I thought the argument was always between John and Paul. I feel like George was barely even in the conversation, barely in the conversation.
I it. Look at this guy. OK, now. Nobody, so everybody goes. Yeah, this is Don't Ask Tig, I'm Tig Notaro. Norah MacInerney is here as our guest, my guest. You get to enjoy her as well. Norah, thank you so much for being here in your closet, wherever you are. Where are you?
Oh, it's a closet. Yeah, it's very much a closet.
Well, you you have your own podcast. You're the host of terrible things for asking. And I've been going on a deep dive of you and your your stuff and was quite impressed and very interested to talk to you. So I appreciate you taking the time. Thank you.
Yes, my podcast is quite a bummer. So thank you for diving deep into it. Jump on in the waters are sad. You've listened to dozens of people describe the worst moments of their lives. And what do you take away from those stories?
Oh, I think that the overarching theme I mean this in the best way possible is that we're just not that special.
And I do I do mean that in a good way, because every time you talk to somebody who has not gone through something hard yet, they cannot believe this has happened to you.
They're like, oh my. Oh oh oh. Oh, no. Oh, no.
And if you've talked to somebody who has been through it, they're like, yeah, that makes sense. And I've found so much connection in those hard places, which is a place that I actively avoided for what is still the majority of my life. I had not been through anything difficult until I was 27 and my boyfriend had a seizure. And really, it's like he went through the hard thing. He got brain cancer.
I was just there along for the ride.
And before that, truly the worst thing that had happened to me was one time I got pushed into a garbage can in in high school.
But first I was stuck like a hermit crab. That wasn't great.
But you lived through it? I lived through it like I just had really not. I was I was sure that I did not have whatever it took to go through something difficult like that was something that happened to other people.
And then all of a sudden your other people. I do think it is it has made me a. More sure that I don't know that whatever happens next, because I'm also not done, you know, it's not like I filled up my punch card just because my husband and my dad died right after I had a miscarriage. Like, it's not you know, I didn't it's not over for me. And I guess it just reassures me that it's not worth sort of like living life braced for the next thing because the next thing will come and future Nora will do whatever it is she has to do, just like past Nora got through it.
Well, I mean, I, I certainly relate.
I, I have had my experiences with trauma and tragedy and I had that same sort of I'm not special and why would I think I am immune to this. Why would I think it's only other people and it's just not the case. It's an equal playing field and it's startling when it happens, because I remember thinking, well, there's no possible way another horrible thing will happen, because the universe knows that I've already been through all of these things. It doesn't work that way either.
I really can't just keep happening and it might not ever stop.
It might not ever stop. That's also the thing. I'm like I always feel bad when people really want me to, like, end on a positive note because it'll really, really depend on the day. And I'm sure it does for you, too. And sometimes I'm like, yeah, no, the things that don't kill you, they could just ruin your life forever.
I don't know. They could haunt you for the rest of your days. Maybe they'll make you stronger. But honestly, who's measuring? There's not like a real you know, it's not like the presidential physical fitness test where, you know, this year I could do still zero pull ups. It's it's just things will just keep happening. The world keeps spinning. And, you know, it's not like I live every day, like looking at my children and my current husband being like, yeah, who's who's it going to be today, me or you?
I'm like, right.
And so you are remarried. Yes. And as you mentioned a moment ago, your first husband passed away. He was thirty five. Mm. Is that right. And Aaron. Was the best. I don't know, it's like, you know, people tend to sort of defy the dead and be like no use that he like literally was the best. Truly, I was always like people like Aaron and like you brought her.
That's great. Like, what's her name? Is it Laura?
Is it Laura? I can't remember. And he was just so funny and wonderful and and, you know, it's not like he didn't know that he had stage four brain cancer and he was going to die. It's just that was not he didn't give that all of the space in in his world or our world like it was cancer was there. And we gave it as much space it is as it absolutely needed, which was like, you know, weekly doctor's appointments and several hospitalizations.
But overall, I just I learned everything I know about life from watching Aaron suffer and and be so graceful and so gracious and still, you know, come to the hospital and talk shit with me about. Right. About the annoying co-workers that we both knew in common.
He still worked. And I would pick him up from work. And I guess who doesn't wash his hands when he goes to the bathroom?
I was like, I knew it. I knew it. Like, he just he was still so, like, alive and wonderful. And so Aaron died in 2014. He was thirty five years old. We had an almost two year old son together who's now almost eight. And our son is named Ralph. And sometimes six years feels like. A very long time and sometimes six years feels like nothing, and it's I'm I'm experiencing this very differently than our son.
I think we sometimes figure that, like kids maybe.
I don't know. I was like, oh, thank God. I mean, thank God. You know, Ralph is only to like, maybe this won't matter.
No. Like, of course it will, because he's seven and and he lost a tooth the other day and was crying at night about like, I wish my dad could see like that. I lost a tooth. And so, you know, I don't I don't know. It's still something that I'm that I'm figuring out. And I had never seen grief very close. And I just assumed that it was I don't know that it was supposed to be something that scabbed over and was a part of my past.
And instead, I really have let it become just a part of my life. Which I before I experienced, I would assume, like, well, God, is that healthy, but like, yeah, it's just like it's not as if every day I am, you know, sad and bawling over Aaron's death, but obviously sharing a marriage with the person sharing like an intense relationship, having a child or someone like that stays with you, that stays with you.
And I think that we can keep those things and still also, like, fall in love with a person who's currently alive and and, you know, like show up and and still, you know, live fully in the face of these losses, which is one of the the.
Yeah, one of my favorite things that you said is that because of Aaron, you have your new husband and because of Aaron, he lives he lives on in your life now. And I just yeah, there were just so many powerful things that you said. And you clearly have a sense of humor about things. And you're the obituary that you wrote for Aaron went viral with you.
He wrote it with me. It's amazing.
Best lines were his. He was so funny. He was so funny.
And do you have somebody in a similar situation? Do you have advice on writing a good God?
I write it when the person is alive, which I know feels dark. I know feels weird, I know feels wrong. But at the very end of life, everyone wants to sort of like tiptoe around it.
And I remember my dad being in the ICU. He died a few weeks before Aaron died and this nurse coming in, he had a sweet little Minnesota girl who was like, Hi, Mr. MacInerney, how are you? And he was like, Kelsey, I'm kind of tired here. Yeah. And she was like, oh, I just wanted you could tell just wanted to, like, disappear into a puff of smoke. And we laughed so hard.
And yet also we didn't just ask my dad, who was an infomercial writer take. He wrote infomercials. What do you want? Like how do we talk about you? How do you want to be remembered? He would have written an amazing obituary and instead I was like sitting on the couch with my dopey brothers and my bossy sister being like, no, I don't think that's it.
I just, you know, we're like looking in the house. We're books.
I mean, you liked books, you know, Hunter Green, like a great idea to to work with the person on that.
And it was so sad. Of course, we cried our faces off. And also it was a very, very funny and good obituary. And I'm so glad we did it that way.
Yeah. In your podcast and in all that you do, do you enjoy giving advice? I mean, here you are on an advice podcast. I mean, here I am on an advice by guest.
I mean, I, I love solving someone else's problems. You give me just the chance to reach in and meddle in someone else's life.
Yes, I'll take it. Absolutely. Absolutely. I'll real and stuff loose. Yeah. We have a lot of stuff to shake loose. Oh. So I'm ready. All right. Our first question comes from Ann and she writes, Twenty twenty was shit. The pandemic sucks and I'm getting divorced. How can I learn to love again? I mean, I feel like you you get and I feel like I can answer. I've I've loved, I've loved and then I've loved again, I haven't gone through divorce.
I'm assuming there haven't either.
Not yet, but I hope to never. I have seen how devastating I mean you can think of it. I wonder why it is. So I guess just emotionally and psychologically, you're so prepared to potentially spend the rest of your life with somebody. But very similar to to a death. Yeah. Abruptly comes to a halt.
So when someone dies in a relationship or like while they were a saint, everything was great. The relationship was wonderful. When there's a divorce, we're like, didn't he suck anyways? Like, were you like also just like kind of unhappy and like, oh, my God, good riddance.
But really, I mean, have you listened to ever more by Taylor Swift yet? I have not, but I love Taylor Swift.
So there is this song that is essentially about an imaginary divorce. I think it's called Happiness and it's about the both and which is that there's there was more than just this awful, wrenching pain that you are in now. You can love again the same way that this was probably, statistically speaking, not your first love after every breakup were like, it'll never happen again.
I have all my old journals on the floor. Over your 15 years old, I was like, I'll never love again. That was it for me. And more importantly, no one will ever love me again because I've already let this boy touch my boobs, that I'm tainted forever.
It's like people will now people will know these boobs have been touched before.
He's going to end up working in a closet one day, working in a closet, listening to sad stories. This is the life she deserves. OK, you reap what you sow. You will love again also maybe take a minute, several minutes, quite a long time to let this be as bad as it is.
Yeah, you have to settle into not being OK. Yeah, I do think there is something in it. It is terrible to sit through the pain. It does not feel good. But Norah found love again, even though she got her boobs touched. I got my boobs touched and then removed, my boobs got cut off and somebody still loves me. OK, so you get your boobs touched, you can get them cut off. You can lose a spouse.
You can there's so many things, but people will find you lovable and the sorrow of divorce needs more recognition.
It needs more respect, frankly. And also, I hope that you use this time not just to try to, you know, focus on on on how you fall in love again, but like how you can truly just, like, fall in love with yourself in your own life. Which sounds so corny, but I watch my sister do that after her divorce over the past two years. And I'm just so proud of her because she loves herself so much.
That's great. Another person would be great, you know, and I even watched her I watched somebody fall in love with her and her say, like, you know, I'm just really not there yet, which I've spent my whole life being like, you love me.
Well, then I guess I'm yours. I mean, what am I? OK, well, I'll stay until you're done. I do. I sign. Yeah. So yeah, that's what I, that's what I hope for.
And I hope for her to go through the sentencing also for her to just like love her own life, which is now fully hers, which is terrifying.
And also what an opportunity that's pretty exciting. And we're very excited for you. Yeah. And I think I think you've got a lot coming in. Twenty, twenty one. We all do. But especially and. Yeah, more questions after the break. Stick around, Naura. We get support from better help online counseling, the new year can be a good time for a mental health check in or a time to talk some things out. Better Help offers online licensed professional therapists who are trained to listen and to help with issues including anxiety, depression, stress, grief, LGBT matters, family conflicts and more.
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Saqqara dot com slash don't ask. All right, Norah, this next question is about some of the awkwardness that comes with grief. Meg writes, I'm 24 and my father died suddenly in May. A lot of my friends were really supportive and great, but some were not up to the task. I miss the friends who ghosted and it's been a little while, so I want to try to reconnect with them. I'm not sure how to go about it without making people uncomfortable and would appreciate some advice about how to approach them.
So Meg is saying her friends kind of couldn't deal with it and they went away and she's wanting to say, hey. I miss you, I mean, I experienced that myself. I'm sure you did, too. Yeah, I think it's pretty common. And it's also I think it's really generous and honest of Meg because it's really hard. I know it hurt my feelings when I experienced it. I understood it. But you also learn. What people are capable of in a friendship with you and there are people that I found in time that this is what they can do.
This is the most they can do. This is what I can expect from them. And beyond that, I can't. And. Do I still want them in my life with what they can and can't bring to the table? And there are people that I thought I I just don't need them and I don't miss them. And then there are other people where I think I do miss them still. And I understand the limitations here. And I'm I'm fine with opening that door.
And I personally don't even think that there has to be a big uncomfortable moment to it. I think that a very basic direct reach out. Hello. I, I've been thinking about you would open the door perfectly fine.
What listeners couldn't hear was my nodding, my just just emphatic nodding to everything that you said, because the wake of Aaron's loss is littered with former friendships.
It really is. And some of those people, they couldn't have done anything right because there was nothing right to do. And I will own that part. And some of those people were operating at their maximum capacity. And what I would have realized in the intervening years is that they had also not done this before.
And if you have not seen grief up close, if you have not watched, like, friendship go through a really, truly hard thing, you don't know how to do it. You assume that you're doing it. Well, one of my best friends who I've known since second grade, he lost his dad when he was 27 years old. I went to the funeral. I sent a hot dish, send a card, never brought his dad up again.
I just assumed, like, oh, yeah, you just don't bring it up, like because it would make you sad, right? Yeah, like and the worst part about being at the center of a shitstorm is that you are the captain of that shitty ship and people are looking to you for for for cues, which is so crappy.
You don't need another job when you're grieving, when your life is falling apart. But they're waiting for you to kind of tell them what to do. And not every friendship is going to last through your entire life. And we have to normalize that to like some friendship.
They just end. And that's completely fine. A friendship is like any other relationship, which is that you have to, like, make your needs known and then, like, communicate when someone disappoints you, it sucks.
And that's why a full on relationship and this and I just I think it's OK to reach out and say I miss you. Mm hmm. I've had people reach out and say something that they meant I miss you, but they didn't say I miss you. They made it some convoluted, crazy thing. I don't suggest that. No, it's just. I miss you. Yeah. Just say I miss you.
I would love to talk, say like I miss you. This has been a really hard seven months. Like, I've been really sad. I haven't reached out like I hope you're well, like I would I would never start with the way somebody is disappointed. You just not really great.
But with with, you know, I statements and explaining to people how you are feeling because like, they probably don't know because we are all so wrapped up in our own, you know, stuff, Meg, we will be thinking about you and we hope that you get the support that you need and that these friendships pan out in a way that that feels right. Nora, this next question is about skater boys and maybe how to avoid them. Oh, my weakness.
They're my weakness. All right. Well, Jordan asks, how do I start attracting Rich, put together people instead of skater boys? Well, we can't ask Nora now. You don't want to help you do this now.
Married to skater boys did not say. See you later, boys. I said see you later in my closet where you can go under the shirt, over the bra. That's what I get.
I, I love skater boys obviously in a different way. You know, they're my friends. They're my roommates of the past. It's similar to my love for rock and roll guys. I always say that their little rock and roll bodies.
Oh, I love a scrawny human. I like somebody's scrawny, somebody scrappy with stupid, ironic tattoos, but that are misspelled and like, you know, probably infected. I that that's my tattoo. You are you are you are asking the wrong you're talking to the wrong people.
And also a pro skater just moved in next door to me.
I haven't met him yet, but he I called my old roommate who is a skater, and I said, do you know this guy? He just moved in next door to me.
And my old roommate flipped out and it was like, oh, my gosh, he invented the whatever move. And he and he just basically wrote his Wikipedia for me. And I was like, oh, wow.
So there are some attractive rich put together skater boys. I mean, you should see how this guy redid his house and you can see through his windows his teammate. And I'm not like lingering in front of his house, but when you drive his house, he wants you to look in.
That's why people have big windows they want you to see. Yeah, they do. Well, he has nice taste. And Jordan, I think you are foolish to move on from skater boys. Plus, they remain active and they remain hip and cool. These these are these are live people.
Yeah. You know, I'm so sorry, Jordan Rich put the other guys are almost all sociopaths. Like, what do you want to be a boring person who can pay your bills? Who cares like you pay your own bills. First of all, in the words of one of my children yesterday, they said, look who makes breakfast, dad, who makes lunch, dad, who fold your laundry? Dad, who pays your bills?
Mom like the seven year old.
OK, so justice for Scooter Boy say I feel so bad I have never pushed back so hard on somebodies question. I know.
I just like I cannot stress enough that like you, I can't find it in me.
You don't want a boring dude with a job. I understand at some point. I do understand. And I will say here's the thing, I can kind of imagine the kind of experience you're having, so let's say like there's this boyfriend and literally, Nora, are you leaving me on this?
I'm not. I'm not. I'm not.
I'm saying there's a difference between a skater and a jackass I've broken up with. What you were describing is not like a skater. What you're describing a jackass, which is like a person who, like, doesn't actually care about you, doesn't have any sort of, you know, priorities in life.
And you know who the person that he dated in my late 20s, I like, look back and I'm like, what? Why was I begging you for attention? Like, I was so hot. Like what? Like I was so hot. And by the way, like, I went to work every day and you went to work. On occasion and and so I understand this frustration, you still don't want a boring put together dude, they're very sweet, kind, wonderful skater boys.
And that is what I wish for you. I wish for you a nice, scrawny guy who wears like dirty black T-shirts and also has a savings account.
They exist. Yes, you can find it, Jordan. You're going to find what you're looking for. But don't start looking into just rich put together people. How dare you, Jordan? You know better than that. All right, Naura. Our last listener question is a real Korona conundrum.
Are you at all concerned about the coronavirus? No, not really. We know that mandatory Mafeking work literally cannot mandate somebody to wear a mask, must not leave the house for any reason, unless, of course, you have a reason and then you may leave the house on. Mary writes, I'm a teacher and I'm slated to be one of the first people in my community to get a covid vaccine, how do I balance sharing this publicly to show I support the vaccine without sounding braggy?
I have no concern. I just think that anybody that's going to feel like you are being braggadocios about your covid vaccine is a foolish person. They would likely know you're a teacher. And if they don't know that you're a teacher, then share. I am a teacher and I'm going to be vaccinated and I would imagine any sensible person would be happy for you and appreciate the work that you do and that you're taking the the steps to ensure your safety and those around you.
Yeah, anybody who doesn't understand that is committed to thinking the worst of you and is really not worth your time. So I would share it on social media and that I would not read the comments. And I would say if we have a relationship and you would like to ask me questions, you know how to get in touch with me about it and or you can turn your comments off, right?
I can turn the comments off. You can turn the comments off. I forgot about that. But I do think I followed several people who have gotten the vaccine. And I don't think that they're bragging.
But I do know I know the kind of person on social media you are describing.
And the thing is, if you live your life imagining responses from deep wads, you will you know, you can't you just can't do that.
Like the dip gods exist. They're out there. And so that's what they're saying when she says publicly, you think she means social media? I think she means social media. And I think what she's imagining is she posts this and there's somebody who's like, oh, well, must be nice. Must be nice. You know, I'm also a front line worker. I'm you know, it's like, well, yes and yes and OK. Yes, it is goddess.
It is nice. And of course we all deserve it. Of course we all deserve it. And and we're working on that.
I guess it's not even about what I would think, but I guess I'm surprised more than anything that there would be this concern because of people, you know, coming from my headspace. I'm like, if people thought I was bragging there, I can't even imagine unless maybe there's some part of you that is kind of bragging.
So this is why you're thinking I hope nobody thinks I sound like I'm bragging, but I don't think that just because I posted a picture of me getting the vaccine that said, like, sorry, losers me first.
Yeah, maybe don't do that. Maybe if you do share it publicly, don't, you know, give everyone the middle finger and say good luck to you, but thank you for the work you do as a teacher and thanks for your God and for writing, nor there's one less person we have to help.
It's a person from the past. This is a segment called Advice of Yesteryear.
When Jerry brags about taking Jenny out, he learns that she dates all the boys. So as we say now, menstruation is just one routine step in a normal and natural cycle.
How do you choose a date?
Well, one thing you can consider is, look, I did everything you said, but my boss still hasn't asked me to lunch.
This question comes to us from 1927 from Dorothy Dix's advice column. Dear Mystic's, I don't want to marry the kind of girls who are painted up like a circus, who wear their skirts above their knees, displaying their hoes, supporters who have nothing on their minds but clothes, and who class you as a cheap Johnnie unless you spend a big pile of money on them. I haven't come across a sensible girl for years. If I could find one who had real gray matter in her head and was willing to stick to me like glue, who is modest in her dress and conversation, and who would be willing to love, honor and obey me, I will be glad enough to marry and share my fortune with her.
Where is she? Signed Harry S. Well, it sounds like we found someone for Jordan. We did. We did. Exactly. Yeah, he's got a fortune. It's good to know men have always been like this.
These questions, the way he speaks, it's you immediately. I hear it, you know, just in the painted it up like a circus.
You know what I'm saying, Johnny? Because I'm not going to spend money on them cheap. Johnny, come on. I you know that it doesn't seem real. Oh, it seems very real to me. This seems 100 percent if you have been on certain corners of the Internet, there are men who still feel this way who are less sure.
But I'm talking about the who wear skirts above their knees, displaying whole supporters who have nothing on their minds but clothes and who class you up as a cheap Johnny. I haven't found a sensible girl in years. I'm looking for one with gray matter in her head. Gray matter. First of all, Harry, what a line. Walk up to a woman and say, do you have gray matter in your head? Little little lady? I'm going to share my fortune with you if you are sensible.
How sensible are you? How short was your skirt. I mean above the knee. Also below the knee is such a strangely it's I've tried. It's an unflattering length for me, Johnny. Like I look better with an above the knee skirt or honestly a pant. I feel like it. But the more I read this I feel like I'm his dream girl. He's looking for someone who is not painted up like a circus and who doesn't wear skirts above the knee or displaying hoes.
Supporters like I don't think about clothes or somebodies class. I just proved that with Jordan. I don't. That's true. I'm looking. It's true. I don't care if you're a cheap Johnny.
Honestly, you might be modest in my dress and conversation. I this is where it falls apart. I'm not willing to love and honor and obey and obey.
We got pretty close.
We got so close. We got so close.
What's your what's your advice for Harry? I honestly think, like, you know, maybe just maybe it's not about the women around you.
It might be you. It might be cheap, Johnny. It might be that you are a cheap Johnny. It might be that you are projecting a lot of your projecting a lot on the women around you. And I would suggest you find I don't know what they're called in 1927, but we lesbians that are in the closet, that might be what he needs.
He needs a Carol. OK, yeah. Well, do you wanna hear the answer?
Oh, God, yes, I do.
The trouble with men who complain that they can't find the sort of wife is because they hunt for them in the wrong places. You will no more find them at nightclubs than you will find a point lace in a blacksmith's shop. But you won't have to do much sleuthing if you really want one. You can always ask your mother or any other middle aged woman without daughters to give you a tip.
Hey, it's me cheap Johnny. You got a tip for me? Where can I find a closeted lesbian?
That's all the advice Dorothy has, basically. Just like ask older women, go ask an older woman.
Yeah, OK. Yeah, she's like I like the way that you talk about younger women. Guess who else also does this? Older women. So find somebody who they approve of and they're in their in you will find your happiness.
I wonder if Harry did find this person. I mean, honestly, like, Harry's great grandsons are probably like, you know, on Reddit right now. Like, yeah. What's up with women, man? Like, they all want me to be put together, have a job.
I think I understand what Reddit is. I thought Reddit was where people go on to talk about celebrities, but you can go on and talk about annoying anything, OK?
You can away or you can just lurk. Well, thank you for talking about anything and everything with Menora. It was a pleasure having speaking. What a joy. What a joy. And do you have anything you would like to plug that the world should know about?
I my podcast is terrible. Thanks for asking. And and you can also find out more about me.
It's still kicking Dutko some of it. Well, it was a pleasure.
And and like I said, I just think that you're tremendously insightful and and thank you for for putting all this out there.
Thank you. It's helpful.
That's where Joe. Don't ask, BTIG is hosted by me, Tig Notaro, it's produced by Thomas Willette, Tracy Mumford and Whitney Jones. Our editor is Phyllis Fletcher, executive producer Lauren de Engineering and Sound Mixing by Eric Rachmani, digital production by Christina Lopez. Talent Booking by Marianne Wei's Production Assistants by Nancy Shute. Our theme music is Friend in Tig by Edie Brickell and Kyle Crush Them and Listen To Your Heart by Edie Brickell. Special thanks to Hunter sideman Lily Kim and Alex Shaffer.
Our executive consultant is Dean Cappello and Gobsmacked Studios. You can always ask for advice at Don't Ask Tig. Just write in with your problem or send us a voice memo. You can also follow us on social media at Don't Ask BTIG Don't Ask. TIG is a production of American Public Media. And as always, thanks, Dana. And I'll tell Becky. If you happen to be looking for another podcast, check out BTIG and Cheryl, true story, where my friend Cheryl Hines and I talk about different documentaries every week.
Here's us talking about the queen of Hersi.
I was Teekay because I we have a dog door here so the dogs can go out. But I mean, if maybe if the house is so big you just call them dogs because people call them doggie doors.
Well, because I was going to say, I meant to say doggy door and I said dog door. And I just wanted to make it clear that that you had dog.
I know that it's I know that they're usually called doggy doggy doers. I feel like what age do do people abandon dogs?
But you still say doggy door. I know.
That's also like when you go out to eat and you get a doggy bag, you still say dog.
You don't have your dog back.
Yeah, yeah. You get your doggy bag and then you come home and crawl through the doggy door and you do.
Oh excuse me. Can I get a dog bag. Thank you.
Because that sounds like you're going to pick up poop doesn't it. Like a dog bag. A doggy bag.
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