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0:00:00.2 Roan Parrish: Relationship on the rocks?


0:00:02.6 Xio Axelrod: Crushing on your best friend?


0:00:04.8 Avery Flynn: Not sure how to tell your partner a secret?


0:00:07.8 RP: Luckily, you found Dear Romance Writer, an advice podcast from people who write happily ever afters for a living.


0:00:14.8 XA: We are Xio Axelrod...


0:00:17.4 AF: Avery Flynn.


0:00:20.4 RP: And Roan Parrish.


0:00:22.3 XA: You have questions...


0:00:22.4 AF: And we have questionable answers.


0:00:24.3 RP: Let's get to it.




0:00:38.1 AF: Before we get to our first letter today, just wanted to say thank you to all of you who are sending in your letters and direct messages and all of that, asking for advice. We love you guys, and quite frankly, be nicer to yourselves, you're awesome. [chuckle] But send in the letters.


0:00:58.6 XA: Doing the heart fingers.


0:00:58.9 AF: Yes, the heart fingers. Let's see, so our letter today is from Minding My Ps and Qs. "I am a queer in my 50s, and I've been in a triad with the same two people for the last 12 years. They were a couple first, together for 10 years before they met me. Over the last couple of years, I've been growing apart with one of my partners, Q. Q's politics are getting weird, our interests are diverging and I'm not attracted to them anymore.


0:01:30.1 AF: Things with my other partner P are great. We still connect, have passion and love spending time together. After quarantining with both of them, I'm pushed over the edge. I don't want to be with Q anymore or live with them, but P is still committed to them. I definitely couldn't bear to end my relationship with P, and I'm at a loss. How can I keep P and lose Q?"


0:01:58.3 XA: Wow.


0:01:58.8 AF: Yeah.


0:02:01.5 XA: Well, thank you for that letter, Minding My Ps and Qs. And just a reminder, we love getting letters from you guys, we love being able to help if we can, so we also accept them via direct message on Instagram and Twitter, so if that's your jam, slide into our DMs and we'll get back to you, but... Wow, I'm just gonna call you Minding, I guess. [chuckle] "How can I keep P and lose Q?"


0:02:28.9 XA: Not sure that you can, unfortunately, and it sounds like you've invested a lot into this relationship and I appreciate that, and it sucks when 75% of something is good, but there's that 25% that's unbearable, and it sounds like you're at that place where P and Q had, like you said, a relationship before you came into the picture, and it sounds like P is perfectly fine with Q's behavioral changes or opinion changes or whatever, or at least enough to stay with them.


0:03:04.1 XA: I don't really see that changing from the information you've given us for them leaving Q and coming with you, so I think it might just be time to say, "It was good when it was good, and now this has come to an end for me, and it's time for me to move on to something else."


0:03:22.4 XA: As much as that will hurt. Because it sucks, ending a relationship, especially one that still has some love and respect and like you said, passion. But it's just not, it's not a tenable situation. It's just not. I don't know... I don't know, I don't think you can. I'm sorry, I wish I had better advice, but I don't really think... It doesn't sound salvageable to me. I don't know. What do you guys think?


0:03:50.7 RP: I don't know, I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel yet.


0:03:56.8 XA: I'm like, "bye".




0:04:00.8 RP: Okay, so here, I have several questions. I wish we had a little bit more information.


0:04:03.3 XA: Yeah, yeah, for sure.


0:04:05.3 RP: Because there are a couple of things. The first thing that I was curious about, they say, "Over the last couple of years, I've been growing apart with Q, Q's politics are getting weird, our interests are diverging and I'm not attracted to them anymore," and I feel like that is such a... That's a gloss on a huge amount of information that we [0:04:26.6] ____ 'Cause a couple of years, that puts it before the pandemic, so it's not just... It seems like the pandemic is exacerbating the issue that was already there.


0:04:36.5 XA: Yeah, exactly.


0:04:37.8 RP: What I'm wondering about most is like "our hobbies not matching up anymore," that seems like salvageable to me. I'm curious about "the politics are getting weird" because I'm surprised that that wouldn't be an issue for P.


0:04:56.5 XA: Yeah.


0:04:57.3 RP: I'm gonna mix up P and Q constantly. Okay. I'm surprised that that would not be an issue for P, if P and the letter writer are still okay, so I wonder what's going on with that. But then the "I'm not attracted to them anymore", that's a deal breaker, that's not something that you can really...


0:05:16.2 RP: Well, I don't know, I probably actually, you could do work to reignite that, but I think my main thing is like, I don't get the sense that you've had a conversation with Q. We don't get any indication here if growing apart is mutual and Q is also not attracted to you any longer. Because if that's mutual, then is there the chance that you can re-negotiate the contract or the terms of your triad and both be primary partners to P, but not be each one and other's...


0:05:54.9 XA: Together.


0:05:57.7 RP: Partners.


0:05:57.8 AF: Right.


0:05:57.9 XA: Yeah.


0:05:58.0 RP: So you're metamours for one another and both the primary partner of P. Because that seems like if P is still committed., definitely, you don't wanna do the like, "I'm gonna try to convince P to leave Q for me," that doesn't seem in the spirit of anything about your relationship. But I do wonder if there's like, just because you've been one way for 10 years, like P and Q were one way for 12 years before they met you, or maybe multiple ways, and then they met you and that changed, and now it's 10 years later and you're in your 50s.


0:06:34.3 RP: One thing about relationships is like, you're not the same person at 50 something as you were at 40 something, or they were at 20 something when they got together, or 30-something. It seems really reasonable to re-negotiate and I would be hesitant to walk away without having some of those conversations, both with P and with Q, and with P and Q together.


0:07:03.1 XA: Yeah. That was the thing, it's like, has there been a conversation at all even with P? Like, "I can't do this, I can't be... " You know what I mean? That's why I was like, well, given the information that you've given us, it's time to move on. But like Roan said, there's a lot of talking that needs to be done here, assuming it hasn't been done already.


0:07:23.3 AF: Absolutely, and yeah, I think that is one of the questions that I had was, we as human beings tend to fill in the blanks correctly or incorrectly, so I don't know if, have you had that conversation with P? For P to say, "No, this is not a deal breaker for me. I'm still happy here. This is my primary." I mean, I don't wanna say... "Primary" is the wrong word, but, "This is solid, okay? Over here."


0:08:01.3 AF: I do think that this is, again, it's not just us annoying straight folks who don't communicate. [chuckle] I'm gonna pull that out for last week's episode. But we've got... This is a communication issue, is what it comes down to really, and I have a feeling, I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that because you guys have been quarantining together in the pandemic, when Q would normally start to make you a little mmm. However you wanna phrase mmm, then you would go, right?


0:08:36.8 XA: There's no escape, yeah.


0:08:37.8 AF: But there is no escape at this point in time, so the things that are driving you up the wall with Q are right there. And I think a lot of people are experiencing this with the pandemic, because you're spending so much time together and there aren't a lot of outside distractions, that it's so much easier if you are naturally a stewer personality, to stew. So it's even harder to ignore or to brush past or whatever else you would normally do with the annoying things that Q is doing, right?


0:09:20.6 AF: So that really comes down to, for me, this is a communication thing. You need to, number one, be honest with yourself, which it sounds like you really are being really honest with yourself. But you do need to sit down and have communication with the other members of your triad to figure out, is there a middle ground, and if there is not, that is okay as well. To be...


0:09:48.0 AF: There's a time for everything, and sometimes there's a time to end. So it sounds to me like you are at least mentally at that break point, but I am curious to know whether or not you've had the conversations with P and Q. And it may be that you've had the conversation with P, but you haven't had the conversation with Q, because quite frankly, you just can't be in the same room with them, which is the vibe I get off of this letter like crazy.


0:10:20.4 XA: Yeah.


0:10:21.8 AF: You've checked out from Q enough that because they just have reached a annoyance factor, but you haven't checked out to the point where you don't care. You know what I mean? There is a difference when you get to a breaking point in a relationship, where they just make you insane. Or you just don't care anymore, you just don't even wanna be near them. And I think they're still driving you nuts. So yeah.


0:10:48.5 XA: Yeah, on the other side of that, just keep mind, minding that if there is a way to move forward and still have a relationship with P, Q is still gonna be a part of that equation whether you're connected to them directly or not, because P is gonna have a relationship with them.


0:11:02.8 XA: So you have to decide whether you're gonna be okay with being with someone who is alright with whatever politics or beliefs Q has developed in this time that have put you off so much that you don't wanna be in a relationship with them anymore. So it's just another thing to keep in mind.


0:11:18.6 RP: Yeah. That's true. So that even if you move out, 'cause like you said, you don't wanna live with P anymore, even if you move out, but still maintain that relationship with P.


0:11:27.8 XA: They don't live with Q anymore, is that right?


0:11:30.7 RP: Oh, wait. Yeah, no. It's P. It's P.


0:11:34.6 AF: They wanna P, they don't wanna be with Q.


0:11:36.4 RP: I mean, when I'm writing a book, I don't even know my own characters names as I'm writing. Yeah, so even if you moved out and you didn't have to be as in close quarters with Q anymore, if you were maintaining that relationship with P, like Xio said, there could still be that issue, and there would then be other issues which would be like trying to negotiate which time you spent with P and which time Q spends with P.


0:12:04.6 RP: Which would just be a different way of managing your relationship, and I think that if you've been in a triad for a long time, probably, you are pretty good at discussing those things. Or maybe not given your current pickle. But yeah, it would just be understanding that anything other than a clean break from them, will still require all of the communication, all of the emotional honesty and everything.


0:12:34.6 RP: So if you're feeling like not in a place with Q right now where you can have those conversations, then it might be good to take a little break. Let everyone calm down. Come back, discuss it when you can process the content of what they're saying without the irritation factor.


0:12:54.2 XA: Yeah, just I worry in a situation like this where P becomes, this knot in a tug of war. You know what I mean? Yeah, there's a lot of conversation to be had here, and I hope that you guys can sit down and discuss it. And just be prepared to either accept the consequences of being in relationship with one and not the other, and what that might look like, or walking away and losing the part that you still wanted. We wish you luck.


0:13:25.4 RP: Yeah, good luck. That's a tough one.


0:13:27.3 AF: It really is.


0:13:33.6 RP: It seems like there's a lot of meat to the issue of one partner in a relationship changing, or both changing in ways that would be less compatible. And so we're gonna talk about that for a little bit. Kind of dig in. We've touched on this a little bit in a couple of answers to other letters, but I feel like this is a real issue that the pandemic has brought out, and would agree that being in a relationship with someone and then getting thrown a curveball, which could look like one of you gets deep into something that the other isn't into.


0:14:07.1 RP: One of you changes belief, religious belief or political affiliation, or whatever. Or one of you makes a new friend that the other doesn't approve of. Or just like, you are going in different directions. It seems like the pandemic has kind of sped up or intensified that process for a lot of people, and I'm getting the sense from the internet and friends and family, that usually it's like the pandemic is just sort of intensifying something that was already there, not causing it.


0:14:34.9 XA: Yeah, distilled it down to its purest form of whatever.


0:14:39.0 AF: Yeah, of anxiety.


0:14:46.1 RP: What do you both think are the biggest things that change? Having seen friends and family or your own relationships. What are the things that are most likely to have people grow apart or impact their... What once was compatible and make it incompatible?


0:15:05.8 AF: I think that there can be changes. People change over time. Absolutely. But I also think it comes down to... I'm gonna go with Mel Gibson. Mel Gibson, getting completely trashed and calling that cop who pulled him over "sugar tits" and dropping all of the anti-Semitic stuff, and all that stuff, that did not magically appear because he was drunk off his ass. Alright.


0:15:37.2 AF: I think that just as alcohol sort of gets to that layers, a lot of times, gets to that layers of who that person is, I think when you are in a long-term relationship, go back to the real world, you stop being polite and you start being real. I think people get to the layers of themself, and I think people grow into the areas where they already were.


0:16:04.1 AF: Like for example, Mr. Flynn and I were political opposites when we met, we've always been that way. I have definitely become more liberal with age, he has definitely become more conservative with age. And so it just... I think you settle into that person who is at that core of you, and so it really is, I think we do change, yes, but I think unless there has been a significant event, like some type of traumatic event, for example, more than likely we are settling into that person who we are and we're less worried about putting it up.


0:16:52.2 AF: And the people I think that you most often can be that with are the people who you know love you. So you're going to not pretty it up, maybe even as much as you would for your next-door neighbor. That's what I think, I think we all settle in to those changes the longer a relationship goes on.


0:17:10.1 XA: Whats the saying? "Familiarity breeds contempt." I think it is. [chuckle]


0:17:15.1 AF: Yeah, there's a little of that. Yeah.


0:17:17.9 XA: But I think when you go through the dating thing where you're getting to know each other and you're in the restaurant and you use your fork and knife and your napkin, and everything is... [chuckle] You're very like... And then by a year later, you're like picking your teeth with your nail and all kinds of stuff, like you drop all of the pretense of like, "I want to be the most perfect person I can be. You like that bit? I like that bit too," but you secretly hate them, you know what I mean?


0:17:42.4 XA: All of that stuff falls away, and the longer you're with someone, more of that stuff falls away. And so like Avery said, even you are discovering yourself through the events that happen in your life, the jobs that you have gotten, the friendships you have, traumatic experiences, loss, whatever it is, the birth of your children, everything is constantly changing who you are and what your core values are. And so that's just part of being a human being. I think...


0:18:13.9 XA: I don't know, I think for something like a pandemic, which none of us have ever had to deal with before, being locked in a house with people for over a year, no one knows how to deal with this. So I think, especially right now, people are freaking out because they're not handling it very well, even if they're not with someone. So the side note, nobody is handling it. Everyone's dealing with it in their own way.


0:18:36.6 XA: And even if they seem like, especially on social media that they're really great and everything is perfect and sunny, that's social media. Again, we're putting our... Most people are putting their sunniest, best personality forward, which is what we do in these early relationships, and you start to see all that stuff sort of fall to the wayside as things go on.


0:18:56.9 XA: I saw it happen with some people on social media in last March, they're like, "Yay, I have time to read." And now they're like, "Oh my God, I have to get outside before I start smashing walls down." But I think that... Sorry, that was completely tangential, but I think that... Conversation. We talk about this all the time, like if you feel like you're at a place where you really don't understand the person sitting across the table from you, just say, "Hey, let's open a bottle of wine and have a chat. Where are you these days? What's on your mind these days?"


0:19:29.3 XA: Or, "What's bothering you?" Or, "What do you feel good about?" Or whatever, just sort of stay... Keep that channel of communication open so that you're not blindsided by some major life change, political change or religious discovery, or whatever it is. Just talk. And make sure that it feels like a safe zone for both of you, that no one's gonna judge, no one's gonna jump on the other one and question, "Well, you've never thought that before, why do you think it now?"


0:19:57.7 XA: Take all that stuff off the table. Just keep the one communication open and then it won't be such a huge jarring surprise. Sorry, I went way around. [chuckle]


0:20:07.5 AF: No, I think you bring up really good points. As human beings, when you're constantly changing, we're constantly growing, I mean, I don't know anybody who's exactly the same at 30 as they were when they were 18, or 50 as they were at 30. So we are sort of constantly changing, and we talk a lot because I think right now we are... There's a lot of tension in the world right now for a lot of different reasons.


0:20:41.9 AF: But I think another aspect of this change as we go through are things like, we don't look the same, we don't feel the same, we're interested in the same things all the time. As a human being, everything changes about you, it's not just your brain, and so sometimes those can be issues that you've got to walk through as well.


0:21:10.9 AF: Once you get to a certain age, it's very common for women not to feel as comfortable in their body as they were before, especially if your body's changed because pregnancy or whatever it may be. So again, those are changes, and you hear the horror stories about the awful partners who are like, "Yeah, I look at her and I'm not attracted at all anymore." You know what I mean?


0:21:34.2 AF: And so those are changes as well that are sometimes we don't talk about, that we need to talk about as well. Personally, I don't think those are such a big deal as a personality change that can happen. But yeah, there are people that have horrible things happen and their trauma response is like a complete emotional shut down. Or maybe they become addicted to painkillers or whatever it may be.


0:22:08.6 AF: Maybe it was fine when you guys smoked pot every night when you were 18, but now that you're 40, it's just not the same thing. So there are those changes that we go through in habits and in thinking, but I do think we grow into the person that we were at our core in the beginning, for the most part.


0:22:24.1 XA: We used to laugh like, we use to call it the mid-life crisis or whatever, the guy turns 40 and he buys the red sports car or whatever. But there's real physical emotional thing behind that, he's getting older, maybe his hair is starting to, he's losing his hair. Whatever it is, he doesn't feel young and virile anymore, so he gets this thing to replace younger things he's lost.


0:22:44.9 XA: But that's a real thing that people go through as they get older. Or even... And not even as they get older, just like life events happen, and they can have really devastating psychological result on some people. And they don't even realize that they're going through it. Like losing a parent, losing a child, being fired from the job you love, whatever it is, and they just go, "Okay, that's the thing that happened," and don't realize how much that's affected them.


0:23:12.2 XA: And so there are behavioral changes and things like that, and they don't even realize why that's happened to them, and the people around them are like, "You've changed." And it's like, "Nothing's changed. The thing happened, but that's the thing that happens to everyone." But everyone processes loss and grief and change differently, so you have to be kinder to you... We have to be kinder to ourselves.


0:23:31.1 XA: I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to sort of roll with the punches, rather than deal with stuff. I think couples, especially when they have collective things that they deal with, issues with children or parents, whatever it is, and they just sort of like, "Okay, we'll just work through that thing." Instead of going, "Okay, how are you feeling? How are you processing this? Or how can I help you? Or how can you help me?" That kind of thing. Anyway.


0:24:00.3 RP: Well, I think that's so useful to hear from both of you who've had these long-term relationships. I feel like the... I know that the longest relationships I've had are with friends, family, but with friends. And there's this thing that I can't quite account for, or maybe I just don't know how to describe it, other than a vibe or an energy, where there are certain people who, I love them dearly and I will always care about them.


0:24:27.9 RP: But when we're not in the same place, or not living together or seeing each other all the time, we sort of drift and it feels very difficult to pick things back up. And it's not necessarily that we've changed in any significant quantitative way, it's that without sort of sharing the daily fabric of our lives, we're not connected.


0:24:51.3 RP: And then I have other friends who I can go like a year and not talk to them, just 'cause we both get busy, and then drop each other a text and hop on a Zoom call and talk for six hours and feel like nothing has changed. Even as we're being like, "You did what this year? You fell in a gorge? How did I not know about this?" Or whatever it is. I don't know how to account for that, 'cause I feel like that is something that is also at play in romantic relationships, that kind of vibe-y ness.


0:25:24.3 RP: That it's not the same thing as changing, but I do think sometimes when you fall into... You can be living totally separate lives, even when you're in the same house, and it's like you're lucky if the person that you're in partnership with, if they happen to be one of those people who you could go a year without talking to and fall right back into it, if they were your friends.


0:25:53.3 RP: 'Cause then it makes it easier to do what you were saying, Xio, to open up a bottle of wine and be like, "Hey, so this fucked up shit just happened and we sleep in the same bed, and I wash your hair sometimes but we haven't talked about how you feel about this thing." That makes it easier, right?


0:26:11.1 RP: Whereas like if your partner, your romantic partner is someone who you're in love, and that's great, but they're also a person who, if they were your friend and you didn't see each other for a year, it would be really hard to get back in that groove. I feel like sometimes that same thing happens within a relationship where it's really difficult, then if you haven't done the upkeep to catch back up.


0:26:32.4 RP: And I wonder if it's like I will not be thinking for myself, and I wonder if it's useful for other people to think about like, if your partner weren't your partner, but was a friend, which category would they fall into? Do you have the kind of relationship vibe, where you could go a year without seeing each other and fall right back into it? Or the second you weren't together for a month or a year, suddenly it's like, "Who... What is... "?


0:26:58.2 XA: Everything fell apart. Yeah.


0:27:00.5 RP: Yeah. I think that just might speak to why sometimes it really feels like small changes or accumulated small changes can really pull people apart, and why some people in partnership can both go through really huge, not the same changes, and yet still have this sort of fabric that's shared. Does that make sense?


0:27:24.7 XA: Yeah, yeah.


0:27:25.4 AF: I think there's a care and feeding to relationships. Even the good ones. It's just the care and feeding may come easier for some folks than others. But there's care and feeding in every relationship and every type of relationship. And yeah, I think that that has to happen with those. I think there's a difference between personal growth and changes as we age and all of those things that happen, and a complete personality split. [chuckle]


0:28:06.9 AF: So I think that you do have to care and feed our relationships, but you also have to know at what point in time are there changes that become deal breakers. And that happens whether it's a relationship that's a, "You know what, we can not talk to each other for a year and bam, we're right here. But you did murder 16 people. So I'm gonna have to kinda take a step back." There are things that... And who knows, maybe those 16 people deserved it. And you're gonna be okay with it.


0:28:46.7 XA: This is a totally different kind of podcast now.




0:28:49.1 AF: Totally different. It's now revenge.




0:28:54.9 AF: But I think that that kind of is the thing, is every relationship, whether it looks easy or it feels easy, or it looks hard, and it feels hard, every relationship needs that care and that feeding, number one. And number two, that knowledge of when are things complete deal-breakers. And you can love people, you can love people with all of your heart and not be able to be with them.


0:29:22.9 XA: Yeah.


0:29:25.4 AF: Whether that person is a friend, family member, a romantic partner, that happens.


0:29:31.0 XA: Not everybody that comes into your life is meant to be there forever, and I think that we are sort of conditioned by society to think that every friend, every partner that we have is, that's the one that you, you're with them forever. Your best friends in highschool are gonna be best friends for the rest of your life. That's not necessarily true, because people change and life happens.


0:29:51.3 XA: There's a phenomenon that happens in the theater when you do shows where the cast and crew become super, super close and you're hanging out every day and you're taking out your meals together, people are hooking up and all kinds of stuff, and literally the night that that show closes and you strike the set, and you're all exchanging information like, "Yeah, we're gonna stay in touch, best friends forever." [chuckle] And a month, two months, three months later, you don't remember their names, you don't remember anything about what you did together.


0:30:18.0 XA: There are a few that you might actually make connections with and be friends with and whatever, but the majority of them like you never see again, never think about it again. And when you see them 10 years later, you're like, "Oh yeah, we did that show together. It was really cool." Whereas in that moment, they were like your entire world.


0:30:34.5 XA: I think that that happens with relationships too, and with friendships, you meet people and it could be a huge spark, and that's great, and you connecting, you chat and everything is great, and then over time, it sort of morphs in to like, "Hey, how you doing?" Or like I saw... You see them at a thing, it's just a wave, hello.


0:30:51.0 XA: And it almost feels like a failure because you had this connection with someone and it's not still there, and if you're someone like me, like you beat yourself up over, "What can I do to keep this friendship going?" It doesn't always have to go. [chuckle] That sounds really harsh, but it doesn't always have to be a forever thing.


0:31:08.5 XA: Some people just come in and out of your life and they leave their impression or they leave the gift that they had for you, and then they go, and you do the same thing for other people. It's not always forever.


0:31:18.0 RP: It's true, and it reminds me for the...


0:31:20.7 AF: For those... Sorry, go ahead.


0:31:22.8 RP: No, you go.


0:31:22.9 AF: I was just gonna say for those children of the '80s like me, sometimes people are Mr. Belvedere in your life, they're only there long enough to help you out and then they move along.


0:31:32.7 XA: I was thinking Mary Poppins. [chuckle]


0:31:34.5 AF: Yeah. Mary Poppins too.


0:31:39.5 XA: It was very Mary Poppins.


0:31:39.6 AF: Alright, Roan, you go.


0:31:41.9 RP: No, no, it reminds me of our letter, Minding Our Ps and Qs. It is so easy to feel like because you've invested 10 years in a relationship, or 20 years or whatever, or one year, that you need... It's such a messed up capitalist mindset to think you need to return on investment, like, "But I've given 10 years of my life to this relationship," and it's like, great, well, wasn't the person's company, the reward. Are you looking for a government pay out or something?


0:32:13.6 RP: But that there is, in order for new things to enter your life, other things have to go, there isn't an infinite amount of space or time or just minutes in the day to maintain friendships or relationships. I do think it's really useful to remember that permanence isn't the gold standard of relationships.


0:32:38.5 AF: And people change. Some changes flow with your changes, some changes don't.


0:32:43.5 XA: It's like... It's like a band break up, you know? [chuckle] When the band's been together for a long time, and it's just like the music sucks and everyone's at each other's throat all the time, but they're still hanging in there, it's like why? Nobody wants that.


0:32:57.7 RP: No one wants the album. The only original member touring is the fucking base player.


0:33:04.5 XA: Oh my gosh, with like hired actors. Yeah, that's... Anyway.


0:33:09.8 AF: That's the thing.


0:33:10.7 RP: Yeah, no one wants the reboot of Full House. We want a new show.


0:33:15.6 XA: Right.


0:33:15.6 AF: We don't want Full House. It's an anti-recommendation for me.




0:33:25.6 AF: Oh, speaking of recommendations, we should move into our fabulous-ness of our Spotify playlist, and our Recipe and our Recs for the segment. Xio, do you have a list for us? A playlist?


0:33:37.8 XA: I do, and this is specifically for Minding My Ps and Qs. I hope you don't mind, it's a little tongue in cheek, but the playlist is called, There's No I in Threesome.




0:33:50.6 XA: Which is a song from Interpol, one of my favorite bands. But I've got... One of my favorite songs is on here, Hurts Like Hell, from Fleurie. It's one of those songs that you listen to when you're already in a bad mood, like you're already depressed or angry or whatever it is, you put this song on and just help you get all those feels out. It's the first one on the playlist.


0:34:12.1 XA: And then it goes into Gotye and Dua Lipa, and let's see who else's in here? Twilight, Imogen Heap, Jill Scott, Beyonce. Like it's... There's a lot of really good stuff on here. Yeah, One Is The Magic Number, is the one from Jill Scott, which is like the ultimate, "I am my own person" anthem. I think this is a really good one this week, so hopefully you guys will like it. Let me know.


0:34:36.6 RP: That sounds great. Well, this week's recipe is, I couldn't resist because the word "peas" came up. I know...


0:34:48.3 XA: So predictable. [chuckle]


0:34:50.5 RP: A divisive ingredient, I understand. I love peas, especially fresh peas, and we're going into gardening season. So this recipe is a bacon and peas quiche. It's really good, got a potato crust, so it's really crispy, so it's like a potato crust on the under side, and then you pour the bacon, peas, egg, cheese into the middle, so that when you cut it, you're like potato on the outside...


0:35:21.2 XA: Oh my gosh.


0:35:22.2 RP: Bacon in the middle.


0:35:24.4 XA: I wanna make that.


0:35:26.5 RP: Well, I will send you the recipe.




0:35:32.2 RP: Subscribe to our newsletter and get the recipe.


0:35:33.7 XA: Oh, let me do that right now.




0:35:36.5 RP: So I... Bacon and peas are one of my favorite combos, obviously without the bacon if you're veggie, and add like a little bit of soy sauce or something to get the umami. But bacon and peas, if you don't like peas, I would venture that bacon with them might change your mind. And I put a little gruyère, a little Parmesan in with the [0:35:58.9] ____ to make it easy and healthy and delicious. It tastes real good.


0:36:05.5 AF: I have a question.


0:36:06.2 XA: Foodgasm.


0:36:07.1 AF: I love cheese. Brie's my one cheese I do not like at all. So, what would you swap out, the Brie?


0:36:16.9 XA: Is it soft cheeses in general that you don't like?


0:36:19.6 AF: No, no, it's just Brie. It's so weird, I can't even explain it.


0:36:25.2 RP: It's incredibly weird and I don't want an explanation.




0:36:28.2 AF: So you just wanna be next to me at the party because I will not take any of the Brie.


0:36:33.1 XA: Oh yeah.


0:36:34.0 RP: Yeah, we'll all get it. Do you like chevre?


0:36:36.4 AF: Yes.


0:36:38.2 RP: I do a chevre, it's like a little sharper, but yeah, I think it would do really... It would brighten up the bacon.


0:36:48.7 AF: Thank you for that personal advice just for me.


0:36:51.6 RP: No problem. I will personalize recipes for anyone.




0:36:54.7 AF: We're here for you, we're here for you. So recommendations for this week, I subscribed to way too many subscription boxes, like it's kind of embarrassing, but I love them. So I never gotten...


0:37:10.3 XA: I love your videos though, your un-boxing videos are awesome.


0:37:13.6 AF: I am a big dork, if you wanna watch them Instagram. So I subscribed to this one, it's called Peruse, and it is a mystery thriller book box, and they always have cute little things that go with the book and then you get the book, and then they have like discussion questions and you know all that stuff.


0:37:37.6 AF: Well, they included, and I have it right here with me. For those of you watching on YouTube, it's called, The Wife Upstairs, and it's by Rachel Hawkins. Oh my God.


0:37:46.4 XA: Heard good things.


0:37:48.7 RP: That's on my list.


0:37:49.9 AF: It's so good, and it is all grey at the end, and I love that, especially in a mystery thriller. I will admit I like when things get cleaned up, but I also like when there are loose ends. I'm a little jealous as romance writer, I do not get to write loose ends, so when somebody else gets to, I'm always a little jealous. But as a reader, I love it. Like I love Inception, the movie, simply because of the grey. So, well and Tom Hardy. That's the other reason why I love.


0:38:22.2 XA: Have you seen Tennet yet?


0:38:24.2 AF: I have not. I've heard crazy things about Tennet, so I'm interested. Alright. I'm gonna get there, I'll get there eventually. But, The Wife Upstairs is sort of a take off on... I am not a Jane Austen fan. I know I'm gonna burn in hell for that. Which is the Rochester, Rochester one? Is that?


0:38:44.7 XA: Jane Eyre.


0:38:46.1 AF: Jane Eyre. So it's a little bit of a take off on that. And obviously it's called, The Wife Upstairs. But it's really good, it is a fun take off as well, on suburbia living, especially in the South. I mean, it's set in a very upper class, very Richie Rich neighborhood. But they're still... I don't know, I could pick out people in my neighborhood that would probably fit with that, and we are not in the Richie Rich neighborhood.


0:39:21.2 AF: But it's really well done, you've got your mystery, you've got a line of romance, it's all first person, one POV, heroine's POV. So it's really good. Highly recommend it. It left me doing this at the end...




0:39:37.6 AF: Which is exactly what you want in a thriller mystery. So highly recommend it.


0:39:42.8 XA: Okay.


0:39:44.5 AF: The Wife Upstairs, by Rachel Hawkins.


0:39:45.1 XA: Yeah, I heard good things about it. Okay. Cool.


0:39:49.4 RP: My book, or my rec is also a book. I read this a little while ago, but I wanna rec it here because I loved it so much. It's called the Catherine House, by Elisabeth Thomas. Elisabeth with an S. It's a kind of like speculative fiction meets dark academia vibe. And I loved it so much.


0:40:15.9 RP: Catherine House is basically like a college alternative, so it's sort of like a boarding school novel, but college age. So the main character, if you get into Catherine House, you don't have to pay for college, which right there, it's speculative fiction on like our crap world.




0:40:35.7 RP: But you don't pay for college, but nobody... And everyone who goes through Catherine House ends up with an amazing career and the power and influence of their dreams, but no one ever talks about what happens in Catherine House. And the main character is a kind of apathetic, traumatized woman who accepts going to Catherine House, 'cause she kinda doesn't know what else to do with her life, and then slowly gets taken in by things there, or does she?


0:41:12.0 RP: It was lovely, and it's... What's her name? Elisabeth Thomas' first novel. I was so impressed, I could not wait to see what she writes next. The prose is gorgeous, and the characters... The main character is a queer character of color, there are other queer characters, characters of color. There's sex that is completely sex positive and not a big deal. So it's like...


0:41:39.9 RP: It's definitely not a kind of young adult or new adult kind of book, it feels very much like a grown up, even though it's, she's like 21 or 22. So yeah, it's like if you like boarding school novels, dark academia, a speculative fiction turn and some cool writing. Highly recommend.


0:42:01.2 AF: I'm gonna get that.


0:42:04.0 XA: Nice.


0:42:04.1 AF: You've sold me.




0:42:05.8 XA: Roan is so good at describing books, I'm just like, "My TV hour is gonna be like... "


0:42:11.6 AF: Yeah, no kidding.


0:42:14.6 XA: Well, I read this amazing book, and it has a central role virgin hero and a grumpy like, oh my God, in cats, and it's just amazing. It was written by this author... I'm trying to think of the name.




0:42:28.4 AF: It's a weird name, isn't it?


0:42:32.5 XA: Yeah. It's called, Best Laid Plans. Anyway, but it's so, so good and it's... Oh, you know, it was Roan Parrish.


0:42:38.3 AF: That's right.




0:42:39.0 XA: That's who wrote this book. Every time I read one of your books, I want to hurt you and hug you at the same time because they're so good. But this is like a hug from a cat in book form. It is like so sweet and loving and sexy AF. It's just really good. And it came out... When did it come out? Like two weeks ago, a week ago? Something like that...


0:43:02.6 AF: Yeah, it's new.


0:43:05.6 XA: It's new. So if you haven't read the first one, Better Than People, get that one first, not that you need to read it before this one, but just to get to know some of the characters. But oh my gosh, it's just so good. Yaay.


0:43:15.5 RP: You are too kind. Thank you.


0:43:17.4 XA: Best Laid Plans, get it.




0:43:23.2 RP: Thank you so much for listening. What did you think? Did we get it right? Totally got it wrong? Let us know.


0:43:29.7 XA: And remember to follow us on social media, subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts and YouTube, and tell your friends to do the same. Plus, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at for all the latest, and to get access to special Patreon only content.


0:43:45.4 AF: As always, keep sending in those letters at You have questions, we have questionable answers. See you next time.



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