for hours, looking for the next thing that will send me into hysterics, like Siri dog voiceovers, dark COVID jokes, kids cursing, shark puppets, or whatever is happening here. There was one video I wish I had saved of a young woman waking up from surgery, still high as a kite on anesthesia, that had me laughing so hard tears were running down my face. I’m still learning all the themes and memes, like the language of “duets” and “challenges,” and how to train the algorithm to show me more of the stuff I like. And while I have no intention of recording my own videos (if I tried to twerk to “WAP” I would need a chiropractor), TikTok is a happy escape from The News, because it’s a hundred times more positive than my Twitter feed. And way more addicting.

Margaret Crandall

TueNight 10: Renee Simms

(At Wright Park in Tacoma, WA)

Age: Old enough to know ageism is a thing.

Basic bio: Originally from Detroit, Renee is a novelist, lawyer, and professor interested in Black women’s fiction, the intersections of law and literature. Her writing has appeared in Literary Hub, The Rumpus, Salon and elsewhere. She is a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellow, and her debut story collection Meet Behind Mars, was published in 2018.

Beyond the bio: I have zero fucks left to give! Yay!! That's what I Iove most about being over 40.

What makes you a grown-ass lady? Many things about my life make me a grown-ass lady, but what I cherish most includes a wicked sense of humor, great friends who live in interesting places, and having smart, kind, and grown children who can care for themselves.

1. On the nightstand: An unfinished glass of wine and Passing by Nella Larsen.

2. Can't stop/won't stop: Loving my beloveds.

3. Jam of the minute: WAP.

4. Thing I miss: Living among Black people.

5. ’80s crush: Prince.

6. Current crush: Arthur Jafa.

7. Latest fave find: Timberland sneaks and Quay eyewear.

8. Last thing I lost: My cool.

9. Best thing that happened recently: Receiving a playlist based on my story collection as a "thank you" from Willamette students.

10. Looking forward to: The last piece of my Trader Joe's Chantilly Cream Vanilla Bean cake.

See you at the ice cream Joe-cial, TueNighters!