51: Meet Me on the Dancefloor

December 3, 2020

Hello December! Claire talks about Evie’s recent sleep schedule disruptions. Joy gives a health update and why she’s thinking about barbells. We dream about 2021 plans, and the light at the end of the tunnel. Chuck Klosterman Hypotheticals make another appearance and we end with answers to the question: what was your silver lining from this year?

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Audio Length: 47:21 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. I mean, every time we try to make this really interesting. It’s just an intro. It’s just an intro.

Claire: There’s just only so many ways I can say, “This is Claire.” This is Claire. “I’m Ron Burgundy?”

Joy: Oh my God, can you imagine if we tried to say it at the same time? If you listened to our baking podcast, you know that we can’t.

Claire: We can’t. We tried.

Joy: It’s so hard. Here’s the thing. You guys. Recording on Skype, just a fun fact, is way different than recording in person. 

Claire: Yes.

Joy: So just a fun fact, it’s really hard to get things to say at the same time. Sometimes we cross talk. I try to edit that. Little fun facts about recording. Okay. So how are you doing? I just got up from another nap.

Claire: I haven’t taken a nap in a really long time. Evie has stopped sleeping. That’s pretty much the headline.

Joy: I saw that post. And what’s going on with her? She’s just being –

Claire: No idea. She’s almost two. There is a sleep regression that sometimes comes along with being two, which is basically them becoming aware that life goes on while they’re asleep and they don’t want to miss out.

Joy: They don’t want to miss out. Yeah, the don’t miss out thing is big.

Claire: Yeah. And you know, this is… let me be clear, Evie has been the easiest sleeper. I don’t even want to tell you how easy she’s been because if you’re a mom you’re going to hate me. And so, I sort of feel a little bit of this is karma justice for having this real easy sleeper, but it also just makes the fact that it’s come out of nowhere feel so much more like a slap in the face. She up until a month ago had been sleeping 12-13 hours a night and also napping 2-3 hours a day. And then around a month ago she started really fighting her nap, and it was like, okay, you know maybe she was only napping every, like she was literally only maybe napping one or two days a week. Kind of out of nowhere, I kind of chalked it up to daylight savings, which is really common. But then suddenly, a week ago, she started fighting bedtime, started waking up in the middle of the night, and started waking up super early in the mornings. So now she’s more getting like 8 or 9 hours of sleep and not napping and fighting bloody murder bedtime, which she’s never done.

Joy: Oh wow, yeah.

Claire: So what was this very well-oiled machine has now just completely shattered. And not only is it frustrating from a standpoint of it being annoying, but it feels like of all the things that are just balanced on this tiny needlepoint that this is really feeling like it’s pushing us and the stress of our family over the edge.

Joy: Oh sure, yeah.

Claire: Where now somebody is having to get up with her in the middle of the night and go lay in her room for her to go back to sleep. It took over two hours to put her to bed last night. She woke up at 6 o’clock on yesterday morning. This morning she only slept in because Brandon went in her room and slept on her floor starting at like 3 in the morning.

Joy: Oh, she wants someone to be with her?

Claire: Yeah, she wants someone to be with her. And she’s just so stubborn, and she’s always been very stubborn. And so there’s no way to, like a lot of kids you can kind of say, “Oh, I’ll be right back,” and then just never come back. She is not like that, I am quickly learning.

Joy: She knows. She remembers.

Claire: She knows. She’ll stand in her crib and just scream. Like the other day, she screamed so much she almost threw up. She worked herself up that much.

Joy: Oh bless her, yeah, so upset and just the coughing, begging.

Claire: Right, and some kids will scream themselves to sleep.

Joy: Yeah, not her.

Claire: And she is not like that, no, and she’s never been like that. We didn’t really ever have to do “cry it out” with her when she was a baby because she just never really had sleep issues, but even as a baby it didn’t work. Because once she gets going – for all kids, and if you’re a parent, you probably know what I’m talking about. For all kids and all babies, there’s a line that they cross where you know we’re not coming back from this without an intervention. There’s sort of an acceptable amount of fussing and crying, and then there’s something is wrong screaming. Her line from fussing crying to you’re not going to come back from this on your own is at the bottom of the scale. There’s almost no amount of noise she’s making that is not “I’m going to have to intervene here.” 

Joy: So what’s been working?

Claire: Nothing. Going in there. 

Joy: Just going in there.

Claire: Sitting with her. Which is like, I get it. And you read all these posts that are like, it’s a biological need for then to be with you. And it’s like, I get that, but it’s more the contrast of, a week ago she wasn’t like this. She’s almost two, so she’s not an infant who doesn’t understand. She’s not fresh out of the womb. She has been fine for almost two years, and now she’s not fine. So far, we haven’t come up with anything that’s working. I’m hoping – today she was kind of fussy and pulling on her ears, so I’m hoping, hoping, hoping she’s getting molars. 

Joy: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Claire: Because not only would that explain it, but it would also mean it’s going to be an event that will end.

Joy: And pulling on the ears may be an ear infection, no?

Claire: Well pulling on the ears is classic molars coming in symptoms.

Joy: Molars coming in symptoms? Oh.

Claire: Because that’s where it hurts.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: And actually a lot of times, getting molars can result in ear infections, which is did for Miles when he got his two-year molars. He got a horrible, horrible ear infection. Do you remember that? And we had to go, we were flying to my grandma’s funeral and he had such a bad ear infection and his eardrum burst on the plane. It was so horrible.

Joy: So painful. It happened to me as a kid. It was so horrible. I get it, Miles, I get it.

Claire: It was oozing pus, it was horrible.

Joy: Oh totally, totally. So, so, so miserable.

Claire: But I mean, he’s not an ear infection kid. I know you had a lot. I had chronic ear infections. That’s the only ear infection he’s ever had.

Joy: Oh, thank God, yeah.

Claire: But it can cause that, and I think it’s just inflammation in that area. I’m not looking for advice because honestly –

Joy: Okay, moms calm down.

Claire: Moms, I know that you all mean very well and you also will appreciate it when I say that all kids are so different when it comes to sleep. I’m not really looking for advice because I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what our options are and those options – like this definitely feels like an acute event. It’s not like we’ve been struggling with this so long we’ve tried everything. It’s more like there’s clearly something going on here, and I think we just need to ride it out, but it’s just really tiring.

Joy: Right. And you know your child. I like the specificity of saying, “I don’t need advice. I’m just talking about the situation.”

Claire: Right. I don’t need advice, but if you want to send me sympathy in coffee, I will take that. How are you? How is week two of medical leave going?

Joy: Two is good. So we went to my parents for Thanksgiving, and when we got back, we got back Saturday, and I remember thinking, I’m so glad I took two weeks. Because when my doctor first said, “Just take two weeks. I think you really need two weeks,” I was like, “How about one?” because there’s just, like I said before, so much going on in the office. But I’m so glad I was just like, you know what, I really need to unplug. Because after the first week I feel like I really learned to unplug, and now I’m enjoying the unplugging. So I feel like the second week is just like really going to make me so much better going back to work and not having to take more work off in January, February if things go back downhill again. So I’m feeling good. Rest has been huge. I cannot overstate how important it is to just let your body heal. I’m not good at that. I’m someone who’s like I want to do. I want to do this, I want to do that, and always goes, so this has been a huge lesson for me. But I did Legos as my parents’ house and that was great. I did the paint rocks today. I painted some rocks. You guys, I’m not good at it, but I’m getting it. I am making it super simple. I’m so self-conscious about my artistic abilities. I’m just making it real simple, putting cute little messages on there, so I’m going to keep doing that. Those types of things are good activities for me because I feel like I’m doing something, but I’m not running ragged and making myself stressed out. So it’s been good. I just feel really lucky that I had people around me being like, “You need to take the full two weeks off” and pushing me to do that because I probably wouldn’t have if it was just me. I’m feeling okay. I think there’s times when I feel sorry for myself. And today I was feeling like I’m not as strong as I used to be. I’m not saying I’m not strong now, but I’m just not as strong as I used to be, and that has been really bothering me. So I’ve been thinking lately, I wonder if I started going back to my gym, my CrossFit gym, which we’re no longer affiliated but you know what I’m talking about. And I was like, what if I started going back there. Like, I miss picking up a barbell and doing strength activities. And I have dumbbells at my house, but they’re like 15 pounds. And that’s great, but I feel like lifting heavier weights might help me. And by no means am I thinking of setting a PR you guys. I’m just thinking of moving in way that used to feel good and I want to get back to that. So I might. I’m a little scared because it would be so weird to walk into a gym where I used to be killing it, to be like, I could probably barely deadlift 85 pounds right now. That’s how weak I feel. So anyway, that’s just kind of the thoughts I’ve been tossing around lately as far as movement.

Claire: I do think the nice thing about weight lifting, if you are truly just weight lifting, is that it can be metabolically lower impact, which it sounds like is what your body needs.

Joy: That’s what I need. I have to watch my heart rate so I’m not stressing myself out or that my body doesn’t recognize it as stress. Between 120 and 130 is my max right now, and if I get higher than that I just try to drop it really quick. That’s just something I’m doing real quick. My doctor hasn’t told me to do that necessarily, but I just know – well actually my naturopathic doctor just said, “Please just walk. You can hike, you can walk, but don’t run. Don’t do anything that’s super, super sprinty right now.” But I was like, weight lifting doesn’t really gas me unless I’m doing a WOD, which I’m not going to do. 

Claire: You’re not going to go do Grace.

Joy: No, If I was just to do strictly barbell stuff, then I think that would be really good for me. So I’m thinking about getting back into that. I’m probably just going to email the gym owner and kind of tell him what’s going on with me to be like, look, not that anybody cares but I’m going to be walking into this gym. I’m not the Joy I used to be. I’m not going to be ripping the barbell like I used to. Please don’t expect that from me. And I know they’re fine with that, but I feel like I need to set that, like my goals now –

Claire: Right, that’s more for you to not think that people –

Joy: Yeah, totally. My goals now are just to lift the barbell off the ground. I don’t care what weight is on it. I just want to walk into that gym and do some different movements. I think that feels good to me. So that’s the update. I see my naturopath tomorrow for our first official appointment of what’s going on and what I need to do. I’m getting more blood tests done, and I just sent in a DUTCH test, which is not the funnest thing to take. I thought it was just like you pee on a few sticks and you send it in, but the day that you take the test, first of all you have to take it a certain day in your cycle. And then you have to pee on a stick at dinnertime and then right before you go to bed and then if you wake up in the middle of the night, you can do one in the middle of the night. And then you take one immediately when you wake up, two hours after you wake up. That’s five of them. And you can’t drink caffeine, you can’t drink alcohol. Which I’m not drinking alcohol right now because it just doesn’t sound good to me. Which I think the body’s so smart. My body just is always like, this is not good for you right now. Which the only things I’m really craving, ice cream and pie works great for me right now. Real good. I ate so much of your pie. I was just like, so much pie. So I didn’t drink caffeine, and I was like dang it. Because that’s the one thing I love drinking right when I get up is a cup of coffee, so that was kind of rough. But yeah, so that’s a big hormone panel, and I think it tests your cortisol. So more to come on that, but I know a lot of people – or not a lot, but there’s a few people that struggle with the same diagnosis and are interested in what I’m doing, so I’d be happy to share. If you have any questions, just email us. So what else is going on with you?

Claire: Honestly not much. So my birthday was last week, and I’ve kind of been trying to think, like I feel like we usually do this big kind of wrap up episode, like what did you learn this year. And I feel like this year has just been such a crap shoot that I don’t even have any takeaways.

Joy: I was thinking about that. Like, the year in review for 2020 to me is just survival.

Claire: Yeah, I think that’s how it is for most people. We’re really lucky that for us we still both have our jobs. We don’t have anyone in our immediate families who have been impacted by COVID or who have, rather, had COVID. People have been impacted by it. But you know, obviously I lost my grandma back in May and that was really hard and all of that will be a defining factor of this year for me. But I kind of have been more just trying to think about, okay, going into 2021, this year has just felt like survival mode. Like we don’t know what it’s going to look like. And I feel like, and I hope that I’m not going to regret saying this, like I don’t want to jinx it. But you know, it feels like now is sort of the worst it’s going to get. What I mean by that is, it feels like we have a light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know how far away that it is, but we know that at some point in 2021 we will be on the other side of this.

Joy: I totally agree. I agree, I agree.

Claire: And whereas for 2020, we’ve kind of had to have this mentality the whole time of hunker down, stay hunkered down, stay hunkered down, stay hunkered down. And I know that I hope that one of the first things that Biden does in office is pass a restaurant stimulus. You can’t just keep expecting people to stay home and not pay them to stay home.

Joy: Exactly.

Claire: And you know that’s been a huge miss by the government. And the state governments honestly. I know that they only have so much to work with, but it’s just been something that I’ve been thinking a lot about, but I think that going into 2021, I feel kind of for the first time in 10 months or so that I can kind of set some goals and really let myself come out of just survive-the-day mode. And this next year is going to be a big one. Miles is going to start kindergarten. A lot of people have had questions about our au pair. Right now, she is here officially kind of just until January, but we are currently pursuing an extension for her. So ideally, she will be here at least through the summer if not longer. And there’s a couple different ways that you can swing that, but right now they’re offering an extension because of the impacts of COVID on the au pair visa program. I don’t want to get too into the weeds with that because I know that doesn’t really apply to a lot of you. But I have had some people who have reached out and said, “What agency have you used?” If you guys have any specific questions for me ever about our au pair experience, I’d be very happy to share them with you and how we went about selecting our au pair and how it’s gone and what recommendations I would make. Because I think people’s biggest concern is that it’s going to be awkward to have some random person living in your house. So if that’s something that anyone out there is considering, please let me know. But I won’t go into it a ton, just because I know it doesn’t apply to that many people who are listening. But she may or may not still be here for all of next year. Evie will be turning two in February, which is a big milestone, kind of leaving the baby nest behind. I think next year will be, who knows for sure, but will kind of be when we make a final call about whether or not we’re going to have a third kid. So there’s kind of a lot on the horizon, and it feels good to have a lot on the horizon of like, okay, stuff is actually going to happen in 2021. I don’t know. I tried to kind of sit down and do my normal “what do I want to accomplish next year,” and just nothing came to mind. It all felt so superficial. 

Joy: I was going to say, what goals do you have? When you say you feel like I can set goals. Have you thought about that much?

Claire: I mean kind of. I would say my biggest things is, like the biggest not necessarily goal but thing I want to get back into my life is just being back in the habit of movement. When we first went into lockdown, I was doing garage gym workouts literally almost every day, and it really helped me feel grounded. And I wasn’t making huge gains in my work just in my garage with some dumbbells and a jump rope.

Joy: #gainz

Claire: #gainz. I haven’t #gainz in like six years.

Joy: Gainz with a “z.”

Claire: Gainzz.

Joy: Gainzz.

Claire: But that habit just really grounded me, so I’d really like to get back to that. And I think that I definitely have some goals to get our budget back under control in 2021. We’re working with a financial planner. Now that we’re sort of leaving the financial survival mode of having two really young kids. Like once Miles gets into kindergarten, our financial situation will look a lot different. Yeah, I don’t know. It just feels like I’m looking around and taking a breath of like, hey, the future is going to happen.

Joy: Instead of like, there’s no end in sight and we don’t know if the future’s going to be good.

Claire: Yeah. And not from a doomsdayer approach, but I think more so I just haven’t been letting myself think that way because I didn’t want to get tired.

Joy: And not only that, I just didn’t see anything that felt hopeful. We were just so in it that we had to be present. I didn’t see anything in the news. We didn’t hear anything about a vaccine or anything. You just kind of have to get through the day. It kind of was that survival mode. So now that we’re hearing more about the vaccine and when that will be coming out and that looks promising, especially frontline workers, hats off to you. Get that vaccine. And people who are at risk, the more vulnerable population. That feels hopeful. It’s like, oh my God, take care of those people and we can move forward. And yeah, I feel like these things are so important to think about, especially with Biden coming into office. I’m already seeing Kamala and Biden putting out things that they’re working on. The cabinet and all the people on their team is like, oh my gosh this feels so good and really promising. So I feel lie that is so important, especially with COVID, that we have this leadership that’s taking it seriously and hopefully helping people like small businesses and restaurants and that type of thing. 

Claire: Right. And I think, you know, it will kind of remain to be seen how immediate those effects can be, and I really hope that they are. So, I don’t know. I feel like it has been weird. Because I am, I don’t love sitting down and setting super specific goals that I feel bound by, but I do like the practice of goal setting. 

Joy: I do too.

Claire: And we’ve talked about that so many times on the podcast.

Joy: So many times. Whenever I think about goals, I think about that one episode we did when we sat down and actually put them down. I think we even did it in a blog post where we put down our goals. And they were so crazy. They were so [CROSSTALK 00:18:20.10].

Claire: And we never did anything about them. But it’s always interesting to look back and be like, wow, remember when you were going to get your PhD and I was going to be a registered dietician. It’s this interesting snapshot into what your priorities are. I think that setting those goals – and we’ve talked about this a hundred times too that not achieving a goal can kind of be as enlightening as achieving it.

Joy: Yeah. And I just have to give a shout out to the community too because so many people in our podcast community gave me advice. I remember back when I was talking about getting a PhD or not getting a PhD, and so many people helped me with that decision. And I just want to thank you, you know who you are. This community’s been so helpful in a lot of the things that we do. I think one of the first things I want to do when we are able to do stuff again. I want to recreate the February trip to LA.

Claire: Oh my gosh, right, I know. 

Joy: I want to see the waiter, and I want to see Patton Oswalt. I’m going to tag Patton Oswalt and be like, “Meet us at Mozza.” 

Claire: But at the same time, part of me is like I need that moment to just live as is in a memory.

Joy: I know, I know. But can we go to LA at least.

Claire: Yeah, we can at least just go to LA.

Joy: I just want to go to LA so bad. If you’re in Los Angeles, will you send me some pictures of Los Angeles?

Claire: I know. Somebody posted something on my Facebook feed last night that was like, if everything suddenly went back to normal at 3pm today, what would you be doing by 6pm.

Joy: Oh my God.

Claire: I was like, I would go to a restaurant. I would just call all my friends. And you were kind of joking about that last week, you were like I’m going to go to – what were you saying?

J; A dance floor, a sweaty dance floor.

Claire: Right, five different bars, five different nights –

Joy: I’m going to rent a limo. That’s so 80’s and 90’s. I’m going to rent a limo, and I’m going to get all of my girlfriends. We’re going to get in the limo, we’re going to drive around to the bars, and we’re going to act like we’re 20. It’s fine. I’m just so excited to be around sweaty, dirty people. Get it out of my system.

Claire: Yeah, I want to go to five different restaurants with five different groups of people and just packed into some happy hour situation.

Joy: And I would just probably start hugging strangers. I did that in my 20’s, anyways.

Claire: Yeah, perfect. I know. You know, up until recently, that kind of thought of, “What would you do?” would kind of stress me out because I’d be like I don’t want to think about that. I don’t want to even open that door in my brain. I need to just be here now in this moment of not having those options and be okay with that. If I was constantly dwelling on the things that I wish that I could be doing, it really just made it harder. There were even sometimes when you and Jess and I got together in her yard that time over the summer and ate ice cream sandwiches. Actually the rest of that day was really hard for me because it was just this feeling of, it made me really confront how much I hadn’t been able to do that type of stuff. Or it made me confront how –

Joy: You’re not able to do that.

Claire: Yeah, how the stuff that I wanted to do was so not available to me. And at some point over the summer, too, Brandon was like, I was having a really hard week and he was like, “What do you need?” And I was like, “What I need is not something that I can get.” Like, I need to be in groups of people. And while that sounds very abstract and nonspecific, that’s truly what I’ve been missing is just this feeling of being around other people casually. 

Joy: And it’s community too. I was listening to a Brené Brown podcast episode, her Unlocking Us, which is great if you haven’t listened to it. She had this pastor on who was like, community, like that’s the whole point of church too. It’s going to church, it’s communing, it’s being with people, it’s worship, it’s faith, it’s all of that. The importance of being with people who are doing that is so, so important, and I feel like we can do that outside of a church building at a bar, where people are just enjoying life, enjoying friendships. At restaurants, people just enjoying company, enjoying a meal, maybe a birthday meal. Maybe you see someone get engaged. All these things of life that are so cool we are missing out on, we’re just so isolated. I know that’s stating the obvious, but I feel like that’s such an important thing that you’re saying, just the option to be around.

Claire: Just the option to do that and the option to do it without having to worry about it so much. And it’s like, even if you are doing that… I read this tweet that I think is a joke obviously, but it’s kind of true. “Going out during COVID is sort of like having unprotected sex. It feels good at the time, but then you’re worried for the two weeks after.”

Joy: Totally, totally. My favorite is the – have I said this recently? The one where it says, “Coughing in public is the new shitting your pants in public.”

Claire: I read one too that was, “You used to cough to cover up a fart. Now you fart to cover up a cough.”

Joy: It’s so good. 

Claire: I think that, all that to say, it does feel, even if we could realistically still be a year out from sort of enough vaccine distribution or whatever that people feel comfortable. And again, I know the vaccine, people kind of feel worried about it. I did some research – I mean, I don’t want to say research. My own research would be reviewing primary sources and analyzing them with scientific expertise. That, I have not done. I have reviewed other resources that I respect who have done research. And I think that’s really important because a lot of people say, “I’m going to do my own research.” Are you? 

Joy: Are you just reading a research paper?

Claire: Are you going to collect unbiased data and analyze it using the scientific method. Oh okay, if that’s not what you’re doing, then you’re not doing research. You can go review other people’s research, that’s fine. So I’ve reviewed other people’s research and had a lot of people point out some things to me on my personal Instagram about the timeline of the vaccine. Because that was my biggest question. I was like, do I really want to get a vaccine that’s been developed so quickly and feels so rushed? And a lot of people pointed out, actually, the normal timeline that we see of vaccines has less to do with the fact that you “shouldn’t be able to do it this quickly” and more to do with the fact that usually it takes year to get the right funding and grants and also to do the research. To get a vaccine for something that doesn’t have high community spread, it’s really hard to do the clinical tests because you have to wait for people to be exposed. When you have something that has a really high rate of community spread like we do with COVID, the clinical trials can obviously happen a lot faster. And then you know the people who are like, well, we don’t have any long-term data on this. That’s not something that they ever do for vaccines. They never look at long-term data before they release the vaccine. I’m not going to convince anybody who’s an anti-vaxer to be okay with this vaccine, and that’s not what I’m trying to do. But it was just very interesting to me as someone who generally accepts vaccines but had this question mark around this one of, is this something that I would get. I’m not in a high-risk group, but I spend time with people who ware in high-risk groups. What’s my comfort level with it? And that just made me feel better to realize that, you know, this is really a best-case scenario, not a suspicious situation. It’s that the funding was there, the global cooperation of pooling resources and expertise was there, and the circumstances for quick clinical trials were there because of high community spread. So once I kind of got more about that and read more about that, that helped me. So if you’re listening and you have those same questions, I recommend that you look into that as well. One of the people to follow is Science Sam on Instagram. I think she’s in Canada, and she’s a PhD, and she’s just really great at breaking things down into laymen’s terms. Okay, before we move on, let’s talk a little bit about our favorite sponsor BluBlox.

Joy: Favorite. It’s the holidays, you get to give the gift of BLUblox.

Claire: I thought it was so funny last time when you were like, “The holidays are right around the corner.” You know how you hate it when people say, “Let’s dive in”? I hate it when people say, “The holidays are right around the corner.” 

Joy: Can I say it again?

Claire: No. But the holidays are not far away. It’s almost [CROSSTALK 00:26:04.26]. It’s almost [CROSSTALK 00:26:08.17].

Joy: One could say it’s around the corner.

Claire: One could say, but we wouldn’t. One could, but we won’t. So, go to blubox.com. Do not pass any corners while you’re doing that. Don’t go around them.

Joy: Go immediately.

Claire: Pick yourself out some blue-light blocking glasses. Pick some out for your friends. Pick some out for somebody in your life you love, whose eyes and brain you want to help protect.

Joy: So great.

Claire: These are such great high-quality lenses, high-quality frames. There’s a lot of different styles to choose from. They have kids’ classes. You can send in your own frames if for some reason you just love, love, love your frames and want to get some blue-light lenses put in them, you can send them in. You can use discount code “JOY,” which will get you a discount off your purchase. And also for every purchase that you make, they will donate a pair of eye glasses to somebody in need through their non-profit partner.

Joy: It’s a win-win.

Claire: It’s a win-win. So go check them out. We always say this, that they are based in Australia, so it’s not like a two-day shipping Amazon situation. And you get what you pay for. They’re a little bit pricier than the stuff that you’re going to find at the drug store checkout line, but they’re wonderful. I wear mine all the time. We get posts from you guys all the time with how much you wear blue-blocking glasses, and you guys are always like, “I didn’t know what you meant when you said that theses BLUblox are you get what you pay for, but as soon as I put them on I realized what you were talking about.” So blublox.com, discount code is “JOY.” Thank you for supporting the brands that support our podcast.

Joy: And tag your photos because I would love to see you wearing your BLUblox. I got to say, they look great on you. Yeah, I’m talking to you. They look great on you. Everyone looks so good. They look so cute, great styles. Thank you for supporting the podcast, this small little thing to just help our show. Alright, we have a couple options here. Do you want to do some voice memos, or do you want to do some new Chuck Klosterman questions, which are my favorite?

Claire: Oh my goodness. Okay, so let’s start with a couple of questions, but I do want to get to the voice memos.

Joy: They’re great.

Claire: I like ending with the voice memos because I feel like it kind of ends us on a nice note.

Joy: It really does. So Chuck Klosterman, if you don’t know, is a writer, and I can’t say as much about him as Scott would say because he’s one of Scott’s favorite writers. But he did this box of questions called SUPERtheticals: 50 New Questions for Strange Conversations. And we’ve don’t this before, but he came up with a new set of crazy questions, and so we are going to read some of them. Oh, here’s one of his bios too. He’s the author of HYPERtheticals, Eating the Dinosaur, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, But What if We’re Wrong?, Raised in Captivity, and Chuck Klosterman X. He’s a great guy. One of Scott’s weird, cool indie things that he likes. Okay, so this first one is. It’s called, “This is the smartest person that you know personally.” It’s a little long, but these are worth it. “This person asks you to chat about something that they insist is something important. The beginning of the conversation is confusing. Their language is filled with technical jargon and references to books you have not read, however as they continue they make more and more sense. The person seems to be making an argument about logic, truth, and how information should be processed. What they’re saying is compelling, entertaining, and sensible, but the conversation ends with a curious twist. The reason this person is telling you all this is that they are now convinced that the earth is flat, and they can prove it.” By the way, I did this for you, Claire. “The person goes on to explain how they’ve been writing about this theory on the internet and have now been asked to appear on a popular TV news program where they will debate traditional scientists about the shape of the earth. They’re excited about this but also nervous. They ask your advice on whether they should make the appearance. What do you say?”

Claire: And this is the smartest person I know, theoretically?

Joy: Yeah, this is the smartest person you know personally.

Claire: Personally.

Joy: And their language is filled with technical jargon about books that they’ve read, and what they’re saying is compelling and sensible and entertaining.

Claire: Right, until you realize what they’re talking about.

Joy: Until you realize what they’re talking about. This sounds like a cult follower, like someone who’s like, “This is great.”

Claire: Yeah, this sounds like a cult follower. Call your Dad, you’re in a cult.

Joy: “Hey girl, hey girl.”

Claire: “Hey girl, just wanted to reach out. I see you’re killing it lately.” And they want me to tell them whether or not to go on – no. I would tell them no.

Joy: They ask your advice on whether they should make this appearance.

Claire: Joy, you know me. If somebody would ask me that, I’d be like, “No, you’re on crack.” No, I would say no. You can’t go, it’s social suicide. “You can’t join the mathletes, it’s social suicide.” 

Joy: Oh my God. See, I on the other hand would probably say, “Go for it.” I love a good debate, and I love watching people debate. So if this person –

Claire: But this is somebody that you care about. You’re going to watch them make a fool of themselves?

Joy: This is the smartest person that you know personally, not someone you care about, I would say –

Claire: But the smartest person I know personally is one of my close friends. That’s –

Joy: I would say, “Hey, do you want to do some deep meditation on this?” I would say, “Go for it.” Because I’m like, go ahead, go get in a debate. Maybe we’ll all learn something from it.

Claire: No. I would be like, “You don’t want to out yourself as a crazy.” And I mean, so when you say the smartest person I know, my automatic assumption was that this is somebody who I’m close with. 

Joy: Okay, because I know smart people but I’m not super close to them, like a good acquaintance, and I think they could hold their own –

Claire: But why would they be asking my advice if I wasn’t close with them?

Joy: Okay, that’s fine. But the smart people I know, if they were like, “Yeah, I’m going to do this,” I’d be like, “If that makes you happy, go for it.” 

Claire: But they’re not saying that. They’re saying, “Do you think I should do this?” 

Joy: I still would say yes. I would say yes. They’re excited, but they’re nervous, okay. I mean, I’d be like, “Just make sure you’re prepared to have a really tough conversation.”

Claire: No. I would be like, “Don’t do this. Look around you. How do people feel about people who think the earth is flat? It’s a joke. You’re going to be made a joke of. Believe what you want in your own life, but don’t go on TV and debate that the earth is flat.” I hope we have a flat earther listening to this.

Joy: I really do, I really do.

Claire: They’re going to be like, “Claire and Joy didn’t make me feel accepted in their community because I think the earth is flat.”

Joy: You’re right.

Claire: Correct.

Joy: Correct. Okay, um –

Claire: “And my advice to you is don’t go on television.” Yeah, I would say no.

Joy: Don’t go, don’t go. Okay. This one’s really hard. This next one’s really hard. This person is someone significant to you, not necessarily the most significant person but someone who has played an important role in your life. “Imagine that this person has never been born. What are three things about your life that would be irrefutably different? People you would have never met, choices you would have never made, experiences you would never have had. Can you think of anything about your life that might actually improve from their absence?”

Claire: Wow. Well, okay, so I was like, okay I’ll just use you as an example of someone who is important in my life. You might not be the most important.

Joy: I mean, I’m not Brandon. I don’t bring you coffee.

Claire: No, you don’t bring me coffee. I mean, so like, that’s pretty tangible, that I wouldn’t have the podcast, I wouldn’t have done all the things that I’ve done on the podcast. I wouldn’t have done any of those trips or probably been like… but I would have more free time.

Joy: That’s true.

Claire: I don’t know, I probably would have found something else by now to do. 

Joy: Yeah, maybe continue your blog. I loved reading your blog.

Claire: Right, I might have become like a – because I was an early adopter blogger.

Joy: I mean, you might be the most famous meme curator right now with all your free time. When I was thinking of this, I thought immediately of my sister best friend that I literally have known since birth. But then what I started to think about was like, a significant thing in my life was my college boyfriend. I never would have met – oh God, this is so weird. Like I met so many good friends through him that I still keep in touch with. I would have made a completely different choice of where I went to grad school because he was like – I think I’ve told this story before. He was the reason I applied to schools in Denver.

Claire: No, you never talked about that.

Joy: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I swear guys, it’s fine, but this really was the one that, not got away –

Claire: Is this the guy that was a cattle rancher?

Joy: No. He was like a boyfriend when I was 25. It was like a year. But this was a very significant relationship when I was in college. It broke my heart. Like, heart hurts for a long time. I had a hard time getting over this for a long time.

Claire: Okay, big heart owie.

Joy: Big hear owie. Okay, so he and I were dating, oh it was such a funny thing. He and I were dating. We were roommates, so I lived with three guys. Remember, I told you this story? And we started dating, but we didn’t tell our roommates.

Claire: Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, okay.

Joy: It was totally a Monica and Chandler thing where we were keeping it a secret because we didn’t want our roommates to feel weird. So it was so cute. We’d go grocery shopping together, and we’d be able to hold hands because no one was around. When we were going different ways and he was going to grad school, I was like well I’m going to go to grad school where you’re going to grad school. I was convinced we were going to end up together, so I applied to all the places that he went to grad school. So I feel like that would have been a huge thing of, if I never would have met him, I probably would have stayed in Arizona for a lot longer. And then as far as what I actually improved from their absence, I don’t know about improve. But I guess I wouldn’t have had some huge heartbreak, but I guess I would have met some other dude that broke my heart.

Claire: Right, totally.

Joy: Yeah, that’s a really good one. That’s a really good one. I like thinking about that.

Claire: Okay.

Joy: One more?

Claire: Let’s do one more, and then we’ll do some voice memos. 

Joy: Great. This is a person you know and do not dislike. That’s really funny. It’s like, you do not dislike them. “You are granted a magical opportunity. For 24 hours, you will be able to inhabit the body and mind of the imagined person. You will retain your own consciousness and memories, but you will literally be inside their physical being, and you will –

Claire: So, like Being John Malkovich, basically?

Joy: Yes. “And you would know all the things they know. While this person transpires, the person will essentially be unconscious. They will have no memory or recognition of what you did while you were inhabiting their body, but there’s a caveat. This imagined person will then get to be you in the same way that you were able to be them. However it will be for six months, not for 24 hours.”

Claire: What?

Joy: “You will have no memory of what happens during this period, and it will feel to you as if those six months passed in seconds. Do you still want to do this?

Claire: What would be the benefit of me inhabiting some random person who I know but don’t dislike. It just seems like such a neutral experience to then have someone else live my life for six months and find out every single thing about me. No, it doesn’t feel like me being in someone else’s body for 24 hours, like inhabiting their body and knowing all their thoughts. What’s the benefit of that to me?

Joy: I know, I’m like, if this is going to be a famous person, for sure. But if it’s a person I know? And it’s just so vague. Like, you do not dislike them. So it’s just maybe an average. That’s a really, like what would be the benefit of this? Your grand and magical opportunity for just a vague – I guess the point of this would be for the experience of being in someone else’s body is really what it comes down to, right?

Claire: Heck yes. Yeah. That’s not compelling to me. I’m not that curious about how other people feel or live. 

Joy: I don’t know. I guess what gets me. I would say no, only because I don’t want someone else to be me for six months. What are they –

Claire: No.

Joy: But I guess if it passes in seconds to me.

Claire: But it doesn’t pass in seconds to them. Now this random person – okay, so for all of these things, when you describe them, I immediately started imagining maybe like a coworker.

Joy: Sure.

Claire: Like, I don’t want a coworker to live my life for six months, and then how I know for the rest of my life that person has lived my life. No, that’s not worth it.

Joy: They don’t need to know my deep, dark secrets.

Claire: They don’t need to like see me naked. Just even the basics of this. They don’t need to know where I keep stuff in my house. You know.

Joy: They don’t need to know I eat almond butter from a jar.

Claire: Yeah, they don’t need to know I keep my underwear on the left side and my socks on the right side.

Joy: That’s not such a secret now. 

Claire: Now you guys all know.

Joy: Now you know.

Claire: You know, those little details about you. No, definitely not.

Joy: Absolutely not.

Claire: Well that was fun and completely random.

Joy: It was completely random. 

Claire: Before we conclude, let’s listen to some voice memos. We wanted to hear from you last week about, what is something from 2020 that you are going to look back on and really smile. And it could be a moment. It could be something major, something minor. So who do we have first?

Joy: First we have Tina. This is our friend Tina from New York City, Brooklyn. I met her in person and her lovely fiancé at the time, now husband. Wait, Tina, did I meet you before or after your wedding? Anyway. I just wanted to play her voice memo because she sent it immediately, and it’s so lovely. She doesn’t say her name at the beginning, that’s why I wanted to point it out. Okay, this is from Tina.

Tina [recording]: So of course I just listened to the new episode. And so enjoyable, as always. And the last question you asked just really struck me about what we’ll remember in 2020. And just the fact that I got married and then I spent so much time with my now husband and just the fact that we just connected so well during this time of just having basically each other. And it’s just really significant to have someone that special in your life that you feel that it’s just going to be okay.

Joy: Thank you Tina.

Claire: Oh, that was cute.

Joy: It’s so cute. And I have to say, Tina and her husband are like the cutest people in the world. They’re so sweet. Both of them are so sweet. They are just, they’re just great. Like, I just had lunch with them this summer, and they were just lovely people.

Claire: They are really wonderful. Tina’s wonderful. She has sent me tie-dye [CROSSTALK 00:40:03.04], Harry Potter coloring post cards.

Joy: I don’t even cook, but she got me the signed Antony cookbook. I just have it in my house, so great. Thank you, Tina, and you’re the best. This one’s from Sarah.

Sarah [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, Sarah from Portland again. And my silver lining is parent-teacher conferences. I’m a teacher, and through our contract we work through two consecutive 12-hour days of back-to-back parent-teacher conferences, and this year I’ve had to do all 24 hours in pajama pants and no bra.

Claire: Yeah.

Joy: Yeah. You go, Sarah. I hope no one from your class is listening. 

Claire: I hope they are.

Joy: For the parents. Yeah, I hope you are. Oh, that’s so great. Okay, this is from Nicky, who is one of our – I’ve met so many great, we’ve met so many great people through this podcast. I cannot say enough about you guys. Okay, this is from Nicky. It says, “Hi ladies, if I recall Claire had asked for a silver lining moment of the year. It brings me great joy to think about being at Disney Land two days before the shut down for what they thought would be two weeks but still has not reopened. COVID was just starting to be in the news, so I was a little nervous to go. But I remember feeling like not only is Disney the happiest place on earth, it was quite possibly the cleanest place on earth at the time. We grabbed some ice cream on the way out that evening. I sure hope we get back to times like those.” And then she attached a really cute photo of them going down I think it was Magic Mountain or something. It’s so cute. Thank you, Nicky. Let’s all go to Disney Land, or let’s all join and meet at a dance floor somewhere when this all comes out. Okay, this is from – aw, this is from Caitlin.

Caitlin [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Caitlin from D.C. So responding to your question about a good thing that happened in 2020 was that my fiancé proposed to me. And the part about the proposal that really gets me looking back is he proposed to me at the Harry Potter play in New York City right before the pandemic happened. Kind of in the time frame right before we knew this was really going to hit the US hard, so just crazy looking back at the photo we have in front of the marquee of him proposing. We did end up getting married but also thinking that we saw one of the last shows on Broadway and also being in New York City with all those people, and that’s just not an experience we could have right now. So that’s my good 2020, and thank you guys so much for all that you do. Love listening, bye.

Claire: I love how so many people’s are your last moment of normalcy before a shutdown happened.

Joy: Totally. I mean, I talk about that all the time.

Claire: We talk about it so much, I was in Anaheim. We shut down an 80,000-person tradeshow the night before it was supposed to start.

Joy: I will never forget that. You were like, “I’m so scared,” and I was like, “You’re going to be okay.” You’re really scared to fly.

Claire: Yeah, I’m freaking out. And I feel like, it’s just interesting to hear, I feel like that will be a unifying thing that we all talk about forever. What is your last memory of pre-COVID times, of the before times.

Joy: I just want Nancy Silverton on now to be like, do you understand how much you mean to us with the meal and restaurant experience we had. I just, I still want to find that waiter. I still want that so much.

Claire: I know.

Joy: Michael, if you’re listening from Mozza and you’re the waiter. I remember his name was Michael. Okay, last one. This is from Laura.

Laura [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Laura from Minnesota, and I’m calling to share my silver lining of 2020. So at the end of April I had my very first baby, and she’s just the best thing ever. I know normally she would be the best thing ever, but especially this year with everything that’s happened. I had her at the end of April, and that was the height of the pandemic and there was a lot of uncertainty. It was really scary to bring life into the world at that time. But luckily, everything was okay and we brought home a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I’m so lucky to have such a great family that was able to support us from afar. She still hasn’t met some of her family yet, but we got a lot of support in a lot of other ways. People brought food. They brought gifts. I have so many hand-me-downs, it’s incredible. And so whenever I’m having some sad feelings about how this year has been, I just think back to then and how lucky I am to have all of these wonderful blessings when I’ve lost a lot in this pandemic as well. So that is the bright spot and I hope you guys can find some happiness this year as well. Thanks guys.

Joy: Congratulations. I love all of the people who had babies this year. Because that’s scary alone, but during a pandemic with everything else you’re having to deal with, and everyone’s in masks and you can’t have people around and only your spouse can be in the room or whatever. I feel like all of that is just really scary. So thank you for sending that. Congratulations because I know a lot of listeners have had babies this year, so congrats. Or you got engaged, like really big life moments this year. Like, you go.

Claire: Yeah, life goes on. 

Joy: Life goes on. Alright, what’s the question for next week?

Claire: Okay, so for next week our question is going to be sort of the opposite of this week’s question. I think that this year, again, like we’ve talked about, has looked so different for everybody. From some people whose lives look pretty much the same to people who have lost so much. And we would really like to hear from you guys, what is something that you lost this year? And tell us maybe just a very short sentence or two about why that thing or person or experience that you had to cancel, what it meant for you. And we’d just like to provide some space for that. Again, this might be harder, but try to keep that under a minute long, so rehearse what you’re going to say ahead of time. Maybe write it down, and just give us a short snippet into why that thing or that person or that experience was meaningful to you and what it means to your life to have lost that or had to cancel it or had to lose it. So, send us a voice memo to thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. You can also just write us an email. You can go to our Instagram, which is @joyandclaire_ and click the contact button, which will allow you to leave a Google Voice message. When you are making your voice memo, hold the phone to your head like you’re talking on the phone. And yeah, definitely for this one, I could see some getting a little bit longer than you maybe anticipated, so think about it ahead of time, write something down, and we just want to hold some space for you guys to leave a little moment of recognition of something that you lost this year.

Joy: We’re here for you. 

Claire: We’re here for you. We’re looking forward to you sharing those really important moments with us.

Joy: Maybe it’s a ceremonial thing we can all do, like burn something. Not start a fire, let’s not talk about that.

Claire: We’re not talking about bad ex-boyfriends.

Joy: Something that was a struggle, that we collectively all recognize that it was hard, yeah.

Claire: And you know, if you need a place to kind of put that, we are here for you and we want to care about it and we want to honor that thing with you. So thank you for listening. Don’t forget about our sponsor BLUblox, blublox.com, discount is “JOY.” And we will talk to you next week.

Joy: Love you guys. 

Claire: Bye.

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