August 15, 2022
EP. 332 — Big City To The Middle of Nowhere
The nature is good, but the isolation and no pizza delivery? Not so great. A lawyer speaks with Geth about transitioning from big city living to farm life. She opens up about her discomfort “presenting as wealthy,” growing up working class, and raising her kids not to be spoiled. Later on, she shares what happened when her baby needed brain surgery and her deep appreciation for Canada’s healthcare system.
332 — Big City To The Middle of Nowhere
Chris [00:00:04] Hello to everybody who enjoys a good paddleboat. It’s Beautiful/ Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred. Hi, everybody. Chris Gethard here. Welcome to Beautiful/ Anonymous. I have to thank everybody who showed up for our live tapings in Edinburgh. It’s part of the Fringe Festival. We did four nights in a row. And guess what? Some crowds were bigger than others. Calls went in all different directions. And every time I get to do the show live and meet the people who listen, I feel lucky. I feel blessed. Thank you all for showing up. If you want to check out my solo show, I’m at Edinburgh all month. Every night at 6 p.m. I’m doing my show, A Father and the Son at Gilded Balloon Teviot. ChrisGeth.com for tickets. Listen, this episode you’re about to hear, it’s really in some ways it’s like chit chatty, right? Some ways it’s basically just talking about someone who moved from one part of the country to another, who’s living a different life. But then we start to really get into it. We start talking about, you know, we don’t really talk about class very openly in this country and how money kind of defines that. And it’s this un, un, this thing that feels tacky to talk about. And we both talk about, you know, what happens when you grow up a certain way and then you get a little more money and now you’re doing this and that and and living in a way you didn’t see coming and you feel apologetic. It gets really trippy. But then also there’s stories about- straight up, there are stories about vomiting as well. A lot of talk just about pizza. It’s one of those calls that I really love with this show where you start to realize people sit around and they think about pizza. People sit around and they think about class mobility. And neither one of those things are melodramatic. It’s just kind of what it is. And we’re all in our heads dwelling on it all the time. And then this show, we talk out loud about these things. Enjoy the call.
Voicemail Robot [00:02:22] Thank you for calling Beautiful/ Anonymous. A beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host.
Chris [00:02:30] Hello?
Caller [00:02:32] Hello?
Chris [00:02:33] Hi.
Caller [00:02:34] Hi. This is super weird. It’s also very kind of discombobulating to spend my days listening to you and now be talking to you. It feels very surreal.
Chris [00:02:49] You don’t sound thrilled to be on this show.
Caller [00:02:52] I’m just very shocked at how nervous that I am. I’m very shocked. I feel like I might barf or poop my pants.
Chris [00:03:00] Well, I’m the father of a three year old, so I have enough of both of those things in my life.
Caller [00:03:07] I won’t do either of those things. I’m an adult who can manage my human body. But it’s just shocking. And I know that that’s what everybody says. And they’re right.
Chris [00:03:17] I’m going to tell you too, this kid caught his first stomach bug. He had his birthday party last weekend and he he got sick afterwards. And there’s been a lot of puke and pants pooped in my life the past ten days. So please, let’s not add to the problem. Be part of the solution on this one.
Caller [00:03:38] I won’t add to the problem and I will, I feel your pain. I have two children, a six year old and a two year old. And my two year old got that stomach bug like a month ago maybe. I think it’s- I don’t live anywhere near you, but it seems to be going around everywhere in all the communities.
Chris [00:03:54] I hear this.
Caller [00:03:57] Yeah. And she woke up in the middle of the night and, like, screamed. And that never has happened. And yeah, barf everywhere. And it was her only time her first time barfing in her, you know, sort of well, actually in her life. But also being able to verbalize it. And just she was like, what? You know, I barfed. I barfed. She just kept saying it and then she barfed.
Chris [00:04:19] I had this I had this memory that I do not think I will forget where I heard him… He was like, coughing. It turns out my son, when he’s going to yack, he coughs first, and that’s how he helps propel the vomit out. Listen, you’re a fellow parent. So I don’t even feel bad.
Caller [00:04:36] I’m familiar with this. Yeah.
Chris [00:04:38] So I heard him, and then I was, like, falling asleep in bed. My wife was already asleep. I was like two thirds asleep and I heard him start coughing and it was sounded like that kind of cough. I said, I think maybe he threw up in bed. So I opened my eyes and I went in his room and I’ll never forget. I opened the door and I could just like dimly see that he was sitting up in the crib. And I just heard- from the dark I just heard, “Daddy, I frowed up in my bed. And I was like, my heart was like ten times its normal size, just this exhausted little boy. “Daddy, I frowed up. In my bed.” And I was like, come here. Come here. I just want to hold you forever.
Caller [00:05:22] Yeah. Even though you’re covered in barf, I’ll still hold you and love you.
Chris [00:05:25] Yeah. I mean, there was also a stretch last week. Since you’re another parent, I can also tell you I recently grew a beard, and I’m feeling pretty good about it. People have been complimentary. I feel like it’s balancing out my rapidly evaporating hairline. And I’ve booked three acting jobs since I’ve started doing auditions with the beard. I don’t think this is a coincidence at this point. It’s a pattern. But I will tell you, I did recently learn the joy of having a toddler vomit into your beard.
Caller [00:05:54] Oh, that’s gnarly.
Chris [00:05:56] It was not great.
Caller [00:05:56] I do not have a beard. But I can imagine that that would be disgusting. I’ve had vomit in my hair, so something similar, but at least not on my face.
Chris [00:06:05] I’ve had vomit in my eyes before. A couple of years ago he vomited in my eyes. And that was worse than the beard.
Caller [00:06:13] Yeah. I would imagine. Like sting a little bit. Get that in your eye. Did you end up getting the sickness as well, or did you were you spared?
Chris [00:06:21] I wonder if it was the same thing with, uh, with you and I don’t know if you’ve got a husband, a partner who’s helping you co-parent, if you’re doing it on your own. I don’t know. We, ours, he got this stomach bug, and then my wife lost her voice and I wound up getting like a sinus thing. You might hear it a little in my voice. But we’ve all been testing relentlessly for COVID, and none of us have COVID. So it’s just this weird bug that’s taking on different, different forms basically.
Caller [00:06:56] Yeah. I ended up getting the same stomach situation as my my two year old. Actually, everybody in the family did. But I am extremely resilient. Like I haven’t- I can count the number of times I’ve barfed non alcohol or drug related on one hand in my 40 years on this planet. So it’s rare for me to barf. But I barfed one time and it was my my husband had left with my other daughter because they decided that they weren’t actually sick. They thought that it was just that it was just like food poisoning that the young youngest had. So they actually went away and visited my brother a few hours away. And so I was home alone with the baby. And I was sitting there giving her lunch. And all morning I was like, Oh, man, I feel really queasy. Like, Oh, I don’t know, I don’t know. But I’ll keep it together. I’ll keep it together. And I was feeding her lunch and as she was eating lunch, I barfed into a pot while she was eating. And then just continued parenting.
Chris [00:07:49] I’m gonna tell you something, I tell you one thing, for a lot of the non-parents, this is their least favorite conversation. For a lot of the parents, this is pure catharsis. And I am I am here for it. I am here for it, and I am here for you. This is like not even. Can you think? Can you imagine? I remember a time in my life where this would have fazed me. And whereas now you and I are saying these things and I’m like, uh huh, yeah. Vomit in a pot. Yeah. Yeah, of course. Why wouldn’t you?
Caller [00:08:19] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I can I can remember there was a previous there was a time in my life where I was not a parent. And, you know, these things would have been disgusting and boring. And now it’s just it’s great fun to talk to other parents, especially, especially nowadays, because I live a pretty isolated lifestyle. And so it’s fun to be able to talk to people about these things. So I’m in Canada and I live in a very rural area of Canada. And I’m also a family law lawyer. I live on this farm. I’m currently in my home office. I live on a farm, but I guess I shouldn’t call it a farm. It’s a hobby farm. We have chickens, but that’s it. And then we grow our own food in the summertime. But, you know, my closest neighbor is about 500 meters, which is like, I don’t know what that translates to into feet, but like a goodly distance down the road one way and then the other way is another, you know, 500 meters is my closest neighbor. So I live a very isolated life. Even pre-pandemic, it was isolated. Post pandemic and with small children, it has become even more isolated. I used to drive into an office every day, about 45 minutes into an office to work. And now I go into my office once every two weeks to pick up my paper paycheck and say hi to everybody, and then I go home. So I live a very, very closed, isolated life. And so it’s it’s a joy to talk to somebody that is not a client and not my own husband or children.
Chris [00:09:54] So wait, your office has gone fully remote, except you still have to go- they can’t mail you the check or they can’t switch to direct deposit?
Caller [00:10:01] No. Sometimes the receptionist will walk down to the bank and deposit my paper check for me. But otherwise, no, I come in and then I take a I come in, I pick up the paper check, and then I take a photo of it. I don’t know if you guys have that in America for banking, but like.
Chris [00:10:17] Where we can upload it? Yeah
Caller [00:10:18] We can take a photo of our check? Yeah. You just take a photo of your check through your banking app and it appears in your bank account. Right? So I don’t even. Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense. But that is what I do.
Chris [00:10:29] Am I overreacting when I say I find that completely infuriating? I don’t know why that’s hitting me so hard.
Caller [00:10:34] I don’t know. I mean, to me, it’s just like, all right, it’s this quirky thing about my boss. Like, he’s an older guy. He’s in his 70s, and he’s very strange in a nice, lovable way. And he just it’s just what he does. He uses paper checks. That doesn’t the concept that like, he could send me the money some other way, I don’t, it’s just too much for him to handle.
Chris [00:10:59] That for some reason that’s making me so mad.
Caller [00:11:00] And it gets me out of the house. Like, honestly.
Chris [00:11:01] You. Okay. You like it. There, okay. If you’re into it, then I’m into it. That’s fine. But for some reason, the idea of fully remote except you got to drive there to pick up your cash. I was. And I can feel myself being irrational. Let’s just move on. Let’s just move on. Well, I’m happy to talk and help you break out. I looked it up. 500 meters. It feels like your your neighbors are probably about a third of a mile in either direction before you see another house, which is not total isolation, but like you’re not going to really just walk. You don’t have neighbors where you might see them in your yard and wave to them and catch up and see how they’re doing. That’s not a thing.
Caller [00:11:39] No, no, that is not a thing. Sometimes I walk with my kids down the road a bit and we’ll wave to the neighbors that are on the west side of us. The neighbors to the east side of us live in a very dilapidated old stone house, and I’ve only ever seen them twice. And I’ve lived in this home for eight years.
Chris [00:12:02] Ooh. I love a good, creepy neighbor. It always puts things in perspective. My neighbors are all lovely. But I love. I love. I love that you got the Munsters mansion right next door, caller. Okay, let’s pause. We’ll be right back. Thanks to all of our advertisers. Now let’s get back to the phone call.
Caller [00:12:30] Sometimes I walk with my kids down the road a bit and we’ll wave to the neighbors that are on the west side of us. The neighbors to the east side of us live in a very dilapidated old stone house, and I’ve only ever seen them twice. And I’ve lived in this home for eight years. So I don’t wave to those neighbors.
Chris [00:12:51] You’ve got nice neighbors to one side, and then that’s a bummer. You’re already that isolated and you have like you have like Boo Radley-esque recluse neighbors on one on another side? That’s that’s bad luck.
Caller [00:13:03] Yeah. It is. It’s a bit. It’s. When we first moved here. So my husband and I did move here from the from Toronto or whatever. I’m not, like, giving myself away. There’s millions of people there. So we move here from downtown Toronto eight years ago, and we moved and we moved here and it was like, oh, you know, Christmas time. I was like, maybe you should be some cookies and say welcome. Go say hi to the neighbors or whatever. And so we did that to the one side, the people on the right hand side, and they were friendly and they came and they gave us some cookies. And then it came to considering if we go to the other Boo Radley-esque neighbors, it it was it wasn’t even a question that we were going to go over there. There was like, you don’t even know how to like get up onto their porch to knock on the door kind of situation, because the porch is so rickety that like I don’t think you can walk on it. So we’ve never brought them cookies. In short.
Chris [00:13:53] So I. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Canada. I have a lot of love for Canada. Toronto is one of my favorite cities to do comedy. The Comedy Bar is one of the great comedy venues in the world. Just For Laughs Toronto has been formative at points in my career. So what I’m telling you is I know Toronto- for anybody- I think a lot of Americans kind of view Canada as like quaint and smaller than us. But Toronto is Toronto is a booming metropolis. Toronto is like a New York City vibe, and it’s not that much of a stretch. How do you wind up going from Toronto to living a half a mile away from reclusive hermits in the middle of nowhere?
Caller [00:14:37] I don’t know. It just kind of just happened. Like we I went to school sort of near where I live. I went to law school about an hour from where I currently live. And so that’s where I met my husband. And so when I finished law school, we were like, Well, let’s move to Toronto. We’ll make some money. And my family’s all in the Toronto area. We’ll make some money, we’ll figure it out. And so we stayed there for about five years, and it became very apparent that we were not going to be able to afford a house. And my husband is a person who wanted to buy a house. I could have continued to rent for the rest of my life. Both of my parents have rented for most of their lives and I’ve lived in apartments for a lot of my life. But he wanted a house and I wanted children. And he was not prepared to have children unless we had a house. And so we’re like, All right, well, maybe we should move back to the area where we met, where your family’s from. We went- where I went to school. You know, there’s jobs there. But if we’re going to move back… I was of the mind that either we’re living in an urban lifestyle i.e. Toronto or I want to live on a farm because I want animals and I want space. I’m not living in the suburbs. Not doing it. I do not want to do that. That’s always been my feeling. It was either always going to be urban or in the middle of nowhere. And so we found this place. We currently live in the middle of nowhere. We saw it, you know, saw it online, a listing and the real estate agent we went out and saw it one time. And we bought it. And we didn’t see a single house otherwise. And I had never been to the town that this house is actually in. The closest town is a good 20 minutes from my house. I’d never been into the town. I had no idea what I was getting into. But we bought the house and four months later moved into it. And the first night that we were in this house, you know, you’ve moved in, you don’t have any food. You figure, all right, we’ll just order some pizza. Rude awakening. But once we called all the pizza delivery places that were close to here, none of them would deliver. And so we spent our first night on an air mattress on the floor, hungry, because no place would deliver us pizza. And that was the beginning of living in the country and all the various adjustments I’ve had to make to my life since then. Because, like you said, coming from Toronto, I’d walk out my door, I lived near the Danforth, and I’d walk out the door and have every single option for food that exists. Ethiopian, sushi, Greek, Italian, whatever. You know?
Chris [00:17:08] Toronto strikes me as the city where if.
Caller [00:17:10] I ended up here.
Chris [00:17:10] If you want pizza at 3:30 in the morning, someone will bring it to your house within 10 minutes in Toronto.
Caller [00:17:18] Yeah, maybe not ten, but like 20. Yeah, for sure. For sure. It’s you know, it’s like you said, it’s our biggest city. It’s very, a metropolis for sure, but yeah, now I live somewhere where I can’t even get delivery. Actually, that’s a lie. With, with COVID, there is now one pizza place that will deliver to here.
Chris [00:17:36] Oh, wow.
Caller [00:17:37] But only if. It’s only if it’s a slow night, then they’ll deliver.
Chris [00:17:41] Wow.
Caller [00:17:42] And it’s a $5 charge.
Chris [00:17:44] Wow.
Chris [00:17:45] So do you have regrets? Do you have regrets about the country life? Cause a lot of people are thinking about this transition out of the- I left New York City. I’m out in the woods. I’m not, I’m not, I can see my neighbor’s house out my window right now. And my neighbors talk to me. They don’t live they don’t live in a foreboding, foreboding mansion where I’m unable to see where the entrances are. Do you have regrets? Or are you happy?
Caller [00:18:13] It’s a mix. You know, like some days I definitely have regrets. I miss I miss being able to walk out of my house and like walk somewhere, like go to a store or the subway or a friend’s house or whatever, or ride my bike places. I used to ride my bike to work when I lived in the city and I really miss that part of it. I miss that for my children, too, which is something that I didn’t I didn’t know I would I didn’t know that I was missing out on because I wasn’t- I didn’t have children when we first moved here. And so, yeah, I really missed that part of it. But other times, like today, I took a lunch break from work and I took my three dogs for a walk through my field and through the woods, you know? And like… I saw, you know, turkey tracks, wild turkey tracks in the mud. And I saw some evidence of coyote poop. Or not evidence. I saw coyote poop. I thought evidence of coyotes, you know, like the nature part of it is really pretty awesome. And I also I have a very peculiar property. I also have waterfront on my property. So in the summer time, we have a cabin that we put down at our waterfront. So I can walk 15 minutes and be at my cabin and on the waterfront and also have my house be 15 minutes away walking distance.
Chris [00:19:34] Is this waterfront swimmable? Is it swimmable water?
Caller [00:19:39] It is swimmable water. Yes.
Chris [00:19:41] Ooh. Now we’re talking. I gotta tell ya.
Caller [00:19:43] Yeah.
Chris [00:19:44] I’m going to say something. Start with that next time. Because there’s a lot of there’s a lot of people listening who I can guarantee were like, oh, really? You can’t get pizza delivered, but you get to see turkey footprints? I’m sold. Like that- no one was convinced by the turkey footprints or the coyote poop. Oh, really, you can see coyote droppings and turkey’s footprints. Yes. Sign me up for that. But when you hear, oh, on your own property, you can there’s a trail and you follow the trail, and then you have another little cabin and you can jump into a pond that you own. Now start with that.
Caller [00:20:23] It’s not even a pilot. It’s a lake. It’s a lake.
Chris [00:20:26] A lake. That’s bigger than a pond.
Caller [00:20:28] Much bigger than a pond, for sure. Yeah.
Chris [00:20:29] Are there any other properties that have access to this lake, or is that you own a lake?
Caller [00:20:34] No, I do not own this lake. Well, it’s a bay off of Lake Ontario. So Lake Ontario is a very big lake. With many cities on it.
Chris [00:20:44] One of the great ones.
Caller [00:20:44] But one of my closest neighbor, I. Yeah. One of the greatest. Yeah.
Chris [00:20:48] Yeah.
Caller [00:20:49] Although not the most superior of lakes.
Chris [00:20:52] Nor the most eerie.
Caller [00:20:56] There you go.
Chris [00:20:58] We crushed that. We nailed that.
Caller [00:21:01] Oh, that was really good teamwork. So, yes. But there are I do have neighbors on the lake, but they are very far. Right, like our closest lakeside neighbor is, again, about 500 meters. And then the other way is even further. It’s like a kilometer or two from our dock.
Chris [00:21:20] Start with that next time.
Caller [00:21:21] Yeah.
Chris [00:21:22] I go, do you have any regrets? You go, Well, I miss the pizza. But we also do our property butts up against a bay that leads to Lake Ontario. So you could conceivably own a boat and just go cruise Lake Ontario.
Caller [00:21:35] Oh, Chris, I do own a boat.
Chris [00:21:38] Ooh. Are we talking make a kayak, or are we talking like an outboard motor?
Caller [00:21:44] Oh, oh Chris. I own. I have two kayaks and a canoe and a paddle boat and a motorboat.
Chris [00:21:50] Start with the five boats. Don’t start with turkey footprints.
Caller [00:21:56] I guess to me, I guess so the boats I am very much not a boating person. I am a swimming person. Boats to me, especially the motorboat, are just obnoxious. The boat is my husband’s deal and he loves going for rides in the boat. And so do my children. They love it. But to me it’s just noisy and I’d rather be swimming. And so I agree. I agree with you. I should have started with the waterfront. But the wild turkeys are pretty fun. And coyotes? Like I actually do see coyotes in my back in my back fields. And I hear coyotes.
Chris [00:22:28] Well, then say you saw coyotes because you said you- what you told me was you saw turkey tracks.
Caller [00:22:34] Evidence of.
Chris [00:22:34] And then you said coyote poop. And then you then you got more polite. You said evidence of coyotes because you didn’t like that you had said coyote droppings. So start with oh, I’ve seen coyotes, wildlife. Boats.
Caller [00:22:48] I was just saying today I didn’t see the coyotes. I only saw the evidence of the coyotes and the turkeys. But on other days, I could look out my window and I’ll see like a flock of wild turkeys in my back field.
Chris [00:22:59] Yeah, I live out in the woods in Jersey now. We moved in and our neighbor, now we have neighbors whose property touches ours, which I’m sure is shocking to you. Um, but I will tell you that the year we moved in, we were out in our backyard, and our our neighbor came up and said, I don’t want to scare you guys, but we just saw a black bear wander through your yard like 35 minutes ago, so be careful. And it was wild to realize a bear walked through my yard.
Caller [00:23:26] Yeah, that’s scary. We have black bears here, but, like, very rarely, very rarely. It’s mostly just coyotes and turkeys and deer and rabbits. And other birds that are not exciting. But yeah, the waterfront is super exciting.
Chris [00:23:43] Yeah, that’s the that’s the, that’s the one that gets people to come visit, right?
Caller [00:23:48] Yeah. And so like pre-pandemic that’s the summer times was basically every weekend we would have family and friends visiting. And we have now we have two cabins actually down at our waterfront. We used to have one tiny one.
Chris [00:24:03] Two cabins? Two waterfront cabins?
Caller [00:24:03] Yes. Yes. Makes it sound like I’m a very like makes me sound very fancy. But these are not fancy. These are they’re old sheds. They’re sheds that we’ve converted into cabins.
Chris [00:24:15] Listen, don’t be.
Caller [00:24:16] Which is very like, you know.
Chris [00:24:17] Don’t apologize. You said you’re a lawyer and you met your husband in law school. This lawyers, we all know, makes, you know, you get income as a lawyer and then you get to go live in the middle of nowhere with two cabins if you want. You sound like a very nice person who works hard. Don’t apologize for it. It’s all good. It’s, you know, it’s okay to have two cabins.
Caller [00:24:35] I have problems with like, I have problems with presenting as wealthy. Just that’s, that’s my problem here.
Chris [00:24:41] We could talk we could talk a lot about this because I, well, I think maybe people have picked up on this. I grew up in a very working class family and very much identified as such. And my grandparents who lived, you know, a couple of blocks away from me my whole life, they were immigrants from Ireland and we were not fancy people. And in fact, the idea of fancy people was something that I showed a lot of scorn for. And then I went off and I had my little career and I had a TV show and I had a couple of years there where I made good enough money. And now I’m I’m in a very strange position where I have bought a house in an area where I would have hated, I would have instinctively hated people from this area just based on the fact that they had money input. My son will be happy here now. And now I’m the poorest person in this neighborhood. And my career is not what it was five years ago. And I just have to pray that I can hang on and make it work. So I’m in the middle of exactly what you’re talking about right now. I’m in the middle of this exact thing of presenting as wealthy and and kind of apologizing for it and sitting here going, like, I got a real nice house, but I don’t think I’m wealthy. And I spent all the money on this house. That’s where I’m at. So I’m right in the middle of that conversation with myself all the time. But don’t you worry about it.
Caller [00:26:05] I well, I’m not I mean, I’m not really worried about it in terms of your listeners. It’s more just like a personal struggle.
Chris [00:26:10] Of course.
Caller [00:26:11] I don’t like to present as as wealthy. But yeah, I grew up very, very working class, very middle class family, single mom, all that stuff and like it, yeah, I, my husband grew up very differently. And so we have many conversations about how uncomfortable I am with having stuff and like buying things and like making cosmetic improvements on my home. Like that just seems so privileged and luxurious, luxurious to me that like, you know, you can have something that’s like the bathroom, for example. Your bathroom is functioning fine, but you want to renovate it because it would look nicer. That to me is just so foreign and insane. And like I won’t I won’t do it. I will only fix things that need to be fixed. Like, it just is insane to me that we have that extra money. And so it makes me very uncomfortable. But at the same time, yes, I do live a very, very kind of swanky ish life, except everything in my house and on my on the lakefront, on the property, I don’t know if you know this word in America, but everything is janky that I own, which means everything is kind of busted.
Chris [00:27:22] Wow. It’s funny. You and I both do that. It’s funny because I hear you say it and I don’t like that you’re putting yourself in that mental place. But I do the exact same thing to myself where I go… I wonder if you would agree. Like I have so much pride in my roots. And I have so much admiration for my parents and my grandparents. And I saw up close how hard they worked. And I saw my with my dad I saw… I saw him, you know… I remember I remember once asking my mom, I remember realizing, I go, Mom, I’m like thinking back to some stuff. Were we kind of poor growing up? And she goes, Well, I never made any jokes about us being poor until we weren’t that poor anymore. And I go, I remember when you made started making those jokes. I was probably in like middle school. She’s like, Yeah, before that, it was kind of dicey at times, you know? And I sit here, I go, well they work- I really want your opinion on this because you’re in the same boat, right? Because now I have a kid and I go, I work my ass off for my kid. And my dad worked his ass off for me. And I see that now. And it’s kind of a bummer that I feel this hesitation to let myself enjoy it and that I always question it and apologize for it and feel fear about it. Sounds like you do some of the same things.
Caller [00:28:41] Yeah, I do all of that for sure. And like, try to downplay it and feel guilty about being able to purchase things. And I don’t know. And it makes me very nervous when my daughter, like, I don’t know, like, she’ll- she gets everything she wants, right? Like what? Like she doesn’t have to ask for anything. She can- we buy her whatever she wants when she wants it. Because we can. And because I didn’t get that when I when I grew up. Like, if I wanted a new pair of pants, it was like you get the hand-me-downs from your older sister or like, you wait for your birthday. Deal with it, you know? And we’re going to patch them up until, until they fall apart or they fall off you. And I try to do that to some extent with my daughter, like with clothes, for example. Like I’ll be like, no, no, we can fix that. We can fix that. That’s also just like not wanting to, like, deal with, you know, throwing out everything and trying to, like, reuse things and not fall victim to fast fashion and all that stuff. But like, it’s yeah, it’s really weird. I want, I want my daughter to, like, have all of the things, but I also want her to understand, like, how hard it is to get the things and appreciate that, like, this isn’t normal and this isn’t something that everybody gets. And I don’t know, it’s very I don’t know. Raising children is a fucking challenge, man. And I don’t know if my my parents had the luxury of all of this, like, introspection about parenting or if they just did it. But I constantly am thinking about how my actions or what I’m saying is like, either fucking up my child or not teaching her the right things or something. Like, I don’t know. I mean.
Chris [00:30:22] Me and you. Very similar.
Caller [00:30:23] Sorry to make it about parenting again, but it’s on my mind.
Chris [00:30:26] It’s very real. It’s on my mind too. Very real. Yeah. Got very different scenarios. But we’ve landed in a similar place where I sit here I go. How. I. I don’t know how like I have moved up culturally to the point where I’m here. And that’s cool, but I don’t know how to raise a kid within this because I was not raised within it. And I’m worried about it and sort of distrustful of it. And yeah, very similar thoughts to what you’ve been expressing.
Caller [00:31:00] Yeah. I also like I went I did my undergraduate degree, like my first degree from after high school, at a pretty like prestigious university in Eastern Canada. And at the time I didn’t know it was super prestigious. But when they got there and started meeting people, everybody had gone to private school in Toronto. Like pretty much everybody had gone to private schools in Toronto or other areas in Canada. And I had public school and just like didn’t know anything about the world and like the way to be a wealthy person. And so I felt like very isolated and very different and other. And so to now maybe be part of that and to be raising a child who is part of that class, is like it just kind of… I don’t even know how to explain it. Like, like I don’t want to be part of that class. I don’t want my child part of that class. I want her to- I don’t want her to be disadvantaged, obviously, because that’s insane. But I don’t want her to be part of that privileged class.
Chris [00:32:03] Right now we’re getting into the meat of something. How do you grow up and let go of your own experiences, misconceptions, conceptions, whatever they may be? And how do you raise your kids in a way that you feel good about? This is it’s an interesting conversation. It’s not one that we that we always have either. Be right back. Thanks to all of our advertisers. No more ads, everybody. That’s it. The ads are over. Let’s finish off the phone call.
Caller [00:32:31] I don’t even know how to explain it. Like, I don’t want to be part of that class. I don’t want my child to be part of that class. I want her to… I don’t want her to be disadvantaged, obviously, because that’s insane. But I don’t want her to be part of that privileged class. Or if she is going to be part of that privileged class, I want her to know that she’s privileged and I want her to like recognize the privilege. And I don’t know. I don’t I don’t know how to do that.
Chris [00:32:55] We sit there we go, I don’t want my kid being a part of this. And yet I have worked my ass off so hard for them to have a chance to be a part of this. And I hope they make the best out of it. And I hope that leads to so much momentum. And I hope that they’re I hope that their life has parts where like I hope my son feels like there’s more things that are possible for him than I felt. I and I hope that I hope that this affords him opportunities that I didn’t feel like I had. And also, God damn it, I hope he doesn’t fall in with and become one of these people. But also, I fought so hard for him to have the chance to. So I got to get out of my own way. It’s really hard to figure that out. It’s really hard, right?
Caller [00:33:38] Yeah. I don’t know. It’s it’s a daily struggle. And like, like I said, I don’t know. I don’t think my parents thought about this stuff. Like my parents had four kids. My parents split up when I was like six. And my mom was in nursing school at the time. And so she was trying to nurse and she’s in nursing school, she’s working part time. And my dad was around on weekends, but like, not really. And I don’t mean to downplay my dad. He was a part of my life and my parents are like great friends. But there was a few years where my mom had four kids and was basically on her own. There was no way that she had time to think about was she instilling the proper values in me or was she teaching, you know, was she um not proper values, but like, yeah, she just wasn’t thinking about these things. Like, she wasn’t thinking about like, you know, like one of my current things with my daughter is I don’t want her to play with Barbies because I think that Barbies are bad for young girls and it promotes an unrealistic self-image and all of that stuff. And it fucks with your self-esteem and your self-confidence. And like, there’s no way my mother had those thoughts. One, it wasn’t part of like the general discourse, but also like she was just like, here’s a Barbie, go play. Please let me be. And so, yeah, I don’t think that my parents had these luxuries. And I spend a lot of my time thinking about this stuff for my my older daughter, and I guess eventually my, my other daughter. But um yeah, I didn’t think that there would be this much… I don’t know, internal conflict about raising a child, but yes, you want them to have all the things you didn’t want, but you also don’t want them to turn into the people that you that you hated when you grew up.
Chris [00:35:27] And when you’re living on a farm and the nearest people are a third of a mile away and you can’t even get a pizza delivery, there’s also a lot of time to sit and think way too hard about all this stuff too.
Caller [00:35:40] I guess so. Also, I just got a hot tub, so I can sit in the hot tub and contemplate these things.
Chris [00:35:46] Start with that! You started with coyote droppings. You got a hot tub and access to the lake and five boats. Let’s start there.
Caller [00:35:55] Yeah.
Chris [00:35:57] Hot tub. That’s nice. I don’t have a hot tub. Well, you’re one of those hot tub people? What you think you’re fancy? Think you’re better than me?
Caller [00:36:02] I know. I was just going to say I’m not one of those hot tub people. I swear!
Chris [00:36:08] I never thought I’d sit here and cow tow to a hot tub person on Beautiful/Anonymous.
Caller [00:36:15] But I it’s one of those things like a hot tub is like I never thought I’d be a hot tub person, but here I am sitting in the hot tub watching the sunset over my land, you know? Like, what the fuck is my life? How did this happen?
Chris [00:36:29] Yeah.
Caller [00:36:30] I don’t know how it happened. I’m here.
Chris [00:36:34] You know what I think a lot about with it is like, like I got a little yard now, and I live in a nice place, and I mean, I don’t have a hot tub, and I don’t have, like, like it’s you and you and your husband are lawyers. Look, I’m a podcaster, okay? Like, it’s all on a scale. But, like, me as a kid would be shocked to see where me as an adult grew up. But you know what I think about? Because I feel lucky that I’ve gotten to see steps along the way. And I mean, I have friends as an artist, I have friends now who, like their grandkids, aren’t going to have to worry about money. And it’s insane. And some of them… Some of them I’ve seen become, let me- I’m just going to dish some hot goss. I’m not going to name names. There’s some people I’ve seen in the comedy world who, you know, we used to be out doing shows together when we were all young. And you get up and you’re doing shows for drink tickets, you’re doing shows for free. And then I’ve seen a few people come to mind who are like household names now, people who I knew when they started out, we started out around the same time. And they’re miserable. They’re miserable people. And they’re mean and they’re tough to be around now. And I sit there, I go, this is a cautionary tale that makes me really want to think about how hard I dive into this industry, because I’m seeing a person become like miserable. And they are richer now and they have nicer clothes and they have creature comforts. But they’re they’re they used to be a sweet, fun person to be around, and now they’re a pain in the ass. But then I’ve seen other people hit that point and they’ve become lovelier. And like… This one, I will name a name because it’s a positive. Like one guy who I always really enjoyed, do you know Adam Pally, the actor? Adam’s a friend of mine. He’s been on a bunch of stuff. And he was always a really good dude. And then he got he went and got real successful and he became an even better dude. And he already was a pretty good dude. And he just became, like, so thoughtful and chill and just like… You could see it work for him.
Caller [00:38:35] Oh that guy from the Mindy Project.
Chris [00:38:37] Mindy Project. Yes. That, I think was his big breakout. Great dude. Great dude. And like I said, always was a good. I’m not saying he started out like a monster. He wasn’t. He was always a good kid when he first showed up at UCB. He was an actual kid to me, too. And then all of a sudden he’s like, but he he became just like he got his success and he became the best, man. Like Jake Johnson’s another guy who I knew when he started. And he’s always a good guy. And Jake Johnson, he’s he’s like, mega successful. Greatest dude ever. So nice. And you know what I think? I think. There are some people. I’m glad I’m happy and I’m happy to not namedrop the negative ones. I could. But I’m happy to namedrop some of the positive ones because those guys are great and they stayed so grounded. But you know what I think? And I wonder if you would agree with this. I think a lot about how some people get money and they lose touch with the idea that money and dignity don’t go hand in hand. Other people get money and they’re so grateful for it and they’re so aware that they have just been afforded some breathing room. Like they say, money can’t buy you happiness. And I think that’s true. But it can buy you a lot of breathing room. And that breathing room can help you find happiness. The the times in my life where I had money coming in, I had a lot of stress on me, but I had a lot of breathing room financially. And it does give you it gives- that breathing room goes a long way. Now, last few years, I have not been making nearly as much money. I have less breathing room, but I’m still very happy. But people’s financial status and their dignity should have nothing to do with each other. And that’s what I remember from being a kid going, man, people think they’re better than me because I live in a certain neighborhood. I remember feeling that so acutely. And I’ve learned over and over again throughout my life, like, it doesn’t matter what kind of house you live in. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive, what kind of clothes you wear. None of those should be things that allow another person to gauge your basic dignity as a human. And all too often we do. We let success and work, and especially in the States, I don’t know as much in Canada, but the material things become markers of our dignity. And that’s when things become a real problem, because humanity and dignity in material things like they- that Venn diagram really should cross. And it does. And that’s what gets me. I know I’m rambling right now. You talk.
Caller [00:41:18] That’s okay. I think I think that assholes and jerks are more driven to get money because they think it’s going to make people like them more and maybe they won’t be assholes and jerks anymore. And that’s why so many assholes and jerks have money. Money doesn’t make you a better person or a nice person. You have to be that already, right? And for the nice people who work hard and they get money, they just get nicer, I think. And they are generous and they get the breathing room and they can let other people have breathing room around them. But I see, especially as a lawyer, obviously there’s a lot of people who are so money driven and so focused on the stuff and the things, and I don’t know, I forgot I have people from law school on my Instagram. I don’t know why the hell I still have them on my Instagram. But I look at their lives and I’m just like, Oh, great, yeah, you got a new watch, but who needs a $20,000 watch? Like, what do you need to prove to yourself and the world about yourself that you have a $20,000 watch? Like, obviously, you you are an empty, hollow, terrible person. That’s what my that’s what I think. And I obviously money is amazing. Like you’re saying, money allows you breathing room. It allows you to be able to do other things, focus on other stuff. But like, it can’t be the goal. It just can’t be. And I mean, this is a bit of a rant too, but like this pandemic and, you know, the state of the world in general right now has really caused me to reevaluate what I’m doing. I’ve never been a money driven person. Like I wanted to pay off my student loans. I did. It took me almost two decades and help from my mother in law. But other than that, I just want to be able to live comfortably and have a house. And it so happens that I have all of these other things now which make me uncomfortable, but like it was never my goal. I joke around with my husband, I’m turning 40 in a couple of months, and I joke around with my husband that like, it’s going to be freedom 40 for me because he makes enough money to pay our mortgage and that’s all we need. And I can just retire and like make sure our children get on the bus and make sure dinner’s on the table and raise some maybe some goats and some donkeys and horses and grow our food and just live life because the goal of money and stuff is just it’s dumb. You know? I’m obviously a wild hippie, anti rich person, but also at the same time, almost a rich person because I have that like lawyer name, lawyer status. But I don’t know. I see some people, see some of my friends like they do work really hard and like I’m not working that hard. I work from about 930 in the morning till about 330 in the afternoon. And I don’t take on lots of clients because I don’t want to work that hard. Working hard sucks. I’d rather be doing stuff on my property and hanging out with my kids. I think when I was younger, I had this idea when I lived in the city that I would work really, really hard and make a name for myself and life would be about work. And I was going to be like a famous lawyer in Canada, whatever the fuck that means. And as I’ve aged, it’s just become very apparent that like, Oh, I don’t actually care about that at all. That’s not what I’m doing here. I’m here to, like, enjoy myself. And I joke with like housing prices in Canada and I’m sure in America have gone crazy. And where I live, my house has almost doubled in price from when we bought it. And I said to my husband multiple times that we should just sell the house, buy a boat, live on the boat, and like raise our children and homeschool our children on the boat. And be much more practical. He won’t let me do that. But I I talk about it all the time. I dream about it.
Chris [00:45:29] They’ll get a good education. Better than if I taught. I could try to homeschool my kid. I’d be like, Here’s a- you want to read the best run of Thor ever? Walt’s Simonsen’s Thor? It’s the best. You should read. Have you read-
Caller [00:45:42] I think I would actually be a terrible teacher, but I would try. I would try.
Chris [00:45:45] It’s funny. It’s right? Because look, at the end of the day, there will be some justified comments from people going, listen to these two people who have had good fortune talking about how hard it is to think about that. And point taken. But I will say this. I really have come to romanticize an era when it was like, you know- and look, I am not a well-researched person. I’m sure there’s terrible things from some of the names I’m going to drop. But like the Carnegies built Carnegie Hall. Right? Like they built a place with music and famously built an upper floor that was all for like artist studios and housing. Cheaply. Like the Vanderbilts built Grand Central Station in New York. They were like… One of the Vanderbilts was like, I want to have the best train station out of any city. Let’s build the most beautiful, magnificent train station. And if you go walk around Grand Central Station today, it’s shocking. It’s beautiful. It’s gorgeous. They weren’t shooting themselves into space just to say they did. They weren’t, like- and look, this all went down yesterday, but like Elon Musk famously put out of a thing that was like, you want me to pay my $6 billion in taxes? Like, if you can explain to me how you’d use that to fix homelessness, I’ll just give you $6 billion. And then someone did. Someone actually broke down here’s how $6 billion would be used. And my understanding, like, someone pretty official was like, Yeah, give us that. Here’s exactly what we’d do and here’s the effect it would have. And he didn’t do it. But then he spends $44 billion on Twitter out of spite. It’s like, this is what our richest people do now. And I think that’s part of why it’s so uncomfortable to go, the idea of being upwardly mobile, it’s the it is in many ways like that is how it’s supposed to work. That’s the dream. You’re supposed to be able to work hard. You’re supposed to be able to build momentum. And then the next generation, you know, like I get to build off my dad’s momentum. He gets to build off his parents’ momentum, all this stuff, blah, blah, blah. But I go, and to what? So I can be one of these miserable fucks who I see at the comedy clubs who show up with headphones in and don’t say hello to people they’ve been friends with for ten years because they’re so, what? Above it all? Or they’re so paranoid now? Whatever it is, like, whether it’s sympathetic or not, why? So I can just be like, miserable fuck? I once had, I’m going to tell you something. I was once at a comedy club where one of these comedians I’m referring to, who, he’ll never hear it, I once heard a comedian complaining that he was staying at a hotel and he went to the front desk to ask them if they had any vitamin infused I.V. bags available. And they said no and acted like he was crazy. And he was complaining about this to us. And I’m like, Oh, really, dude? I lost my fucking health insurance last year. Because I’m in America. You don’t have to worry about this in Caada. But I’m like, I didn’t get enough acting work. I lost my fucking health insurance. You’re complaining because a hotel thought you were crazy for asking for a vitamin infused I.V. bag? Guess why they looked at you like you’re crazy? That’s a crazy thing. You got to go to specialists for that. They don’t just have those at random hotels, you out of touch fucking psycho. What the fuck are you talking about? What are you talking about? So it’s like the idea I’m going to be upwardly mobile, why? So, so I can be associated with some dickhead who wants to go to space just because he gets his fucking dick hard? Or so you lose touch with reality so bad that you’re mad at somebody who works the front desk of a hotel. You’re mocking a front desk hotel worker because they didn’t have a vitamin infused I.V. bag for you? Like, I don’t want to be that ever. But what I do want to do is say, can I be the type of person who makes a little money and does my version of, well, now we all get a nice art space, now we get a nicer train station. Like, what’s my version? I don’t have that. I’m not a Carnegie, I’m not a Vanderbilt. But I’ll tell you what I do do is I’ve been making a lot of jokes. I’ve been volunteering on the ambulance squad in my town lately. I’m training to drive the ambulance. And some of this is a midlife crisis. Yeah. Now, a lot of this is a midlife crisis, and that’s for real. But there’s also a part of me that sits here and goes, Well, my son is growing up in a town where there’s a lot more privilege than I had. I’m going to make sure he also grows up seeing me actively do something selfless. Um, and this is not heroic. And this is not me trying to virtue signal or pat myself on the back or get patted on the back. It is just a simple thing of, okay, my son’s going to have an easier path. I also see how some people have been turned shitty by this exact type of easy path. Can I start doing some things that are the example of what we have to do to not be shitty, and how you can give of yourself? Um, and that’s, I think about this stuff all the time. So anyway.
Caller [00:50:45] Yeah, I mean, I think I just want to say I’m fully aware that there will be comments about how yeah, I’m some upper class privileged person who spouted off about whatever. And I’m out of touch with reality and I’m aware of that. I’m aware of those comments that will be coming. But I mean, this is I don’t know, my my story, I guess. And so these are things I’m struggling with, but.
Chris [00:51:10] It’s like they’re both valid comments. But it’s also valid for you to say like, yeah, I grew up where I didn’t think this was coming and now it’s here. And I never have totally liked the types of people who have bought into this stuff. And it’s hard to not feel like an outsider in my own life because of it. That’s also a very- those things can all be true. I can recognize that there are people who would love some financial breathing room, and I can also recognize the head twisting nature that comes along with it. And every- another thing we need to remember in the modern world: people’s realities can all be true. And we’re not competing with each other. And we can’t tear each other down for feeling the stresses that we feel. So don’t you worry about that. I got your back on that.
Caller [00:51:55] All right. Thanks, Chris. And, yeah, I feel like we’ve probably eaten up a lot of time already, haven’t we?
Chris [00:52:02] We only have 10 minutes left. I mean, you must be so stressed out from this call, you’re probably going to just take a nice dip in the hot tub before you go and kayak around Lake Ontario afterwards to chill out. Got all worked up. Got all worked up. You got to go work off some steam with your paddleboat.
Caller [00:52:18] I got to go pick up my daughter from daycare eventually is what I have to do after this. I will go to the hot tub, but after they go to bed, is what I will do. And watch the sunset. After they go to bed.
Chris [00:52:29] Enjoy it. Enjoy it.
Caller [00:52:30] Yeah, I don’t know. So we’ve got 10 minutes. Like, I have so many things planned to tell you about, but now I got nothing. Nothing. I can tell you about how I actually lived in America for a couple of years when I was a kid.
Chris [00:52:41] Whereabouts?
Caller [00:52:42] I lived in Beaumont, Texas, an hour and a half outside of Houston.
Chris [00:52:48] Sounds very different than Canada.
Caller [00:52:50] Well, it was very wild time of my life. It was for grade five, six and a half of grade seven. And it was it’s like, I don’t know if you’ve got this experience in any of your past, your history, but like it doesn’t seem like it was me that that happened to because it was so foreign.
Chris [00:53:09] How did you end up in Texas for three years?
Caller [00:53:13] My mother finally finished nursing school. And when she was done, there were no jobs in Ontario because the Ontario government at the time had cut all the nursing jobs. And so the only nursing jobs you could get was one in Texas and one in the Northwest Territories, which is like far, far north Canada. And so she chose Texas. So she moved her children to Texas for almost three years so that she could get her nursing job and support her family. And it was crazy. The school that I went to had corporal punishment. So like you would get a paddling if you would late in grade five. We’d get paddled. It was crazy.
Chris [00:53:58] That ain’t good.
Caller [00:53:58] Like that was crazy. And there was actually like there was actually like gangs. You know, like, I don’t know what a gang was. I had seen it on, like our version of MTV. I mean, like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. And their various bandana colors. But I had never seen it in real life. And there was actual gangs and drive by shootings. It was an insane it was a very strange choice for my mother to make. And I mean, she was doing her best for her children. But in retrospect, when we all came back, it was basically just like, let’s never speak of that again.
Chris [00:54:30] And did she eventually said, we’re going back to Canada because this is too nuts orwas it a job shift? I’m just wondering.
Caller [00:54:39] Her dad died and so we- yeah, her dad, my grandpa died. And so we came back to kind of help my grandma and we moved in with her for a while. So yeah. And like thinking about like just different, different levels of like, socioeconomic status. Like we lived with my grandma for two years and my mother was like getting welfare because she couldn’t get a job when we moved back to Canada for a few months.
Chris [00:55:00] So is your mom still alive?
Caller [00:55:02] We had some bad times. She is still alive. Yes.
Chris [00:55:06] She must be so proud of you.
Caller [00:55:11] Oh, man. Chris. My mom. She is proud of me, but also not proud of me. Like I could have always done better.
Chris [00:55:18] Really? It sounds like you did pretty great.
Caller [00:55:23] Exactly. Like I think I did pretty great, too, but, like, never going to be, never going to be good enough for, for her. I think I could have done more. I’m the last of four children. And so I’ve I’ve had it pretty easy in terms of like parental control in my life. I was the only one of four children who didn’t have to go to Catholic high school, for example, because by the time I came along, they were just fed up with trying to force the children to go- their children to go to Catholic high school. I didn’t have curfews when I was a kid. I didn’t have that much oversight. But at the same time, I still could have done things better. I’m still not exactly what she wanted me to be. And she refers to me as her mean child.
Chris [00:56:07] Her mean child?
Caller [00:56:08] So. Yeah. I’m the mean one.
Chris [00:56:11] You’ve struck me as nothing but nice.
Caller [00:56:16] I have a tendency to be very blunt and honest with people, and I do that with my mother, and she does not appreciate it. So I am the mean one because I do not humor her anything. I don’t humor it. And so we have a we have a good- we have a relationship. But it’s a weird one. I don’t I never talk to her about anything. I don’t confide in her about anything. Or look to her for advice. Yeah. And I mean, this is going to probably eat up all my time, but I had a baby two years ago who ended up having to be in the hospital here for about four weeks and had brain surgery when she was three weeks old.
Chris [00:56:59] Oh wow.
Caller [00:56:59] Yeah. She’s fine now, thankfully, she’s fine.
Chris [00:57:02] Oh good.
Caller [00:57:02] Everything’s great. She’s wonderful. But it was an extremely stressful one month period where she was in the hospital and I was basically living at the hospital. During that time, I didn’t want anybody to visit me in the hospital because I just couldn’t handle it. And I wasn’t really communicating with anybody other than my sister via email and text, and she was relaying things to my mother. And my mother apparently was extremely mad at me because I wouldn’t let her see her granddaughter. And grandmothers have rights. And I was being cruel to my mother.
Chris [00:57:35] Mm hmm.
Caller [00:57:36] So that is an example of my relationship with my mother. That’s pretty like, highlights what the issues are. And she’s never apologized to me for that or asked for any clarification about why I didn’t want her to visit. She just assumed that I was being cruel when really it was just like I could not have handled somebody else being there. So. But she has a good relationship with my children. She’s a lovely grandmother. But I don’t know that I’ll ever get over her saying that. And then also when I was I was sharing information with my sister, sort of just updates about my daughter’s health and what was happening, and I’d asked her to keep it between between our close family. And my mother took the email that my sister had sent and copied and pasted it and sent it to all her and sent it to all of her siblings, directly against my wishes of not sharing it with the family, extended family that is. Again, Mother did not apologize for that or admit to doing it.
Chris [00:58:42] You know what’s really fascinating?
Caller [00:58:43] Or that it was a problem. Hmm?
Chris [00:58:46] I brought up your mom and then your response was like I was like I was talking to a completely different human being than the one I’ve turned to for the past 54 minutes. Different tone. Different tenor.
Caller [00:58:57] Yeah. Yeah, it’s a bit of a soft spot, actually.
Chris [00:59:01] Yeah, my bad. I thought it was going to be a happy ending where your mom was like this hardworking, single mom who traveled all over the- brought you to Beaumont, Texas, because that’s where the job was. And then you scrapped it out. Now you’re living on this farm with these boats and she gets to see her grandkids raised like that and she’s so proud of you. And instead, it was like you went into, like, I could feel your eyes narrow and the storm clouds roll in over your head.
Caller [00:59:27] Yeah. I mean that’s, yeah, I know. I can’t hear that, but I’m not surprised. And like, I’m currently in therapy where basically all I talk about is my mother and how I don’t understand why my relationship with her is so shitty. Because she was this good, strong, single mother and she was a good role model and all of these things. But there’s just other other issues that that are stuck there that are blocking me from being able to actually have a good relationship with my mother. Yeah. So it’s a bit of a you walked into that one, Chris.
Chris [01:00:01] That’s okay. Sometimes I step in it. Sometimes on this show, I step in it. I’m glad to hear that your daughter’s okay. And I mean, I hearing that that happened right when she was born, too. I mean, that had to be so scary. So scary. I can’t imagine.
Caller [01:00:20] It was a, I mean it was a very long story, but it was a very, scary and intense experience. I we had no idea that anything was wrong with her when she was born even. The birth itself was quite exciting. I ended up having to get an ambulance to the hospital because I didn’t think I was in labor, and then all of a sudden I was like, Oh shit, I’m definitely 100% in labor and I have to go immediately. So I ended up having to get an ambulance because we could not have driven fast enough to get there. And I gave birth within like 5 minutes of being in the hospital. Two pushes and she was out. But then there was nothing wrong with her when she was born. It wasn’t until I got her home and I realized that something was strange with how she was nursing. And I got put in- we went to the hospital and the hospital was just like, oh, your just your milk hasn’t come in yet. Give her some formula. And I was like, that’s not the problem. That not the problem. And I pushed and pushed and I pushed. And then eventually she got admitted into the hospital and overnight started having seizures in the hospital. And then they discovered that she had a bleed in her brain and had the surgery. So actually this is actually one thing I did want to talk about was how lucky I am that I live in Canada, because my child was in the ICU or the NICU for four weeks. Didn’t pay a dime. And when I was in there, all I, not all, but a lot of the time I would sit there talking with the nurses just about the amount of stuff that they do for little babies. Like the baby needed an MRI? No problem. Done in an hour. Here’s the MRI. Here’s it read. You need a neurologist right now? For sure. Here he is on the phone. You need a neurosurgeon? You need the hematologist? You need whomever, they’re there. And all of the things. And like my daughter had a dedicated nurse 24 hours a day. And I just was like, thank fuck I don’t live in America. That would have been obscene. And I’ve heard on your show a couple of the parents who have had children with cancer and children who have passed away and all the care that they were given and is just like breaks my heart that that happens and then you get home and you get a bill? A bill from the hospital? I don’t know. That, as a Canadian, that to me is just bonkers. And I am very grateful for that and grateful for the care that we got in the hospital.
Chris [01:02:26] As an American, it’s bonkers to me. I also want to say too, kudos to you because, well, you know, there’s a pivotal part of that story, too, of of, you know, when they say, oh, that’s your milk hasn’t come in yet. Try formula. And you going, No, that’s not it. Something’s really wrong. And you having that mother’s intuition, that parent’s intuition and drawing that line and sticking with it? That’s huge as well, so kudos to you for not, not settling and trusting your gut and trusting your instincts on that as well.
Caller [01:02:58] Yeah, actually, that experience made me want to consider being a patient advocate in hospitals because there are so many times where people do just get steamrolled by the medical establishment and don’t know how to speak up for themselves or don’t know what to say. And I was like, Oh, I could do that. That could be a job I could do. I don’t think it’s actually a job. But I also have a master’s degree in the in the philosophy and history of medicine. History and philosophy of medicine. And so I don’t know, I I’m very interested in like the power that medical people have over us and that we, like, treat them and put them up on a pedestal, treat them like a god. But really, they’re just people who are trying their best with what they have. But ultimately, you know, if you’ve got a bad feeling or you’ve got a feeling about something, then you’ve got to speak up and push for it because you can get steamrolled and end up in a worse situation. And I’ve had that happen to friends, typically mothers who have given birth where it was generally always about breastfeeding. And they end up just giving in because some professional said, Oh, you know, just do formula. It’s whatever. Anything’s fine. Feed your baby however you want to feed your baby. But there are times where people get talked into stuff by doctors because we believe them, because they’re doctors. And they’re really just people.
Chris [01:04:12] Absolutely. Well, our time is up. This was a fascinating conversation. I did not know where this one was going to go at any point in the hour. And I feel like I got to air out some stuff that’s been on my mind lately. So I hope you got something out of it, too.
Caller [01:04:24] Yeah. This has been awesome.
Chris [01:04:26] Yeah. Enjoy all the things you earned. And I could make some jokes right now, but I’d rather just say enjoy them. You earned them. And it sounds like you’re doing your best to raise your kids right and and give them perspective. And God bless that.
Caller [01:04:43] Thanks, Chris. I’ll try my best.
Chris [01:04:50] Caller, so sincerely, thank you. And you sound like a good mom. And you and your kids deserve all that stuff you have. Enjoy it. Be a good one. You are a good one. Everybody be a good one. This show is produced by Anita Flores. It’s engineered by Marcus Hahm. Our theme song is by ShellShag. Go to ChrisGeth.com if you want to know more about me, including live dates and live Beautiful/Anonymous tapings with ticket links, all that stuff. And hey, wherever you’re listening, there’s a button that says subscribe or favorite or follow. Something like that. Helps us so much when you hit that button, so please consider doing so. Find our latest merch at podswag.com. There’s mugs, shirts, posters and more. And if you want your episodes of Beautiful/ Anonymous without any ads and you want a ton of other shows the same way, you’re gonna want to check out Stitcher premium. Use the promo code “stories”, you’ll get a month free. Stitcher.com/premium.
Recent EpisodesSee All
June 5, 2023
EP. 374 — Murder Wedding (Live from Beaut/Con)
A former wedding planner tells the insane story of a murder that happened right before the ceremony.
May 29, 2023
EP. 373 — Outside the Box Psychologist
During Mental Health Awareness Month, Geth speaks with a 67-year-old psychologist about combating loneliness post 2020.
May 22, 2023
EP. 372 — American Teenager in 2023
A high school senior speaks with Geth about going through the pandemic as a teenager. She discusses her fear of being in a school shooting and how disconnected she feels her generation is because of screens.