June 27, 2022
A married couple who recently became foster parents talk about what motivated them to foster and how it’s dramatically changed their lives.
They open up about how everyday is “emotional limbo” because they don’t know if the kids will return to their birth parents. They also share their love of D&D, revealing character names such as Trina Tinkleberry the gnome.
325 — Foster Parents Who Love D&D (Live from Seattle)
Chris [00:00:04] Hello, Seattle. It’s Beautiful/ Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred. Hello. Welcome to Beautiful/Anonymous. My name’s Chris Gethard. It’s an honor and a privilege to bring you another phone call that represents human conversation in raw, largely unedited form, as we tell human stories one by one each week here on the show. And before we even get into what this episode is about, just want to go ahead and say that this is a baffling and difficult week in America. The Supreme Court is taking away people’s rights. I don’t like it, and I want to send love to all the listeners who are affected by this, especially our women who listen to the show. You hear me pause there because I’m getting a mixture of angry and sad. A mixture of angry and sad right now. If you know the history of our show, a lot of people have been listening since the beginning. You know, we were featured on This American Life after episode one. It it blew up. It exploded in a way no one expected. It became something I never saw coming. And I’ve always said so much of what we’ve always known from day one, with the people listening, with the feedback, with the demographic research they do, women have supported this show and I support women. And I will tell you that the idea that we’re losing rights and moving backwards in this country is is baffling and maddening. And I just want to say much love to everybody out there. And if you live in a state in the United States where abortion is now illegal or restricted, I want to let you know about a site called aid and abet abortion dot com. This is a site that is looking to help people who need help. And a good friend of mine is someone who’s helping to spread word on this site, and I am happy to use my platform to help that process. Much love to everyone, especially people who feel like their rights have been infringed upon and trampled this week. It’s unforgivable. Whew. I hate that I have to even talk about this. I hate that that’s where the country is moving. Okay. This week’s episode, we did not plan this. This was not intentional. It does happen to tie in as far as what we have on the schedule. It’s our live show from Seattle. This was an incredible show. Thanks to everybody who came out to Fremont Abbey, which is an actual functioning church on Sundays, and let me do a comedy show there on Saturday. It was a beautiful environment to do a show and a crowd of just lovely, thoughtful people showed up. And we heard this call from a couple that is participating in the foster care system. They foster children, like I said, care of children ties right into what I was talking about in the beginning of the show. This couple was able to let us know the scary parts, the beautiful parts, the uplifting parts, the difficult parts, the parts they didn’t expect, and the way they see their process moving forward as far as participating in foster care. It’s an eye opening look into a system that I think we all hear about from afar, but not many of us know how it actually functions from within. I think you’ll agree our callers deserve big thanks for helping kids in this world, and I really hope you enjoy the call.
Voicemail Robot [00:03:54] Thank you for calling Beautiful/Anonymous. A beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host.
Chris [00:04:01] Hello, caller. Are you there?
Caller [00:04:04] Hello?
Chris [00:04:05] Hi.
Caller [00:04:05] Hello. Hello.
Chris [00:04:06] Hi. What’s up?
Caller [00:04:08] How’s it going?
Chris [00:04:09] It’s good. Everything’s good on my end. I’m here in a, like a legitimate church. The show is in a church tonight, and I’m with a whole bunch of people in Seattle, and they all seem nice and cool. That’s how I’m doing.
Caller [00:04:20] Right on. We are with a seven month old in our bedroom and one other kid is asleep and one is watching TV in the living room.
Wife [00:04:27] And when he says “we” that means there’s- I’m his wife.
Chris [00:04:32] We’ve got a couple on the line. Hi! You got a couple with a-
Caller [00:04:37] We try not to (UNCLEAR) but yeah, we’re a couple.
Chris [00:04:41] Husband, wife, seven month old, all on the line together, other kid watching TV. How do you have any energy to be awake and doing this right now?
Wife [00:04:50] Oh, and one kid is in the crib sleeping.
Caller [00:04:52] Yeah, we we we’re we’re foster parents. We’ve got a set of three siblings that we’re looking out for right now.
Chris [00:04:58] Okay, so these are all three foster siblings.
Caller [00:05:02] Yeah.
Wife [00:05:02] Yeah.
Caller [00:05:02] Yeah.
Chris [00:05:03] Wow. Well, first of all, that’s incredible. And thank you for doing what you do, because I know that that system is one where, you know, people step in to try to help those most in need. Also know it’s a hard system to navigate. So thanks for doing that. That’s incredible.
Caller [00:05:17] Yeah. I mean, it’s it’s unfortunate that in the system the way it’s set up right now, often the child is the one who is punished the most severely out of all parties involved. But we are doing our best to make sure that the kids that are with us right now get some semblance of joy and stability. That’s all we’re trying to do.
Wife [00:05:37] And they’re amazing. We I feel just as lucky to have them in our lives.
Chris [00:05:41] How long have you been doing this? Is this your first- are these your first foster children or have you had other kids pass through your lives before?
Caller [00:05:49] We’ve had a couple of them stay with us really briefly. These these ones, this family have been with us for a little over a year now.
Chris [00:05:57] For over a year?
Caller [00:05:58] Yeah.
Chris [00:05:59] Wow. Wow. That’s really I mean, to- I have one I have one son. And it is a job. It is a handful. And I can’t imagine just taking three. And it is this is also a situation it’s not like they give you much time to prepare, right?
Caller [00:06:20] No. We literally had to like pick them up pretty much in the middle of the night. They- the way it works is like they they ask if you if you’re available to take them to take somebody because someone’s there. And if you say yes, they’re like, okay, well, they’re here. Come down right now and get them.
Wife [00:06:34] Well. And our baby, the they’re seven month old, he was born and then we didn’t know we were going to get him because he’s like related to the siblings, but we didn’t know that he was going to be placed with us for sure. We were like, yes, we want him to come live with his with his sister and sister. And but like they called us and were like, yeah, you’re going to get him now. Like, come get him. And so we literally had like a day to prep for a newborn.
Chris [00:07:09] So you had already you had already been fostering his older siblings. And then.
Caller [00:07:16] Yes. And mom was pregnant when she lost custody originally. And so when this last baby was delivered, the decision, I guess, was made that this baby should go with a foster family as well. And so they contacted us and said that he needs a place to go. And so less than 24 hours after he was born, he was put into our care.
Chris [00:07:41] So you went from having no children in the household to, hey, we got two. And be ready because as soon as this third one’s born, you got you have now three kids in your household.
Caller [00:07:51] Fuckin we had- two years ago, we were like the cool, hip, young couple who are like, we’re never going to have kids. Like, we don’t need to bring more like children into the world, man. We’re just going to- we used to run a theater. Like we were we were we have our degrees in theater and we, like, ran a community theater. Like, we’re just going to like have our theater family. We’re going to go on tours, like doing shows. Like we’re just going to, we’re just going to, like, live in the arts and be bohemian. And then that that didn’t last.
Chris [00:08:16] Our oh, your lives have been destroyed due to your dedication to helping others and being good people.
Wife [00:08:24] How dare us. Truly.
Caller [00:08:26] You never hear about people who are like who who are bad, who are like, don’t don’t give anything back to society having their lives ruined. They don’t- they’re never have anything to worry about on that front, I guess.
Baby [00:08:40] (COOS)
Chris [00:08:48] That was a shockingly cute moment in the history of this show.
Caller [00:08:56] (BLEEP) young comrade. He’s with us all the way.
Chris [00:08:59] It’s funny, I tell you, I just I just attended a I was just actually the reverend at a wedding in Florida. And some people gave me a ride back to the airport and they were foster parents. And we talked a lot about it. And they were telling me that it’s very it’s like this very head spinning thing because they they care for these kids. And they they they pretty quickly come to have so much love for these kids, but they’re also really praying hard for their kids’, mom to turn everything around and get everything on track. And they want the best for all parties involved. And I wonder how you feel about about that as well.
Wife [00:09:38] Yeah.
Caller [00:09:40] It’s hard. You kind of have to live in this limbo every day because you can’t outright tell the kids as well that, you know, one thing is going to happen or another. You can’t tell them like, don’t worry, mom’s working hard to get you back, you know, because that that might not happen. And you can’t say like, Well, you’re going to live with us now because that might not happen. So every day is like this, this emotional limbo for for them of like, we are going to love you while you’re here with us. But, you know, we- you never know what’s going to happen.
Wife [00:10:04] And we try to be like we try to be pretty honest with the kids, like age appropriately, obviously, like we don’t share all details of what’s going on because we also don’t want to damage their relationship. But it’s really challenging because you also-.
Caller [00:10:22] You don’t want anybody to be the bad guy.
Wife [00:10:24] Yeah. And, and sometimes, like, if your ego gets into it, you can kind of it can be like kind of head spinning because it feels like you’re the bad guy. Like, like, like, because obviously and this isn’t always the case, but the kids like love their, their parents, their family and want to go back usually. Like most of the time- not most the time- I shouldn’t say that, but a lot of the time that’s the case. And like also that’s what you definitely want- we want. We want that to be what happens. And unfortunately, in this case, I don’t know if that’s going to happen, which is also very head spinning. It’s a lot of emotions. Like so many different. I feel like I feel like a range of like like five emotions at once all day every day right now.
Chris [00:11:23] Yeah, I bet. I bet. And I love what you said too. You said something that really jumps out at me. It’s like you don’t, you don’t want to… You don’t want to ever have the kids start to think about someone being the bad guy. I think that’s such a healthy mentality, right? Like there’s people in life who maybe, you know, you can think of a thousand scenarios off the top of your head. Maybe somebody had a child when they were very young and they’re in over their head. Maybe somebody lost a job. Maybe somebody, you know, had had a partner who passed away. There’s like so many reasons that somebody might be under duress and not able to handle it. Maybe somebody had a kid and couldn’t pursue their education and economically now they can’t keep up. And then there’s the things that I think other people are quick to judge too of, like maybe someone’s dealing with addiction or abuse and and even that, you have to take a deep breath as the foster parent and just go, those are the ones that become easier to demonize or sort of maybe lean towards someone as a bad guy. But to be a foster parent and go, I never want this person to think of their birth parent as a bad person so much as a person who needed help, that’s such a fine line to walk. And I would have to imagine it’s so easy… It could be so easy to really, like, really mess with the kids’ perception of their of their own parents. And then that’ll start to mess with their own perception of themselves. And what a tricky line to have to walk.
Caller [00:12:51] Yeah. And I think that when when people think about the foster care system, like that’s kind of a stigma they, they jump to is they think that it’s like just rampant with like addiction and substance abuse and all these kind of things. But generally, like at least in our area, the majority of the cases stemmed from negligence and the negligence is usually tied into poverty conditions somehow. And I mean, that’s I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir there as far as, like the the the systems and structures that that cause poverty, you know, that the the people who are the impoverished, you know, are often are the victims in that situation.
Wife [00:13:30] And like layers of generational trauma that like a lot of the families are trying to like survive past and like are trying to work through, but also don’t have the resources to work through. And the system doesn’t really give them that many resources.
Caller [00:13:42] And it’s something that we kind of have to come to terms with being foster providers is that as foster providers, any kids in our care get, they’re eligible for WICK, you know, so they get help with, you know, baby formula and other like nutrition necessities. And they have all of their their medical and dental coverage through the state, like they have all these insurance and stuff set in place. And it’s the kind of things where like, if, if those if those same resources were available to their families to begin with, a lot of the kids would not be in this situation at all.
Chris [00:14:14] Let’s pause there, because that’s a very sobering thought, isn’t it? If those same resources were available to their families to begin with, a lot of the kids would not be in this situation at all. That is eye opening. That’s a lot to process. And I’m sure people have many thoughts. Think those thoughts, process those thoughts as you do. Take a deep breath. We’ve got our our ad break. We’ll be right back. Thanks to all the advertisers who help us bring the show to the world. Now we can get back into this phone call.
Caller [00:14:42] If those if those same resources were available to their families to begin with, a lot of the kids would not be in this situation at all.
Chris [00:14:49] Oh that gets me mad.
Caller [00:14:49] Because a lot of the kids are being considered negligent because their mom couldn’t provide for them medically.
Chris [00:14:55] You just got an applause break from the people of Seattle. Applause via Seattle on that one. It’s so true, right? It’s so true it’s just somebody can’t afford insurance for their kids and then they have to work three jobs and then they can’t be in the house. And then eventually somebody says, hey, you’re not in the house, well, you should be paying for child care. You go, Well, what do I pay for? Do I pay for insurance or child care? Because I need both. And if I don’t have either, you’re going to it’s it’s backed into a corner. Let alone, okay, how do I keep a roof over their head when housing costs are going so insane? And no one seems to be willing to stop this. Oh, okay. You know what we can do? Let’s take our minds off of it, and everybody clap for the billionaires in space! We can just clap for the space billionaires, and they’ll get us through. They’ll be our modern day heroes. The space billionaires. Sorry, should I not say that in Seattle? Sorry about that. Sorry about that.
Audience Member [00:15:53] Fuck Bezos.
Chris [00:15:53] Oh wow. People shouting Fuck Bezos in Seattle. (CROWD CHEERS) Hahaha! Oh, but it is, right? It’s like you hate to stick it to any of these billionaires…
Caller [00:16:06] I mean, big words from the city that unleashed Starbucks on the world.
Chris [00:16:09] What’s that?
Caller [00:16:10] Big words from the city that unleashed Starbucks on the world.
Chris [00:16:13] Big words from the city that unleashed Starbucks. I mean, at least Starbucks is unionizing now, right? At least they’re starting now. We’re getting there. That’s starting to move. But it is true. You think about the immense wealth and you go, maybe less, maybe one less lap around the orbit and buy baby formula for people and less kids need to go to foster care, you fucking… anyway. Anyway.
Caller [00:16:37] And just the fact that the fact that we we are are eligible for those resources as foster providers shows that it is there. Like they have the ability to provide free insurance for these kids. And it’s just they’re picking and choosing who it goes to. And it I mean, they’re really deciding kind of who gets to raise the next generation. And they’ve decided that it’s going to be mostly like middle class white families, because that’s a lot of who become foster providers. And like people who are very well-to-do already and decide that they want to kind of be saviors for some kids who are down on their luck, which is its own its own story and like maybe I’m passing judgment on some people generally. But yeah. The the ability to provide the free insurance is obviously there because we have it for our kids. And so it’s it’s really frustrating to think they could just hand it out. (BABY SNEEZES)
Chris [00:17:27] Oh my God, this baby is making some cute noises. And I really like it. We have some reaction from our crowd in Seattle, callers. Would you like to hear it?
Caller [00:17:39] I’d love it.
Chris [00:17:40] We have Amazon is in the unionization process. Fuck Bezos. A lot of things that say fuck Bezos, fuck the space billionaires, especially Bezos. There’s a lot I just want to share but just a lot of these. Heated blanket aficionado says, Callers you are awesome. Thanks for taking care of these adorable babies. We can hear the adorableness audibly. How are you taking care of yourself during all of this? What are you doing to keep your mental health on track when handling so many other things so abruptly? Great question.
Caller [00:18:16] We’re calling Chris Gethard and seeing what he has to say about it.
Chris [00:18:20] The last thing. That’s the last thing.
Wife [00:18:23] No I mean we are. We are doing that. That is true. But honestly, it’s a really it’s a really hard balance. And that was such a considerate question. Thank you.
Caller [00:18:34] Yeah, thank you to whoever that was in the crowd.
Wife [00:18:36] Because it’s really challenging. I mean, and it’s- okay, so not to complain about our own conditions, but like we we don’t get free health care, our kids do. So when it comes to paying for our own stuff, it is- it can be challenging sometimes to always prioritize our like going to therapy, I should say. That cost can be a lot, obviously. But we have a lot of resources that we like to use, like because I’m becoming and I’m in school right now to become a counselor. I’m working on my master’s in counseling. And so I make my whole family do weird things because I’m specializing in drama therapy. I’m doing an alternative training in drama therapy. And so we do a lot of weird things in our house, like lots of sensory and journaling and performance. So I don’t know if that answers the question. But I tried.
Chris [00:19:39] I appreciate the answer. I will say devil’s advocate- and I’m joking here- there is one angle on it of like, how do you take care of your mental health? Oh, well, I use my family as guinea pigs in…
Wife [00:19:50] Totally. No. Yeah, no. Yeah. No, it’s definitely more of a reflective personal process than like us doing sharing circles, I would say. But yeah.
Caller [00:20:03] I mean it is, it’s a hard conversation to have when like you have to explain to your daughter why, why you take her to the doctor, like every time she has an earache or anything like that. But you, you just to stay home and tough it out when you’re like when you like throwing up in your room and stuff like that. Like because you can’t really explain to her, like, why she can go to the doctor, but you can’t. That’s a hard thing to do.
Chris [00:20:27] Yeah. What a sad answer to the question, How are you taking care of yourself? That’s a tough one. That’s a tough one.
Caller [00:20:35] We we play-
Wife [00:20:36] We play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons.
Caller [00:20:37] Yeah. We play Dungeons Dragons a lot.
Chris [00:20:38] There you go. There you go. And is that a family activity? Are you getting the kids on that? Or do you as parents actually take breaks once in a while and escape into a fantasy world?
Caller [00:20:52] She watches us play with with a group over Zoom and like, we’ve tried to get her to do it too, but I think she thinks we’re we’re losers. I think that she doesn’t want to do it.
Chris [00:21:03] Hahaha. I tell you, I’ve tried to- I’ve only played D&D a handful of times in my life. But I mean, I’m cut from the comic book cloth. I played Magic The Gathering a little bit back in high school and D&D here and there, but my wife reacts to D&D like she fundamentally is like, so wait, most of it is you just sit around at a table and you pretend to be someone else? I’m like, yeah, that is really most- and she’s like, and where do the dice come in? I’m like, The dice are kind of- they’re just there to get you to the next part of the story where you get to pretend that you’re like going into some town square and you go into a cavern and you- and she’s like, This sounds so lame. And I’m like, I don’t know. I guess. I guess maybe you were lucky to not live a life that you want to escape once in a while. I don’t know what to tell you.
Caller [00:21:52] We’re both improv people too, so it gets very masturbatory when it’s like, Oh, we’re going to do it with these like five characters and Oh, this one’s from England. Oh, check it out. Like.
Wife [00:22:00] Hold on, I don’t really, I’m not a bit accent person, so that would not be me.
Caller [00:22:05] Okay. Okay. It is me.
Wife [00:22:06] That’s you. Yeah, you talk for yourself.
Chris [00:22:09] If you could, I will say-To our husband caller, it sounds like you’re closer to the phone. And to our wife caller, make sure you get close. Because especially when that rage starts to bubble over, I want to hear it really bad. Maybe we could turn the volume up a little bit too, Eli, if you don’t mind. I love the-
Wife [00:22:28] Yeah, I’ll get closer.
Chris [00:22:29] Oh, good, good. Yes, yes, yes. So you were saying, our wife, you were saying to your husband…
Wife [00:22:36] Oh, I was just saying that he should speak for himself because his ego gets in it. But I mean, my ego obviously does too because how can it not? But I’m not an accent person. I don’t do accents. I’ve never been an improviser that does a lot of accents. So…
Chris [00:22:57] I will say I have played D&D with a bunch of improv people and it is hilarious until it is annoying, and then it’s the most annoying thing I’ve ever been a part of.
Wife [00:23:10] Well, and so this is how this is how maybe, maybe some might find this as sad, but I think it’s cool.
Caller [00:23:17] Great setup.
Wife [00:23:17] Which is maybe us. Well, yeah. Yeah. I, we, we, I got really into D&D and I- it- this is something that I thought was also like, like not something I would be into. But I got so into D&D that he like my husband is a DM for just a campaign with just me. Like him and I are- late at night after the kids go to sleep, we’ll play D&D just us two.
Chris [00:23:45] And you’re telling me your kid watches that and thinks you are losers?
Wife [00:23:53] This is great. That’s not the one that we let her watch.
Caller [00:23:56] If she watches that, she would she’ll go back into the foster care system.
Chris [00:24:00] She doesn’t get to watch the steamy one on one D&D action. Inappropriate. So you’re-
Wife [00:24:07] It’s not sexual. I mean, maybe. No, it’s not.
Chris [00:24:12] That sounds like an amazing couple activity. Just I’m the DM and you’re on an adventure and then you just get a… I love hearing you react to how we are reacting to this as you say it out loud and realize you’re admitting that- how many people in your real life know that you have a one on one D&D campaign?
Caller [00:24:35] Now?
Chris [00:24:39] Have you ever wrapped up a campaign and then you have to leave and go somewhere separate and then like, let’s say maybe husband, you’re at home and wife you’re, I don’t know, arbitrarily, you’re out. You have to go buy shoes or something and you’re at the shoe store and you call him on the phone and you’re like, We’re rerolling, that last one. Reroll it right now. Roll it for me. I didn’t like that roll. Have you have you ever continued the one on one D&D campaign from separate locations?
Wife [00:25:03] I’m sorry I held on to you saying I was at the shoe store.
Chris [00:25:09] You’ve never bought shoes in your life?!
Wife [00:25:12] I just think it’s a very specific thing to think that the wife got to do.
Chris [00:25:17] Everybody buys shoes. I’ve bought shoes! Is that misogynistic?
Wife [00:25:21] No, it’s not really.
Chris [00:25:23] Everyone buys shoes. I bought these shoes very recently! Maybe I was embracing another side of myself and didn’t know it. Everybody buys shoes. I, I actively tried to pick something that was non gendered.
Caller [00:25:34] She’s trying to change the subject, man. Don’t let her.
Wife [00:25:38] Wow. I feel like I’ve got two husbands ganging up on me.
Chris [00:25:40] Okay, let’s say. Okay, I’ll change it. I’ll change it. So you can answer the question. Let’s say you have to go ship a package at the FedEx store.
Wife [00:25:47] Thank you, much, much, much better. What, do you think I’m shopping at Amazon too much? I’m just kidding. I’m just now I’m just ripping.
Chris [00:25:54] I don’t know what point you and I became adversaries, but I’m a little nervous about it.
Wife [00:25:58] No, I really wanted to say that I love you. I really love you. And I think you’re really cool. I don’t know why I’m being so mean to you.
Chris [00:26:10] I wouldn’t say you’re being mean so much as I guess that I guess the idea of women be shopping is something that’s out there and like a woman with too many shoes in her closet. I guess I’ll just say that that’s not I don’t think of that. I wasn’t thinking of that. And I do apologize if it put you in your head. And kudos to you for giving me the business in front of a live crowd. How’s that sound?
Wife [00:26:32] So no, no, thank you. I, I don’t know.
Chris [00:26:39] I’ll tell you. In my thought process, I was like, maybe you went to the supermarket to go food shopping. And in my head I said, don’t assume that the wife would do the food shopping, say, shoe store instead. But clearly I should have let that roll down a hill a couple more steps, because now here I am getting crushed to the wall in Seattle. The only person they hate more than me is Bezos.
Caller [00:27:05] At least we’ve always got that to hang on to. If you lose the crowd, you can always pull back out the space billionaires.
Chris [00:27:10] That’s true. It’s true, start going after him. So you you used to run a theater, like you said, a community theater?
Caller [00:27:19] Yeah. Well we we met in college pursuing our theater degrees. And then when we graduated, we started like a small nonprofit community theater to just kind of get like, like local scripts and stuff up on stage, give people some experience, stuff like that.
Chris [00:27:34] And what- I would have to imagine the pandemic might be part of the answer. But what-
Wife [00:27:39] Yeah.
Chris [00:27:40] Is, are those the steps that say maybe we need to cool down on that and get, you know, pursuing a counseling degree, getting into foster care? The combination of you pursuing the counseling and foster care tells me that you had a real shift towards altruism and civic duty at some point in the past few years.
Caller [00:27:59] Yeah, we lost our venue when COVID hit. Our- the venue that we were working out of had to kind of terminate all its contracts with residents there. We were working out of like a city run venue. And yeah, they they terminated all their contracts. And so we tried to function online for a while and that’s just it, it really kind of made us reconsider what the value of like just average community performances. I mean, I think that obviously there’s a role for community theater and and we’re kind of local performance art in general, but it made us kind of rethink, like what value we were contributing to the world, like by like just a kind of just white passing couple, like running their own, like small theater. Like that was no different on paper than 50 others in our area. Like, what were we bringing that that couldn’t be brought by somebody else? And maybe our our our talents and resources should be going towards something that can boost up somebody else more specific.
Chris [00:28:58] And then you made that choice to start inviting some people in need into your home. That’s that’s a huge leap. Not everybody takes it. I really do. I really do applaud you for it.
Caller [00:29:10] Yeah. I mean, what you’re talking about before, though, what about like performance art at the top of the show did kind of resonate with us. I mean we-
Wife [00:29:17] We were talking about this today because we went and saw my- our niece’s dance recital today and watching like the opening number, I was just like weeping in the audience because live performance was happening and like, it’s so exciting and I miss it. So, like, I feel like over the pandemic, I was grieving it so much because there’s a lot of things that happened that were very, you know, traumatic. We all we all know. And so I don’t know. I just it just while you were doing that, I turned to my husband and was like, had the image of me weeping at a four year old’s recital, which felt a little sad.
Caller [00:29:59] Yeah. At a bunch of four year olds and little tutus doing a number to Zero to Hero from Hercules. Like we broke down.
Chris [00:30:06] And then you’re crying with joy in the crowd. I love it. I love it. Yeah, it’s I’ve had similar experiences. I mean, coming back to performing live myself has been very, like, scary and joyous and overwhelming. I feel lucky that you’re on the phone. I feel lucky that people are here. But also we’ve been able to finally take our son- I mean, my wife and I are both performers and we took our son, the town a couple of towns away from us, they did a production of Annie in the park and we took Cal and he just sat there and he’s like a wild kid at this age. And he sat there with his jaw on the floor. And every- he was like sitting on the grass. When the first time they sang a song, he was just like looking wide eyed at the stage. And then everybody started clapping and he was like (CLAPPING) and started. And every song, he just, like, clapped with his whole being. And I was like watching my son enjoy live performance for the first time. And it was really overwhelming. And at what was- no judgment- but like a community theater production of Annie in a park and I’m getting choked up watching my son watch it. Although and then this has happened a couple of times, my wife has taken- we live not too far from a great place in Jersey called the Morristown Performing Arts Center and my wife takes him. But generally he’s so little, after the first act, it’s his bedtime. So we had to like take him home at the intermission of Annie. And then I realized, like, he just thinks that’s the story of Annie. Like, this orphan who is in his put upon circumstances, managed to escape. And then there’s all these people angry, and then a rich man buys her. End of play. End of play.
Wife [00:31:55] I hope he never- I hope he never watches the second act.
Chris [00:31:59] And then- right? And then there’s like then there’s that nefarious various couple that’s up to no good and they’re going to try to mess it up. And in his mind, the story structure of that is just like, yeah, I hope, I hope she I hope they don’t whatever that was, I hope they don’t win. I guess I’ll wonder about that forever. Um, taking a toddler to the first- the first half of musicals, turns out, oftentimes end dark.
Wife [00:32:27] Oh, man. It wasn’t like- performance, though. It was just, you were talking about it and just it’s so magical and therapeutic in so many ways. It does feel really- that story is very sweet.
Caller [00:32:41] At the same time, like I said before, like so, so many there’s so many people who feel like they have like a right to it, that they’re not necessarily bringing anything more to it. And I think that’s something that hit us during the pandemic. Like there was lots of conversation locally between like, like networks of theaters and stuff about making room, making space for more people of color and stuff like that, and just more minority groups who didn’t feel like they had the space to perform. And kind of having those conversations where nothing was really happening and nobody’s really willing to cede any of their own power or presence to people who hadn’t had it before, it made us realize that, like, with, like we don’t there’s just no reason for this many community theaters that are just like run by white people who cast themselves and their friends.
Wife [00:33:33] Which, to defend ourselves, we didn’t do that. I mean, we did like obviously we were a part of some of the performances and things like that, but we weren’t doing shows that were just like written by us and us as leads and la la la la la. Like we did have a huge focus on doing new works and, and we did pay like stipends. But then like over the pandemic, too, like a big- over pandemic, like it’s over. Gosh. But like during this time, like we’ve been reflecting like a lot about just like pay and equity. And it’s like a lot of those people that haven’t had the opportunity to be on stage, haven’t had the opportunity because they’re working and don’t have enough to like to, to support them while they’re while they’re doing performance of some sort.
Caller [00:34:28] They can’t give up 20 hours of their week to like drive across town to be a chorus member in Little Shop.
Wife [00:34:34] And because our theater was so small, we didn’t have a lot of funding. We wanted to pay everybody as much as we could. But it like felt like we were a part of the problem in some ways. Like because we couldn’t pay and we couldn’t pay to the level that we should have. We couldn’t pay a living wage, obviously, like… And in our community, unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of funding for the arts. And so so there is just like, there’s just like so many battles that we’re like, fighting and like, we felt like just like, are we really adding value? Or are we being part of the problem? And so we’ve kind of taken a lot of space away from it, obviously.
Chris [00:35:16] I’ve had to say I have to tell you, I’ve had similar things where I’m like… my ego sometimes tells me, like, Man, your career is really slowed down. You used to have your own TV show, man, and like and there’s some truth to that. And then I sit here and I take a deep breath and I’m like, Well, I haven’t pursued stuff as hard as I used to. I’m retired. I’m a dad now. And then I also sit and I look at some people and I’m like, some people who are doing some cool stuff and like kind of causing some trouble on TV. Like, I see someone who I don’t know that well, I’ve done a few shows with her, but I see some of these interviews that Ziwe is doing on Showtime and I’m like, Yeah, that’s fucking troublemaking on TV in a way that reminds me of what it used to feel like to make trouble on TV. Or I see, like I’ve watched Sarah Sherman on Sara squirm on SNL a bunch and like doing some stuff that’s like to camera and kind of risky for that show and things getting messed up and her just owning it so gracefully and beautifully and being a part of it. I’m like, Yeah, like there’s still there’s some troublemakers out there and it’s really probably good that they don’t look like me anymore. Like it’s pretty. I don’t know that I need to take up that oxygen in the room anymore. I got to figure out how to pay my mortgage and keep life going. But it’s good. It’s good, it’s good. And I’m glad to hear it. And and and how do you go from that conversation to let’s become foster parents? Because I like it. And you know what I like about it is I get the sense- I just have this feeling that there’s going to be more and more stories like this, that we’re going to hear a lot more about people right now going like, oh, there are ways that I could be volunteering. There are ways that exist. We don’t need to invent them. There’s just things that I could be doing and I’m not doing them. So I guess I should go sign up and do those things, because they’re right here in front of me, in my community, in my neighborhood, in my face, and I’m going to make it in my home, in your case. I have a feeling that that is a way we’re going to start to see people like- not to make it about me, but I just signed up to be a volunteer ambulance driver in my town. And I feel very strange about it, but that’s a thing that’s there and I could be doing it. So I think I’m just going to go do that and start with the thing that’s like a few blocks away at the firehouse. And I don’t think that’s nearly as much as inviting three kids in need into my home. But I’m wondering how that conversation happened.
Chris [00:37:44] Let’s pause right there. I can- I’ll tell you what, I know how to make fun of myself. 33 minutes in, I finally ask, How did you get into this? Only took me 33 minutes to ask, And how did this start? Crack reporting there, Chris Gethard. We’ll be right back. Thanks to all the advertisers who sponsor our show. Now we’re going to go ahead and finish off the phone call. But I’m wondering how that conversation happened to take this plunge.
Wife [00:38:13] I mean. I do want to- oh, sorry.
Caller [00:38:16] Sorry, I just want to go back and just like- not to ride your dick too hard or anything, but going back to the conversation you had before about making space for other people. I do think, I mean, Planet Scum is such a great example of somebody using the power and privilege that they’ve been given to to provide that opportunity for other people. I mean, because of Planet Scum, because sketch show presents, like that’s how I found out about Martin Urbano and Carmen Christopher and like even (UNCLEAR) and (UNCLEAR) and like people like that, like comedians of color that I never would have heard of otherwise like on my side of the country, who are some of my favorite performers to know about right now.
Chris [00:38:49] Good. That’s what it was there for. I’m glad to hear it worked a little bit. Good. You were one of the 70 people who watched it. Good, good, good, good, good. I do want to hear, though, how you came to invite these kids into your home, because that is a that is a huge life adjustment. Oh, my goodness. God, that’s an adorable baby. You got to be honest, because we can all hear the baby. And I think I speak for all the people here tonight in Seattle when we say that baby sounds cute, but I got a feeling that that baby just doesn’t sound cute. I have a feeling that baby just is cute. Am I right about this?
Caller [00:39:22] Yeah.
Wife [00:39:23] What if we said no?
Caller [00:39:25] Yeah.
Chris [00:39:26] You could. You’re anonymous. You could be like this baby is fine.
Caller [00:39:33] His nickname is Mr. Cheeks because he’s got cheeks for days on both ends of his body. He’s the cutest little (RASPBERRY NOISE)
Wife [00:39:40] We’ve never talked about that.
Chris [00:39:41] Cheeks for days.
Caller [00:39:47] But yeah he’s adorable. He’s great.
Wife [00:39:48] He’s so cute.
Caller [00:39:50] The whole family. All of them are so great.
Wife [00:39:51] They’re all so wonderful. And we are so we feel so lucky.
Chris [00:39:57] That’s awesome.
Caller [00:39:58] I think it kind of went hand-in-hand. I don’t know. I don’t I don’t know exactly where you’re coming from, but like.
Wife [00:40:05] Yeah. Got no go- you go.
Caller [00:40:07] We. We just like we had kind of come to the decision, like I said before, that we were never planning on having biological children. And so that was kind of our discussion of like, how could we still provide like care for people in that situation without it having to be like our own kids?
Wife [00:40:24] We both we both love kids.
Caller [00:40:26] Yeah, we’re both teachers.
Wife [00:40:27] We’re both teachers. We’re both theater teachers. That’s like our main jobs right now. And so it kind of I mean, over the pandemic, we were like at the very beginning of everything, like we were kind of at a transition and we were trying to figure out like what all we wanted with life and with careers and with everything. And so and this was something that kind of just came up and then we were like, Well, why don’t we start try like try to do the training because there’s like a kind of a long, not super long, but long-ish training process. And then we were like, we’ll check in from there. And so we did it. And then we kind of just, you know, now we have three kids.
Caller [00:41:14] Yeah.
Chris [00:41:15] Well, you know, I want to ask you a question that I’ve been it’s been in my mind. It- well it’s a tough question for our foster parents. It’s one I’m sure you have to think about. And you sound like very kindhearted people. You sound like people who want to do the right thing. You sound like people who want to do small things to try to make your community better and the world a better place. And I think that’s all commendable. But I do know that all foster parents, you know, there’s temptation to say the thing that people might want to hear. And then there’s also the reality, which I think you think very hard, which is that… There… You said that you never wanted biological kids and the fostering is a beautiful thing, but I feel like there is often the question of at some point the idea of adoption might come up with foster kids. And I’m sure you’ve had to think about that already because that’s like a massive, permanent life adjustment. And I wonder if you’ve had those discussions.
Wife [00:42:10] Yeah, I think- so-
Caller [00:42:12] Unfortunately, that’s kind of where this case might be leaning. So we have talked about that.
Wife [00:42:16] Unfortunately and fortunately, right? Like unfortunately, because our goal is always reunification. You have to go into every case with that in mind and also in your heart. I mean, truly, if you want what’s best for the kids, like that’s always what you need to go into the case thinking. But in this particular case, it does look like it’s probably going to be moving to adoption, which is kind of wild. But also we’ve, you know, we’ve grown- not like we’ve loved these kids since the beginning, like it-
Caller [00:42:51] Literally since the beginning for this guy. Like we’ve had him since he was a less than a day old. And so we at this point, we kind of don’t know what it would be like to not have him around anymore.
Wife [00:43:01] And obviously, we want the best for everyone involved. And we’ve definitely been rooting for mom like this entire time. But with this particular case, with how it’s looking, unfortunately, like unfortunately and fortunately, you know, yeah, it does look like it’s moving that way. And we are saying yes to adoption.
Chris [00:43:25] You’re gonna adopt all three kids and keep those siblings together?
Caller [00:43:32] That is that is the hard part, not to be like a downer again. But another part of this is that the three that we have are three of eight siblings total. We just do not have the resources to provide for all of them. And so when when they were first put into our care, they were split up between three homes. And so-.
Wife [00:43:49] And we- to get a little complicated, we also had another one of the siblings that was in our home that a biological aunt popped up that was related to only a couple of them.
Caller [00:44:04] And so they took care of only some of the siblings. And so as excited as we are to take, to adopt these three, it’s knowing that they do have other siblings out there who we just simply cannot take them all.
Chris [00:44:19] Right. Right. I mean to take on eight. Wow. I have to say, the biggest reactions so far were the laughs at the D&D stuff and the shock at the revelation of eight total. That was that was a real moment of truth for our audience. I mean, to say that you would adopt three of those kids and keep them together is already a beautiful thing. And then how does that work? Is there then like does the state help coordinate between like do you try to keep this all these siblings in touch who land with different family members or other foster families? Or does everyone just kind of go their own separate way in reality? That’s like so hard to hear.
Wife [00:45:01] It’s so hard. So during the time in care, when everything is in limbo, the state well, the state doesn’t necessarily coordinate it per say, but they encourage it.
Caller [00:45:12] Encourage communication between all the other households. And so like so like they do have visits with their siblings all the time right now.
Wife [00:45:18] Yeah. And we do like, we do like slumber parties with the kids and all that too, at our house and at the aunt’s house. And but in reality, there is going to be probably like after, after it closes and adoption happens, the state doesn’t care anymore.
Chris [00:45:37] Yeah.
Caller [00:45:38] Yeah.
Wife [00:45:40] Which is.
Chris [00:45:41] Ain’t that the way.
Wife [00:45:43] Tough. Yeah. Because like, like in our heart, we want to do everything we can to keep a connection. But at the same time, there’s also other people involved. And I know that that is not necessarily what is going to be what’s wanted unfortunately.
Chris [00:46:02] That is a brutal and harsh truth. Let’s go to the tweets. Let’s see where the crowd is at. Let’s check our time. We’ve only got 18 minutes left. This one’s been flying by. Let’s see. Let me go back down here. People- oh, we have a couple more requests for maybe turning up the volume a little bit in the room. We can figure that out. Oh, Allora Avery says, We got to see our niece in a play today. I like that one. Let’s do that.
Wife [00:46:36] Yay plays!
Chris [00:46:37] We’ve got someone suggesting Amish Paradise says that I should go on Ziwe. If you want to hear a funny story, that’s a tangent is back when it was still an Instagram show, which is where Ziwe started breaking out with the interviews. And if you don’t know Ziwe’s work, it’s really brilliant. She interviews people and asks them very real questions that cut to the quick and it can be daunting. And there’s an amazing one with Adam Pally, who’s an old friend of mine, and she just really makes him squirm as a white guy. And it’s like very, very fun and funny to watch. Ziwe did once messaged me and Instagram was like, Hey, will you come on my show? And I had to be really honest and go like, I’m so sorry. I’ve been having a lot of issues. This was in the this was like September of 2020. I was like, I’m so, so sorry. I almost checked myself into a mental hospital yesterday. And I think if I went on your show, it could break me anxiety wise. It seems like an anxiety inducing thing. And I almost went to Greystone Mental Hospital yesterday. Can’t go on your show right now. And she was like, No, no, no, no, no. It’s all good. Please, please, please go take care of yourself. Please. Please, let’s do it. Someone. Someone says- I can’t believe it’s not better says, The richest person in this audience should give the callers a bunch of money. Heated blanket aficionado in responding to the idea of what you guys were saying about your theater says, that’s not part of the problem. You’re part of the solution. Please don’t stop creating. There’s nothing like the joy you create. It’s clear the kids are feeling it, too. I love that. Beth says, normal-
Caller [00:48:17] (UNCLEAR) Audience (UNCLEAR)
Chris [00:48:18] Beth says, Normalize calling baby’s not cute. Thank you so much. Josh says, They are 100% going to have kids at some point, which sounds like he’s predicting biological kids already on the way. Amish Paradise says, These are the white passing people America needs. I feel like I’ll just put that out there and I’ll move on. Leave it for you. Oh. Jesiah asks, what do you- great question, because I feel like there might be some people who listen to this in the future who go, maybe we should consider that. A really great question. What do you wish that you’d known or prepared for before fostering?
Wife [00:49:00] I think this is something that everyone is- every foster parent will maybe tell you, but it’s way harder than you think and like you’re going to your mind is going to be kind of your mind’s going to be a lot more fucked than you think in a lot of ways because you’re just battling so many different emotions all at once and you’re never going to know what the answer is. Like you live in constant uncertainty, but it’s so worth it. But it’s also like you really have to not not be so on edge mentally and emotionally.
Caller [00:49:33] And I’m going to say, I mean, maybe this is a good thing to say, too, but like, if you if you start the foster training process and you don’t start to have that kind of emotional turmoil, maybe it’s not right for you because maybe maybe you’re going into it for the wrong reasons. If you’re if you’re supremely confident that you’re going to be exactly what this kid needs and give them exactly what they want, then you’re probably going into it for the wrong reasons.
Chris [00:49:56] I love that. If this doesn’t fuck up your head, don’t do it. If the idea of this isn’t completely daunting and doesn’t totally mess with you, you’re probably a sociopath who shouldn’t be around children.
Caller [00:50:11] Yeah.
Wife [00:50:12] Yeah, because, like, I mean, in in reality, you’re going you’re going to be like living with kids that have experienced a lot of trauma. So there’s going to be lots of irrational, younger behavior than you expect and things that you do not expect are going to happen in your house. And you’re going to have to be okay with that.
Chris [00:50:32] Mm hmm. You know what I love about these answers too is it’s very real and recognizes it’s hard. It’s daunting. It’s it’s a thing that you can’t totally be emotionally prepared for. And that doesn’t sugarcoat it. And what’s important about that is I love that you’re not just going like, no, it’s great and it’s beautiful and it’s like to show those hard parts- emotionally, financially, the way it rearranges your life, because one of the things that I bet frustrates you is so many of us, we only hear about the foster care system when there’s very sensational news stories about the ways that it’s like abused, right? Like you hear about foster parents who take on a ton of kids because they get a stipend and then the state goes in and finds out that these kids have been living in bad conditions or you hear these horror stories and those are the ones that hit CNN. And you don’t hear about what I’m sure the large majority of people who are like you, who are going like, yeah, this is daunting. It’s an uphill climb. It’s a lot of work, but it is really gratifying. And we’ve come to love these kids already. You don’t hear about that enough. The ones we hear about are like the disasters and the people manipulating the system. So I love a non sugarcoated answer because that’s the reality. That’s the reality.
Caller [00:51:46] That’s was that’s always been so nuts to me, because they don’t pay you that much to watch these kids. They don’t pay you like an insane amount of money to do it. So the thought of like just bringing like six kids into your home so you can get like a couple extra grand is insane to me.
Chris [00:52:01] Yeah, well, right. Because that that really helps keep you afloat, but that won’t even pay for all the needs that a kids- a kid has. So those people that’s really twisted and evil because those people have no intention, right? People abuse that system, go into it with no care. If you’re doing it for money for the kids because costs with kids, man, they pile up. That’s another thing. I mean, you’re both teachers who ran a nonprofit theater company and now you’re going to have you’re going to figure out how to raise three kids? I’m like, I am- that- oh, God bless you. I’m out here trying to make coin and I can barely afford one. Let alone being a nonprofit guy. I’m all about that cash. That’s kind of my reputation.
Wife [00:52:45] Yeah, that is what you’re known for.
Chris [00:52:47] Yeah.
Caller [00:52:47] If you ask anybody.
Chris [00:52:50] Big time. Yeah, that’s why I’m up here rocking this outfit.
Caller [00:52:55] Yeah, I’m sure that went over really well with the crowd there, but I have no idea…
Chris [00:53:01] Good note, my theater teacher friend. That’s a fair and valid note. How are you guys- how are you- I mean, you’ve gone back to school for counseling, so it sounds like that I know you know that depending on where you go, if you go on to a private practice someday, that can be lucrative. But that also could just be more, you know, sort of giving of yourself. How are you- how do you go from like, hey, you two were- you’re taking care of yourselves to now you’re taking care of three other people? And that involves food, that involves diapers, that involves daycare costs, that involves so many expenses that you don’t know about before you become a parent?
Wife [00:53:46] I don’t know, you know.
Caller [00:53:47] Yeah.
Chris [00:53:49] That’s a real answer.
Wife [00:53:53] I mean, to be fair, to give like some, I guess more information about like in terms of child care, that’s one thing that foster parents are very privileged.
Caller [00:54:04] At least in our area. In our system.
Wife [00:54:04] In our system. Our system. Ugh, I don’t like the way that sounds. Anyways, we do get we do get child care for like covered. So that is something that’s like obviously huge, right? Because there’s no way there’s- on our income, there’s no way we would be able to afford to pay for two kids because we have two kids that would need childcare.
Caller [00:54:24] It just wouldn’t wouldn’t happen. And I mean, yeah, we’re trying to be like as fiscally responsible as possible. I mean, there’s definitely those times where we’re like just sitting out after the kids have gone to sleep and been like, you remember when like we used to be able to just like go to McDonald’s at one in the morning and get like a soda and some like some chicken nuggets just cause we felt like it? And that’s just not on the table anymore.
Chris [00:54:48] Yeah. Yeah.
Caller [00:54:50] Is that a common thing?
Wife [00:54:53] On our wedding night- on our wedding night- I need to say this because he talked about McDonalds. On our wedding night, after we like, you know, did the things and then we went to our hotel room, we, I keep saying my husband because I can’t say your name. My husband, he went he called his friend who did the delivery to bring us like the a Big Mac pack from McDonald’s. So we had like our like food all day, but then we also had McDonald’s on the night of our wedding.
Chris [00:55:28] That’s awesome. That is awesome. I know that they- I understand the feelings you speak of, too, of, like, remember, remember when watching a movie meant watching an entire movie and not watching 8 minutes of a movie until one of you falls asleep and the other doesn’t realize it, and they watch eight more minutes, and then the next night you have to decide where to split the difference between what you’ve seen? And you do that 11 fucking nights in a row and then you’ve watched Fucking Thor Ragnarok. It took you two full weeks to watch Thor Ragnarok in eight minute chunks because you’re so exhausted? Remember that before you were parents?
Caller [00:56:03] Yeah. And we have a weekly movie night with the eight year old where the eight year old kind of gets to decide. And so the only movies that we do consistently get to watch are like, Oh, she wants watch Hocus Pocus again. All right. Well.
Chris [00:56:13] I think the only two movies my son’s ever watched are Cars and Encanto. Literally everything. Like, Cal, we’re gonna have a movie night. What do you want to see? Lightning McQueen. Like, not Lightning McQueen. Encanto. Please. There’s so many movies on Disney Plus. Encanto. Lightning McQueen. Like, that’s like a threat. The words Lightning McQueen are like a threat to me now.
Caller [00:56:37] Well, especially if your toddler sounds like Peter Laurie.
Chris [00:56:48] You just fucking dunked on me so hard, foster parent. You giving foster parent. Who knew that a foster parent was also fucking Shawn Kemp out here dunking on people. Didn’t even remember that was a Sonics reference until I said it. Could have said Dominique Wilkins. Stumbled into Shawn Kemp. I love it. I love what you guys are doing. I love it. A massive adjustment in your lives, but for the greater good and helping kids. What a beautiful thing. I got to say, it’s still sticking in my brain. Now, when you sit here and I ask you like, how are you going to afford it? You go, well, our foster kids get free daycare. And then you’ve also mentioned health insurance and you’ve mentioned all these things that the system provides after a family hits a breaking point. And it’s hard not to notice that so many of them are things that are on the agenda of items that liberal people want families to have before the breaking point. Just help make daycare affordable. It’s really sad. Like, I feel like it’s actually, you know, I don’t often get on a political soapbox, but it’s really eye opening to realize there’s so many things you’re pointing out that families get after a breaking point that are just things that so many of us go, why can’t- if we just did it before, maybe you can avoid that. It’s like kind of shocking to hear that so much of that is built into the system.
Caller [00:58:18] And if anybody in either party, if I if I may, if anybody in either party legitimately cared about the the welfare of kids in general in society and the backlog that insane, truly, gratuitously insane backlog of children in the foster care system, the steps that they could take to improve it within a week, we would all be on like already on the liberal agenda right now. Just.
Wife [00:58:43] the liberal?
Caller [00:58:43] But free health care. Yeah. Progressive agenda. Whatever you want to call it, I guess. Not really liberal. But like all the steps that could be taken. Free health care for children. And just for families in general.
Wife [00:58:53] For everyone.
Caller [00:58:55] For everyone. Yeah. Childcare assistance, raising the minimum wage across the board, raising income for for people with education, things like that. Like those are all things that could be done. And and in doing so, I think we would see an almost instant decrease in the foster care system.
Chris [00:59:15] I remember we actually it was a call that was on the the video version of the show. I always we ought to release it on the feed, because I remember someone once called in and explained to me this whole idea of diaper poverty. Do you know about this? That diapers are so fucking expensive and food stamps don’t cover diapers. I was like, I thought that was just a line in an Eminem song. And they were like, No, no, no. He was saying that because that was like a cool point that he made. He said a lot of uncool shit. That was a pretty cool thing that he said. Just that right there where you go, why can’t they just change that? Just let people let people get diapers with- any way they need to get diapers. And don’t make diapers-.
Caller [00:59:55] And formula right now.
Chris [00:59:55] What’s that?
Wife [00:59:55] The formula.
Caller [00:59:58] The National formula shortage. I mean, that formula is only covered on WICK. It’s not I don’t believe it’s covered at all on all kinds of food stamps. I mean, if you’re paying for formula out of pocket, it’s it’s 20 bucks for a supply that lasts you maybe like three days for for most kids.
Chris [01:00:14] And it’s like it’s it’s also I don’t think it’s overly woke to go look at the communities that rely on food stamps more than other communities that don’t. And you go, this is all like rooted in racism at the end of the day. Like, I don’t think that- I don’t think that makes me a crusader of some sort to go like these laws, demonize people who need food stamps and the people who get pushed into food stamps all tend to look a certain way. It’s so fucked. And it would take 10 minutes to fix.
Caller [01:00:44] To that I say, what is wrong with being with crusader?
Chris [01:00:48] There’s nothing wrong with it at all. But but I also feel like there is like the people on the other side of the line tend to go the second you open your mouth and say stuff that’s logical, they go, Well, you’re just like a white knight social justice warrior. It’s like, or I’m someone who fucking reads and has empathy, you fucking dickhead. Or I’m somebody who can, like, read articles that aren’t hard to find and go, That sounds hard for people. Fix it. That doesn’t make me a snowflake to be say people should be able to afford formula and diapers. I’m not a fucking snowflake. So you’re right. I shouldn’t have to sit here and apologize for it. But I feel like the second you open your mouth, people want to just jump online and be like, Oh, you fucking white knight. It’s like, not really. I’m like, literate and compassionate. Sorry, sorry.
Wife [01:01:36] Well, yeah, I think that. I think the same could be argued too, like, just with with housing. Like, why? Why are we okay with people not having housing? Like why is that something that’s okay with us. Like, also food. Like, why is that also something that we’re okay with? There’s people that don’t.
Caller [01:01:53] We can go to bed at night just knowing like that, just like accepting that some people are just not going to eat that day or some people are just not going to have a place to sleep.
Chris [01:01:59] Also I just spent a month in Los Angeles and I don’t spend too much time there and I was so shocked this time to go, oh, I’m- I parked on one end of a block and there’s million dollar homes. And at the other end of that same block, there’s a tent city. And if we’re going to hit a breaking point, that’s going to be really fucking nasty if people just don’t like… anyway. Anyway, listen, I want to end this on something positive. If it’s okay. And not that this isn’t positive, but it’s also hard conversations. And we are at a live show and I do feel a little bit honor bound to try to to try to get some of the que- because I have a lot of questions in my head. And so, first of all, I want to say and I’m sure I’ll do this again for the end, a huge, massive thank you for what you do. You’re the type of people who are making sacrifices in your own lives that make a lot of other people’s lives better, starting most importantly with those three kids in your house and also with an entire community that’s going to benefit because you’re helping kids and you’re the types of people that are going to help those kids long term. So a huge, massive thank you for what you’re doing.
Wife [01:03:05] We have such a hard time accepting that. Both of us do.
Chris [01:03:11] What was that?
Wife [01:03:11] I said, we both have- my husband and I have a hard time accepting, accepting like, you know, thank you. Because we don’t- we don’t ever want to be saviors or anything like that. We feel so lucky to like that our kids are in our lives. And it’s it’s hard sometimes. It’s just we are just I’m just acknowledging that it’s hard for us sometimes to accept that we’re doing something that people think is cool.
Chris [01:03:43] It is cool. Accept it tonight. Accept it tonight. And now we have one minute left. I got to know who your character is in this one on one D&D campaign. I got to know the specifics of this character.
Caller [01:03:56] Real quick before she jumps in, just we have a minute left. I just want to say, I did hear on blank check recently, I want you to know that I agree with everything you said about Spider Man two and nothing that you said about last Jedi.
Chris [01:04:06] Thank you. Thank you. People hate the fact that I didn’t dig Last Jedi. It’s fine with me. It’s okay. Got to know what’s the character? You a Paladin? You a cleric? Who are you?
Wife [01:04:18] No. I’m a gnome. I’m a gnome. And I- (AUDIENCE LAUGHS)
Chris [01:04:24] Lotta gnomes out here in the crowd tonight cheering you on.
Wife [01:04:28] Her name is Trina Tinkleberry. And she is and she is right now going to Bard School. And she her parents pushed her in the House of Creation, even though she didn’t want to. But she’s House of Creation, because that’s what all the gnomes do. And there’s a dark history with her family and Santa Claus. And that’s mostly her. She’s super sassy and oh I don’t know she oh yeah she like is a little like kind of like emo and yeah. I don’t know. I love her. She’s fun.
Chris [01:05:03] You said Trina Tinklefoot?
Wife [01:05:08] Tinkleberry.
Caller [01:05:08] Trina Tinkleberry. I’m so so sorry. Trina Tinkleberry. And hey GM, any any hints you want to give on the next twists and turns coming in Trina Tinkleberry’s adventures?
Caller [01:05:21] Well Trina’s setting the bar pretty low. On our very first session, she tried to seduce one of the popular kids in school by taking off her top in front of him, and she rolled a natural run on that.
Chris [01:05:35] What kind of D&D campaign is this?
Wife [01:05:37] Okay. I told you it wasn’t sexual. And it really isn’t. This is like the one moment because she’s like she’s trying to rebel and have, you know, she’s in her sexual awakening and the like, you know, 16 year area. And yeah.
Chris [01:06:00] Well, our time is up and that’s how we’re gonna end it. That’s how we’re gonna end it. Callers, thank you so much for calling in. Thank you for everything you do. And thanks to everybody here in the live crowd who contributed so much. Thank you to Eli in the sound booth. Thank you to Andrea Quinn back in New Jersey. And Anita and Jared back home. What a joy. What a joy it is. And I have to say to you, I feel like the callers are probably off the line now, but just to hear everything they’re doing, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s sitting here going like, I could be doing more. What am I going to do? And I hope that you’re all feeling that in your guts and I hope anybody listening in the future, maybe you feel that too. And what a cool thing. Have to thank you all for coming out. This was a very special call in a very beautiful venue. For anybody who this is all the time we get together tonight, thank you so much for coming out. Thank you so much for supporting Beautiful/Anonymous. It’s been kind of the six most mindblowing years of my life has been doing this show. It’s made me a better person. Thank you for supporting it. If you’re coming back later for the Standup show, I’ll see you in just a little while. And I thank you so much. Thank you, guys all so, so, so much. Have a great night. Sincerely. Thank you.