Wow! My friends love attractions!


Did you know, Benjamin Franklin used to have a gossip column?

He had a feature called the “Busy-Body” ragging on his peers in Philadelphia. This American hero justified his hot takes by saying, “If any are offended by my publicity exposing their private vices, I promise they shall have the satisfaction, in a very little time, of their good friends and neighbors in the same circumstances.” Sadly, Ben’s creation of the first American gossip column did not survive therein blowing his shot at doing anything remarkable.

This is where I, your humble newsletter author, have decided to pick up Ben Franklin’s pursuit of great American gossip, starting with this week’s dish.

Thank you for reading Wow!, a newsletter stocked with juicy scoops and salacious whispers from my international network of intimate sources.

In this week’s edition, LillianKateErin and I took a medium-ambitious day-long road trip to House on The Rock, located about three and a half hours northwest in Wisconsin. I confessed that I would be covering this trip in my first-ever gossip e-newsletter. Other that Lillian’s expressed interest in being referred to as a “protagonist”, everyone consented without stipulation.

So like a fly on the wall of a metaphorical house that I built and then filled with unexpected combinations of my friends, I delightfully stood by to see if chemistry would occur. Instead of going into exhaustive detail about the extremely biased interpretation throughout the House on the Rock, the mosquito bites we collected in the parking lot at the Wisconsin River Recreation Area, or how I have told everyone within earshot about the crazy murder story that occurred at the neighboring Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin, I would like to share with you the following notes I took on my phone throughout the day:

  • Erin floored us with the knowledge that most male birds don’t have penises WOWindeed! 
  • Upon entering the carpet-covered kitchen, Lillian—hilarious protagonist who left her Juul at home—remarked that it was “the horniest kitchen” she’d ever seen.
  • Kate made the perfect observation that the entire vibe of the attraction was “episode of Scooby Doo”.
  • As our group became increasingly fatigued, we passed one of the many hundreds of cases of random-ass objects on display and Erin said under her breath, “Cash registers, of course which was not intended to be a joke but made Lillian laugh on end and I was incredibly endeared.
  • Shortly after, as we moved swiftly through a maze of dollhouses, a music box loudly gargled something that Lillian described as “a horrible soundtrack of distant screams”.
  • Relieved to be finally exiting the most over-stimulating place on Earth, Kate remarked that she “needed a koi pond, stat.”


My wiser, older, most-bearded brother Ryan has been bothering me to listen to Phoebe Bridgers for about two weeks and I didn’t. Ryan’s tactics included at least two separate text messages and he wouldn’t let me hang up the phone the other day before “reminding me” yet again, rude.

Isn’t this typical for how music recommendations work? You get bothered by someone who knows your heart and yet you resist. You make excuses, as if you don’t have a 45 minute train commute where you listen to music to help you pretend you’re in a very artistic, sexy movie about an ordinary designer/rockhound/gossip columnist who just rides the train.

I finally conceded and listened to Phoebe and have since been evangelizing her music to everyone that will listen. She’s so good! Very adult sad about death and long-distance intimacy and pretending she's a very sad murderer.

Thx Ryan for bullying me into listening and congratulations for being right again. Let the record show that Ryan was also right weed, Kazaa, and how to luge down the driveway on a skateboard!


Meredithwho also grew up in Charlotte and we went to design school together yet we speak openly about the fact that we didn’t really 'get each other' back then and now she lives in Chicago and actually is the only person here from earlier chapters of my North Carolina life and I’m so incredibly grateful we are friends now—bought this vulva couch.

Very on brand, Meredith! We get each other!


You know what everyone has? A *very wise* opinion about dating apps that you can’t wait to tell me about.

I know, I know, you put a premium on reality, and dating apps are bad, baaaaad. Allow me to come out to you here as single modern woman and a user of dating apps. I can tell you that good hot takes about online dating are rare because we are trite and lazy beasts.

Enter CC, who has a talent for articulating thoughtful hypothetical scenarios. CC—an artist and friend that was once described as “looking present” on the dance floor—made a very good metaphor. Do you know dating apps are actually like? Thrift shopping.

Think about it: you’ll never find the specific thing you think you’re looking for, and you often shop around just to leave empty-handed or maybe you occasionally invest in a garment that you are going to try to make work by, like, repairing it or tailoring it or recognizing that your garment might have been romantically capable but not necessarily romantically available.

But every now and again, when you make an amazing find, you’ll blow your friends away when they ask “Where did you get that?” and you coyly whisper “...Bumble”.


Well well well, paparazzis confirm my suspicions that Chris is up to the same old shit out in Seattle. I very much appreciate this picture of you trying to hold it together in your work polo and pants with the crotch hole that is technically patched but it's still a crotch hole, my friend. Of course there’s you with your moped which you’re riding in flip flops and I’m just going to suspend my belief that you don’t have a helmet with you because you know my thoughts and feelings about bike safety I swear to God.

Chris, get it together and can you please commit to sharing this rental car with me in Denver because it was seriously a lot more money than I was planning on spending, plz text me back, thx.

  • My friend Miguel has a kickstarter for an actually very good conversation-driven card game. [Kickstarter]
  • Joseph generously let CC and I invite ourselves over to play with his cats at 11pm on a Tuesday. We did not use coasters, sry Joseph. [Joseph’s Cats]
  • As of writing, Kate is too busy on her business trip to send me pictures from our trip to House on the Rock, which I desperately want to share on Instagram:
Screen Shot 2018-07-20 at 1.12.58 AM.png

[UPDATE]: Pictures received, thx for your sweet sweet Instagram likes.

  • In other Kate news, she has asked me to include this very relevant song. [Email My Heart]


Wasn't that fun?
Thanks for reading!

Kirsten Southwell