Brown Sugar

For most of my life, my mom kept the brown sugar in a gold Tupperware container with a sun emblem on the side of it. When she moved away a few years ago, I assumed she took it with her and was irrationally annoyed to see it at my sister’s house not too long after.


“Mom gave it to me?” She definitely said it hesitantly, and it came out more like a question than a statement.

Some furious text messages were sent to confirm that our mom willingly parted with it. For some irrational reason, I always assumed that I would be the benefactor of her retro Tupperware container. I had, after all, been the one who cooked and baked by her side for over three decades.

I thought about taking it. I think everyone assumed that I would, that one day it would end up in my baking cupboard.

The pandemic has prevented me from visiting either of them since 2019, but a few weeks ago my mom announced that she’s selling Tupperware and asked if I wanted to see the catalog. I jokingly asked if they had the same container available.

It became a fixation and I scoured the internet for it until I found one on Etsy. Without hesitation, I shelled out $50 and bought it for myself. I told both my mom and my sister about my find, and we all had a good laugh.

And then it arrived, and I felt a wave of love and affection, a void I didn’t know I had was filled with the warmth of nostalgia. I asked my mom if she regretted giving her container away, and it saddened me to hear that she did.

I think it was as much a part of her as it was for us. I know that I don’t have forever with her, and there is no guarantee of how much time I’ll have left with her, but I do know that I am terrified of losing her. I keep trying to find ways to tie her to me through tattoos and tangible items, and I know it is never going to be enough.

That being said, I did what any slightly-less-than-sane person would do and scoured the internet for a third vintage Tupperware container. It’s amusing to me that the most precious gift I’m giving my mom is a 40-year-old piece of Tupperware.

Anyway, Happy Mother’s Day, mom. I love you.


I hope this finds you

I hope you sing so hard and loud that you lose your voice tonight. I hope you dance until you’re too tired to think. I hope you cry if you need to. I hope you find the love you’re seeking, and you heal from the things no one is going to apologize for. I hope you see that your spirit is strong, that you’ve survived all the crappy days that brought you here, and that you celebrate the victories no matter how small. You mean the world to someone. It might be a friend, a parent, a spouse, a sibling, or maybe some random from Instagram who can’t wait to see your content and looks for you every day. I hope you go through your things and find friendship bracelets and love letters and smile at the place those people have occupied in your heart. I hope you read poetry that moves you to tears and compels you to write your own. I hope you jump in that puddle one day and make a mess of your clothes, just because you can. I hope you stop for ice cream. I hope you never stop wishing on stars, and if you don’t, I hope you start. I hope you help someone cross the street or pick up something someone has dropped. I hope you ride a bike and appreciate the wind in your hair and stop to smell the flowers. I hope you buy yourself flowers, you’re worth it. I hope you extend the kindness you give to others to yourself, too. I hope that when you are reminded of people you’ve lost, that it’s with the thought, “They would have loved this.” I hope you find the courage to take the next step. I hope you carry yourself with the knowledge that you are made of stardust, and that you are enough. You are enough, you are more than enough. I hope you grow old and happy, and appreciate your wrinkled skin and say thank you to your body for all the amazing things it did for you. I hope you wake up tomorrow, glad to be alive, ready to live this life for yourself, knowing that wherever you are is exactly where you are supposed to be.

Written to my grandma with love

Dear Grandma,

I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately. Every time I look at my drawers of makeup and nail polish, you come to mind.

As a child, your bathroom was like a cave of wonders. You had baskets and containers of the most magical colours and powders. I would sneak a little lip colour or eye shadow from time to time, but you already know that.

You embody the sentiment that variety is the spice of life. It was so great to visit you and try a new shampoo every time I had a shower. Your lotions and potions were a constant fascination, and every wash of the hands was a new opportunity to put another lotion on.

I definitely get my love of makeup, nail polish and body products from you. Mom is starting to become this way, but I’m not sure it’s entirely her choice or because she’s Mallory’s and my mom and getting sucked in might be unavoidable. And no one else I know has delicate trays of perfumes on their bureaus. My Girl Room has become a source of entertainment to my girlfriends.

Actually, I’m a lot like you in many ways. I have a drawer full of socks that I never wear. I don’t like fitted tops or scratchy clothes. And like you and mom, I love to cook and I take pride in what I serve people.

We’re gardeners. We love animals. We’re sensitive souls. Grandma, it took me a long time to notice, but I’m a lot like you. I know I haven’t spent much time with you in my adult years, I do wish we lived closer to one another. I wanted to let you know that you’ve helped shape who I am.

You have always been incredibly generous with your time and your things, and I strive to be that way, too.

I was overwhelmed when you baked cookies and squares for my wedding. I should have known that you were going to show up with 5,000 pieces for a 150 people tea reception. But you’re like that. There is always way too much food and there is always room at your table. No one in your life will ever go hungry.

Grandma, I could go on and on. You’re a beautiful woman, from the inside out. I love you very much, and I don’t and haven’t said it nearly enough.

Also, I’m sorry for trying to steal your pyramid paper weight. That thing is a symbol of Grandma’s House and I hope you never give it away.

All my love,
Rochele xoxo

PS- I love grandpa, too, and I’ll never forget the day he took me to the Dollar Store and let me buy whatever I wanted. He’ll get his own letter one day.


I want you to want ME, another playlist by Ro

Another playlist by yours truly. Earlier this year I began archiving my old playlists and dissecting them one song at a time. Stay with me, this one hails from 2002 and has zero content from 2002 because apparently I was already an old woman by then.

1. Kokomo – The Beach Boys

‘Afternoon delight, cocktails and moonlit nights
That dreamy look in your eye, give me a tropical contact high’

So ummmm, is this song on your baby-making playlist? Probably. In 2002 I didn’t know what afternoon delight was, or what a contact high was for that matter. Oy.

2. When I’m 64 – The Beatles

What a sweet and endearing song. Grow old with me, internet.

3. The Longest Time – Billy Joel

‘I don’t care what consequence it brings
I have been a fool for lesser things
I want you so bad’

But seriously, as a teenager, you run into everything head first and you deal with the pain later. Billy Joel knows what’s up. Falling in love is pretty reckless. We try to tell ourselves that we’ll be cautious and we won’t give all of ourselves, and then one slip and it’s all downhill. Life lessons, yo.

4. You Made Me So very Happy – Blood, Sweat and Tears

I love you so much it seems
You’re even in my dreams
I can hear you’

Careful there, BST. Telling someone you’re dreaming about them gets creepy, unless they feel the same way. Actually, make sure they feel the same way before you say this kind of stuff at all. Or keep it to yourself. Or write a hit song. Whatever.

5. More Than A Feeling – Boston

Confession: I’ve overplayed this song and I don’t like it anymore.

6. I Want You To Want Me – Cheap Trick

I want you to want me.
I need you to need me.
I’d love you to love me.
I’m beggin’ you to beg me.’

I very vividly remember wanting someone to feel the same way that I felt about them, but not knowing where I stood. The achy-hurty feeling of not knowing. Ugh, it’s coming back to me now. Staaaahhhhp.

7. Romeo and Juliet – Dire Straits

And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be
All I do is keep the beat and bad company
All I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme’

Here, Dire Straits, just take my heart. I didn’t want it anyway after listening to your most excellent crumby¬†song about how it doesn’t work out for Romeo, regardless of his and Juliet’s unfortunate stance on mortality.

8. Just What I Needed – The Cars

I don’t mind you coming here
And wasting all my time
I don’t mind you hanging out
And talking in your sleep’

It’s not wasting time if it’s something you enjoy…

9. Again – Lenny Kravitz

I wonder if I’ll ever see you again’

Back in 1999, it was a lot easier to lose track of someone, and I did. The internet wasn’t in everyone’s house yet, and we still had to ask for phone numbers and risk parents answering. Oh god the panic. Sometimes you just left stuff to chance instead of trying to make it happen.

10. Last Kiss – Pearl Jam

At the very least, he knew it was going to be his last kiss before his love departed this world. I tend to think we would do things differently if we knew we were doing it for the last time. How great would it be to leave this life with a last kiss? BRB, crying while I contemplate it.

11. Pretty Woman

As a 20-something woman, I have feelings about a man noticing a pretty woman on the street and cat-calling after her. It’s not good. I’m sure this song was innocent enough back in the dark ages, but now it doesn’t sit very well with me. Anyway, before I destroy Roy Orbison, I’m moving on.

12. Let’s Spend the Night Together – The Rolling Stones

I still like this song.

13. Two Princes – The Spin Doctors

Who didn’t love this song in all its early 90’s glory? Synopsis- this guy wants you to give him a chance despite that fact that he’s a bum. Personally, I think Romeo from #7 has more of a chance than this guy.

14. I Know You’re Out There Somewhere – The Moody Blues

I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere, somewhere
I know you’re out there somewhere
Somewhere you can hear my voice’

More people losing track of each other. I’m beginning to think that maybe we would value our relationships and experiences a little more if the internet didn’t make them so damn convenient. What do I know? I wasn’t even alive when this song came out.

15. The Air That I Breathe

Making love with you
Has left me peaceful warm and tired
What more could I ask
There’s nothing left to be desired
Peace came upon me and it leaves me weak’

This guy is saying that there is nothing else in the world that he wants other than this. All he needs is the air that he breathes and to love you. Why is anyone settling for anything less than this? Go get it, make it happen. Seriously, this is the kind of love that makes me cry.¬†Just kidding, I’m already crying.

Yes, I really do have nostalgia tied to every song, but there isn’t enough time in this world to tell you about it. That, and it’s probably not that interesting to anyone but me. So here we are. Another playlist archived.