TRANSCRIPT One Bad Mother Episode 392: Do-Over! Oh, Wait, I Mean Makeovers! with Renee Colvert

Podcast: One Bad Mother

Episode number: 392

Guests: Renee Colvert

Transcript

biz

Hi. I’m Biz.

theresa

And I’m Theresa.

biz

Due to the pandemic, we bring you One Bad Mother straight from our homes—including such interruptions as: children! Animal noises! And more! So let’s all get a little closer while we have to be so far apart. And remember—we are doing a good job.

music

“Summoning the Rawk” by Kevin MacLeod. Driving electric guitar and heavy drums. [Continues through dialogue.]

biz

This week on One Bad Mother—do-over! Oh wait! I mean, makeovers! We talk with the fabulous Renee Colvert about reinventing yourself and letting people watch you do it. Plus, Biz is riding the waves.

crosstalk

Biz and caller: Wooooo!

caller

It’s kind of a check-in type of day and I’m pretty happy. I just finished my last section of trauma therapy and I am worthy. I am a self. I have a voice. And I am loved. And y’all are too! And I think everybody should go to therapy. [Biz laughs.] Because we all need it! [Laughs.] But I hope y’all are all doing well and thank you for the show! Bye!

biz

[Singing] I love youuu! [Regular voice] Thank you for checking in! Good job on the trauma therapy, dude! I had to do a little of that work. That ain’t easy work. It’s not easy work! And I am with you on therapy. Therapy, therapy, therapy. I just—I love this call. I love that like you’re like, “I’m worthy. I’m loved. I am a self.” Yes, you are! This is so good! Thank you for calling in and sharing that with us. You’re doing such a great job! You know who else is doing a good job? Essential workers. I’m just going to say this week—thank you. ‘K? Not even gonna break it down. Because the list of people who need thanking is so long. Oh, well, fuck it. I will. Nurses. Doctors. Hospital staff. Hospital janitorial services. Bookkeepers. EMTs. All of the people working in grocery stores who did not sign up to like stock during a pandemic. All of the people who are working at the testing sites and working at the vaccine distribution sites and making the vaccines. Ah! [Singing] Teachers, teachers! I love you, teachers! [Regular voice] To all of the different school districts who are putting their creative minds to it to try to figure out how to get everybody back in school safely—you are burned out. You’re all burned out. You’re all tired. ‘K? You all are very, very [through laughter] very tired. This isn’t week one. This is like… month ten. And it’s been nonstop. And… it’s been on top of all the normal stuff that was already too much! So I just wanna say that I really, really see you and you’re really, really doing such a good job. I’m doing an okay job. Guys? Here’s my check-in. I’ve mentioned this on the show before. The sort of emotional waves you take throughout this whole pandemic. Last week was definitely the sadder of the weeks. [Laughs.] It happens! It happens! You think, “I’m doing it! I’m chugging along. Everything is fine. I’m taking care of basic needs and I have a reasonable attitude” and then… you don’t. [Laughs.] Then you’re just crying. I’m just crying. I’m just crying. Like sometimes. And I’m very tired. And have no patience. And that’s… really hard to—like, no one likes to not have the patience that we’re all expected to have all the time with kids. And so yeah. Lots of just [singing] tuning out. [Laughs.] [Regular voice] and it doesn’t help that everybody else in the house has also hit the end of their ropes? So there’s not a lot of patience to go around. So… great. Yeah. That’s it. It just means that next week I’m gonna be on fire and I’ll probably like build a shed in the backyard because that’s how I work through things. ‘Cause y’know, I find myself in the monotony of the pandemic life wondering if I should be pursuing things that I’ve always wanted to try. Maybe do a little reinventing of my look or maybe reinventing of “Who am I? Who am I? How will I come out of this pandemic life anew? Like a phoenix?” Which I think ties in nicely to what we’re going to talk about today to show favorite—and Biz favorite!—Renee Colbert! From Can I Pet Your Dog. Who has a new podcast called My Pandemic Makeover Spectacular. You know it’s good if it’s got “Spectacular” in the title.

music

Banjo strums; cheerful banjo music continues through dialogue.

theresa

Please—take a moment to remember: If you’re friends of the hosts of One Bad Mother, you should assume that when we talk about other moms, we’re talking about you.

biz

If you are married to the host of One Bad Mother, we definitely are talking about you.

theresa

Nothing we say constitutes professional parenting advice.

biz

Biz and Theresa’s children are brilliant, lovely, and exceedingly extraordinary.

theresa

Nothing said on this podcast about them implies otherwise. [Banjo music fades out.] [Biz and Renee repeatedly affirm and overlap each other as they discuss the weekly topic.]

biz

This week we are welcoming back one of my favorite peopllllle! Renee Colvert of Can I Pet Your Dog, among other fabulous things. Because everything she touches is gold. In her latest project, she is the creator and host of the brand-new podcast My Pandemic Makeover Spectacular where we follow one woman’s spring to reinvent herself before she has to return to the office on July 6th. Renee is the one woman mentioned in the previous sentence. [Singing] Welcome back to One Bad Mother, Renee! [Clapping] Woo woo!

renee

Oh my goodness! Best intro of the year!

biz

Thank you.

renee

Probably of the decade.

biz

Probably.

renee

Likely of the century.

crosstalk

Biz: Yes. Probably. Renee: [Through laughter] Thank you so much.

biz

Our podcasting awards will be out any minute for that intro.

renee

I believe it! I believe it’s true! Hi, friend! It’s so good to see you!

biz

It’s so nice to see you! I’m gonna start with—who lives in your house? ‘Cause I always like to ask that. And like… so much! I know you’re in a new place! ‘Cause the last time we talked you were in a new place but you had just gotten into the new place and so now tell me—tell me.

renee

Right. Right. So now—just me and the dog. That’s it. Just—I know. I know.

crosstalk

Biz: Where’s the dog? No—no! Renee: Which is the most offensive thing you can say on a parenting podcast. I’m sorry!

renee

Just, “Get this bitch outta here!” [Both laugh.]

biz

No no! No, no. Are you referring to the dog?

renee

Well, maybe both of us. [Biz laughs.] I’m just like, “It’s so quiet!” [Both laugh.] But yeah. The dog is great. I’m at an area where—in Los Angeles, we’ve got Griffith Park, which is our big park here. So we’re in walking distance to that. So our days, we get up, we go hike around Griffith Park. It tuckers him out. Then I work the rest of the day. Then we go for another walk later.

biz

[Mockingly] Oh, that’s so nice.

renee

And it’s great. Now I will say—living alone during a pandemic does require the dog to endure a lot of human hugs? A lot of just like— [Biz laughs.] —Just, I know. You just gotta hold on!

crosstalk

Renee: It’s gonna be over in about three minutes! Yeah. Biz: Yes! Sorry. Under the arms! Chest to chest! [Laughs.]

renee

Propping him up so he’s sitting like a little tentpole and I’m just like—I know. But I just—my heart needs it, so let’s just hope this isn’t weird.

biz

Yeah. No. It’s weird. But that’s what I’ve been told about dogs. They have a high tolerance most for weirdness. Okay. You also made a side comment about parenting and dogs and I really feel that over the years of you and I talking on this show, we have actually proven that having a dog is just like having children.

renee

I like that you keep coming back to this. I appreciate that take. I feel like everybody’s in their own little personal hell? [Through laughter] During all this? I’m just like, “Well, would you rather… not have hugged a human for over a year? Or have a human constantly attached to you?” Those are your choices.

biz

It really is—it’s so funny. We—not “funny.” “Ha, ha! We’re all breaking!” [Renee laughs.] Somebody—we had a listener who just—a rant call. And in fact many of the calls that we get on the ol’ Hotline start with saying—and everybody’s so nice who listens to this show. They all say things like, y’know, “I know no one’s doing it at me, but I am jealous of people who get to go places and I’m jealous of people who are stuck at home or I wish somebody wouldn’t say, ‘COVID burnout’ because I work in a hospital”—right? Or “I wish—” And I… would say… between Team Stefan and Team Biz—in terms of friends, I’m not sure I have many friends who actually are married and have children. Right? [Through laughter] Most of my friends—

renee

Interesting! Yeah! Yeah!

biz

Yeah! And I mean, like, even my sister. And I’ve been in touch a lot with some of my old friends during the pandemic and y’know one of ‘em even started with, “I just wanna preface—just don’t say you would do anything to have some time by yourself.” Right? Because they’re, like, isolated and living by themselves. And I was like, “I hope you know that would never be how I would lead things.”

renee

“I wouldn’t. ‘Cause that’s how you are.” Right.

biz

But—but I also get it! Right? Like—I get it! And I think there’s so much of that “would you rather” right now making it potentially the nastiest version?

renee

[Through laughter] Right! Yes!

biz

Of “Would You Rather?” Because it’s like, “Well would you rather be with a dog?” Right? Like, “At least you have your dog.” Right?

crosstalk

Biz: Like—well, ‘cause no, that’s still not the same as— [Laughs.] I know! Alright. Renee: Exactly. No. I’ve got it the worst. I win for the worst! Yeah. [Laughs.] I get it. We—yes.

biz

So I wanna talk about your new podcast.

renee

Oh, buddy. Tell me.

biz

No, it’s so good. Again, I’m gonna—

renee

You’re the best friend a girl could ask for.

biz

I’m gonna reinvent—I’ve listened to the podcast! You have some very good friends! [Renee laughs.] Except for that Tammy Kincade.

renee

Oh, we don’t care for her! No! [Laughs.]

biz

No! She was a bully back in school! Anyway. [Renee laughs.] Who you openly call out on your podcast. So the podcast, My Pandemic Makeover Spectacular, is basically you trying to reinvent yourself in an incredibly short period of time. I mean, it feels like it’s a long period of time because it’s not—you’re trying to do it by July. But it’s—and it’s February. So you think, “Okay.”

crosstalk

Renee: There—there’s time. Sure! Biz: That’s—there’s time.

biz

But right off the bat you are very clear that you’re not good at this sort of—

renee

Oh yeah. This certainly won’t work. Not at all. It won’t stop my brain from thinking, “Ah! I can do it! I can cram!” [Biz laughs.] It’s not gonna work.

biz

I wanna talk about the reinvention aspect! This whole notion… of the do-over. The makeover. The reinventing. And it starts so young! You actually choose to start with you in seventh grade! I can’t think of all the summers that I was like, “This is the summer I’m gonna grow my hair out finally” or “I’m gonna not look like some sort of stick in Esprit or Benetton clothes.” Right? Like, “I’ll be popular this year.” [Renee laughs.] “Because of my hair.” So— [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Biz: Talk to me—yeah. That’ll do it. It’s the hair. Renee: [Through laughter] Exactly. That’s what’ll do it!

biz

Talk to me about why you wanted to start it and why you wanted to start sort of there. At that point.

renee

Yeah! Exact—well let’s go a little meta, because we’re all close friends here.

crosstalk

Biz: Yeah. I love meta. We all know each other. It’s okay. Renee: A little meta. So there is—

renee

—this thing in me [through laughter] that is, oh my god! My survival instincts are horrific because the only thing my body’s giving me is like, “I wish I create more.” Like, that is not gonna keep us alive! [Biz laughs.] Why is that the number-one desire right now? But okay!

biz

I’ve gotta [singing] siiiiing!

renee

Exactly. That’s right. That’s the urge! That’s the thing we wanna make sure is taken care of? Alright, Colvert. So it came from that of—y’know, I’ve had the best time podcasting about dogs, but I am getting a little, y’know, a little whisper in my soul of just like, “Can I talk about anything else? Is there anything else that I can do?”

biz

Cats.

crosstalk

Renee: Yeah. Thank you. Thanks. It was right in front of me! Biz: [Laughs.] You’re welcome.

renee

What am I doing with this? Okay. The other show’s cancelled. I’m now gonna do a cats one.

biz

Yup. Cats. [Laughs.]

renee

But I’m wondering if you also had this too, Biz, of—now that we’re all vaccinated—eventually.

crosstalk

Renee: Apparently that’s on its way. [Laughs.] Biz: I’m like, “What?! Are we all vaccinated? Did they sneak in last night? Ow!”

renee

But the vaccines—it’s looking like there might be an end to this. So this dread of, “Oh, god, this is never ended” is now flipped over to “Oh, shit. All the stuff I thought I was gonna do I haven’t even started yet.” And the thing that really clicked for me—the date that came into mind—was my work issued a notice saying, “Hey, obviously this is subject to change, but we’re probably gonna be back in the office on July 6th.” And I was like, “Ugh! Six months! Oh god. Oh god!” [Biz laughs.]

biz

“They’re all gonna know I’ve only watched television for this entire pandemic!” [Renee laughs.]

renee

It’s so true! So then my brain had all of these authentic, genuine things. Which is like, “Okay. Alright. Obviously there’s the physical. I gotta get that together.” I don’t necessarily wanna have the same job in July, so I gotta find a new job. [Biz laughs.] And then, oh! I was supposed to find a husband during all this! I gotta find him! And then I haven’t really contributed to anything so I gotta figure out how to heal the world! And that was like—it was all genuine thoughts of, oh, these are all the things I’m gonna do. And then… there was another little voice that was just like, “Hey, ‘member how you’ve tried this before and it never works? Remember how every time you think you’re gonna change, you don’t?” So that’s what the podcast is. It’s the thought that I have of, “Oh, shit I gotta change this.” And then sort of walking through, “But will you? But will you actually?” So nothing’s banked so this is a live journey of Renee trying to get her shit together. Yeah.

biz

Oh, it’s a live journey. Yeah. No, no. I have listened to the first show and it’s live. It’s there. [Renee laughs.] I have two questions. One—where does Tugboat stand on all of this?

renee

I would love to tell you. Well he feels like my priorities are misplaced? That the forefront of the goal should be get him a squirrel or a gopher. That—obviously he’s, y’know, given me every indication to see that that is our number-one goal throughout every hike we go on. He doesn’t understand why I won’t hop onboard with that. And then [through laughter] two I think he probably—he’s getting better but I’m doing the whole thing. So now this is the first time I’ve ever, y’know, like audio engineered myself? So he probably has some thoughts of how long I’m at the laptop for. Just like, “You should maybe—maybe we go walk the dog? Maybe you stop screaming at this screen of yours—” [Biz laughs.] “—and go walk the dog?” [Laughs.]

biz

“No, walksies! Walksies!” Alright. The second question is—I don’t know which one to start with, Renee! Do I ask you—why do you think this might be different this time, or do I ask you why have you been so [through laughter] unsuccessful up ‘til now? And then I really have to ask, are you a fair judge?

renee

Absolutely no to the last one. So great. We—no one is. I don’t think anyone’s good at actually—

crosstalk

Biz: You may have done a great job reinventing yourself. Renee: —judging themselves.

biz

Over the years. Or being practically perfect in every way, as you are.

renee

I love you! I love you so much!

biz

So y’know, maybe you’ve been doing it.

renee

It’s possible! It’s possible! And again— [Biz laughs.] —this is live and I don’t know. But what I think maybe the thru line throughout all of this will be like, Even if you were. Let’s say you change all of it. You get your husband. You look exactly how you want. You’ve got this dream job. If you don’t love it, it’s not gonna change anything! So I think this journey might be—this is an exclusive for One Bad Mother listeners—the journey might be self-acceptance. Of what if you could just love where it is right now.

biz

Ohhh!

crosstalk

Renee: What if that—we’re not gonna arrive there, but I’d love to be a little bit further along. [Laughs.] Biz: You think you’re doing this in ten episodes? [Laughs.]

biz

I’ve been trying to do this for 47 years! Jesus Christ! Yeah! I keep buying new, stylish sweatshirts and it’s not making anything better.

renee

It’s not changing a thing! [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.]

biz

Well let’s talk about why it fails in the past. Because this is fun. I think part of the… story that we’ve been fed… is… the fairy tale version of my, like… what were those things called? After-school special TV shows that used to come on? Right? Like, [singing] Schoolboy Bother. [Renee laughs.] Anyway. That was a theme song I made up for Rob Lowe’s—[singing] Schoolboy Bother, starring Rob Lowe. Anyway. So=—

renee

They shoulda gone with that one. That was it.

biz

I know! I don’t think there was a theme song. [Renee laughs.] Anywhere, there were lots of—and these particularly appealed to me—girl with glasses who—just by association with glasses—was very nerdy and smart. Therefore could not dress themselves. Invisible to boys. And— [Laughs.] Probably not to some of the ladies, but that wouldn’t have sold back in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

renee

Of course. Of course.

biz

And then comes along the best friends who are gonna give you the makeover and now—Grease! The ultimate makeover movie! Now you’re a slut! And the world is yours! [Renee laughs.] Right? Like, this is—

crosstalk

Renee: It’s not great! [Laughs.] Biz: —all about becoming—

biz

It’s not a good message. It’s not the best message? But at its core, you’re wrong and things aren’t going well for you because you are you. [Laughs.]

renee

Right. Right! Yeah! Exactly! Is the craziest thing. And it is so wild how… in all of those, the thing to be changed is the person, not the people surrounding the person.

biz

Right!

renee

‘Cause yeah. We just had a little dating episode on and the big thing that she kept driving home is just like, “It is not about changing you. It’s about finding the person who likes this. This version. So if you’re with somebody who doesn’t like that, then yeah. Keep looking!”

biz

It’s not very enjoyable. That’s right. Well that’s so interesting. You’re right. You don’t—sometimes there’s like the hint that they’re gonna change because now they see you for who you really… are. Which is not in glasses. I don’t know. [Renee laughs.] Change ‘em from the inside. So the dating one, I felt—you did an episode. You talked with a dating expert. Who also knows you. About why you don’t date. This was hard. This was a hard episode!

renee

It is tough! It was a little tricky! First of all—I can’t believe—when did you have time to listen to all this? Biz? You’re incredible!

crosstalk

Biz: They’re like ten to twenty minutes! This is my perfect window! Renee: Well, true. But still.

biz

It’s not like One Bad Mother that goes on for eight hours— [Renee laughs.] —every episode no matter how much I cut out.

renee

[Through laughter] True.

biz

So the dating one—like, she gives you homework!

renee

Yeah. Yeah.

biz

You have to like—so are you gonna try the homework?

crosstalk

Renee: I—yeah. Biz: That’s the kind of homework I would ignore.

renee

Oh, no. It’s not. So the homework she gave me—her thing basically is, all you have to do is meet people. The work to be done here is you just have to continue to meet people until you find someone who loves you as you are. That’s it. It would also help you if you knew what you wanted. So that was the two assignments, of what do you want and how are you going to meet people? That’s all she asked me to do. I… have done nothing. [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] I still need to do that.

biz

Well, it’s a pandemic. It’s a difficult time. That’s an easy thing to lean on.

renee

Yeah. But I am definitely of the, like, “I got time. I got time. I’ll just—y’know, I’ll do that next month. We’ll start next month.” [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] But it’s also nice to wake up the thing of just like—well, there’s nothing to do! You can’t change this! I’m like, you can. If you’re willing to work for it. It’s just a matter if you wanna work for it or not.

biz

So when you’re thinking abstractly about like… do-over, makeover, reinvent. What is the like… I have spent many years in therapy. I am constantly trying to, like, figure out how not to be… things that I don’t really care for. Right? Like, if I’m like, “Eh, that’s—I don’t wanna—eh, I don’t like it when I’m doing that! That’s not really—” Right? Like, “Why am I doing it and how can I, y’know, change that habit” or whatever. What kind of comes to mind first? Like… like is it an outer thing? Is it a “How I present”? Is it like a work thing? ‘Cause I mean, you’re—the podcast is gonna go through some—I think you’re calling them “pillars.” Like work and, y’know—

crosstalk

Renee: Dating. Helping. Good looks. Biz: Dating. That’s right!

biz

Like, all the—just checking ‘em off! Tick, tick, tick! What’s the one that you think is the most important right now? Or the one that you’re like, “If I could just do one of these.”

renee

Right. If I—yeah. If I could just—y’know, this is gonna sound crazy, Biz, but it’s good looks. But it’s not changing anything. It’s just being okay with what’s happening. [Biz laughs.]

crosstalk

Biz: That’s genius. Right. Renee: ‘Cause my god the aging process—

renee

—has just been like, “Knock, knock, knock! We’re here!” [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Biz: It comes very fast. Renee: It’s wild. Yeah.

biz

It comes very fast. Zoom… is no friend to aging women.

renee

Oh, it sure is not. Mm-mm. Mm-mm! It sure is not! Nor is a photograph when I—or just like—

crosstalk

Renee: All I’m trying to do is eat my cookie— Biz: [Laughs.] [Inaudible]

renee

—and I was just like, “Well, why is my nana’s hand bringing this to my mouth? What are these veins? What is happening?”

biz

No, the hands—we had somebody—this friend, photographer, wanted to do like a sort of editorial-style shoot of like family. And I was like, “We’ll do it!” So he comes over and he takes all these, like, cool black-and-white, “Look how cool they all look!” And I’m going through the photos and I’m like, “Oh my god!” [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.] “Whose hands are those? Those are my mother’s hands!” [Renee laughs.] Like my old mom’s hands! Not like—right? And I was like, [gasps.] And then I had to immediately be like, “I love those hands.”

crosstalk

Biz: I love them. I love—I love those hands. Renee: They’re great. They’re great. I love what they represent. I love them.

biz

Those are good hands!

renee

Yes. So in the “What do you think will help the most” is that I think it is now becoming a race? Like, if it were a boat and there’s like little holes in the boat and you’re like, “Okay, I plugged that hole. Okay, I plugged that hole.” There are too many holes now! I can’t—the boat is fully sinking if I don’t just surrender to, “I’m just gonna swim in the water.” [Laughs.] “I’m just gonna take a nice swim.” Because I think the need to hide—of like, to keep up with hair dye would now be every ten days. Which is—if I ever go on a two-week vacation I’m gonna have to dye my hair in the middle of it! [Laughs.] Like, that’s just—it’s insane! Or to like try to fit back into my clothes or to try to hide these hands. So if I can just figure out a way to be like, “This is me, baby!” It is at least better than what is currently happening of just smaller and smaller and smaller and hiding and hiding and hiding until I don’t exist. Which doesn’t seem like the best option.

biz

No, and it—[sighs.] No. It is not a good option. Because you are a delight who should be out. But I think a pandemic—that’s not a but—[judgmentally] “You’re not fitting your clothes anymore! You’ve got grey hair and your hands are awful!” [Regular voice] No. The “but” is, is that the isolation from something like a pandemic? Is… and this is—this is true just you wanna see me tie this back into parenting. Y’know. A kid comes into your life in a lot of different ways. And all of those ways will age you. [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Renee: Of course! Yeah! Biz: And—or just make you feel isolated.

biz

You definitely aren’t gonna see the same person in the mirror even when it comes to just, like, a sense of self. Y’know, you physically may look exactly like you did beforehand, but, like… feeling truly like an individual… slips away. And so it’s actually a very dangerous time to like… get smaller? And smaller? And shrink? And shrink? And… I guess I also wanna say… ugh! It’s another one of those narratives! Like… y’know… “They’re ugly until they’re pretty, so they’re not liked until they’re pretty, or slutty, or whatever.” So… should your podcast not really be about this story?

renee

Yeah! No, you—and again—like, and I don’t know.

crosstalk

Renee: Again [inaudible] coming out as it goes. Right! Biz: I don’t know either! I don’t—can’t wait to find out! [Laughs.]

renee

But what I would love the reinvention to be is the person who went into this is “Oh shit, I have to change everything.” And the person that came out of this is, “I didn’t change anything? And it’s okay.” Like, it’s genuinely okay. I would love for that to be it? And again, we just talked about it. We’ve both been in therapy forever and it is so easy to be confident and proud of yourself inside your home. [Laughs.] Hoo, baby! That’s the best place to do it! But the second you get outside and you see somebody who has all the qualities you aspire to, it’s hard to maintain that. But I’d love to try.

crosstalk

Renee: I’d love to be like, well… here’s what I got. Biz: Yeah, no. I think it’s worth trying.

biz

What other pillars are coming?

renee

Sure. So work, in that I am currently working at a corporate job with a bunch of side hustles on the side, and I think it’s going to be the acceptance of that, too! Of just like, being an artist is hard and it is not consistent. It’s just not. So… do whatever you gotta do to find the balance. You work the job so that you can pay the bills and then you do the art so that you don’t hate your job. [Laughs.] Could be the answer to that. Maybe I can jump off and start to be an entrepreneur? But if not, how can I just be at peace with being angry at both things. Dating is just dating. You just gotta get out there and meet people. [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] And then the “help” element of it… I dunno if this will resonate with anybody. But there’s been a lot of issues that have come up during this that I am too fucking scared to say anything about. I don’t—I don’t know. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to help. I don’t know—so to be brave enough to ask questions. To be brave enough to put yourself out there. To at least try. To be like, yeah! And me too. And also, me, too, and I’m gonna mess up but I’m gonna see if I can be part of the fight to make stuff better.

biz

I thought what was great about your job guest… was their advice on “Go volunteer somewhere you like.”

renee

Yeah. Yeah.

biz

“Like, this would be a great job one day, but I am not—” Right? Like, “But I—I’ll just go volunteer there while I’m doing other things.” What do you think your dream job would be? Would it be just creating? Like, tell me! Let’s put it out in the universe!

crosstalk

Renee: Let’s put it out there! Let’s get it out there! Let’s do it! Biz: Let’s put it out! I know!

renee

Yeah! I mean, it’s this podcasting thing. Right? I love it so much. So I [through laughter] think— [Biz laughs.] —do you know Delilah?

crosstalk

Biz: As in [singing] Deliiilaaahhh— Renee: She’s a radio DJ?

biz

Oh! My god! I have a whole game that I play about Delilah. That’s like—

renee

Tell me everything. What’s your Delilah game?

biz

Oh, sorry, I’ve been playing this with old friends of mine from New York forever. Where we come up with like a ridiculous call to be matched with a ridiculous song. So it’ll be like, “Dear Delilah, on this day ten years ago I fell in love with the most beautiful woman in the world. She is the mother to all of my beautiful children. She has saved my life a number of times. I love her so much. Dear Delilah, I’m hoping you’ll play ‘Stroke It’—” [Renee laughs.] “—for my dear wife, Barbara.” Right? Like it’s just like… whatever like— [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Biz: And so we would just sit— Renee: This is the best game in the world!

biz

We would just sit around and come up with different, like, “Dear Delilah—” Right? Like, “I just murdered somebody.” Right? Like—

renee

Yeah. Inappropriate pairing is hysterical. Oh my god. What’s the song for a murderer?

biz

Oh, song for a murderer? “If you could please play Christopher Cross’s ‘Sailing.’” Right? Like I dunno. Anything by Christopher Cross, I guess, is appropriate for murder.

renee

Biz, make this show! That’s hysterical! [Biz laughs.] That’s so funny!

biz

Oh my god. Could we get the real Delilah to read them? “Dear, Delilah.” Anyway. Anyway!

renee

That’s all you ask.

biz

So talk to me about Delilah. [Laughs.]

renee

Sure, yeah. But I think something like that. like Delilah seems to have it figured out. She’s—y’know—talking to people. Getting to interact in a sincere, genuine way. And then she gets to go live on a farm. Is—

biz

Yes! That does sound nice!

crosstalk

Renee: Amazing. So um— Biz: I want that life!

renee

The problem is, I think there’s only one Delilah. But if ever Delilah were to retire. Boy, would I love to put my name in the hat. [Laughs.]

biz

I know! [Laughs.] I love this idea for a podcast and I am so glad you’re willing to take the journey publicly? Because it’s funny. Sorry.

renee

Well no, but I—hopefully, if anything else, it’s just like—if anybody else is having these feelings I’m like, “You’re not alone! I’m worse!”

biz

I sent it! I sent it right away to a good friend of mine. I was like, “You have to listen to this podcast right now!” [Renee laughs.] It was like every conversation we’ve ever had. It makes people feel normal! Right? Because again, we’re fighting the narrative that the normal thing is we can “Poof!” Reinvent—“Poof!” Cut our bangs or whatever and then we’re gonna become the CEO or stumble into our dream job or be anything we wanna be. Blah, blah, blah. And I love this notion of [through laughter] having to just accept that we are enough.

renee

Yeah! As is! And I think another example of that is just like, I bet both of us—if you were to tell us ten years ago what we’re doing? We’d be over the fucking moon! We’d be like, “You’re kidding! All my dreams came true! This is amazing!” And yet—still. And yet still there’s reaching. There’s grasping. There’s more. So you’re never happy.

crosstalk

Renee: Even if you were to get all of it. Biz: [Whiny] We can just never be happy with anything. [Renee laughs.]

biz

Just don’t give us anything! It’s just not nice! Ugh! God! [Regular voice] Renee?

renee

Yes.

biz

I get to have something nice whenever I have you on the show.

crosstalk

Renee: Well right back atcha. Biz: It’s so nice to see you.

biz

I want to like take over the world with you.

renee

Let’s do it! I’m in!

biz

Yeah. Let’s do it. And maybe we do a TV movie in which we take really pretty people and we put glasses on them.

renee

[Through laughter] I love it.

biz

And then they suddenly are so grounded. [Renee laughs.] They know everything that they wanna do. It’s gonna be great. This is gonna be great.

renee

Genius. Between that and your Delilah parody, I think you’ve just solved Hollywood!

biz

We’re set! We’re set! Oh, I got a list of totally subpar podcast ideas. [Renee laughs.] That are only good for one joke. [Laughs.]

renee

Great. Love it. That’s all we need.

biz

So everybody, we’re gonna hook you up with where to listen to Renee—and like I said, it’s got “spectacular” in the title. So we know it’s good. My Pandemic Makeover Spectacular—it is a flawless, wonderful, hilarious, insightful show. Everybody go check it out. Renee? Thank you for joining us.

renee

Biz! Thank you! That was so nice! You’re—

crosstalk

Biz: Well it is nice! You—no I’m not. Definitely not the best person you know? Renee: You might be the best person I know! Thank you! That’s so kind! [Laughs.]

biz

‘Cause I leave the fruit stickers on things everywhere?

crosstalk

Renee: Sure. Okay. Well now that I know that I rescind everything. Biz: And I do not replace the toilet paper roll. But that said—

biz

It is easy to be nice to somebody with such spice. Is that a thing? Okay. Thank you.

renee

We’re gonna make it one!

biz

Yeah. It’s now—alright! [Singsong voice] We will talk to you laterrrr!

renee

[Singsong voice] Yayyy! Byeee!

biz

[Singsong voice] Okay! Byeee! [Renee laughs quietly.]

music

“Ones and Zeroes” by “Awesome.” Steady, driving electric guitar with drum and woodwinds. [Music fades out.]

music

Cheerful ukulele with whistling plays in background.

biz

One Bad Mother is supported in part by Grove. Grove Collaborative delivers healthy home, beauty, and personal care products directly to you. [Singing] I have talked about Grove so much! Theresa! Now you tried it! Did you try it?

theresa

Yes!

biz

Tell me all about it!

theresa

Finally tried it.

biz

Did you see the dryer balls? [Shrieking] Whew! [Laughs.]

theresa

I am so glad that I did. The thing I’m most excited about is I got a little refillable… hand soap dispenser for the bathroom. Which is just something that I should’ve done such a long time ago? And I’m so happy to have that now. So join over two million families who have trusted Grove Collaborative to make their homes happier and healthier. Plus, shipping is fast and free on your first order.

biz

Making the switch to natural products has never been easier. For a limited time, when listeners go to Grove.co/badmother, you will get to choose a free [singing] giiift [regular voice] with your regular order of $30 or more. But! You have to use our special code!

theresa

So go to Grove.co/badmother to get your exclusive offer.

biz

That’s Grove.co/badmother. [Music fades out.]

theresa

Hey, you know what it’s time for! This week’s genius and fails! This is the part of the show where we share our genius moment of the week, as well as our failures, and feel better about ourselves by hearing yours. You can share some of your own by calling 206-350-9485. That’s 206-350-9485.

biz

Genius fail time, Theresa!

theresa

I’m here!

biz

Theresa’s here! [Gasps.] I tried that thing where I just said “genius fail time Theresa” and you magically appeared.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

In front of me.

theresa

I flew in your window. Your computer window.

biz

[Makes staccato singing noise.] Is that a Tinker Bell sound? I dunno. [Sings again.] [Theresa laughs.] Theresa? As always it’s nice to see your face.

crosstalk

Biz: But it’d be even nicer to hear you genius me. Theresa: You too!

clip

[Dramatic, swelling music in background.] Biz: Wow! Oh my God! Oh my God! I saw what you did! Oh my God! I’m paying attention! Wow! You, mom, are a genius. Oh my God, that’s fucking genius! [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective genius moments of the week.]

theresa

Sure. Weather’s been okay around here. We live in Southern California. But I haven’t been able to really get out for walks very much. And that’s really sad! It makes me sad. My nine-year-old, Gracie, has not been up for it. And I wish she would. I wish we could go for more walks. But the other day it was just the two of us and we were hanging out playing Movie 20 Questions, which is one of her favorite games. And we’d been playing for a while. And I just said, “Hey! Do you wanna do this but on a walk?” And she said, “Sure!” I don’t know why. It’s one of those things that I can’t say will ever happen again, but she said, “Sure.” We put on our shoes and we went out the door and we went for a nice walk and we just continued our game on the walk. And we got fresh air and we moved our bodies and I felt better. Yeah.

biz

Wow! That is so nice!

theresa

It was nice.

biz

That’s really good. It really is genius when you can figure out the little add? Y’know? Like that?

crosstalk

Biz: Like we’ve done that— Theresa: Can we do one thing.

theresa

Everything seems pretty good right now. There’s that fear if I mess with this… are things gonna go badly.

biz

But it didn’t!

theresa

But I just tried.

biz

Good job trying.

theresa

Thank you.

biz

You’re doing a really good job.

theresa

Thank you.

biz

I… got a belated birthday gift from my very good friend Stacy, and it is a birdfeeder tree? Y’know it’s got like—it’s like you jam it in the ground and it’s got a lot of different hooks and it’s got spaces for like seven different types of feeders. And I have these feeders—y’know, after we lost the lemon tree— [Laughs.] I haven’t had as many spaces to hang the birdfeeders. And I positioned it so that I could see it from either of my favorite spots on the porch, as well as from this very spot here inside at the desk from the bedroom. And all the birdies have come.

theresa

Oh!

biz

And you can hear them so well. Ever since the pandemic started, you know noise pollution’s way down? And so, “Tweet, tweet, tweet!” Little birds and I’m watching them and they’re amazing. And there is a squirrel who is very thankful that one of the feeders is just like a tray. It’s like a tray. And just designed for the squirrel to leap onto. Stefan said, “We’re gonna—"

theresa

I’m familiar. Yeah.

biz

“We’re gonna have to do something about the squirrel.” And I’m like, “Why? Why can’t the squirrel have some food?” [Theresa laughs.] Like I don’t— [Laughs.] Why isn’t the squirrel—

theresa

Why is it for the birds and not the squirrels? That’s funny. Yeah.

biz

Why can’t it be for both? The squirrel is more of a morning feeder. The birds are more of an afternoon feeder. So it all works out. And it’s brought me such joy.

theresa

That’s wonderful!

biz

Thank you.

theresa

Yeah. Great job.

biz

Thanks!

theresa

I’m very happy for you.

biz

I am really feeling good for myself as well. [Laughs.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hello! This is a genius. I think. So far. So it’s my birthday today. I’m 35. And I feel old. We’ve been in quarantine for almost a year. We have a two-year-old and a one-year-old and it’s been rough. It’s been a long year. It’s been a very long year. It’s been a long three years. So this morning, y’know, got out to the grocery store by myself. Exciting. Did yoga by myself. Woohoo! [Biz laughs.] But the real win today is that I put on earrings. I’m wearing earrings. And I have nowhere to go except Starbucks to get my free birthday drink. [Theresa laughs.] So that’s my genius and I’m sticking to it. You guys are doing a great job! Happy quarantine!

biz

You’re doing a really good job. I… will never allow myself to forget the three to four years that I couldn’t wear jewelry of any kind.

theresa

Oh, yeah!

biz

And I’m not like a big jewelry person! Right? Like I don’t—I like a simple necklace. And I do like a hoop. I like a hoop earring. And you have children and no one said, “Oh, you gotta take all your jewelry off!” [Laughs.] “’Cause they’re just gonna rip it from your ears and your neck and your—” Right? So like you just take ‘em out and you don’t wear ‘em, but you forget—for me it made me feel like such a person when I get to put some jewelry on or earrings?

theresa

It’s really different, earrings versus no earrings. [Biz laughs.] I’ve been off earrings for awhile and it’s—I notice. I notice that I’m not wearing earrings. Yeah.

biz

Yeah! And when you’ve got kids under the age of four—and for some, like in this house, under the age of… eight. [Laughs.] It can be perilous to wear such things. And I am grateful any time I get to put a necklace and earrings on? So I see you. You’re doing such a good job putting those earrings on. Failures!

clip

[Dramatic orchestral music plays in the background.] Theresa: [In a voice akin to the Wicked Witch of the West] Fail. Fail. Fail. FAIL! [Timpani with foot pedal engaged for humorous effect.] Biz: [Calmly] You suck! [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective failures of the week.]

biz

Fail me, Theresa.

theresa

Okay. So I think I’ve mentioned previously that since the pandemic, we have gradually accumulated a fair amount of like… gymnastics and OT equipment? [Biz laughs.] And it’s all in our backyard because we have no room in our house for it. And y’know this wouldn’t work if we lived in a snowy place and it wouldn’t work if we lived in a place where it rained a lot, but here we pretty much get almost no rain. And so things get dusty and dirty but we just dust ‘em off. And I got a tarp—just like a cheap tarp—to throw over it when it does rain. And when it’s going to rain, like… everyone knows it’s going to rain. It’s a whole thing here. People are like talking about it from a week in advance. Like, “There might be some rain coming next weekend!” And like it always ends up to be nothing. It’s like scary. But we just randomly last night did have some rain overnight that was in the forecast but it was a small amount of rain. It was like a 50% chance, and it was like only in the middle of the night. [Biz laughs.] And I did see it coming and I did think to myself, “I gotta remember to put the tarp on the stuff.”

biz

Mm-hm?

theresa

And that was as far as that got. So when I got up this morning, everything was just super soaked. And there’s nothing—there’s like nothing really to do except wipe it down. But like it’s just… it’s like ruining the stuff.

biz

No. That’s—it’s bad. Because I understand the like, “Well, I know it’s gonna happen in the middle of the night. Maybe?” But because it’s Southern California—

crosstalk

Biz: —and we get so little? Theresa: I just felt like it wouldn’t. Yeah!

biz

It is sort of like, “Well if it happens at night, does it actually happen?” Because lots of times it’s so—

theresa

Does it even count? Yeah!

biz

It’s so hot here and so dry… that it can literally be all dried up and gone and you won’t know that it had even rained.

theresa

It absorbs before it hits the ground, essentially.

biz

That’s right. It just— [Laughs.] That’s right. Yeah. It’s whatever the opposite of how snow is made. [Theresa laughs.] It just starts to rain and instead of like becoming snow… it just—

crosstalk

Theresa: It just—instantly. Yeah. Theresa and Biz: —evaporates. Biz: Yeah.

theresa

No, and like part of this fail really is like the decision to get this stuff… because we need it and our kids need it and we’re home and quarantining and blah, blah, blah. But also like Jesse and I definitely had the conversation like, “Well this is stuff that isn’t supposed to live outside—” [Biz laughs.] “—that we are putting outside because of necessity. Are we really up to dealing with tarping this through the winter and un-tarping it and re—” And all that. And just that feeling at that time knowing… yes, I’m going to do this. But I also kind of know that I’m not gonna be able to do a perfect job at it? And… but I’m just going to do this anyway?

biz

Oh yeah.

theresa

Feels bad. Yeah.

biz

I can relate in that we just got a composting bin? We haven’t had one for so long because of that very reason. And now I’m like… “Nope. We’re ready. I bet we can take care of it.”

theresa

Yeah. [Long pause.]

biz

We won’t.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Well, horrible job. Okay. We have been doing this show for a very long time, and we now have Gabe, who is a wonderful producer. And—

crosstalk

Theresa: Yes. He’s waving, guys. Just so you know. Mm-hm. Biz: There is so much during the pandemic that we’ve been slowly shoving over into Gabe’s world. [Laughs.]

biz

“Would ya—you wanna do this? Can you—you wanna do that? Do you think maybe you could—” I still have responsibilities. One of those is when Gabe sends me the show notes and the like posting information, I’m just supposed to go on Instagram and Twitter and post them.

theresa

Mm-hm. Sounds easy enough.

biz

It should be very easy. It’s a lot of—it’s really just writing one thing, cutting and pasting, and then sticking it somewhere else. ‘K? It should not—when I do it, it takes less than five minutes.

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

I don’t know what it is about the soul-suckingness of this pandemic. But I think, “It’s Wednesday. Show’s come out. It was a fun show. I really liked that guest. I wanna tell people about it.” And then it’s Monday. And I’m like, “Holy shit! I’m editing the next— [Laughs.] The next week’s show!” Oh! Oh god! And like… I don’t—it sucks so bad?

theresa

It’s the same as the tarp. I’m sorry to say it. It’s the same as the tarp. You think of it and then all of a sudden it’s over.

biz

Yeah. It’s over. And it’s way over. And everything’s wet. And it’s all gonna have a smell.

theresa

You can’t put the tarp on now!

crosstalk

Theresa: That won’t help anything. Biz: No! Can’t put the tarp on now!

biz

I mean, I can try and like, y’know— [Theresa laughs.] “In case you missed it!”

theresa

“In case you missed it ‘cause we never told you about it!”

biz

“’Cause we never told you about it!” So guys, I want you to know that I’m still very invested [through laughter] in this show. [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] I really love it. This show has never been one on a lot of self-promotion. We’ve just been kinda chugging along over the years. I’m very happy with that. But I should really be doing a better job at this. Because…

theresa

Why? ‘Cause that’s—well, maybe ‘cause that’s the easy part.

biz

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Just—

theresa

You’re doing all the hard stuff.

crosstalk

Biz: Well yeah but I just— Theresa: You’re keeping up with all the hard parts.

biz

But I should be able to post a fucking show on Instagram.

theresa

Mm-hm. Yeah.

biz

Jesus Christ. Anyhoo.

theresa

Alright.

biz

Great. [Both laugh.] Are we recording? [Both laugh.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi! This is a fail. Last week I decided to treat myself and run out the door for fifteen minutes and go get Subway lunch for myself. Because I’ve been working from home for ten months and I’m tired of making lunch for myself every day and often for whoever is home as well. And I just decided, you know what? I’m just gonna run down the street and buy lunch for myself because I want to. And it felt normal to do that. And I really enjoyed my sub and it was great, except I got mayonnaise on my jacket because… why wouldn’t I? And I— [Biz laughs.] —it’s my favorite jacket. It’s a nice jacket. And so I washed it and dried it. And… the stain was still there. And then when I look up on the internet how to get a grease stain out—‘cause I’ve never done this before—never had a grease stain. It says, “Well yeah, you can get grease stains out of fabric. It’s hard. But whatever you do, don’t put it in the dryer!” And that’s exactly what I already did. And then basically the internet’s saying, “Well, you shouldn’t have done that.” [Biz laughs.] And—

theresa

Just locked it in.

caller

“Now your clothes are probably ruined. Maybe not! Maybe if you try all these extra things. Maybe you can get the stain out and maybe—” I’m gonna try. [Sighs deeply.] I just wanted to have lunch by myself and I don’t even like Subway that much. I just— [Biz laughs.] —it’s the closest thing to my house that was quick. And I just—I suck. I fail. Bye.

biz

Guys?

theresa

I love this. [Biz laughs.] I mean, it’s horrible. It’s horrible and so unfair? But it’s so funny.

biz

I have… like, especially since having children—and even now, with quote-unquote “older children.” I really struggle with like finding clothes that I really like. And so like when birthdays and Christmases come around I ask for the gift certificates so that I get like, y’know, a new sweater/sweatshirt that I like. Or t-shirt. Or pants. For god’s sake, pants. [Theresa laughs.] I swear to god. Within 24 hours, I will have the grease stain. Or like—strawberry. Or like, orange—oh no! Not the orange! And I know nothing about stain removal. I, too, have so many fucking pairs of pants that have been really clean for like only one wearing. And after that they all have the like upper thigh… grease stain. Y’know. Between the thigh and the knee. Which is really all thigh. It has that dime-to-quarter-sized grease stain. And I feel like we should write a book—I mean, I feel like the next book should be entitled, See? You Should Never Have Tried to Do A Nice Thing For Yourself. [Laughs.] Like, I also really like the internet. The internet’s disappointed in you now, too. Yeah. Just as an add-in bonus.

theresa

I’m just thinking about how at the end of your call you had to add, “And I don’t even like Subway [through laughter] that much!” [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] But I feel like I think this is so closely tied in with like… the flip side fail of this. Which is the like, “Eh, what’s the point in even going somewhere? I don’t really like Subway. I’m gonna get it on my clothes or something’s gonna go wrong on the way there or the way back or I’ll forget my wallet and it’s just not worth it. I’ll miss a call. I need—yeah. I just won’t.” And that is such a fail, too. So you suck, but also… good job trying? [Biz laughs.]

biz

You’re getting really good at getting a Subway sandwich? [Theresa laughs.] Yeah. I’m with you. You suck, and—[groans.] It’s not really a lesson.

theresa

Yeah! It’s just a thing that happened.

biz

It’s just a thing that happened and I’m sorry, but you are doing a good job trying.

music

“Mom Song” by Adira Amram. Mellow piano music with lyrics. You are the greatest mom I’ve ever known. I love you, I love you. When I have a problem, I call you on the phone. I love you, I love you. [Music fades out.]

music

Inspirational music plays in background.

theresa

One Bad Mother is supported in part by Billie, who make award-winning razors and amazing self-care products.

biz

Billie’s razor is great. And it should come as no surprise for me to tell you that I used it to shave my pits this morning. [Both laugh.] Pandemic be damned! ‘Cause let’s get real. I don’t really want to routinely shave all the things that need to be shaved during the pandemic. But when I do—Billie gives me the smoothest, fastest shave ever! Woo! [Laughs.]

theresa

[Through laughter] So go to MyBillie.com/mother. It’s just nine dollars to get your starter kit, plus free shipping always. Go to MyBillie.com/mother.

biz

Spelled MyB-I-L-L-I-E.com/mother. [Music fades out.]

promo

Music: Slow, light ragtime piano music plays in background. [Heather note: I have a hard time telling these two voices apart, would be great if you could just double-check I got them right] [Sound of gavel banging three times.] John Hodgman: I’m Judge John Hodgman. Jesse Thorn: And I’m Bailiff Jesse Thorn! John: Ten years ago I came on Jordan, Jesse, Go! and judged my first dispute: is chili a soup? It a stew, obviously. Jesse: The Judge has dispensed a decade of justice. He’s the one person wise enough to answer the really important questions. Like, should you hire a mime to perform at your own funeral? Speaker 1: After they cry, I want them to laugh. John: Do you really need a tank full of jellyfish in your den? [Someone laughs.] Speaker 2: They smell like living creatures decaying! Speaker 3: Only if they are decaying. Speaker 2: Yeah, which they will be. John: Real people. Real justice. Real comedy. Jesse: Winner of the Webby Award for Best Comedy Podcast. John: The Judge John Hodgman podcast—every Wednesday on MaximumFun.org! [Music ceases. Gavel bangs three times.]

promo

Music: Laid-back, plodding, cheerful music plays in background.* Jesse Thorn: Hey, it’s Jesse. What you’re about to hear is real. [Sound of telephone ringing once.] Chris: Hey, this is Chris. Jesse: Hi, Chris! It’s Jesse, calling from Maximum Fun. Chris: [Through laughter] Hey, Jesse! Jesse: I heard that you got into a car accident. Chris: [Through laughter] Yeah. Listening to Stop Podcasting Yourself and I just laughed so hard that I slammed into a construction barrier. [Jesse laughs.] Jesse: Do you remember what it was that was so funny? Chris: I will never forget, I’m sure! They started talking about Vegas and the, y’know, “If it happens here it stays here” and that slogan and Graham was talking about, “Oh, y’know, wasn’t there some other slogan for another commercial?” Graham: Oh, it was like a commercial for food and it said, like, “Whatever’s in there stays in there?” I can’t remember what it was—clams, or something? [Laughs.] Dave: [Laughs.] Clams? [Graham laughs.] Chris: It was just so ridiculous and man, I [through laughter] got lightheaded, I was laughing so hard! [Jesse laughs.] Chris: And the next thing I know, I smashed [inaudible]. They are—they are just really, really funny. Jesse: So I talked to Dave and Graham from Stop Podcasting Yourself. We would like to pay your car repair bill. Is that okay? Chris: That—I mean, that would be super nice, Jesse. I really thank you. I appreciate that. [Music fades out.]

biz

Alright, everybody! It’s that time—to settle in and listen to a mom have a breakdown. [Answering machine beeps.]

caller

[Tearfully] Hi, this is a rant. Coming all the way from Sweden. I’m an RN and a midwife and I’ve been working the whole pandemic. And I know isolation has been tough for people, but I’m just so jealous. ‘Cause I’m so tired and I don’t have the energy left. [Sobs.] And this morning I had to force my five-year-old to preschool. He was crying and crying and they had to pry him from my arms and I had to send my daughter by herself to school. Even though she’s really scared to go by herself ‘cause I didn’t have time. And I had to ride my bike to [inaudible] ‘cause I’m too scared to ride the bus and the parking fee is half of what I make in one day so I can’t take the car. And I fucked up my feet from working and running so I can’t walk. And [inaudible]. So on my way here I rode on the sidewalk and men stopped me and were just screaming at me that I was a fucking idiot. And it’s just too much! I feel like such a shitty mom. I can’t be there for my kids in the way they need it. And I’m [sobs]. I can’t keep telling my patients that I have shit. And I’m just tired. [Laughs.] Last night I had a package delivered to my door to leave outside because of the pandemic and I just fell asleep with my daughter and forgot about it and this morning the package was stolen and [sobs]. It’s just too much. Thank you so much for your podcast. And thank you everyone else calling in rants. They make me feel less alone. Stay safe, everyone. Keep [inaudible]. Bye.

biz

First of all—you are doing a very, very good job. You are an excellent parent. Okay? Of course you are tired. You have been working nonstop as an RN during a worldwide pandemic. That alone is too much. [Laughs humorlessly.]

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Okay? And if we just pulled that out of the rant and just looked at that—at like, how… hard that is. How emotionally draining the suffering and the illness that you have to witness every day, as well as, y’know, the sadness and the frustration and there’s so many things that you are being put through? I mean, it’s traumatic.

theresa

It is.

biz

And on top of how fucking exhausting it is. So that alone—like if we were to take this call and put it into like little cubes—that cube? Right there? Is already too much. IT’s already a lot. It already warrants everything feeling out of whack. And like shit. And impossible. Now here comes the next box, and it’s the one in which you’re a parent. It’s the one in which you’ve got two kids. I—on a good day in which I wasn’t saving people’s lives as an RN during a pandemic, I’ve had those moments where my children had to be taken out of my arms, screaming and kicking, to get into the school. ‘K? And I felt like—like a dog’s ass. I don’t know. [Theresa laughs.] I just—like, is a dog’s asshole the worst? Like I felt like—

theresa

It’s so awful.

biz

It’s so—

theresa

It’s so awful.

biz

It stays with you like all day if not all forever.

theresa

It’s so hard to go on and have a day after doing that. It’s—

biz

Yeah! To have a day!

theresa

—ironic that part of the point of dropping them off somewhere is so you can go do something. Because guess what it’s almost impossible to do after going through a separation like that? Like, anything! Anything is impossible after that.

biz

Yeah! And you’ve gotta go from something that’s so emotionally draining and upsetting into another world that is emotionally draining and upsetting.

theresa

Yeah. No escape!

biz

Yeah. There’s no escape. And of course your feet fucking hurt. Right? Like the guy screaming at you on the street and the package being stolen and like all of that is just like, “Ugh! Yeah of course.”

crosstalk

Biz: Now I—of course. I just— Theresa: Of course. Yeah.

biz

I had stopped crying and now I need to cry some more, apparently. Right? Like those were just like—

theresa

It’s like, “And the world is against me. Somehow. And nobody sees what I’m going through. Like, and nobody’s making space for what I might be going through right now.”

biz

Exactly!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

And I just—I heard you say it, but I wanna emphasize how not alone you are? And for every nasty guy on the sidewalk, not granting you the grace of like—you remember like, I used to be so irritated and pissed at people who left their grocery carts in parking spaces. Like, this, to me—I just—I was like, “Fuck all of you. You cannot fucking put the goddamn basket and now I gotta—” Right? Until I had children. And until I was like, “How am I supposed to get this baby in the car—and then like—

theresa

And then leave the baby!

biz

And then leave the baby? [Theresa laughs.] Or am I supposed to now walk the cart all the way back and take the baby—like, it was too fucking much ‘cause I had just gotten through the grocery store. Or it was one of those things where I had a kid like tantruming the entire time at Target. Guess what I’m not doing? I’m gonna give myself a little gift and leave the motherfucking cart right there. Right? And that’s that grace that we’ve gotta give each other when somebody’s maybe not putting the cart back? Not—y’know—riding on the sidewalk for just a little bit of the ride? Right? Like… that—for every one of those, I’m telling you, there are more of us out there that will give you that space. And I wanna say that for every one of those guys yelling, there’s like ten of us cheering you on, but maybe we’re not doing that out loud. So I’m gonna make sure I’m cheering people out loud more. Yayyyy! Just like random crazy-woman-yelling-at-you-on-the-street.

theresa

Yeah. That tired feeling. I just… I just want to hug you. You’re doing so much. You’re doing more than five people’s worth of stuff right now. And it’s all with the underlying anxiety of the pandemic. Which we’re all going through. But that’s so many things, and you do sound really, really tired. And I really… respect and appreciate you sharing at the top that you’re jealous of people who are stuck at home. Like, that is a real, very valid feeling. And I’m—I’m just grateful that you are calling and sharing with us and I—I’m hugging you.

biz

Theresa?

theresa

Yes.

biz

You are also doing a really good job.

crosstalk

Theresa: Thank you. Thanks. Biz: That—that’s it. [Laughs.]

theresa

Biz? You are also doing a really good job.

biz

Thank you. Not sure if you guys know this. This is all a fucking shitshow. [Laughs.]

theresa

It is such a fucking shitshow. I mean…

crosstalk

Biz: I think I texted— Theresa: If this isn’t a shitshow…

biz

[Through laughter] I don’t know what is!

theresa

I mean, really, you guys. Come on!

crosstalk

Theresa: Like, come on! Biz: Who’s crying? I’m crying!

biz

I’m tired. I’m freaking the blink—ahhh! [Calmly] With that said, I’ll talk to you next week, Theresa! Thanks for coming!

theresa

Thanks! [Both laugh.] See you then!

biz

Okay! Bye!

theresa

Bye!

biz

Well, everybody. What did we learn today? [Laughs.] Well, we continue to learn that the media and society has been pitching us long lines of bullshit for decades. If not centuries. I think there’s a trap—because of these narratives—that when we have kids—we’ve talked about this hundreds of times. This notion of what it means to be a good parent and what that’s supposed to look like and how you’re supposed to feel and… we’ve learned that none of that is really that true. [Laughs.] And yet people are still making television shows showing that—how happy and natural it is. Right? When somebody poops all over you? It—it does take a lot to like turn the game around for yourself. Okay? And get through the day. Alright? Like, these are not easy things that we’re all working through when kids wind up in our house. And for so many of us, before kids showed up in our house and even if there are no kids there, this notion of what we’re supposed to be, how we’re supposed to feel, is still this like… anchor. This weight that’s tied to our leg and pulling us down. And I like… every-other day, as soon as I start to feel bad about something or sad or tired I begin to think, “What can I do to change that? Is it jeans that fit just right? Is it, y’know, learning a new skill? Is it building that shed in the backyard? Is it—how can I push, push, push, to present myself as something else in the world that will then somehow make me feel better because people have now said, ‘Look at all the things that that person can do!’” As opposed to the other work—the harder work—which is… just liking yourself for who you are. Which is—if you’re like me—kind of a big walking mess who gets it right sometimes. Right? Sometimes the jeans fit great. And by “jeans” I mean the metaphorical jeans. Right? And other times I start talking to somebody—okay. Good example—I can’t remember if I shared this—good example. I had a meeting with the head of the kids’ school and their assistant and it’s just thirty minutes. Just a thirty-minute call. Everybody in the family knew I was gonna be on the call and Ellis came out and proceeded to climb all over me and throw a fit and I—like, it was—it was so… I felt so bad when it was over, because one—I was so distracted. So I felt like I didn’t know how to talk to these two people. So I didn’t feel like smart or, y’know, engaging or, like, even somebody who had thirty minutes in their life when they could be a person. Two, they were watching me parent and it was not one of my better parenting situations. Right? Because—am I a Self or am I a parent? Am I a Self or am I a parent? Right? And it’s making this call go on forever—ahhh! Ehhh! Ehh!

biz

It was just like, “Will I ever talk to people like people again? Like, will I ever be able to do that?” The isolation and the trauma and the emotional toil that this pandemic has had on all of us is absolutely like a breeding ground for those feelings of doubt. And no one, sadly, can tell you to just feel great about yourself and move on? I wish they could. I would pay money for that. But I think what I am learning from listening to Renee’s podcast and having these conversations is… I’m not alone. It’s okay to be a mess. And I can actually like myself without having to be Sandy from Grease. Everybody? You’re doing a truly remarkable job. I see you. Let’s go out and really see each other and really give each other the space and the grace that we all deserve. ‘K? I think about our caller riding that bike. So tired. So broken. Her feet hurt so bad. She’s just had this horrible drop-off at the school. Y’know how I feel about this? Let’s all go out and assume people are having the worst day of their lives. [Laughs.] And treat them as such. Right? Like, be kind. If—whatever little kindness we have left in us? Let’s just—ehhh! [Yelling] Don’t yell at each other! [Regular voice] I yell at you. You’re all doing amazing and I will talk to you next week. Bye!

music

“Mama Blues” by Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans. Strumming acoustic guitar with harmonica and lyrics. _I got the lowdown momma blues_ Got the lowdown momma blues Gots the lowdown momma blues The lowdown momma blues Gots the lowdown momma blues Got the lowdown momma blues You know that’s right [Music fades somewhat, plays in background of dialogue.]

biz

We’d like to thank MaxFun; our producer, Gabe Mara; our husbands, Stefan Lawrence and Jesse Thorn; our perfect children, who provide us with inspiration to say all these horrible things; and of course, you, our listeners. To find out more about the songs you heard on today’s podcast and more about the show, please go to MaximumFun.org/onebadmother. For information about live shows, our book and press, please check out OneBadMotherPodcast.com.

theresa

One Bad Mother is a member of the Maximum Fun family of podcasts. To support the show go to MaximumFun.org/donate. [Music continues for a while before fading out.]

music

A cheerful ukulele chord.

speaker 1

MaximumFun.org.

speaker 2

Comedy and culture.

speaker 3

Artist owned—

speaker 4

—Audience supported.

About the show

One Bad Mother is a comedy podcast hosted by Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn about motherhood and how unnatural it sometimes is. We aren’t all magical vessels!

Join us every week as we deal with the thrills and embarrassments of motherhood and strive for less judging and more laughing.

Call in your geniuses and fails: 206-350-9485. For booking and guest ideas, please email onebadmother@maximumfun.org. To keep up with One Bad Mother on social media, follow @onebadmothers on Twitter and Instagram.

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