October 21, 2021
Stand-up comedian, writer, and actor Tig Notaro joins Jameela this week to discuss having three-year olds in a pandemic, how to raise children without giving them your trauma and what Tig hopes they learn from her, Tig’s 2012 and why it was such a difficult time, falling in love with her wife, being young and jumping off of a roof when a friend’s mom got home, and more.
You can follow Tig on Twitter @tignotaro And listen to Tig’s podcast – Don’t Ask Tig: https://www.stitcher.com/show/dont-ask-tig
You can find transcripts for this episode on the Earwolf website. I Weigh has amazing merch – check it out at podswag.com
Jameela is on Instagram @jameelajamilofficial and Twitter @Jameelajamil And make sure to check out I Weigh’s Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube for more!
81 — Tig Notaro
Jameela [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to I Weigh with Jameela Jamil, a podcast about mental health and really about everything else. It’s just a very loose, sweary, candid and unashamed podcast about truly everything in the world. And so if you’re new here, then welcome. And if you’ve been here for a while, then thanks for sticking around. I hope you well, I’m fine. Quite upset still about everything that’s happening in Texas regarding reproductive rights. I’m not going to get into the whole thing right now, but I will say that if you are someone who has had an abortion who feels bad about it, or if you are looking to have an abortion and you feel confused or sad or stressed or alone, then you can read my post about it on Instagram. It’s easy to find that’s just a big orange square that says I had an abortion, and it’s all about how relieved I was after mine and grateful and how I have no regrets. And it’s talking about the system that stigmatize abortion, so it might make you just feel a bit less alone and better about everything. I know that it created a huge conversation like 550000 people kind of got involved in the conversation, and there were thousands of comments of people who’ve done the same thing going through the same thing or feel extremely supportive about people who need to do that thing. So it might be something that you find comforting. And also, if you’re someone who and I can’t imagine any of you all, but if you are someone who has been thinking about shaming someone else out of their abortion, about making their own choice about their own body and future, then read my post and then fuck off on a little walk and have a read about the impact of forced birth, not just on the individuals or those that you are forcing into this world unwanted, but also on society as a whole. On the on the economy, on health, on everything. It damages our entire society as a whole. So don’t participate in that, please. Anyway, I I’m so excited to announce today’s guest. I. I freely freaked out when she said yes to being on here because I’m such a big fan. She had me on her podcast and I’ve honestly not been so nervous to be on someone’s podcast because I just really wanted her to like me. I really didn’t care for any of her listeners liked me or how I came across. I just really wanted her to like me, and she must’ve pretty bloody came back on my podcast. Her name is Tig Notaro. And if you don’t know who Tig Notaro is, then frankly, I’m jealous because now you get to discover Tig Notaro, which was one of the great joys of my life. She’s an extraordinary comedian, extraordinary actor, extraordinary human, fabulous role model, and she came onto this podcast to tell me so many deeply personal things about her life and about the hardest year of her life. That was 2012 what she went through in 2012. A lot of us had a shit year in 2012, but I think she might she would win an award for shittest year of all time. What she went through so unfathomable and what she was able to withstand, but also more beautifully. What she was able to grow out of that year will make you feel like you can do anything. She’s truly, truly extraordinary. It’s such an inspiring episode about such an inspiring human, and she’s so warm and funny and unpretentious and cool. I love her. I think I’m in love with her. I want to be her. I feel so confused. And she talks so wonderfully about her marriage in a way that will make you hate your own partner unless you are experiencing the kind of love that Tig has for her wife. We talk about being a parent. We talk about what she wants to teach as a mother. We just go everywhere. So I’m going to stop talking about her and let you just fall even more in love with her than you probably already are if you’re anything like me. This is the just oh so fabulous Tig fucking Notaro. Tig fuckin Notaro welcome to I Weigh.
Tig [00:04:04] That’s me. Thanks for having me.
Jameela [00:04:06] How are you?
Tig [00:04:06] I’m good. I’m uh, I’m in my hometown in Mississippi. Stay in with my cousin and on my days off from filming in New Orleans, and it’s good.
Jameela [00:04:19] I was wondering how the last year and a half has been for you.
Tig [00:04:23] You know, it started out, I think, like everybody thinking it was going to be a couple of weeks, we’re going to shut down, we’re going to get back to life and for six, gosh, was it six or nine months? Stephanie and I told our three year olds that they were on spring break, which was why they were home and they have no, you know, no reference to spring break. So they don’t know how long it lasts. So six or nine months they didn’t know. I mean, they don’t know that spring break is in Florida for a week.
Jameela [00:04:56] I now feel like they’re going to be sorely disappointed when they get to 16 17 that they have such a short spring break.
Tig [00:05:04] Terribly, terribly. And it was so cute and sad because like every few months, they would say when spring break is over, can we go, you know, and stay with Jimmy in Mississippi or whatever? And we’d be like, Yeah, you know, definitely when spring break ends. And then we had to kind of, you know, get into reality and just say so there’s a virus, you know, and plus they were three, you know, so it’s hard to explain it.
Jameela [00:05:39] How do you explain a virus to three year old twins?
Tig [00:05:42] Well. You know, people, I guess they knew what catching a cold was, so we just explained that it was similar to that, that right now a lot of people are getting cold, they’re getting what we talk about is more
Jameela [00:06:03] Spring Break flu.
Tig [00:06:03] Right right no would mainly talk about symptoms rather than what it was. We’d say a lot of people are getting runny noses right now and coughs. And so we have to wear a mask so we don’t get a runny nose or a cough, you know? And so we just left it kind of vague because they were three and then they were four. And that’s when we told them spring break was over.
Jameela [00:06:26] And now they’re 10.
Tig [00:06:28] Now they’re 10. Now they’ve moved out. But no, now they’re five, and they’re very comfortable with wearing masks and and they they’re doing well and we’re doing well. I would say at first we were doing really well and enjoying our time home, and I was I made the decision to treat the pandemic like it was my decision to stay home, to be with my family and to work. And and then and then it started to test me a bit. I would say after about a year, you know, the inner thoughts of Is this life? Is this is this what my children? Is this what everyone’s children? Is this what everyone in the final chapter of life? Is this is this? Is this it? And trying to figure out if it is it, how do we make it a positive, functioning, joyful life? And I remember lying in bed with Stephanie one night and just just having a conversation of. I think it was the first time acknowledging that this might be it, this might be what this life is. And and just verbalizing it and saying. If this is it, we are going to get through this and we’re going to find a way to find joy. And I think that’s where we sit still. All right, meaning we still are in that place of where do we find the joy and how do we find the joy? And I would say we’re doing well, but you still have that nagging. Is this it? Is this? Is this how it will go? Is this is is this how it will always be? And will this cycle continue of mask and lockdown and quarantine and and over again and and take your masks off and put it back on. And we’re in and out of work and we’re in and we can and we can’t hug and we can see family and when then we can’t and then we can travel and then we can’t. And then I don’t know. It’s it’s just
Jameela [00:08:59] it’s discombobulating, isn’t it?
Tig [00:09:01] It is. And
Jameela [00:09:03] Yeah I I personally have felt like I’ve developed more meaningful relationships in the last year and a half, even with people I’ve been friends with for six or seven years. I feel like our efforts towards each other, even across the globe, have become more meaningful. I feel at my home relationships have become more meaningful, sometimes too meaningful. And we want to kill each other. But you know, I live with a bunch of my friends as well as my boyfriend, and I feel like that has been an amazing bonding experience to go through something like this with them. But I definitely know what you mean.
Tig [00:09:35] What do you mean you live with a bunch of your friends? I don’t think I knew that. I just know you lived with your boyfriend.
Jameela [00:09:39] Well obviously, the last time we spoke, I was on your podcast and I was supposed to move in with you because you’d invited me to come and live above your garage.
Tig [00:09:47] Well that was when I thought the pandemic. That’s that’s what I thought the pandemic was going to be two weeks long and I thought, Well, yeah, I’ll just move her in for a couple of weeks
Jameela [00:09:56] Oh it was just for a couple of weeks, right?
Tig [00:09:59] I didn’t, I didn’t verbalize that, but in my head
Jameela [00:10:02] I’m not just for Christmas Tig, you can’t just pick me up, move all my shit into your garage and just fucking throw me away alright? I was really excited. I’m a big fan. You invited me to come live with you. And I thought that was real, so I’ve been waiting for that call.
Tig [00:10:17] Well it was real. It was real.
Jameela [00:10:18] I brought you here just to confront you once and for all. No but what I was going to say is that I sometimes wonder if the reason that I have a fairly, fairly good handle like it disappears every time I read the news. But when I’m not reading the news or on my phone, I managed to find a fairly decent way to cope with the pandemic because I’ve had experiences before, in particular one massive, life changing year in which I couldn’t leave my bed. And I was told that that could go on forever and ever and ever, and I would maybe never be able to go out and see my friends, never be able to leave this apartment that was on the second floor that had no disabled access. I just thought this might be my existence forever, just in this bad shit faced on on medication, watching television, eating ice cream. And I managed to find like a zen and a joy and a and a luckiness in that being my existence. This like less stressful life and enjoying the ice cream, enjoying the television and. And so I think I had to learn a quite a young age and a young formative age how to just sometimes relent to the tide. And you have one of the most extraordinary life stories in general that I’ve ever heard. But I was rewatching your documentary Take last night, and I really I can’t tell you how much I mean this when I say it’s one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen, and I’m a documentary nut, but just to watch it for the second time around and get goose bumps and to cry and to laugh. And I’m English, so we never get goose bumps.
Tig [00:11:50] That’s so nice.
Jameela [00:11:50] We never cry, we never laugh, that’s it we just complain. And so to have been taken through all of these like constant ebbs and flows of emotion in that documentary, it’s just like it’s such a masterpiece. But also it’s a very simple documentary in which it’s really just your humanity comes through, but also your sense of like your fuckin survival instincts or like your persistence. Just blow my mind. And I wonder if that year which we’re about to talk about because I love dredging it up. If that year that we’re about to talk about, maybe prepared you for what’s happened. Can we could we talk about 2012? Would you kindly run my audience through what a profound clusterfuck, but wonderfully formative. An amazing clusterfuck that was.
Tig [00:12:39] Um sure I was. Well, I was working on a film called In A World with Stephanie Allen, who ended up becoming my spouse, and we were both in, uh, minor roles in an indie film. And I was in a lot of pain. I was very sick. I thought I had a cold and and it’s funny because they set up a little cot for me and I would go lie down in between shots and after I wrapped, I was at my girlfriend at the time, I was at her house and I remember thinking, God, I been in bed for so many days and this just isn’t my style. And I think that I’m just being lazy. I think I’m just like getting sucked in by this lying in bed thing. I just need to get up and get going, and that’s what needs to happen. So I got up. I took a bath and my girlfriend came by. I was like, How’s it going? And there is a good, I think I just need to get up, you know? And I got out of the bath and I was walking down her stairs and I collapsed and and she took me to the hospital and it turned out I had this deadly disease called C. Diff, where a bacteria eats your digestive tract and and I had gotten it because I had turns out, pneumonia and didn’t know it and I had been going to urgent care while I was doing this film and they had given me antibiotics and sometimes you can get an adverse reaction to that. Which I did. And it cleared out all of the good bacteria in my gut and left this one bacteria called C. diff to be left alone to thrive in my digestive tract. And most everyone has C diff in their digestive tract. But it’s OK when it’s mixed in with the good and the bad, when it’s left by itself, then it grows and and just takes over and just eats your insides. So that’s what was happening to me. I had pneumonia and I had C. diff and when I got out of the hospital, finally, a couple of days later, my mother tripped and hit her head and was on life support, and I had to fly home to take her off life support. And then my girlfriend and I broke up soon after my mother’s funeral. And soon after that, I was diagnosed with invasive cancer, and all of that happened in a four month period of time. And it’s really interesting because people will say, Yeah, you had a crazy year, and then I’m like, I sure did. But it all happened in four months and it spun my head around for a long time. I’ll say.
Jameela [00:15:55] Yeah. I mean, it’s really hard to not feel persecuted or cursed during something like that.
Tig [00:16:02] I felt cursed.
Jameela [00:16:02] Yeah, truly. I was going to ask.
Tig [00:16:04] I felt cursed and I felt I felt like I couldn’t tell people when the next thing would happen because it sounded like I was making it up. And I would start to think, Am I making this up or is this really happening? And if this is really happening, is this normal? Is this what? Is it a big deal? I couldn’t tell. I was so confused.
Jameela [00:16:28] Can I ask you what all of that that you went through taught you? Was there a big revelation after that? Was it anger? Was it gratitude? Was it a new lease of life?
Tig [00:16:44] I think it was all of those things, but what I’m realizing as time has gone on is that. I got clarity. I describe it to people where I feel like I was pushed to the edge of the Earth and then I was yanked back and I got to see something I had never seen and that I can’t explain to other people. And I felt things that I had never felt that I can’t explain. And I thought that, well, that was my lesson, and I’ll just be forever changed and I’m now a new person. And that’s true. But also what I’ve learned is that it happens again and it happens again and it happens again and. I have to continue to learn the same lesson because I’m a person and I can’t get comfortable in thinking that I’ve learned a lesson and I’m all set. Because you’re never all set and I don’t mean that in a negative way, but
Jameela [00:17:57] I think it’s realistic and also quite comforting.
Tig [00:17:59] I agree, and I think that that is the biggest lesson I had to learn is that when I have clarity and when I have these big breakthroughs and I have these scary moments and I have these great moments that I’m going to have all those all over again. But what I try to do is remember that I can’t be complacent and that I have to get in touch with that joy and that sadness, and that all of those emotions and let that keep me alive and driven to be the best that I can be.
Jameela [00:18:38] Yeah, I also feel as though something I take comfort in because I’ve had a similar experience and having these big, I feel like I I say sometimes that almost every decade the world just shakes the fucking living shit out of me in a way where I can no longer ignore any of the signs that I need to change, or something needs to change in my life and the way that I draw comfort from the fact that these things can sometimes be recurring, even if they’re not the same exact experience. It’s triggering the same parts of me or or reminding me of the same things that I still need to work on is that every time I go through something like that, I at least now have a template. I have a toolkit to get to the conclusion faster and less like excruciating way. And I think that that’s something that’s really important is that while the journey never ends, the journey definitely gets easier as you go along. Not necessarily because the circumstances are easier, but at least your brain has some sort of mechanism to now be like, Oh, OK, I can identify this quicker. I can see what I’m missing and what I need to change, or what I need to do to be happier, faster. And I think that that’s cool. I mean, I don’t know if that was your experience, but.
Tig [00:19:51] For sure and what I also think I learned very much so is that I’m not special. And I mean that in the most positive way. I am not special. I can I can have deadly diseases. I can lose my mother and then I could potentially die two months after she died. When I say I’m not special, I’m not knocking myself, I’m not knocking anybody else.
Jameela [00:20:21] Can I still be special or? No, we’re both not OK. No, I understand.
Tig [00:20:28] I I really don’t think that you’re special and I’m sorry.
Jameela [00:20:34] Okay. No, that’s fine. That’s fine.
Tig [00:20:35] I knew you would take it well.
Jameela [00:20:37] Yeah, yeah, I’ll be. I’ll be fine here.
Tig [00:20:40] I know you’re evolved. But yeah, I think it’s I feel lucky to to get in touch with that. And also, I do think I’m special. I think you’re special. I think everybody’s special.
Jameela [00:20:56] No I know exactly what you mean. I would love for you to.
Tig [00:20:59] No I know, but I’m saying. But I also don’t think you are, and I don’t think anybody is. But I do think we all are. But I just I guess I feel like I got very quickly in touch with. I wrote a book called I’m Just a Person, and that’s in response to people kind of thinking that I was stronger than a lot of people, or that I was somehow different than people because I got through that. And. And it’s really it’s just not the case. I just don’t. I just that’s how I feel. I feel like I was lucky. I was also very unlucky. I call myself the most, the luckiest unlucky person in the world. But I don’t know. I just I think I had health care. I had support. I had luck. I had randomness
Jameela [00:22:00] In your documentary. I just I was so I was repeatedly moved by how much love and support there seemed to be around you. You know your friends sitting around your hospital bed doing stand up sets at your demand and just, yeah, there was such clear warmth and respect from everyone around you. Um, in in these like incredible it’s incredible to have footage of such a wild time, and I’m sure it felt just petrifying in the moment where you didn’t know how this was going to end. But, it’s such a wonderful document and sort of like ode to friendship love and also romantic love. I feel like that documentary. But I do feel as though when you’re talking about that level of I am not special, I’m not exempt, you know, which I think sometimes people with varying different degrees of privilege, if that’s privileged around whatever, like, you know, this could be a class privilege, money, privilege or a disability or non disability privilege. I think a lot of people found that the last year and a half has been a tremendous and terrifying leveler where we just never presumed it could happen to us. There are millions of people around the world who don’t leave the house because of access or because of illness, or because of all these different things. And we just sort of carry on with our lives as if those people don’t exist or, you know, plenty of different circumstances in this world, not having money and losing your job in spite of however good your education may be. And suddenly, I think the world just got this giant jolt. And as painful and awful as it has been, I wonder sometimes if that was necessary for us to wake up and genuinely start to access gratitude care not only for ourselves, but also for others. I think that I am not special. Revelation is one that everyone is starting to reckon with, and I think it’s a healthy one. My my roommate tells me often that he finds his existential crisis about his complete insignificance in the universe to be the most comforting time of his life. Because it actually makes him feel better about the world feeling small and like his actions don’t matter and that he can exist and comfort of knowing the world just carries on.
Tig [00:24:15] Well, yeah, and it’s and it’s it’s that same thing of. And yet your actions do matter and your actions don’t matter. And you’re you’re special and you’re not special. It’s all of those things, and they both exist at the same time. And I do think that, you know, it’s it’s a difficult thing to say. Yes, it’s it’s a good thing that this has happened because of course, there’s a lot of pain and loss and but in the ways that it has been helpful or a up call to certain people and just with the Black Lives Matter movement happening simultaneously and again, so much pain in so many different ways, but necessary movement that’s made that could not have happened otherwise people were on such autopilot and continue to be and that I am too you again to go back to what we were just talking about. You think you have wake up moments, wake up calls and then you go back on autopilot and you have to constantly find ways to get back in touch with these.
Jameela [00:25:32] With your growth.
Tig [00:25:33] Truly. I mean, because that’s where it gets very tricky is when people are on autopilot and they check out, they lose touch with humanity and connection. And it’s that complicated thing of I’m I’m thankful for 2012 and all at the same time, I lost my mother. And it’s it’s crazy to say it’s so complicated, it’s so complicated. You know, when you ask about 2012, it’s like that that was such a crazy, hard, challenging time period. And what I’m what continues to wake me up and keep me in touch is that I have had ongoing medical issues for the past nine years. And and so. It I start to think I’m all set. I I couldn’t possibly have anything else, or I’m I’m OK now. And I and I have fallen for it over and over. And I think I’m OK, I’m good. And then, again, something happens. Something shows up, something is detected, something. It puts me in my place very swiftly.
Jameela [00:27:08] And I can’t imagine how scary that is, especially as a parent. You know, it’s one it’s one thing when it’s just, you know, you and I may be a loved one, but when there are two little young people relying on you, I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine what that’s like.
Tig [00:27:22] Oh my gosh, I I think all the time how long am I going to live, I want to live. And that’s why I try and take care of myself. But it’s like I even just a few months ago, I had, you know, a mass appear.
Jameela [00:27:45] Oh fuck.
Tig [00:27:45] Had to have it removed, had a biopsy and it was benign. But it’s like it’s stressful. And I was in the middle of work and I was in the middle of. I was so sad. I was so scared. I was so I felt so defeated. I felt immediately like, was it irresponsible of me to marry somebody, to have children to.
Jameela [00:28:12] No.
Tig [00:28:12] Well, I’m just saying those are the things that go on in my mind. Like, Should I not have taken this job or done this or I, you know, and I I I don’t know it, but it does. It knocks me right back in my place and I’m like, I hate that this happened, but I’m thankful that I’m alive. I’m thankful for my wakeup call again, but I kind of am sick of getting wakeup calls. And but it’s it’s a love hate with wake up calls because the amount of gratitude I have when I have that level of a wake up call is I can’t even describe it. I can’t even describe it. It’s insane.
Jameela [00:28:57] I feel like that’s quite I don’t know. I feel as though that’s again, like something important for a lot of people who listen to this podcast have health struggles ongoing, ongoing, ongoing, ongoing health struggles, whether that’s an illness or a disability, etc. And I think it’s so important for people to be reminded of that there is a there is a vaguely positive, even if it is resentful, that’s also OK. But there is a positive way to look at that signal to yourself.
Tig [00:29:29] It’s so complicated. I don’t want to live my life fearful or scared,.
Jameela [00:29:36] But you also want to be prepared.
Tig [00:29:37] I also, yeah, and I want to be I’m on top of it and I try and stay on top of it and then I and then I go through waves of guilt that Stephanie has to to deal with it. You know what I mean?
Jameela [00:29:54] I do know what you mean. How do you stop yourself from allowing that fear or any of the kind of like, I mean, I don’t know if you have trauma from all of these things that have been.
Tig [00:30:04] I do. I do.
Jameela [00:30:05] that occurred. Of course you do how the fuck could you not? I mean, you’re human. How do you stop? How does one stop? And I guess I’m probably asking this for myself in case I ever have children. And I think one of the things that scares me about having children, and I’m definitely more towards never, ever repeating my gene pool, but I’d like to end it with me. But, uh,.
Tig [00:30:30] Go out with a bang.
Jameela [00:30:31] Yeah, exactly. That’s it that’s it. Just yeah, but I I wonder how one stops themselves from all of that kind of leaking onto the children like neurosis about their health or neurosis about whether or not they’re being careful enough all of the time, you know, not not giving them the space to live their lives like kind of freely and innocently, like wanting them to be overly responsible. How do you stop all of the trauma from bleeding out onto them?
Tig [00:31:01] I, you know, I I really try to have awareness and find balance. And I don’t know if I’m finding it, but I I I used to tell people that I have no regrets. And during the pandemic, I started to realize I actually do.
Jameela [00:31:23] Oh really? What are your regrets? Can I ask?
Tig [00:31:26] Yeah, I wish that I had never smoked cigarettes.
Jameela [00:31:31] Right.
Tig [00:31:32] Because I can. I can see, you know, I’m 50 years old and I can see the effects that smoking had on me. And and I also have regrets that I didn’t have the clarity that I gained through. And obviously, it’s not full clarity because, um,.
Jameela [00:31:58] It never is.
Tig [00:31:59] Never is. But, but but through the Black Lives Matter movement that the the unawareness, you know, I thought, Oh, I care about people. I want to involve people. And I spent, you know, my TV show One Mississippi. We talked about these issues of being inclusive and
Jameela [00:32:26] I am an ally basically.
Tig [00:32:28] Yeah yeah, and and and those things are true. But I didn’t understand the levels that were not there. And I have so much regret that I didn’t have that awareness. Those are my two regrets. I would say.
Jameela [00:32:51] I totally I totally feel you.
Tig [00:32:54] So those are true, genuine regrets that I have. And oh, I’m tying this in to my my children because I know where I went wrong with my health. And so.
Jameela [00:33:13] You’ll tase them if they smoke. I understand.
Tig [00:33:17] Exactly.
Jameela [00:33:18] Good.
Tig [00:33:20] Well, aside from smoking, but nutrition and exercise and I think and sleep and trying to manage stress. And you know, those are all things that I’m trying to do now, and I’m trying to catch up because I didn’t do that for years, and I’m trying to instill the importance of those things in my children without being a crazy person. And and also trying to let them have freedom and have cookies and have cake and have candy and watch TV and be be normal, but also to be active and to understand why you should eat your vegetables and why you should exercise and why you should sleep. Because I think that one of the problems is that you hear those things when you’re growing up. Eat your vegetables, you hear you have to exercise and you can’t smoke and you, you, you have to eat your vegetables. But there’s not a follow up conversation of why you have to. There’s so much information that is left off about the why you have to do those things. And that’s something I wish I had, why those things are important. And so I’m trying to instill that in my children, I’m trying to have conversations with them about the importance of the food that they’re eating and the importance of the rest of their getting and the importance of the play and the importance of the cookies and the importance of the TV and the relaxation and and just having those those important connecting points. So it’s not just eat your vegetables, you got to get your sleep. It’s like, why do you have to? Why? That’s what’s so important in those conversations to me.
Jameela [00:35:26] Yeah, I’m like, I don’t know if I would call that part of what you’re doing, like bleeding trauma onto your kids. I can’t say because I’m not inside your house or I’m not inside your house because you haven’t obviously never came through on your promise. But generally, generally.
Tig [00:35:40] Look you can go sleep in my garage any time you want.
Jameela [00:35:43] It’s fine. Okay? I have other plans. No, but I I was saying that I that that to me, that at least sounds as long as you’re not doing it in too much of a neurotic way where you’re scaring the shit out of them and making them afraid of not getting enough sleep and not eating enough vegetables and not getting enough exercise. I think that that then is a is a wonderful product of the wake call that you had.
Tig [00:36:07] I hope so.
Jameela [00:36:08] Giving them the lessons that you never had, you know?
Tig [00:36:11] Yeah, I hope that I am doing it in a healthy way. And that’s the I don’t know. I mean, maybe, maybe it’ll prove to be that I have, you know, ruined my children through my through my discussions of rest and removing stress and eating healthy and exercising.
Jameela [00:36:34] God I would definitely prefer that kind of parental trauma. Do you know how much I had oh, she made me get too much sleep. So fucking well rested.
Tig [00:36:45] Well I have to say it’s bittersweet, but. I’m as I mentioned, I’m in Mississippi right now, and Stephanie told me that our our sons always say that they miss me and it’s it’s a it’s like I I hate that they miss me. But I also love that they miss me.
Jameela [00:37:07] Yeah, that’s so sweet. It’s like my dog pisses himself every time I come home completely empties the bladder. And it feels annoying and bad, and I I regret that I’ve psyched him up that much. But all of that year and over my brand new shoes also is a reminder that I am important to him.
Tig [00:37:26] Yeah.
Jameela [00:37:27] So it’s the same as the exact same thing that we’re talking about.
Tig [00:37:31] It is.
Jameela [00:37:32] Yeah, it is also really gross anyway. Can I ask you what the things that you most want to teach your kids are as regards life values? I totally get all the health stuff, but I always wonder this about people who have children like is there? Is there like some people don’t even have a plan or hope of a thing they want to impress upon their children. Is there a thing that you most hope that they learn or that they feel?
Tig [00:38:01] I have just the most boring answer.
Jameela [00:38:06] Is it that they’re loved by you?
Tig [00:38:09] Um sure.
Jameela [00:38:11] That wouldn’t be boring. Go on.
Tig [00:38:13] I, I. I can’t I can barely get it out of my mouth, it’s so boring, but I just I want them to be happy. And I I think that when I tell people that if my son came to me and said. I want to. I mean, and I don’t I hate to use a type, you know, a job in the world. I really if my son was like, I want to be a car mechanic, I would be thrilled if he was like passionate about working on or building a car or fixing a car. And he loved it. I would be the happiest parent in the world, and I don’t mean like if he ended up owning his own business, if he ended up, you know what I mean?
Jameela [00:39:15] Yeah you just want him to be fulfilled in what is a a good and grounded life.
Tig [00:39:20] Whatever it is, if they if if they are a doctor, if they are a car mechanic, if whatever it is, if they are a florist, I want them to be happy in their day to day. I love when people love their jobs. I just love it, and I felt very lucky to be somebody that, you know, I love being a comedian
Jameela [00:39:48] You love making people laugh and making people happy.
Tig [00:39:52] I do, and I don’t make everyone laugh and I don’t make everyone happy. Lord knows there’s plenty of people that don’t find me funny or despise me, and that’s fine too. But I am. I am happy in what I do, and I wish that for my kids.
Jameela [00:40:13] Yeah, I think that’s lovely. And also your kids are so lucky to be growing up with not one, but but from what I see in the documentary and also from how I hear you talk about her in your podcast and in your shows. Your wife, Stephanie, also just appears to be such a loving and present human being that you speak so affectionately of.
Tig [00:40:37] Yes.
Jameela [00:40:38] And I did want to ask you, I mean, you’ve you’ve stayed together through the pandemic. Well done, because that counts as 10 extra years. I don’t know if anyone told you about the metrics of the pandemic. How’s how’s that going? Nine years, this is this has been nine years that started at the end of that 2012 run and you’ve gone through all of these things together that I imagine must have bonded you. I mean, this is like a love kind of forged in fire, but also such a sweet, tender love that we’re so lucky to have watched the journey of on your documentary Tig and James, my boyfriend kept on seeing lots of similarities in our journey and similarities and things that you would say to her. And he just kept on sort of squeezing my foot whenever there would be, it’s like a very lovely and relatable love story. But how do you through all of this through all of these lessons, through having kids through then going through this huge thing emotionally and then the globe going through this huge thing? How have you? What’s the secret of of staying together, staying in love? Can I ask?
Tig [00:41:43] What is the secret?
Jameela [00:41:45] What’s your secret like how how how do you do it? You’re going on year nine. This is a big deal.
Tig [00:41:50] Yeah, yeah. I think that, you know, we have a lot of conversations about changing as people. and we have a 15 year difference between us. I’m 50 and she’s 35 and and we are very different than when we first got together, not because it’s almost nine years later, but because we’re also both hitting very different periods in our life from when we first got together. I mean, I’m like halfway to 100, you know, I’m halfway there. And, you know, if I was functioning in the real world, I would be looking at retirement soon. You know.
Jameela [00:42:41] Well now I mean, just as of like this year, or maybe it was the end of last year, time is if you become a fuckin sex symbol on the internet.
Tig [00:42:47] Oh, right yeah. Oh my god.
Jameela [00:42:48] Because of Zack Snyder’s trailer. You know, you replaced another actor, and you had to replace his part almost fully in green screen or entirely in green screen you never had to actually interact with your costars.
Tig [00:43:01] Entirely. I shot an action film alone.
Jameela [00:43:05] It’s so, it’s so wild to me that you have done this. I mean, through that. And then also the trailer drops with you in it and the fuckin internet stopped. So 50 is looking good on you. Not just like from the fact that you look good, but also I mean that this was this was a big reaction. It was a big it was a big fucking reaction. Everyone was lusting afterwards.
Tig [00:43:31] It was yeah it was funny because Stephanie was like, Well, yeah, like, she was just like, why is everyone acting like this is news? But yeah, I wasn’t expecting that at all because I was green screened into a film that had already been finished. And I’m in a film with very obviously attractive women that I I’m in a big ensemble with very, obviously attractive women, and I did not think I was going to be getting attention for being a sex symbol in this movie. And so it was a fun thing to turn 50 and be like, Wait, a 50 year old dike is is is hot? I was. I was. I was so confused. But but yeah, it was. It was. It was a nice surprise.
Jameela [00:44:27] I’m just saying, for someone you’re talking about in any other world, you know, you’re just sort of like planning a retirement. But Lord, you are having a opposite reality to that.
Tig [00:44:37] But yeah, for sure.
Jameela [00:44:39] How do you navigate then those different milestones because I think people don’t have to be 15 years apart to be going through those huge shifts. What do you do? How do you how do you stay parallel?
Tig [00:44:49] I think that it’s having really hard conversations. You know, my therapist says that if you are ready and willing to ask the question, then you are ready and willing to hear the answer. And it’s really an interesting exercise, because there are things in life that are unspeakably hard to ask of yourself and of your partner and of your life and and those around you. But that moment when it comes over you where you’re like, I’m ready for the answer. You know, it’s intense. It’s freeing, and it’s like, Oh my God, yesterday I couldn’t have possibly gotten this out of my mouth, and I can’t believe I’m asking it today, but I’m ready to hear the answer. And there’s nothing scarier, and there’s nothing more freeing than getting that answer. I think that that’s been really helpful in my relationship with Stephanie because we’ve had very hard conversations. And that means about our future, my health, parenting our families, our careers, our dynamic, our love, our commitment. Just so many different outside factors, inside factors. And they’ve been hard.
Jameela [00:46:19] What is it do you think that drives one to that point of being asked? It’s like now I’m back on your podcast, Don’t Ask Tig and I’m just asking you for advice. But no, I’m I’m wondering that what? What is it for you that brings you to that point of the fuck it bucket? Like, I’m just going to I’m I’m ready for the answer. It’s it like I’m willing to be told an answer that I don’t want to hear?
Tig [00:46:43] Well, no, I’m willing to hear an answer that I do want to hear because no matter what the answer is, you’re ready to hear it.
Jameela [00:46:52] Yeah, you want to know the truth of how someone else feels or what someone else wants,
Tig [00:46:56] or what they’re thinking or what they did or what they what anything anything. And when it comes out of your mouth, you know, I always use this example. When I was a kid, one of my closest friends was this guy, John Delisi, and he was this, you know, Italian guy played the drums and he would bring, you know, The Who record like he’d bring vinyl to school, and he carried his drum sticks in his back pocket. And if anyone messed with me, he’d go threatened to beat him up and he was like one of my best friends, you know? And I remember one time he asked me to come hang out over at his house, and I came over and we were sitting up in his room listening to records and he goes, Oh man, my mom’s home. No one’s supposed to be here. I’m grounded. You got to jump out of the window. And I was like, I was like, what? And he was like, Dude, you got to jump out of the window. If you don’t, I’m going to be grounded for even longer. Nobody’s supposed to be here. And I was like, Oh my God, I was on the second floor. And and I and I crawled out of his window and I got on this rooftop and I was looking down, and the only thing below me was cement. And he was like, Dude, jump my mom’s coming in the back door and I was like, Oh my God. And I’m like, I’m I’m looking at this cement. And I was like, I don’t know, 14 years old and I was like, this big around and I’m looking at cement and I was like, Oh my God, but I’m like, this is my buddy John, I can’t. He can’t be grounded longer and and. And I just remember I once I went off that roof,
Jameela [00:48:45] You jumped off the fucking roof?
Tig [00:48:48] I did! I jumped off the roof and I landed on the cement and I had like skinned my knees and my palms and my chin and and I just ran home. But I was like, You know, oh my gosh. But I think about that all the time when I have to, when I have to say something hard or do something hard, I always picture myself going off of John Delisi’s roof because there’s no turning back. It’s like once it goes out of your mouth and once you jump off of that rooftop, it’s done. Now you now. What do we do? We’re here. It’s happened.
Jameela [00:49:30] My conversation would take as a beautiful and in-depth look at love, marriage and family, and for a different just as wonderful, just as heartwarming look at marriage and family, you can also check out my episode with Celeste Barber. It’s a very different tone, but she’s an equally wonderful human. Celeste gave us tons of hilarious insights into her marriage, including sharing that she regularly imagines that her husband has died in order to help her feel grateful for him. That is just one of the 100 incredibly funny moments that we have in our conversation, and if you missed it before then, please go back, do yourself a favor and check it out. Or just listen to it again. You will absolutely be grateful that you did. I’ve listened to it back like three times and I’m fucking in it.
Tig [00:50:13] Do, do you know that I don’t think it’s in this documentary? I don’t think so. I think I mentioned it in some interview once. But after we the way we kissed the first time was I had gone to. I was writing my book and it happened to be Valentine’s Day. And people hear this story and they go, Well, of course, you guys liked each other. It’s like, it wasn’t like that. We it wasn’t. It truly wasn’t because it was Valentine’s Day, but I had been on tour, so I hadn’t seen her. But we would text here and there, and she was having drinks with friends and we were texting and she said, Oh, you should come meet me and my friends were out at this place having a drink, and so I thought, Well, it’s 11 o’clock. I haven’t showered. I was like, Do I have time to shower? And then I thought, Oh, she’s not into me, I don’t need to shower. Who cares what I look like? So I was like, Yeah, sure, I’ll come down. And so I just got in my car, went down there, hadn’t showered, and I was wearing this big wool sweater with an eagle on the back and and I walked up and she was sitting there with a group of friends and she had a big wool sweater on with an eagle on the back. And hers. Hers is hers.
Jameela [00:51:34] What?
Tig [00:51:34] I know hers was a blue sweater. Mine was an off white sweater and we were looking at each other going well, how on earth are we both wearing a big wool sweater with eagles on it? And so we exchanged sweaters as soon as we saw each other. And her friend said, Get together for a picture. This is hilarious. So we went to put our arms around each other and we just started kissing.
Jameela [00:52:05] With everyone like watching someone’s got a camera up,.
Tig [00:52:08] We have our first kiss on film.
Jameela [00:52:12] No, you don’t.
Tig [00:52:13] Yes, and neither of us, I mean, I am not a public display person and we just had only been texting. And then when we were finally in person, we’re just kissing in front of all of our friends at his table. And then the next day, she wrote me this long email saying that was really fun. But I have to tell you, you know, I. I’m not gay. But she wrote me a long email explaining that she couldn’t be with me, that it was fun, that she’s not gay and went on and on and on. And I responded with, OK, dyke. That’s all I wrote. That was my only response.
Jameela [00:53:01] And you lived happily ever after.
Tig [00:53:03] That’s right. That’s how we got together.
Jameela [00:53:07] Wait, so then how it was that just that text was it where she then?
Tig [00:53:11] She said she laughed so hard when she got OK, dyke in my response after she poured her heart and soul out into I love hanging out with you. I think you’re so funny. And that was fun. And and uh, she said she just laughed and thought, I like her.
Jameela [00:53:33] Oh, that’s so sweet. I love I love a happy ending, and I know that that’s not the end of the story and the story continues.
Tig [00:53:41] It’s a happy continuation.
Jameela [00:53:42] The journey continues yeah I, but Tif like honestly watching your life over the last 10 years, just as a fan has. It’s been tremendously hopeful and encouraging, and I like many of the people who just adore what you put out into the world. I feel so reassured that you’re here. You’re still here and you’re still.
Tig [00:54:09] I’m still here
Jameela [00:54:09] making stuff that makes people happy and also just to hear that you have a focus on making yourself happy. That makes me really that that makes me feel very comforted that you’re, you know,
Tig [00:54:21] I appreciate that and I am comforted by your existence. And I’ve I’ve gotten so much from your clarity and I remember so many times. Stephanie is who first started talking about you to me, and she was just like.
Jameela [00:54:40] Oh really?
Tig [00:54:40] Yeah, she was just like, You have to hear this woman. She has so much exciting stuff to say, and she’s so smart and and so I have Stephanie to thank for turning me on to you.
Jameela [00:54:54] God, I already liked her. But now, oh, that’s it. Who needs you?
Tig [00:54:58] Truly.
Jameela [00:54:59] Step aside I want to be friends with Stephanie.
Tig [00:55:04] Again, the garage is always open to you.
Jameela [00:55:06] Yeah for two weeks. Yeah, I got it. Loud and clear Tig. Thank you so much for giving me so much of your time. I really appreciate it and thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Before you go, there’s a thing that all of my guests do at the end of the podcast, which is where I ask them how much they weigh. But it’s never in pounds and kilos. It’s it’s it’s the I Weigh format is that I reinvented. I tried to reinvent the way that I weigh myself, which is in my achievements, my contributions to society or the people that I love, like of the struggles I’ve overcome. Like, I weigh the sum of all of my parts rather than this very reductive way that people try to estimate me. So do you want a second to think about that?
Tig [00:55:50] Yeah, I weigh so much.
Jameela [00:55:53] You do.
Tig [00:55:55] I weigh so much.
Jameela [00:55:57] I literally always and we’re on like episode 70. Always forget to prep someone for this every single time. It’s actually like a skill now.
Tig [00:56:06] Isn’t it weird when when there’s something they have to do.
Jameela [00:56:10] It’s amazing, it amazes me. I’m sure it amazes Kimmie, who has to hear me explain this 70 times. I bet neither of us can fucking believe it. I am stunned by myself,
Tig [00:56:24] and you should leave that in this episode.
Jameela [00:56:27] Yeah, yeah. So, Tig, before you leave me, will you tell me, what do you weigh?
Tig [00:56:35] I weigh my children.
Jameela [00:56:39] Mm hmm.
Tig [00:56:40] I weigh my luck, I weigh my. I mean, the opportunity that my relationship, my relationship with Stephanie, I weigh. I can’t I don’t know how to answer this. Just listing things off. But when I think about getting together with Stephanie and what that has opened up for me, it weighs so much because it weighs my kids. I don’t know how to answer this. I don’t know if I’m using the right grammar, but I, you know, it’s somebody loves me. Somebody had a family with me. Somebody has learned how to comfortably sleep on a gurney and in a hospital bed with me just by my side. Year after year, I weigh. I mean, I don’t I don’t know how to answer this, but to have the potential to spend a lifetime with somebody, to have hopes and dreams lived out with somebody to maintain that and to try to maintain that, I weigh so much laughter and creativity. And it’s all I mean, I have things on my own, but I think about all that was born out of that relationship. And what what it weighs in my life is, is so tremendous, and I just I mean, I it’s it’s a heavy, heavy weight.
Jameela [00:58:38] Yeah, I’m amazed you can. I’m amazed you get anything done. Amazing with such a ton of love on top of your head. I love that. Such a beautiful answer. That’s one of my favorite answers we’ve ever had on the show. And it’s so wonderful to have so much love radiate out of someone.
Tig [00:58:58] I mean, to yeah, it’s it’s, you know, you go about your life and and it’s hard to remember to consider what everybody’s going through or what’s behind their doors or their struggles or their all of those things. And and and I just feel lucky to have somebody for these, you know, heading into our ninth year, somebody that’s been a part of the greatest and heaviest times for all of that time.
Jameela [00:59:40] Well, I am going to cut this up and send it just that bit to Stephanie, and you are going to get so laid. So laid. That was so beautiful. And I, it’s just been such a joy to get to have this conversation with you.
Tig [00:59:59] I love talking to you. You are the best. Thank you for having me.
Jameela [01:00:03] Thank you and give all of my love to the clearly very smart Stephanie. Great critical faculties, great taste in people. Well have a wonderful time in Mississippi and and hopefully I will speak to you soon.
Tig [01:00:20] I hope so.
Jameela [01:00:23] Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode. I weigh with Jameela Jamil is produced and researched by myself, Jameela Jamil, Erin Finnigan and Kimmie Gregory. It is edited by Andrew Carson, and the beautiful music you are hearing now is made by my boyfriend, James Blake. If you haven’t already, please rate review and subscribe to the show. It’s a great way to show your support. We also have a bonus series exclusively on Stitcher Premium called Ask Jameela Anything. Check it out. You can get a free month Stitcher Premium by going to Stitcher.com forward/premium and using the promo code I Weigh. Lastly, over I Weigh, we would love to hear from you and share what you weigh at the end of this podcast. You can leave us a voicemail at 1-818-660-5543 or email us what you weigh at IWeighPodcast@gmail.com. And now we would love to pass the mic to one of our fabulous listeners.
Listener [01:01:15] I weigh beating my eating disorder every day. I weigh beating my depression. I weigh coping with my bpd and loving my family. And I weigh cherishing my animal, my two kittens, Iris and Atlas.
November 27, 2023
This week, Jameela is joined by writer, broadcaster and feminist organizer Clementine Ford to discuss the historical roots of marriage as a tool of patriarchal control, the illusions surrounding modern matrimony and the modern marketing machinery that sustains its myth.
November 20, 2023
Jameela is joined by beauty culture critic Jessica DeFino in a candid conversation about where her current research and journalism is taking her, after years of covering a multi-billion dollar beauty industry for major women’s magazines & beauty apps in the US.