March 6, 2023
A 62-year-old Mexican American woman pitches hosting the Spanish language version of Beautiful/Anonymous to Geth and explains why she wants to live to 120. She also discusses practicing Judaism and having a wild Bat Mitzvah in her forties. Later on, she opens up about how her eating disorder affected her relationship with her daughters.
361 — Lean, Mean, and Serene
Chris [00:00:05] Hello to everybody just trying to be a human connecting with another human. It’s Beautiful Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred. Hi, everybody. Chris Gethard here. Welcome to Beautiful Anonymous. This call you’re about to hear is a really wild one. Before we get into that, I do just want to remind everybody I’m taping my new album three nights in New York City, March 31st, April 1st, and April 2nd at the Minetta Lane Theater. It’s a big deal for me. I really want to get good crowds in there. Man, it would be a joy to get you there one of those nights, ChrisGeth.com for tickets. And also beginning of May, Beautiful Cononymous. We’ve got a whole weekend convention. Meet past callers, live phone calls, all sorts of great stuff going on. BeautifulCononymous.com. Hit the schedule. And if you’re only going to come to one show, make it the waffle breakfast where all of the proceeds go to the Oregon chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. And the caller from the call Love Is Everywhere will be in attendance along with her family. Much loved Holly and love is everywhere, indeed. Now, this caller this caller doesn’t really fit any demographic in life. She’s she’s older than a lot of our callers. She’s lived a different life experience. There’s a huge turn about two thirds of the way through the call about her religious background that I’ve never heard before. There’s some stuff to warn you about. I’ll just put out there you’ll hear the specifics in the course of the call, but if you’ve got, you know, a relationship with your parents or your children and it’s strained, it’s going to be tough to hear about. Also, she talks a lot about weight and controlling her weight and it sounds like she’s in a healthy place. I will put out there, she talks a lot about a specific organization that she found success with and she believes in. I don’t know anything about the organization. We just recorded the call. And as always, I’ll say that I just want everybody out there to find their own health and happiness in a way that makes sense for them and is is safe. And the first chunk of it, if I’m being honest, it’s her just being really nice to me and I kind of needed to hear it and it was really nice of her to go there. So at the very least there’s that. Enjoy the call.
Voicemail Robot [00:02:40] Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous. A beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host.
Caller [00:02:47] Hello hello?
Chris [00:02:48] Hello.
Caller [00:02:50] Oh, God. Is this Chris (UNCLEAR)?
Chris [00:02:52] It’s Chris. How are you?
Caller [00:02:54] Oh. Oh, wow. That was fast. So I wrote some notes.
Chris [00:03:01] Oh, you did?
Caller [00:03:01] And I said, if, if this is the very last time that I have an audience, right? And I talk to somebody that I admire and care for, what would I say? Because I’m not young. I’m 62 and a half. And because I been listening to your podcast, I think that I’m an outlier in terms of age.
Chris [00:03:24] Okay. Yeah. Yeah.
Caller [00:03:27] Most of your callers are, you know, anywhere from 20’s to 40’s, right?
Chris [00:03:32] I think so. I think that I think that’s fair. I think most people, if they don’t know the show, they think it’s people in their twenties. There’s people in their twenties. But yeah, thirties and forties are the most represented age. And I love that you’re still counting the half that you’re 62 and a half. Most people stop counting the half at a certain point.
Caller [00:03:50] Well, I’m Mexican.
Chris [00:03:51] Oh, you are. Okay.
Caller [00:03:52] I’m Mexican and the one and only way to gain status in Mexico is to be old. You know how here you have to be famous and rich and popular and fit to be somebody in the world? Not in Mexico. Nope! In Mexico, there are not shortcuts. The one and only way to gain reverence and respect is by aging the old fashioned way.
Chris [00:04:16] I’m going to say this right away. I am completely in love with you. And I know that’s a big leap to make. But straight up, I love you. And I’m in love with you. I’ve never said that to a caller before.
Caller [00:04:32] Let me match your love with love because I am crazy about you. You are a skillful, compassionate, astute interviewer. You know how to build rapport in seconds. You know how to redirect the energy of your caller always to the path of redemption. You are unbelievable at summarizing another person’s life. Your podcast is packed with moral beauty.
Chris [00:05:10] I love you even more now. That was so nice.
Caller [00:05:14] You should- you know what? You should hire me because we need to do this in Spanish.
Chris [00:05:19] Ooh, that’s a good idea. How have we not thought about franchising this out to other languages?
Caller [00:05:25] We need to do this in Spanish. Let me tell you, we need to do this in Spanish. Right? And for people in Spain, in Madrid, in the Philippines, you know what? For people that speak Spanish in this country of ours. Because I’m an American, the heart deliver it expensive way. For Spanish speaking people that live in the United States of America, we need to say bienvenidos al podcast de Cristobal Gethard. En español. Isn’t that beautiful?
Chris [00:06:03] It does. It rolls off the tongue.
Caller [00:06:06] I’m telling you.
Chris [00:06:06] How do you say beautiful? How do you say beautiful stories from anonymous people in Spanish?
Caller [00:06:12] Hermosas o preciosas historias de gente anonyma. Hermosas o preciosas historias de gente anonyma.
Chris [00:06:22] I think we have to make this happen. And I think you have to host it.
Caller [00:06:26] It’s mystical. I’ll host it and you’ll come all the time all the time and I’ll translate simultaneously for you. And whenever I get stuck, I’ll call you and say, Let me ask Chris, because Chris is the one who has the experience in this gig. He’s been interviewing people anonymously for seven freaking years. Is it seven years?
Chris [00:06:48] Yeah, seven years. I don’t think he’d need my help. I think you got this. I think you are clearly someone who knows how to connect with people on your own. You don’t need me there. You can fly solo on this.
Caller [00:06:58] Well. I want to use your name. I want to use your name. I want to say este podcast is Chris- is not my invention, is not my genius. I am trying to model after that glorious, heroic example of Chris Gethard. Am I pronouncing your last name well?
Chris [00:07:19] You are. Everything you do is perfect. And I just want to say it a third time, I am in love with you. Your energy is off the charts working for me in a positive way. I need to know everything about you.
Caller [00:07:36] Well, let me tell you. I um today is a very good day. I’m going to give you the quirky weird, you know, qualifier for this podcast first, and then I’ll give you something that I hope might impress you. So the first quirky thing, today is a glorious day, Chris, because I step on the scale and that beautiful scale told me that I’m one 124.2 pounds heavy, and I love that. And I’m not hungry. Thank you, God. I’m not hungry. And I’m fit. I’m skinny and lean mean and serene. Than you universe. Because you don’t have the slightest idea of how much I have suffered with diets and food. But not today. Thank you, God.
Chris [00:08:22] Did you say the word- did you just drop the phrase lean, mean and serene?
Caller [00:08:27] Yes. That’s how I am. Lean, mean, and serene. Did you like that?
Chris [00:08:31] It makes me want to jump out of my chair and throw the microphone against the wall with joy to hear you say the phrase lean mean and serene. That’s like a pro wrestling level catchphrase, lean, mean and serene. Okay. We’re going to pause right there. Gonna hear some advertisements. Be right back. Thanks to the advertisers who help our show exist. And now we’re going to get back to this phone call. And trust me, there’s going to be like four things you don’t see coming. It makes me want to jump out of my chair and throw the microphone against the wall with joy to hear you say the phrase lean, mean and serene. That’s an amazing phrase. Did you pick it up somewhere or is that an original?
Caller [00:09:30] I invented it. I’m lean, mean, and serene. Which brings me to my second point. You know how- I’m telling you the honest truth because what is the fricking point of calling some random guy named Chris Gethard, right?
Chris [00:09:47] Yeah. I’ve been asking why people do this for years. For years I haven’t totally understood why people do this. Yeah.
Caller [00:09:52] Like, what is the point of calling this person, right? If you’re not going to tell the truth, nothing but the truth, and the whole entire truth. Right?
Chris [00:10:00] Indeed. I’m with you.
Caller [00:10:03] Okay. So I didn’t know you. I met you a month ago. A month ago I had zero clue that there was such a thing called Beautiful Anonymous or a guy named Chris Gethard. I had no idea. Zero clue. Nothing. Nothing at all. So, you know, for my eating thing, because I have suffered so much with food, I belong to a fellowship called GreySheeters Anonymous, which is kind of like the same thing as Alcoholics Anonymous but just for people with food issues.
Chris [00:10:32] Mm hmm.
Caller [00:10:34] And I was looking for a Facebook group that I am supposed to join, you know, to be with my people that weigh and measure their food without exception, and that have this crazy relationship with food. And you know how the feed kind of like guess what you’re going to be interested in? You know this crazy AI that follows you wherever you go?
Chris [00:10:58] Mm hmm.
Caller [00:10:58] So they suggested Beautiful Anonymous. And I said, oh, this another 12 step group similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. And I guess I qualify. Right? I am so beautiful that my life has become unmanageable. And I need to, I need to be restored to sanity. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous or not.
Chris [00:11:23] Vaguely. Vaguely. Not enough to speak to it with any authority.
Caller [00:11:27] Anyway, so so so then I said, Beautiful Anonymous, let me see what kind of 12 step (UNCLEAR) is this? And then I went to your website and then I said, Oh, this another thing. Okay, so let me listen to it. Now, let me tell you. Here is where God was looking after me, because the very first episode that I heard was you with this, you know, the girl from India who needed to Americanize her accent?
Chris [00:11:56] Sure. Yeah.
Caller [00:11:58] Yeah, that was the first one that I heard. I think if I had started somewhere else, like at the beginning, where normal people start, you know, like your very first episode about this guy who was very depressed in his mind, you know, obviously depressed. Right, drinking and using marijuana all day long.
Chris [00:12:19] Yeah.
Caller [00:12:19] I don’t think that I would have been hooked. But because I share so much with the caller from India, because I’m Mexican and I speak with a very heavy accent and I was not born here and all of that jazz, you got me hooked. And I listened to the whole entire thing. And then so up until now, so I met you a month ago, I have heard 12 episodes. And now I am completely 100% hooked. And I talk to all my friends about you and this podcast, and all of my friends are my age or slightly younger or slightly older, and we love you. And we believe in you and we believe in what you’re doing.
Chris [00:13:02] After 12 episodes, you’ve decided this. And I’m serious. I mean, there’s been 360 episodes, you’ve listened to 12, and I’m pretty convinced that you should be hosting the Spanish language spinoff of this show. I’m I don’t even need to ask any questions.
Caller [00:13:15] Let me tell you. Well, let me tell you one thing. I mean, I’m not just like some random Mexican that is calling you. I am MHC. I hope that you are very impressed by the fact because I started I started grad school at the tender age of 65, no 57 years old.
Chris [00:13:38] 57. And what did you go to grad school for?
Caller [00:13:45] Mental health counseling. I belong to the same board that social clinical work and psychologists do. I do clinical work.
Chris [00:13:53] That’s incredible. I was accepted to a grad school program. I was accepted to Rutgers for their grad social work program. But I op-
Caller [00:14:03] I heard that. I heard you mentioning that. And then you said that you’re not going to go this year.
Chris [00:14:08] No, I got a job working in the field where I won’t need the degree. So I’m going to try that out and see if it works before I commit to three years of school.
Caller [00:14:18] Well, you are young, smart and beautiful. You’ll go to grad school and you’ll graduate and you’ll excel because, God willing, you’ll live to be 120. You’ll need that degree.
Chris [00:14:31] Who knows? Who knows? I mean, I have this job. I don’t- a lot of- it’s- let me put it out there, because a lot of people have asked me about this. When I go out on the road and do live shows, a lot of the listeners want to know what’s going on with me and grad school. So an organization in the mental health world, really great organization that places counselors in schools, they’re called wellness together. I’ve done something for them. And they basically I’ve talked with them a lot and I told them I was thinking of going and they said, Well, why don’t you come work for us instead and see if that’s a good fit? Because we feel like you can kind of-.
Caller [00:15:07] Well-.
Chris [00:15:08] They said, we think you can probably get to-.
Caller [00:15:10] Those guys really- those guys really know what they’re doing. So, so my best friend, she’s a doctor in psychology. I love him to death. And so we like to go to the movies together. And then we spend endless hours analyzing every single interaction. And we have a lot of fun with it. We’re doing that your episodes.
Chris [00:15:32] That’s so nice.
Caller [00:15:33] We’re sitting together and we think, Holy cow, how we went to school, we went to grad school and then we spent 2000 hours of clinical supervision to do awkwardly and clumsily what this guy can do effortlessly without even trying. You’re good.
Chris [00:15:53] I need this. I need this pep talk. I need that. I tell you, I have been down lately and I feel like we are meant to be speaking to each other. I’ll tell you a few things. First of all, thank you. That means the world. I hope I can keep doing good for people. I’ll also tell you something else that I haven’t spoken about publicly because I’ve been feeling down. But I want to put this out here too, before it gets swept, swept away. You mentioned that you’ve struggled with weight and you’re down to a weight that you’re very happy with. My, as I’ve been feeling kind of down, probably not coincidentally, I had a I tell you, I had a hernia surgery last year, last July, and my metabolism, it just never bounced back. And I weigh more right now than I ever have. And my eating is out of control and it’s tying into some of my confidence issues. And you and I are on the same page about this as well. So this conversation is meant to be and I feel comfortable and safe telling you about it.
Caller [00:16:52] I got so worried about you that day when you were live and you ingested some kind of crazy concoction that was fried (UNCLEAR) potatoes and French fries, an enormous amount of greasy stuff. And then you were gassy. You remember when you said that? I couldn’t care less if you have decided, you know, to be gassy all over the world. I don’t care about that. Good for you. And good that you’re teaching your kid to not be ashamed of his bodily functions. But I could worry. Like, we need you. We need you to be healthy and vibrant for like decades. And you need to start watching what you eat because you’re over 40. And let me tell you, time is unforgiving.
Chris [00:17:43] I feel like this one could get more honest than any of them have in a long time from my end. And but I don’t want to make it about me. I don’t want to make it about me.
Caller [00:17:53] Well, let me keep making it about you then.
Chris [00:17:56] Please.
Caller [00:17:56] You are very, very excellent at switching codes. Like I heard you. I hear you talking to me and talking to the girl from India and the woman who was, you know, needed to revive her sex appeal after a break. And you talk to us women in a certain way, and and then you’re talking another very- what word do I want to use? Is venerable a way? Reverent. Reverent way to that transsexual person that disclosed in the middle of a conversation that she went by she/her. You know, that she’s serious. And then you’re talking a completely different demeanor and codes to your peers, you know, white males that are playful and irreverent and defiant and you know, that kind of thing. You codes in a very, very elegant way. I love that. And let me see what else I want to say. Yeah. Like we go to grad school and then you go to clinical work and supervision and they give you like, boring lectures about attunement and engagement and building rapport. You’re a natural. You’re good. I want to learn things that you do.
Chris [00:19:22] This is very nice. It’s very nice. And I do need the pep talk, but I also need to know so much about you. I need to know more about you. You can tell me all these things and I do need to hear them. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart. But I would be so sad if our hour together ended and I didn’t know more about you. And that is not to say that- you are accurately sensing that I need this pep talk. And it’s it’s pretty incredible for someone who’s only listened to 12 episodes, but you have sliced through. But I would kick myself forever if I didn’t learn more about you, my friend.
Caller [00:19:56] Well, let me tell you like this is about me, because ever since I heard you, when I started studying you, I lost a lot of fear. Like, I live in a neighborhood that some people would call, you know, not very good neighborhood. And so… Just before just like three weeks ago, I would walk in the neighborhood and I would see some random guy walking towards me, and then I would cringe with fear. And this morning, just this morning when I was walking to work, I saw this guy that, you know, was kind of 40. I think that he was high with something. Right. And he was like desperate, looking for cigarettes. And and he stopped and he said, Is there a store here when I come buy cigarettes? And just like three weeks ago, I would have peed on my pants with fear. I would have said, this is the end of my adventures in this neighborhood. But because I’m listening to you and your stories, I said, Oh, this could very, very, very easily could be one of the Beautiful Anonymous audience or callers. And I just, like, melted. I told the guy, I guided him to the grocery store. I wish him well. I was kind. I was patient with a bravery that I didn’t own three weeks ago.
Chris [00:21:27] That’s so nice. That’s so nice to get out there and help people.
Caller [00:21:32] So that happened to me. And and that’s what I wanted to tell you about. The impact that you have done in my life. Oh, another thing. I am very good. You know, I do clinical work. I have patients and people called me and they tell me their stories. And and I have two things. I hope you’re getting that your shrink- you call your shrink- that she’s aware that you are very vulnerable to burnout and compassion fatigue and all of that, because you hold so many stories about so many people in such an engaged way. Right? That I wouldn’t be surprised if you get seriously burnt out.
Chris [00:22:21] At times I do. At times I do.
Caller [00:22:25] Yeah. Of course you do. Of course. My dad, God bless his memory, he was a very well-known journalist in Mexico City, and he knew how to interview people. That’s how I became to I came to admire people who know how to interview. He was a really, really good interviewer. He interviewed like all kinds of people and and he knew everybody from everywhere. Right? Because he was like the journalist where everybody wanted to go and be interviewed by him. Right? And and, you know, every once in a while he was just completely fed up and jaded and exhausted and bored and overwhelmed at the same time, psychically. Yeah.
Chris [00:23:11] Yeah, it’s it’s you know, what’s interesting is the… Beautiful Anonymous doesn’t burn me out as much. There are times where we will record episodes and… The stretch from when we record it to when we release it, I feel a lot of pressure on me because it’s it’s kind of been entrusted to me. But when I put it out there in the world and I see it get support and I see people respond to it and I see other people letting the caller know they identified with it, I feel like it sort of diffuses that. But for example, there was, you know, there was one where one call that kind of haunted me was a woman who’s saying that she felt like she was in a relationship that was not healthy. And halfway through, the guy came home. I don’t know if you’ve heard, this is probably not one of the 12 you listen to yet. And he in the background kind of made a scene and I and she she had said she that he knew she was on the phone with me and I’m going, oh, my goodness, this feels dangerous. And um…
Caller [00:24:18] Ohh. Domestic violence like. Live domestic violence, right? You were experiencing that.
Chris [00:24:22] I think it felt like at the very least… Potentially that there was some intimidation happening there, that there was some effort to intimidate or to silence. And I reacted big. But it was one of the moments where I really felt like, oh, I have I have a real lack of training in here, you know? So there’s times like that where that happens and I go, we’ve got to get that out to the world so that this caller can feel supported by the community that surrounds this show. I feel that. But where I more often feel the burnout is… I’ll go on the road and I’ll do my shows all around the country and in other countries sometimes. People will come up to me and the face to face conversations often are much harder, because I just feel like I’m a bald white dude in his forties who stumbled into something miraculous. And then people will come up and they will tell me stuff, you know, whether it’s about-
Caller [00:25:16] I understand what you’re saying.
Chris [00:25:17] Yeah, sometimes it’s a past caller telling me, Hey, things turned out okay. And it takes a little bit. Sometimes people go, I connected with this thing of yours. And let me tell you something really dark. And I go, and now I’m going to go sit in a hotel room in, you know, Huntington, West Virginia, a town where I don’t know anybody, and I’m going to think about it. And it’s- the world, the world can be very overwhelming and sad, but that’s why- you’ve made it about me again! That’s why I’m glad there’s people like you in it. Because you clearly-
Caller [00:25:45] I’m good, right? I’m good like you’re good.
Chris [00:25:48] You’re clearly somebody who prioritizes positivity. And I want to hear more about you! You keep making it about a pep talk for me. That’s not what the show is.
Caller [00:25:57] Well let me tell you. That’s one thing that I wanted to learn, because you’re oh you’re excellent at making it about the other and remaining in the back.
Chris [00:26:04] You’re not letting me.
Caller [00:26:05] You don’t know this about me, but I am very, very vain. I’m very vain and very full of myself and very arrogant. People that know me well think that I’m an unbearable Jewish mother, that I bark orders right and left. And that might be charming when you’re 20, but I’m 62 and a half.
Chris [00:26:28] I don’t know.
Caller [00:26:29] I’m learning how to be more like you.
Chris [00:26:31] I think it gets charming again, though. I think when you’re I think when you’re getting towards retirement age and you become like uh…
Caller [00:26:39] Mellow, I guess.
Chris [00:26:41] Well, no, I feel like if if all of a sudden you’re like someone who’s getting toward an age where you might be a grandma and you are and you’re someone who tells it like it is and you-
Caller [00:26:50] I’m not a grandma.
Chris [00:26:52] Okay, That hit a- that hit a nerve.
Caller [00:26:55] Yes because, well, well, I have two daughters. I gave birth to two daughters. My eldest is 43. The young is 41, and they don’t talk to me.
Chris [00:27:07] Oh, no.
Caller [00:27:08] And that’s like, yeah, they don’t talk to me. They don’t want to be part of my life. And that’s like a big black cloud. Yeah, I know.
Chris [00:27:17] What- can I ask-
Caller [00:27:17] It breaks my heart.
Chris [00:27:18] You don’t have to tell me, but I do wonder what happened.
Caller [00:27:21] I’ll tell you. Well, you know, I go to Alcoholics Anonymous and most of my life I have worried with issues of weight, shape and looks and vanity, and most of my life have been obsessed with food or the lack of it. And and and that kind of, like, food eating disorder things. And I wasn’t available. And it was neglectful and I was not a good mother. What can I tell you? I was a terrible mother. So I guess, you know, because my daughters are in their early forties and I miss them every single day, I feel like I hit some kind of golden mine with a podcast full of people in their forties. And so I guess it will feel some kind of frustrated motherhood, right? So I hear your callers and I just love them. All of them are in their forties. I love them. I want to hug them. I want to feed them. I want to knit them a sweater. I want to feed them. I’m going to make a scarf for them. I want to meet them an ugly hat. I want to, you know, remind them to eat their vegetables. Yeah.
Chris [00:28:32] Wow.
Caller [00:28:33] I’m full of tenderness because, yeah, I have that black hole in my life.
Chris [00:28:40] That’s. I didn’t see that coming. I didn’t see that coming at all.
Caller [00:28:45] Me neither. You know, I usually don’t like to talk about that because if I dwell on it, I become paralyzed with pain.
Chris [00:28:56] Now.
Caller [00:28:56] So that’s why I try not to dwell on it. Yeah.
Chris [00:29:00] I’m left wondering, you know, you were able to demonstrate such tenderness to me and such warmth and such kindness and astute observations from someone you’ve listened to 12 hours of me talking.
Caller [00:29:12] 12 hours. Yeah.
Chris [00:29:14] And stuff that felt so true.
Caller [00:29:16] Well, I also went to YouTube and entered Chris Gethard and I saw you. I saw you live. Well, not live, but, you know, like the video. I saw your face and your glasses and, you know, I just don’t have your voice, but I also have an image of you. And then I know that you have a boy who’s going to be four in April. Best age ever. Three and four years old are the most interesting people in the planet. And that you married a beautiful, beautiful woman. And and I feel love for you. I just wish you the best. My husband and I have prayed for you. My best friend, Tom, the doctor in psychology, and I have prayed for you. We. We just love you. We love you.
Chris [00:30:02] That’s so nice. Thank you. Thank you.
Caller [00:30:03] Yeah. I tell everybody who’s 60 and older come and listen to this kid. He’s a fricking genius.
Chris [00:30:09] Thank you. I love that. And and to anybody, if there are if there are any 60 plus, especially any 60 plus Mexican-American listeners who you have swayed, everyone’s welcome here. Welcome to the show. I hope you enjoy it. I got to ask.
Caller [00:30:26] Thank you.
Chris [00:30:27] And if I’m if I’m dwelling on stuff that you go, you know, you might say it’s time to move on and that’s fine. But I’ll ask I’ll ask one more question, which is, you know, you now work in a field that’s dedicated towards helping others. You’re making me feel so-.
Caller [00:30:44] Hopefully.
Chris [00:30:44] Yes. And you’re making me feel so good about my efforts to carve out a space for others. It’s clear to me.
Caller [00:30:51] I don’t want to act- I don’t want you to believe that I just go without the world telling nice things to nice people randomly. I am choosy. I am- I want to believe that I’m very discerning. I was raised in a very, very religious household. We don’t say bad words. We shy away from sexual conversations that are cynical. We are- if you saw my podcasts that I listen to, you would say, Holy cow, what a boring person. Right? All Jewish stuff and psychology stuff. And now Beautiful Anonymous. So now I listen to Beautiful Anonymous and a torah class from a rabbi, and Beautiful Anonymous and some lecture about psychology and Beautiful Anonymous. Like your podcast is spiritual, if you ask me.
Chris [00:31:45] Thank you.
Caller [00:31:45] It’s beautiful in anesthetic way… that is inspiring and uplifting.
Chris [00:31:54] I have to jump in and say a few things, which is one… I feel like- and you tell me because this is something you actually are probably trained to sense more than I am. I feel like I have a couple more questions about your daughters, and you’re cutting me off from getting to those questions, and I respect that. But if you don’t wanna go there, I respect it. And then I also have a-.
Caller [00:32:15] No, shoot. No, no, no.
Chris [00:32:15] Well, there’s two- there- my feeling is this: to hear that you are someone who went to grad school at 55, to hear someone who’s capable of as much kindness as you’ve shown me today, it really breaks my heart to hear that you know, your past state of being, maybe some of the past traps that you fell into have disconnected you from your daughters. And I have to imagine that there must be some effort with the kindness that you’re able to demonstrate me and… Going to school to try to show kindness to others is a part of it to… Correct some of that past. And I have to imagine that… Dedicating yourself towards the service of others now, at this stage in your life, might feel like a a correction towards some of the traps you fell into in the past, especially the ones that created this wedge in your in your family.
Caller [00:33:09] Yeah. Yeah. Was that a question?
Chris [00:33:12] It’s more just a statement of something I’m noticing that I wonder your opinions on.
Caller [00:33:19] Of course, you know, I spent- well, my profession is my profession, right? And then I spent a lot of time in this thing, the GreySheeters Anonymous things, with people. Have you seen The Whale? The movie The Whale?
Chris [00:33:34] I have- with Brendan Fraser. I haven’t seen it yet.
Caller [00:33:38] Yes. Oh, you have to see it. It’s incredible. I’ve seen it three times.
Chris [00:33:44] All right. I’ll check it out.
Caller [00:33:44] It’s about the horrors. Yeah. It’s about how real food addiction is, how you know, how people tend to poo poo down eating disorders. Like it’s not. It’s not a real thing. It’s not a real addiction. Let me tell you. You can kill yourself with food. And just a few extra pounds like the ones that you’re experiencing right now can bring you down.
Chris [00:34:11] Yeah.
Caller [00:34:11] Can make you feel depressed and, like, lethargic and sort of dying. And I spent a lot of time sponsoring people in GreySheeters Anonymous. Sometimes a lot of times I sponsor people in English and especially people in Spanish. And I encourage people to weigh and measure their food without exception, every single day, one day at a time, to quit their alcoholic foods. And to the first of the month, so on the first of the month, the population of GreySheeters Anonymous will weigh ourselves and everybody is accountable to one another. And and I have enjoyed 13 blessed years when food is not an issue anymore. Thank you, God. In this height, I am 5 foot 4, and in this height as an adult, I have weighed 211 pounds and I have weight. 78 pounds, Chris. 78. I was dying.
Chris [00:35:11] Oh wow.
Caller [00:35:11] I was starving. Have you heard of Karen Carpenter? She died of hunger.
Chris [00:35:15] Of course.
Caller [00:35:16] That was before your year.
Chris [00:35:19] I’m familiar, though.
Caller [00:35:20] She was a very famous singer and she she starved. She starved to death. And on purpose. Well, I mean, at the beginning, on purpose. But then she and she died, you know, because she was chubby. And then she kind of went on a diet that went too far and then she died. And so I was 78, 78 pounds heavy. And I felt fat. And I wanted to lose three more. Is that crazy? I was in a wheelchair and my teeth were falling. My hair was falling. And I wanted to lose a few extra pounds. And now, you know, I eat my three meals a day, glorious, gorgeous, beautiful meals. Delicious. I ate- is it okay if I tell you what I ate for lunch?
Chris [00:36:04] Yeah, sure.
Caller [00:36:06] I ate salmon. I ate rice cauliflower seasoned with mushrooms and saffron. And I ate soymilk with black tea. And I ate carrots with tahini. My belly is full and well nourished. I’m not hungry. Another feast is waiting for me for dinnertime. And I’m not fat. And I’m lean, mean, and serene talking to Chris on this glorious day. Thank you, God.
Chris [00:36:43] We got ads. And this is one of those calls you could just pick any arbitrary point and go, what’s going to come next? No one knows. So we’ll be back. We’ll find out together. Thanks to everyone who sponsors the show. Thanks for getting my back and allowing the show to happen. And now we’re going to finish the phone call.
Caller [00:37:05] And I’m lean, mean, and serene talking to Chris on this glorious day. Thank you, God.
Chris [00:37:12] Wow. Wow.
Caller [00:37:14] So that’s what I do. That’s what I do with my tenderness and my love.
Chris [00:37:19] Sure.
Caller [00:37:19] That was originally devoted to my children.
Chris [00:37:23] Well, I’ll say, you know, stories like this, they don’t have firm endings. And I hope that someday you find a way to reconnect. If that’s a thing that you desire. And I hope I hope that that, I hope it goes well when it happens.
Caller [00:37:39] Oh, from your lips to God. I never, I never quit hoping that one day they’ll say, Eh, nobody has a perfect mother. Right?
Chris [00:37:51] Yeah. Yeah. I hope it happens.
Caller [00:37:54] Yeah. Thank you.
Chris [00:37:56] I also have to ask you about another thing you’ve brought up a few times.
Caller [00:38:00] Okay.
Chris [00:38:01] Well, you know, you mentioned a few times that you’ve prayed for me. It’s very nice. I accept the prayers. I’m. I’m someone who grew up more religious than I am now, but I completely accept it and appreciate it. I also know that Mexican culture is traditionally viewed as very heavily Catholic, but you’ve mentioned a few times that you study Judaism.
Caller [00:38:26] I know. Well, this is a really good story that needs to be told. Do you know that Christopher Columbus was Jewish?
Chris [00:38:35] I don’t believe I did.
Caller [00:38:36] Well, we know that he’s Jewish because he wrote with Hebrew characters from right to left. So he wrote in the Ladino, it’s kind of like Yiddish, but in Spanish, you know, how Yiddish is the combination of German and Hebrew?
Chris [00:38:50] Yeah, sure.
Caller [00:38:50] Ladino is a combination of Spanish and Hebrew. Right? And this is so interesting. So interesting nobody teaches you at school the same day that the Jews were expelled from Tolero, Spain was the day where Christopher Columbus left on his adventure. So guess who was on those ships?
Chris [00:39:16] Who?
Caller [00:39:18] The Jewish people.
Chris [00:39:20] Wow.
Caller [00:39:22] Jewish people were the first ones who came to this land. Right? And the very first houses of worship in America were Jewish, not Catholic. They were Jewish, not Christian. But guess who followed them? The inquisition. I am a descendant of the Marranos. The Marranos are the people that were forced to convert to Catholicism to stay alive. Right? But secretly kept Judaism all their lives. The one and only reason I came to this land is with the hope to be openly Jewish and nothing else. But guess what? Here I’m Hispanic. I had no idea I was Hispanic until I came to this country.
Chris [00:40:09] You had no idea you were Hispanic until you came to this country?
Caller [00:40:13] I had no idea. We don’t talk we don’t go around the world in Mexico saying, I’m Hispanic. You’re just Mexican. I had no idea that I was not white until George Floyd happened to us. And so, you know, even though I’d been here for 25 years, I’m still becoming American, I’m still being Americanized. I’m still slowly understanding how I am perceived in American society. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s terrible.
Chris [00:40:47] Now, can I ask you so this connection with Judaism and this cultural connection, is this something that was kind of practiced quietly through generations of your family, or were your families-.
Caller [00:40:59] Yes.
Chris [00:40:59] Oh, so it’s not like something you rediscovered. It was something that was quietly practiced. And that you wanted to be more open about?
Caller [00:41:06] Practiced in secrecy. Yeah, I was practicing secrecy. And it may I say in shame. It was not a good thing to be to Jewish. Not a good thing to be Jewish. But it’s something that we do. My dad, God bless his memory, he, he bought us a pet, a little piglet as a pet. And he named him Benjamin Coin. So we had little Benjamin Coin. He was a cute little thing. We’d pet and we fed him carrots and we’d brush him and we’d cuddle with him like it was pretty and cute. And then, of course, like big, let’s have the tendency to do, he grew up and he was big, you know, and obnoxious. So my dad had to take him out of the house. But then he took us to the butchery and he showed us, you know, the butchered pigs and ham and the bacon and the sausages. And then he said, These are the relatives of Benjamin Coin. If you see people eating these things, just run, run, run. Don’t stop running. You cannot eat these things. It worked. And you know, I don’t appreciate his methods, but that was the way that he wanted us to stay away from pig, from eating pork and many things like that.
Chris [00:42:20] Everything you tell me… I wind up fascinated by. I got to tell you that.
Caller [00:42:27] Well, I love you, too. I love you, too. You’re good. I love you, too. I want to see you live in New York. Won’t you be in New York in May?
Chris [00:42:37] Oh, yeah. The big we’re doing a big convention. Big Beautiful Anonymous convention.
Caller [00:42:42] Yeah, I’m just finding out. I need to find a girlfriend or somebody that will go with me because I don’t like to travel alone, and my husband can’t. Not anymore.
Chris [00:42:52] Why not?
Caller [00:42:52] He has a little bit of Alzheimer’s.
Chris [00:42:53] Oh, that’s so sad.
Caller [00:42:54] He gets agitated. Yeah, he gets agitated. He’s good. He’s happy. He’s an old rocker. His world is full of music and rock and roll. He’s not suffering, but he gets agitated if we go (UNCLEAR). But, yeah, hopefully I’ll see you there.
Chris [00:43:14] Yeah. Yeah. I’m now going to spend- I tell you, I’m going to spend time that I should be doing, working on other stuff later today reading about the history of hidden Judaism in Mexican culture. Because a quick Google search shows me there’s a lot. There’s a lot of writing out there about it.
Caller [00:43:34] I know, I know. We’re a bunch. We are so many. We call the Marranos. We are the hidden Jews. Yeah, we are. We were always Jewish people, but we pretended to be Catholic just to survive. So we’re too Catholic to be Jewish and too Jewish to be Catholic. I wanted to emigrate to be Jewish, period. But here I’m not known as a Jewish person unless I go to the schule, right? But people say, Oh, this is Hispanic girl. Oh well, you know that I’m Jewish. I know that I’m Jewish. Hopefully, God and the House of Israel knows that I’m Jewish.
Chris [00:44:11] And when you when you grew up in Mexico, were you did you speak Hebrew? Did you write Hebrew? I want to know what the transition is. I mean, most people who immigrate have a transition experience of now you have to come to figure out your place in America.
[00:44:28] No. My dad believes- my my path to (UNCLEAR) was through English. My dad, God bless his memory, he believe in two things; The New York Times and Torah. And he said, You absolutely must learn English because your future is in English. In English you are going to understand who you are. He meant it as the Jewish thing, right? That’s what he had in mind. Like a large, sizable Jewish population was in New York, right? That was his hope for us to find our way to have a community. And so I was raised in English, Spanish, a little bit of what I now know it’s a little bit of Ladino. And and I was taught to revere the the printed words in English because everything that is noble, beautiful and worth pursuing comes from America. That’s what I was told when I was a little girl.
Chris [00:45:31] Okay. I don’t know. And there’s a lot of people who still believe it. I also think America has a lot to think about. But I’m sure it’s a more layered place than that. But yes, continue. Continue.
Caller [00:45:43] Well, all I’m saying is that there were a lot of people that still believe that. And now I’m American. Now I’m part of the dream. I’m part of like I am I am somebody who who who hopefully can tell the world, America the beautiful. And among the beautiful, Beautiful Anonymous. Life is good. America is alive. You are a champion of inclusion and belonging. I want to go around the world with a kind of energy that Beautiful Anonymous portrays and conveys. And now I’m part of this community.
Chris [00:46:21] I have to ask you, though, when you when you come to the states… and you’re able to practice your religion freely.
Caller [00:46:29] Yes.
Chris [00:46:30] What’s it like the first time?
Caller [00:46:32] And learn about it.
Chris [00:46:33] And learn about it. So what’s it like to go to a synagogue for the first time? What’s it like to meet other Jewish people when when you’ve walked such a different path compared to what people think of as the traditional experience? Are you are you bat mitzvahed at this point? I have so many questions about that.
Caller [00:46:48] Yes, I am. I am. I am adult bat mitzvah. Yeah my parashah, I am suppose I have the responsibility to hold that story about, well, we adore the Jew, the golden calf. Remember that part? It’s very famous.
Chris [00:47:02] Yeah. No, I’ve heard of the golden calf. Yeah.
Caller [00:47:04] Yeah. So that’s my parashah. That’s my portion of the Torah.
Chris [00:47:09] And how old were you when you were bat mitzvah’d?
Caller [00:47:12] Oh, old. Like, let me see. Like 23 years ago, when I was your age, I guess. Your age. Yeah.
Chris [00:47:19] You were. So you were in 23 years ago. So you were like 39 or 40? Yeah, like right around my age.
Caller [00:47:26] Yeah. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
Chris [00:47:30] That’s incredible.
Caller [00:47:30] I was going to say this. At the beginning it was like, you know, it’s like it’s like like watching, you know, like Mickey Mouse on cartoons and then you go to Disneyland and then you see Mickey Mouse in person, and then you’re, like, awestruck and and like, you cannot believe your eyes, right? I thought I thought about Jewish people as some kind of idealized, mythical Jewish person that doesn’t really exist in real life. So at the beginning, I was like, awestruck. And then I was like a little bit disappointed. And then I say, Oh, Jewish people are just like people. Jewish people are just people, right? They’re just random people. There’s the good, the bad, the ugly, the dumb, the intelligent, the smart. Right? We’re just people. And and now I’m at a point in my life in which George Floyd, everything that we live around George Floyd really changed my life again, my perception of people and the perception of myself. And if this podcast is doing that again, like opening the doors of love and community for me. Yeah. So I would say like being Jewish, George Floyd, Beautiful Anonymous, Chris Gethard. Big. Breaking down the walls of fear. Love and community.
Chris [00:48:58] Wow. And now because I tell you, I grew up in a town very diverse and the elementary school I went to, I took a bus from a neighborhood that was lot of Irish Catholics. And but the elementary school I went to was in a part of town where my elementary school I was in school with a lot of Jewish kids. My middle school, I wound up at school with a lot of the black kids from town and then the high school, everybody was together. And it was very interesting. I look back, I go, What a great way to grow up, to get to just know all different types of people, especially when we were all still young. But I know that I attended some bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs growing up.
Caller [00:49:42] Yes.
Chris [00:49:42] And they also threw parties. So in my mind, like in the stereotypical bat mitzvah, it’s like there’s the religious ceremony, but then there’s the party where it’s like you get like a deejay and they might bring in, like, a dance crew. And like, my friend, my friend Steve was movie themed and there was all movie references. And in my mind, I really want to believe that you were 40 and still had a bat mitzvah party with like a deejay and a dance squad, and they were handing out prizes.
Caller [00:50:09] Oh, of course I did.
Chris [00:50:10] You did?
Caller [00:50:11] Yeah. Of course.
Chris [00:50:12] No. No way. No way.
Caller [00:50:14] Yes way. Yes way.
Chris [00:50:16] What was that party like?
Caller [00:50:18] Proudly with- it was wild and Jewish, and we danced the horahs and we ate and we danced and rejoiced. And it was Mexican, too. And my dad was alive. And he came. And we were happy and openly Jewish! Mexican and openly Jewish in the beautiful land of America. It was beautiful.
Chris [00:50:42] Wow.
Caller [00:50:43] Muy bonito.
Chris [00:50:47] And I just have so many questions about, I mean, about everything you’ve said. About- We wasted so much time with you being nice to me and now I don’t have time for all my questions. So where do you feel today as far- because there’s a huge Mexican-American diaspora in this country. I mean, so much of the country, the Southwest, very obviously, California, very obviously, and spreading more and more. And I think also not just spreading; unspoken in almost every area of this country, there’s a huge influence of Mexican culture. It’s just not maybe as visible on the surface. But I’m wondering what your connection to it is coming from such a specific group. It’s fascinating.
Caller [00:51:29] Well, we’re talking about identity and what you want to be, you know, written in your epitaph. And by my count, we just have 4 minutes left. Three now.
Chris [00:51:40] No, we have nine. 9 minutes, 9 minutes and 40 seconds.
Caller [00:51:44] Okay. So when I was little, I was seven years old and I was learning English. I invented a pronoun of my own and I learned about she and he and I invented my pronoun. And it’s hum. H.U.M. For human.
Chris [00:52:02] Oh, wow.
Caller [00:52:03] You like my pronoun?
Chris [00:52:04] I do. I love your pronoun.
Caller [00:52:07] HUM. Isn’t you pretty?
Chris [00:52:08] Yeah.
Caller [00:52:08] I said, Well, I don’t want to be boxed as a he. I don’t want to be boxed as a she. I want to be a full human person. And I want that to be enough. That’s what I want to be. Not then Jewish or Mexican or American or married or a mother or a phychotherapist. Or a caller. I want to be a human connecting to another human. And right here, right now, I am one. I made it. My life is a renowned success. I’m a human connected to another human and we love each other. And that’s the whole meaning of life.
Chris [00:52:52] I tend to agree. I feel like this quest to be human, we’re all on it. And I wonder what you would think, too, of even even in your answer, it exposes so much of what I believe is that we ask we constantly ask ourselves these questions when the answer is, it doesn’t totally matter. Like, what’s the balance of your Mexican background to your Jewish background? What’s the background of, you know, what’s the balance of your American-ness to your Mexican-ness? There’s all these questions at the end of the day are interesting to ponder upon, but we we so often allow them to become firm lines. Right? And a quick shorthand for how we all define each other. And that shorthand and those firm lines become really dangerous and limiting. And I love that your answer basically reflects at the end of the day… Just rolling with the punches and figuring out how to be a human being. And I think if.
Caller [00:53:49] Loving. Loving one another.
Chris [00:53:51] Oh, indeed.
Caller [00:53:51] Loving and fully accepting one another.
Chris [00:53:53] Indeed.
Caller [00:53:54] Yeah.
Chris [00:53:55] On my best days, I pull that off.
Caller [00:53:57] Well, you deserve. You have worked so hard and you’re so vulnerable every single day that you call because you don’t know me. I have the protection. I haven’t given your name- my name or, you know, my whereabouts, while you are there naked in front of everybody. Like, it’s just fair that the doors of love are wide open to you and that all of us pour our love to you and that you may live 120 years happy and connected.
Chris [00:54:29] 120 years. I mean, that’s a very long time. But I appreciate it.
Caller [00:54:35] No, it’s about the amount that you need to do what you need to be doing and do well.
Chris [00:54:39] 120 years. At some point, I’m just going to wanna rest.
Caller [00:54:43] I want to live 120 years, Chris. I’m only 62 and a half.
Chris [00:54:48] Yeah. Yeah. Man, this one is- this call is felt like taken- it feels like taking a hot shower, this call. Feels like I took a nice hot shower.
Caller [00:54:57] Good, good, good. I feel very flattered because my Hebrew name is Ma’im, which means water.
Chris [00:55:03] Look at that. I didn’t even know that.
Caller [00:55:06] Yeah.
Chris [00:55:07] I had no idea.
Caller [00:55:08] Oh God! I said I said my name. I’m so sorry! But it’s my Hebrew name and nobody calls me that.
Chris [00:55:14] It’s your Hebrew name. So that’s not like the one on your actual license or anything?
Caller [00:55:18] No. No. No.
Chris [00:55:19] So, yeah. So you’re still anonymous. You’re still anonymous. Incredible. Incredible. What a life you’ve led. What a life you’ve led.
Caller [00:55:28] I have. Yeah. Yeah. I’ll add you to my résumé. I was interviewed by the Chris Gethard once.
Chris [00:55:36] And people will say who? And it will be fine. Now, I have to ask because we’ve got 5 minutes left. You’re 62. You say you want to live to 120. So you’re just getting started. You’re just now entering the second half of your life. So what’s what’s what’s the plan? What are the goals? What are the aims?
Caller [00:55:52] Well, I want to I’d love to do this podcast in Spanish, using your name without, you know, getting into financial trouble or legal stuff. I want to do that in Spanish. I want to keep working as I’m working. Hopefully one day I want to reconnect with my daughters. I want to age with my beautiful, wonderful husband. I want to keep traveling with GreySheeters Anonymous and sponsor a lot of people, helping them with their eating disorders stuff. And what else? I want to have many cats. I want to go to see you live and to see the rest of the community there and to hug many people, if I can. And I’m going to eat dinner later.
Chris [00:56:42] I love that.
Caller [00:56:43] Life is good. And getting better.
Chris [00:56:45] Simple goal right there. Simple goal. Eat dinner later. Let’s not lose sight of that either.
Caller [00:56:52] I love you.
Chris [00:56:53] I love you. This is this one that has been an all time classic, I would say. An all time classic.
Caller [00:57:00] I’m surround you.
Chris [00:57:01] I never had.
Caller [00:57:02] I surround you and Caleb and your wife.
Chris [00:57:05] Can I tell you something?
Caller [00:57:07] Mm hmm.
Chris [00:57:08] A lot of times at this point in the show, seven years in… I have at least two, you know, we’ll be five, ten, 15 minutes in and I’ll have at least a handle on… Well, I feel like I know the basics of what this is about. This one there wasn’t there wasn’t 90 seconds where I was ever certain what was going to come next. And I thank you for that. I thank you for that.
Caller [00:57:36] Hmm. You’re very welcome. Thank you for an hour of love.
Chris [00:57:40] We’ve got three and a half minutes left. So now, now, what are you going to surprise me with?
Caller [00:57:47] Let me see. Three minutes. That’s a long time when you are an addict. Addiction is a real thing. Only 80 years ago, people would die, and now people don’t because there’s the other anonymous, the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. It saves many lives. So if you’re suffering with addiction, alcohol, drugs, food addiction, Google the other anonymous podcasts and websites and Zoom meetings. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, GreySheeters Anonymous for food. Your life will be beautiful, too.
Chris [00:58:24] Now, I want to ask you about that. I know about Overeaters Anonymous, but you’re not saying overeat- what is- you’re saying Grace Eaters Anonymous?
Caller [00:58:33] GreySheeters Anonymous. GreySheeters Anonymous are the founders of Overeaters Anonymous that never relapsed. They’re the ones who have never overate again. Ever, ever, ever. And now they’re dying with 50 years of living in the solution. And it’s amazing. It’s just I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful, wonderful, exciting life will be now and how much I love being skinny, lean, mean and serene every day. I just love it. I love fashion. I love dresses. I love being skinny.
Chris [00:59:08] All right. All right. I want to get a little healthier. I can feel my health getting out of control and the eating is my eating is reflecting it. And I’ve eaten… I eat to reward myself, I eat to punish myself. I eat to feel in control. I’m doing all these emotional eating things, and I don’t know all the implications of that, but I can feel it.
Caller [00:59:33] Google GreySheeters. GreySheet.org. Just Google it. We have so many Zoom meetings. It’s just beautiful. Is the easiest, softest way. It’s the end of hunger and the beginning of sanity. It’s just so good.
Chris [00:59:48] Okay. Okay. Well, I can’t thank you enough.
Caller [00:59:51] I wish you well, Chris.
Chris [00:59:52] Yeah, GreySheeters Anonymous. GreySheeters. GreySheet.org. Okay. Yeah. You know what? I don’t know if it’s for me, but I’ll check it out with an open mind. I can’t thank you enough for this call. This was a surprising one. A wild one. Your kind words mean a lot. For everybody who is in the beginning going, how long are they going to talk about Chris? I will just say I needed it. So I thank you, caller. And I’m also glad that we got to hear about some of your family history, your life history, your religious history. It was all so fascinating and I can’t thank you enough.
Caller [01:00:25] Thank you, Chris. Love you much. Bye bye.
Chris [01:00:35] Caller, I know I said it so many times, but wow, I never knew where it was going to go. Your positivity really affected me greatly. I hope your husband is healthy. I hope you reconnect with your daughters. I hope you just have a lot of happiness in your life. Thank you so much to Anita Flores, who produces the show. Thank you to Jared O’Connell for engineering the show. Thank you to ShellShag for our theme music. Know where ShellShag’s gonna be playing? At Beautiful Cononymous. Hey, wherever you’re listening, hit subscribe, favorite, follow. It helps us so much when you do. You can find our latest merch at PodSwag.com. There’s shirts and posters and stuff. If you want your episodes of the show ad free, you’re gonna want to go to Stitcher dot com slash premium. Use the promo code “stories” for a one month free trial. And hey, just like our caller today, she was saying she discovered the show. She started telling friends about it. Word of mouth is by far the greatest form of advertising there is. So if you enjoy the show, spread word. Thanks so much for doing so.