I’m not writing next week and it feels wonderful. 

Don’t get me wrong. This is one of my favorite parts of the job. It’s still a job. 

Memorial Day weekend is the first of the holy trinity of summer holidays. It’s the kickoff of the regular season for those of us in the professional league of weekend grilling, drinking, and floating in some natural or manmade body of water. The Fourth of July is the Super Bowl. Labor Day is the end-of-season all-star game. Each is sacred.

When I’m President, the mandatory school year will end on the Thursday before Memorial Day and not start again until the Wednesday after Labor Day. And anyone who schedules a kids’ baseball tournament, choir banquet, or wedding during a trinity weekend will be flogged in the public square (on a Tuesday in October). Summer holiday weekends are for family, friends, and flip-flops, not collared shirts, fancy shoes, or team uniforms. 

As if I wasn’t looking forward to next weekend enough, our board meeting is on Tuesday. And as much as I sincerely adore my board, preparing for our quarterly gatherings is exhausting. It’s like taking pictures of yourself, naked, from every angle, and asking the fittest people you know to critique them. You’ll get some candid feedback, but you’ll be glad when it’s over. 

So, I’ll be barreling into Memorial Day weekend with a head of steam. Tara’s dad, Dave, flies in on Thursday, as has become annual tradition, and we’ll leave for our cabin on Friday. We’ll play approximately 200 games of cribbage, listen to the entire catalog of Creedence Clearwater Revival (the greatest American rock band of all time), and smoke a pork butt for 16 hours. We’ll single-handedly boost the Q2 earnings of Molson Coors. And that’s just Friday night. The weekend only gets better from there.  

I hope you’re doing something equally fun and relaxing. 

Because we all work really effing hard. 

I’m not saying we shouldn’t. Our industriousness – our stamina – is what makes America great. We give our heart and souls to our jobs, our kids, our partners, our parents, and the causes we care about. It’s why our economy is the best in the world. Our innovation. Our arts.

But we need to care for ourselves too. We need to take a break. At least for a few long weekends a year.

Catch you again in June.

Here’s what we’re seeing:

Self-care aside, people are cutting back on experience spending heading into the summer. A sign of the economic times, Americans are reporting scaled-back purchase intent on everything from live sporting events to zoo admissions. Movie attendance could see some of the biggest declines, partly due to cost, but also because nothing this year is rivaling the anticipation of Barbenheimer. Live music will take a hit too, without Taylor Swift circling the globe. And, while consumers increasingly lament the cost of concert tickets, the majority of ticket-buyers still turn to Ticketmaster/Live Nation as their platform of choice.    

Women are taking their health into their own hands. Sadly, the percentage of U.S. adult women who consider themselves very or somewhat healthy has declined 12 points since the beginning of the pandemic, reaching new lows early this year. On the bright side, they’re not taking it lying down. Seventy-one percent report seeing a primary care doctor regularly, versus just 65% of men. They’re also 21% more likely than men to receive regular cancer screenings, while 39% have seen a mental health therapist in the past year – up 3 percentage points YoY. Way to take care of yourselves, ladies. 

Most Americans believe President Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict will hurt his reelection chances in the fall. In our 3 Things to Know this week, we looked at public opinion toward the President’s leadership on Israel, Hamas, and the protests here at home. A majority of U.S. adults and nearly half of registered Independents think it’s been a bad look for the Commander-in-Chief. In other news, we found overwhelmingly negative reactions to Dave & Buster’s decision to allow gambling on its arcade games. Lastly, it looks like clothing and electronics are the most popular graduation gifts this year.

Parents are getting an earlier start on back-to-school shopping, especially if their kids are struggling in class. Forty-seven percent of U.S. adults with school-age children claim to have already started B2S shopping for next year, up from 40% this time last year, and 36% in 2022. What jumps off the page in our data is that parents with kids who are struggling in at least one school subject are far more likely to have started shopping – 75% of them in fact. When asked which subject their kids are wrestling with the most, the answer was “math,” by a clear margin.

People are getting hacked way more often. The percentage of Americans who report having their personal information compromised by a major hacking event climbed steeply over the past year.  As a result, a growing number of consumers are taking safety precautions, like avoiding clicking on digital ads or opening emails. They’re also quick to lose their trust in companies who experience a data breach, although Millennials are a bit more forgiving. Gen Zs, meanwhile, are willing to go out of their way to pay more for products and services from companies with stronger data protection policies. 

More awesomeness from the InsightStore™:

The most popular questions this week:

What’s your go-to legwear for a free day around the house?  

Do you have a “junk drawer” in your home?

Do you generally lock your car when it is parked?

Do you utilize your break time at work to exercise?

Are you a fan of the Beatles?

Answer Key: Shorts; Yes, at least two of them; Not as reliably as I should; What’s break time?; A little, I’m more of a Stones guy.  

Hoping you’re well.


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