After a much needed break filled with processing, depression, weight loss and a surreal sense of loss, we reconvene to finally catch up. We discuss the aftermath of the election, Crimson advocates for a double down on elitism and kindness, while Laurie has a more empathetic perspective to Trump supporters. Crimson tries to defend the electoral college, knowing Laurie hates that shit and that the reality is that it fucks Democrats almost every time. We then try to move on and discuss the good and bads of 2016. While David Bowe’s death may have marked the end of the world, we did have a few moments of goodness worth noting. From Crimson’s inspiration with the Hamilton album, and the joint experience of seeing Florence and the Machine at Bunbury this summer, 2016 definitely was the year of the arts. We couldn’t find any noteworthy movies to discuss, which brings us to the year of television, and a discussion about Stranger Things and other shows that are changing television content for the better. Crimson highly recommends the Avett Brothers new album True Sadness as a must listen, and tells everyone about the Florence and the Machine Odyssey visual album. It’s no Lemonade by Beyonce, but Florence most definitely makes it worth watching. Laurie also reminds us to keep our eye on Saturday Night Live and tells us about a couple of skits that are worth watching while processing the 2016 election. We are finished for 2016, but since there are now so many of you, we will be back in January with new, better content for your listening enjoyment. Thanks everyone for making 2016 a little less shitty with your support and love.
Listen to Laurie and Crimson start upbeat about the prospects of a Hillary Clinton presidency and then the fallout after the big blow. Laurie drops out, its just too much, and Crimson rants. Just listen, unless you are like Crimson and just over it all. In that case, wait a few days. There are some good moments to catch, like us singing, but this is the first episode that is basically unedited and even Crimson hasn’t listened to. Its just too soon. So please excuse us while we mourn.
On this day, 5 years ago, an acquaintance passed away. I wish I could say she was someone I was close to, but the reality is, we weren’t really good friends. Her boyfriend, and eventual husband, was childhood friends with my boyfriend, and eventual husband. We saw each other in passing and at social engagements on a fairly regular basis, but the reality was, we had nothing in common. She was much more domesticated than I was and she had a level of confidence I couldn’t comprehend or process. Not surprisingly, we never really became friends, we just hung out when our husbands hung out and even then, it was at a superficial level.
What I remember most about her is her obsession with kids and motherhood. Even though she had a graduate degree and a good job, nothing mattered more than being a mom, and a stay-at-home mom at that. I totally judged her. Once she gave birth to her daughter, she followed through, and quit working to be home with her new baby. Again, I totally judged. But from there, things spiraled. She got sick and diagnosed with a terminal disease when her daughter was about 6 months old and she passed about 8 months after that. It was one of the most horrific things I have ever witnessed, and I just witnessed it from a distance.
Years later, I gave birth to my son. For those that have had a kid, you’ll recall there is a period afterwards where you are just sitting looking at this little baby thinking “what the fuck did I do.” But I then started reflecting on the levity of the situation; on the fact that I just brought life into this world and that I am responsible for this human for the rest of my life basically. That the relationship I have with this human could dictate his future, his happiness, and his ability to navigate the world and have healthy relationships and fulfilling endevors.
I had a new determination to live, but more importantly to live without regret. A realization that this child is my legacy and I wanted to enable him to be the best person he could be. And that lead me back to my widowed friends wife. I had just experienced one of the most pivotal moments in my life, and I thought of someone who I didn’t even really know? It was so strange, but in that moment, her confidence, her wisdom about the importance of motherhood just encompassed my whole being. I thought about how if I only have 6 months to feel the level of happiness, joy and contentment that I felt holding my son in my arms, that 6 months would not be littered with back to work anxiety, especially to go do something I didn’t love.
The reason I write this today is because this year, the anniversary of her death comes at an awkward time in my life. I am vetting my professional options, and it’s a trigger for regret of leaving the workforce in the first place. I calculate how much money I would have earned, and think about how liberating it sounds to have only professional obligations for several hours a day. I am networking with people younger, smarter and way cooler than I ever was and wonder why anyone would ever want to work with my old ass. I miss the relationships, the day-to-day banter, and the challenges of work. But then today happened. I woke up and saw the date and immediately thought of her. I thought about what she would say about my situation, and it remind of me how precious time is and how short our lives really are.
As her family remembers her today, they have no idea that some random person like me is also reflecting on her life. It is a tragedy that can never be justified, but through her tragedy, through her life and her values, I gained a perspective that has provided me with the best 3 years of my life. I am so thankful to have crossed her path and so devistated that I now cannot tell her directly that she was totally right and I was wrong. November 3rd will always be a day to remember the importance of family, love and life. I will also remind myself to be grateful for every breath I take and every hug I get with my son. As a tribute to her life, I will never take mine for granted.
Laurie catches up by telling us about her awesome experience at the Breakout Room. Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, Crimson ends up in Cheboygan Michigan and sees the divided America we hear of, with shrines to Donald and solid love for Hillary. Randomly, we end up talking about the warm fuzzies we get from our awesome father-in-laws (yes we got off topic). But, then we move to the realities of mental health in our educational system by looking at its failings and identifying some of the gaps we currently face to start solving the problems. All of this was inspired by NPR’s website dedicated to the “Silent Epidemic” which goes through the realities of our current system for our youth and how it is lacking. We also discuss the importance of social science research, and understanding how it can improve our day-to-day lives. Given we are seeing a millennials surge into the mental health system, we have a generation of adults looking to better themselves, and develop coping skills that can improve the lives of many generations beyond them. We close out with a half ass sell out to Westworld, but Crimson passed out so she couldn’t fully comment. So more to come on that next week.
Warning: this episode is super-explicit.
After a cheers to Laurie for officially being a fully licensed therapist, we catch up. Hillary and Donald went head-to-head for one last, horribly uncomfortable, time and we can’t help but comment. Then we move on to the largest controversy of the election, the Trump Tapes, where Donald Trump is able to normalize the term “grab them by the pussy.” While the discussion could be about just how offensive this is, instead the ladies decide to pivot to the implications this has on the societial norms and human behavior. Crimson provides a defense of decent men, an argument well articulated in blog form on Huffington Post. While this election has been a nasty one, it may be a catalyst for men to finally stand up and defend decency towards women. Our discussion then moves on to trying to understand the line between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors and what the word “consent” really means. Crimson highlights an episode of This American Life, where they discuss college campus assults and you can see how the area between dating/parting and harrassment/assult can feel like a gray area for our youth and how education could help circumvent a major issue for both men and women on college campuses. Which brings us to the first thing we agree with Rush limbaugh on. He perfectly articulates the liberal vision of how to progress forward in the sexual murkiness with one word, consent. To wrap it all up, Crimson, once again, sells out for Michelle Obama and her beautiful speech in response to the Trump Tapes. This may be the only uplifting 28 minutes of the longest Presidential election, ever. And Laurie leaves the discussion on a hilarious note, with a call out for SNL’s Melania Trump music video, which is a spoof of one of Crimson’s past sell outs, Beyonce’s Lemonade.