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0:00:00.9 Speaker 1: Welcome to Dear Romance Writer, your home for the questionable advice for the bewildered and the befuddled, random pop culture recommendations, and conversations about, ew, feelings. Be sure to send in your letters seeking advice on our anonymous forum at


0:00:20.7 S1: Dear Romance Writer is part of the Frolic Podcast Network, a podcast community of everything romance and romance-related. If you're into romance fiction of any flavor, the Frolic Podcast Network includes shows that future book club style discussions, author interviews, comedy, critique, and fantastic conversations as well.


0:00:39.2 S1: Includes some of the most innovative, interesting, and entertaining podcasts, including Kinda Dating, Crappy Friends, My Imaginary Friends, Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, and Jeff and Will's Big Gay Fiction Podcast. What does this mean for you, the listener? More shows to enjoy and more opportunities for us to introduce you to great episodes and new podcasts you'll love. Find new shows to add to your podcast subscriptions at Now on to this week's show.


0:01:22.6 Speaker 2: Hey everybody, thank you so much for coming and joining us today for our questionable advice. We love that you are here. We are here with very fabulous Kelly Reynolds, who is with the Boobies and Newbies podcast, which quite frankly is one of my favorite titles of a podcast ever.


0:01:37.9 Speaker 3: I love that name.


0:01:39.6 S2: Any time I can say boobies, it makes me laugh automatically, 'cause I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy. So tell us about Boobies and Newbies, Kelly, and tell us about your journey into romance.


0:01:50.6 Speaker 4: Well, let me tell you, first of all, once you start a podcast with the title Boobies and Newbies, you automatically start using the word boobies a lot more just in everyday conversation, so that's been a treat for all of my friends, but... Yeah, Boobies and Newbies, it's a romance novel review podcast. I also do author interviews occasionally, but the whole purpose is to introduce newbie romance readers to the genre that I fell in love with when I was 18-ish, so it's been...


0:02:26.7 S2: So just a year ago.


0:02:28.0 S4: Yeah, just last year. No. But it's crazy, I've loved the genre since I picked up my first book. I was never really a reader before then. I was not one of those people that read throughout my childhood. I think I was just waiting for the right book, and once I found romance, that was it, that was all I needed, and since then, it's just... I've been devouring the genre one book after another, and now I get to inflict that upon my friends and my guests and hopefully convert them to be a lover of romance as well.


0:03:08.3 Speaker 5: That's awesome.


0:03:09.0 S2: So are you of the opinion that there is a romance for everyone out there?


0:03:14.1 S4: Absolutely, absolutely. I think there is something for everybody, whether it's a specific kink or sub-trope or... Whatever you're looking for, I really do think there is something for everybody. Especially in 2021, I think we've still got a long way to go as far as diverse representation in romance, but we've made a lot of progress and we're seeing a lot more rep every month, every day. So I do think if we continue along this path and we do bring in new authors and new readers... It's an ever-evolving genre, and that's what I love about it, is if you read a book published this month, it's gonna be nothing like a book published 10 years ago, but they still have their merits, they're still wonderful in their own way.


0:04:09.6 S2: Oh, I love it.


0:04:10.2 S3: I'm sold.


0:04:10.2 S2: Well, thank you so much for being with us. Yeah, yeah. We're here, we obviously love romance.


0:04:17.3 S3: Brought to you by the voice of romance.


0:04:20.6 S2: So thank you for giving questionable advice with us. So we will just jump right in with our letter for this episode.


0:04:26.8 S5: Our first letter, our letter this episode.


0:04:28.5 S2: Hit us, Zeo.


0:04:29.7 S5: Okay, so this is from Victoria. I always loved that name. "I'm a trans woman living in Pittsburgh and having issues with my transphobic mother. Her constant invalidation of my gender has been hurtful to both my partners and me. My prior partner, who identified strongly as a dyke, was not thrilled to have me constantly referred to with masculine pronouns as it erased both their sexuality and my gender. She also seems to be incapable of gendering my current partner correctly, insisting on using gender-neutral pronouns where totally inapplicable. I would love to hear your feedback on ways to constructively approach this issue, as it is an extremely sore subject. Love your show, keep up the great work. Kisses, Victoria." Thank you, Victoria.


0:05:12.5 S4: Thank you.


0:05:13.4 S5: Whew.


0:05:14.3 S2: Can we start off with a group hug for Victoria...


0:05:16.9 S2: 'Cause quite frankly, yeah, exactly, exactly. Big group hug for that, 'cause this is... This is heartbreaking, quite frankly, because you wanna think of your mom, not everybody has that relationship with a mom who is supportive. But you like to think your mom's always got your back, even if while she's got your back she's also nagging you about what you missed and telling you you load the dishwasher wrong and all of that stuff, but you know at her core she would be that person throwing the mountain lion across the yard for you. So that makes it really, really hard and heartbreaking, and I really wish there was a great answer, and maybe you guys have thought of one, but I wish there was a great answer that showed an option to say, "Well if you just sit her down and say these magical words to your mom," then your mom is going to have that eureka moment and the clouds are gonna part and everything's gonna be okay. As a romance writer, there is nothing more in the world that I would love to do than to say here's your three-step plan, go for it. I also am a Virgo, so I love a three-step plan.


0:06:40.3 S3: I'm with you.


0:06:41.5 S2: Yeah, but I don't know that there is one. I mean, this seems to be honestly a sit down with your mom, where you've gotta say, "These are my boundaries, this is my thing, these are my limits, and if you cannot go there, I cannot be here with you."


0:07:02.1 S3: Yeah, I mean...


0:07:04.3 S2: And that's awesome. I mean, my heart breaks for that. You guys, please say you have something better.


0:07:09.7 S5: I wish, but mom sounds like she's being more than a little bit passive-aggressive.


0:07:14.8 S2: Oh, yeah.


0:07:15.3 S5: It's like, Okay, I'm gonna meet you this far, but I'm not going to go any further and I'm gonna insist on doing these things that I know are hurtful to you, and that is disturbing, that's disturbing. 'cause it's one thing to say, I don't accept who you are, it's another to pretend like you do, and then do these little things that you know are gonna hurt your kid, that's, yeah.


0:07:35.4 S2: I think that's like step one is kind of figuring out where mom's head is at is... In that is... Is she being purposely passive-aggressive or is she just really in a place of fear, not understanding, because we all display those emotions differently, so I feel like if she really is just not grasping the concept. If she just does not understand when it comes to pronouns and misgendering somebody.


0:08:07.2 S2: One of my best friends is trans and they come from a very Catholic upbringing, and so I know that this was an issue when they were coming out as trans, and it's just a constant coming out, over and over and over again, that it's not a one sit down fits-all kind of situation. So I wish it was. I'm with you Avery. I wish it was as simple as that, but it's such a complex issue that I, on the one hand, want to believe in the best in mom. I want to believe that mom is just scared and doesn't understand and maybe wants to but is hesitant on how to approach that. And so in that regards, it's a lot of work that we're asking Victoria and anybody else to put in for... To make somebody understand, but if you wanna keep that connection with mom, it might be worth the work, so I think it's just about also kind of figuring out what is it that you want out of this relationship with mom as well?


0:09:15.0 S3: And I have so many questions still because I wish we had a little more information about what Victoria's relationship with her mom was like on other issues. 'cause I do think that it would be really helpful to know what... Is this the one part of their relationship that her mom is really fucking up and otherwise is pretty supportive. 'cause that would... Not that the supportive-ness would balance it out, but that that would make it really clear that like, Yeah, she's transphobic, because she loves you and is supportive of you in all these other ways, and yet that same person refusing to do this thing that sends a really clear picture, or is this something that her mom is pretty not great at in general, not great at listening, not great at being respectful, etcetera, and I do think that knowing some of those things would help know the approach... One thing I'm really... One thing I'm not sure about is like how many chances?


0:10:24.2 S2: Yeah.


0:10:24.5 S5: Yeah, I was wondering that myself.


0:10:27.4 S3: Yeah, because it sounds like from what Victoria is saying that this has been going on for a while, right? She's talking about her previous partner and herself and a current partner, so clearly this is not just someone who has come out as trans like this year.


0:10:41.8 S2: Yesterday.


0:10:43.2 S3: And so this is a mom who's had time... I feel like one of the things with conversations about trans kids being more in the media is that there's this whole support system for parents that has sprung up, that's like... And I say support system, not as if there's something wrong with being trans and you need to help, but system to support parents supporting children. Trans or gender non-conforming children, and part of that, that I've seen so much is parents kind of being like, "This is really hard, and it takes a lot of work and I need my kid to cut me some slack," and it's not that I'm not sympathetic to people needing to have slack cut, everyone gets to feel that way, but to be honest, I'm pretty unsympathetic to parents who are saying that they need time to say to their children, the one thing that makes the difference between making them feel like a person and making them feel like a mistake.


0:11:50.1 S2: How much time do you need to say, "I love you no matter what."


0:11:53.3 S4: Yeah.


0:11:53.9 S5: Yeah.


0:11:54.5 S3: Exactly. And so I think that one piece of this that I'm struggling with is, I don't wanna say to Victoria like, Fuck your mom because we don't quite have enough information maybe, but I'm also like, there's a big difference between years of misgendering your child, and not... Everyone makes mistakes, but if you misgender your child and you made a mistake, then you say, I'm really sorry sweetie. What I meant to say was and then you [0:12:22.0] ____.


0:12:23.2 S5: Right, right. That does not sound like what's happening here now.


0:12:26.3 S3: Yeah, it doesn't sound like what's happening yeah, and so there is this three-part plan, Virgo-style plan where we can be like, Okay, you just have to figure out what's your mom's key? How do we figure out what's the way to make her understand? And when we figure that out, then we can fix it in this way, and that might be true, but it's actually not your job to figure out how your mom's brain works and then deliver to her the precise academic words to make her treat you like a person. And I think so many parents don't understand the... To many parents, I think they're thinking, there are 100 lines of my relationship with my kid and their transness is one of them, and so if I'm messing up on this one angle. I'm still succeeding in these 99 other angles, and to the trans-kid of that parent.


0:13:28.5 S3: They know that you're doing great in 99 ways, but the one way that they really need you, you are 100% failing at. And I think that that math just feels really different on the parent side of the equation and on the kids side of the equation. Sorry, I've been talking for a really long time.


0:13:48.1 S5: No, no, I was just thinking...


0:13:49.6 S2: No, I think that's a great point.


0:13:51.0 S5: It is. There was a conversation that had or I was part of a panel a couple of years ago, and it was with a trans man and his mom. And they were talking about a group that she was in, like other parents of trans kids. And she was saying there was a woman who was like, "I needed time to mourn the loss of my daughter before I could accept my son." And everyone turned and looked like, "What?" It was like "Mourn?" like, "What?" That was such a... So I'm wondering if there is something like that going on here, where this parent feels wronged somehow, because their kids asserting who they are and is proud of who they are, and they're just like, "I don't accept that because it's not what I envisioned or... " You know what I mean?


0:14:38.1 S2: You know what that is, that is such another way that our society and its rigid gender standards historically screw people over. Because what I hear, and I could be hearing incorrectly, but what I hear when a parent were to say something like that is they are mourning the societal things that come with having a girl. So like the father-daughter dance, the wedding, or going and getting pedicures together, or whatever may be, that gender-specific, very strict activity. It's the same that comes with the people that, and listen, everybody has their thing, but will try and have kids forever so they can have the one gender they're missing, right?


0:15:34.8 S5: Yeah, that's...




0:15:34.8 S2: And everybody has their thing, alright? I have three kids, so I'm not gonna judge anybody with multiples. But that is... That again, is what it's about, is not the actual human, it is about the gender expectation that comes with that. And so that's what I hear when I get that.


0:16:00.6 S3: Yeah, I totally...


[overlapping conversation]


0:16:01.6 S2: One thing we haven't talked about that I wanted to bring up with this letter, and I think it's a really universal thing, not that rest of this has not been, but when Victoria talks about how her mom misgenders her and that affects her partner. And I think that that is something that is a past impressive mother-in-law specialty no matter what the relationship, what the gender relationship is of the parties involved.


0:16:38.8 S2: And I think that as the partner whose mother that is, you have to pay special attention. Because it's one of those what you choose to do with your mental health, with your body, with your... All of that stuff is you. But when you are bringing another person into it and they love you, so they're trying to put up with a whole lot, but what you're doing is you're bringing somebody into a situation where you know they're gonna be harmed and you are not sticking up for them, that is bad. And Victoria doesn't say in the letter what her reaction is to this. If she's like... It's like, "Mom, we're leaving if you can't get this right." Or even if the partner is not there at all and doesn't care. And I still think you need to stick up for your partner at that point in time, it doesn't matter if they hear or not. But yeah, that's another level of this, I think.


0:17:35.1 S3: Yeah, and I think that's such an interesting point because I wonder whether the mom is doing it passive aggressively on purpose, if so, that sucks. But I also think that that's another dimension that a lot of parents or a lot of folks from older generations might not understand is implicit to misgendering their own child is that if your child is a trans woman dating a woman who identifies as a lesbian, then misgendering them is completely negating and erasing the identity of that person.


0:18:06.8 S2: Identity, yeah.


0:18:07.9 S3: And I think, again, part of the discourse of this that I see from the parent's side is they're thinking of it as their child, right? And the arrow is just so direct. But actually your child is also someone's partner, someone's sibling, someone's best friend. And you're thinking about maintaining what to you is your fantasy of that child that you had before they were born or whatever, however that works. But there are real other people who are being harmed and negated and made to feel terrible by what you're doing as well. So it's just one more level of remove, of damage. And I was thinking, when you were talking Avery, about the fantasy that parents can have that are just totally based in sexist societal gender norms, I think that's so right on. And there's a little bit of this that made me wonder, is the mom secretly feeling this magical thinking like, "If I start gendering my daughter correctly, then it's like a done deal."


0:19:20.6 S5: That's gonna be all.


0:19:21.2 S3: It's like a done deal. It's real, it's acknowledged. And so this is just putting up this little bit, even maybe just for the moms for herself, putting up this little bit of like, "As long as I don't go along with it, I can still cling to the idea that it's not real or it's not happening."


0:19:37.0 S4: That it's just a phase.


0:19:39.4 S2: That's a good point. And honestly, I studied film in college, and one of the things we talk about when it comes to fears is that the scariest thing that you can be afraid of is the unknown. But the minute you put a face to the monster or a name to whatever is going on, then you know what it is, you can conquer it, you can understand it. And so it feels like her mom is just very much trying to...


0:20:12.4 S2: Shy away from that because the minute, like Rowan said, you acknowledge it, then it's real. This is the reality we live with.


0:20:21.6 S5: Well, naming something gives it power. So as long as she doesn't name it, then she feels like she has some...


0:20:28.0 S2: Control.


0:20:28.2 S5: Semblance of control, yeah.


0:20:30.9 S3: I'm honestly wondering where Victoria's dad is in all of this. I don't know if it's a single mom or if there's a dad or a partner involved. Because that would also complicate things for me a little bit, like is her dad... If there's a dad in the picture, is her dad doing worse and so she's clinging to a relationship with her mom because that is more supportive parent? That would complicate things for me a little bit. Having to have someone to cut off, someone who's the one parent who is supporting you, or on the other hand, if there's a dad in the picture if her dad is really supportive.


0:21:09.3 S3: If I were married and had a kid with someone and that kid was trans and my partner was misgendering my kid, I would be murderous, and that would be a deal breaker for me, where I would be like, "Partner, that's my kid you're misgendering. And I don't care how hard a time you're having with it, that's on you. It's not someone else as a responsibility to curtail the fullness of their human journey, to make you feel comfortable. Get your shit together or we're getting divorced." That's... So I'm curious.


0:21:49.9 S2: Yeah, Victoria, we wish we had a better answer for you.


0:21:54.6 S5: We got something out of all of that.


0:21:57.4 S2: I feel like as we've circled around it, it's not Victoria's job to educate mom.


0:22:02.8 S5: Right.


0:22:03.0 S2: It's not Victoria's job to tell mom how to understand who she is or what her pronouns are, or her partner's pronouns, but this is something that... This is a journey mom has to take and it's up to victory to decide how present she wants to be in that journey as mom takes it.


0:22:24.5 S4: I agree. She needs to be the one to take responsibility for what her boundaries are and to stick to those, which is hard.


0:22:34.4 S5: I would say to Victoria to sit down with mom and say, "We're gonna have a conversation about this. Just this, not anything else, like this is gonna be the subject. Here is who I am, this is where this is what I'm feeling, this is what I'm thinking, and these are the things that you need to figure out. Whether you want to support me, whether you don't I can not go... " 'Cause clearly, this can't go on. I think Victoria, you need to put your foot down and say, "This is where it stops. So either you support me fully or we'll have to renegotiate our relationship."


0:23:09.3 S2: And not accept answers just like, "I'll do better."


0:23:12.5 S5: Yeah, exactly.


0:23:12.6 S2: Or "I'm going to try." We need concrete action plan. This is where our three-step Virgo plan comes into play.




0:23:23.0 S4: On mom's side of things.


0:23:25.1 S2: That's true, that's really true. And you know what, who knows, maybe mom would react well to that because maybe... Okay, in a very super kind looking at the whole situation, probably overly kind and naïve, is perhaps mom is floundering. Perhaps mom is really floundering. So strict guidelines might be a way to help.


0:23:55.2 S5: And being explicit about how it hurts too.


0:23:57.9 S2: I think that is extremely hopeful, but yeah.


0:24:03.2 S3: I agree with you that adding the feeling part might be... Obviously, we said there was no magic missing key here to unlock this, but I think my experience with folks who are going through something where their parents are not supportive, is that after a while you shut down the feelings part because it's too painful, to be that vulnerable to someone who's harming you. And I wonder if... I think it would be so hard and do as I say, not as I do, because I fail at this all the time to say to your mom, "We've talked about this before, I've told you what I want every single time I'm with you and you do the opposite of what I've asked you to do. It makes me feel like you don't love me, like you don't care about me.


0:25:00.7 S3: Like your ideas about who I am as a person are more important than who I actually am and that feels like absolute shit. And every time I talk to you, I get off the phone or I get in the car, and I leave and I cry because my mom doesn't respect my humanity as a person, that's how you make you feel. Is that how you mean to make me feel? Because if it's not, there's a set of actions that you need to take because that is how I feel every time I talk to you." And if that doesn't get your mom, nothing will that you can do. I don't think.


0:25:39.4 S2: Victoria, another hug.


0:25:42.7 S5: Yeah, group hug.


0:25:43.3 S2: Another group hug. And we love you.


0:25:52.0 S1: This episode of Dear Romance Writer is brought to you by Lone Wolf by Diana Palmer, Rebecca Zanetti and Kate Pearce from Kensington. It's a 3 in 1 book with stories about solitary heroes who are about to meet their perfect partners from a trio of New York times best-selling authors. In Colorado cowboy by Diana Palmer, Ester Maris is fleeing her mother's killer and ends up in a rugged strangers cabin. As Ester heals, she realizes how much danger she's brought to his door and how far he'll go to protect her. In the Lone Wolf on her doorstep by Kate Pearce, Beth Baker senses her grumpy summer tenant must be in trouble when his pet Wolf shows up at her door demanding she follow. Connor O'Neil solitary and stubborn, doesn't want Beth's help, but only he can show her how to trust again.


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0:27:24.7 S2: Well, continuing in our mother stories, [laughter] I guess will be our...


0:27:32.9 S5: Now to something completely different.




0:27:34.6 S2: Yes, and our transition out of there, there was a story that was on, I think, all of our social media loops lately, about a woman discovering that her son's bride is her long lost daughter.


0:27:48.4 S5: But wait, there is more.




0:27:49.7 S2: So we just wanted to share this and chat a little bit about this because this is really interesting. So I'm just taking a little snippet out of Yahoo news, you could definitely find it all over the place.


0:28:02.0 S5: We'll put the link in our website or whatever.


0:28:06.1 S2: Yes, absolutely. In the show notes. So what we've got is basically a woman in Eastern China had the shock of her life when she found out that her son was marrying her long-lost daughter. The reunion occurred right at the would-be spouse's wedding. The shocking discovery was made after the woman noticed a birthmark on the bride's hand, which looks strikingly similar to that of her long-lost child. Determined to uncover the truth, the woman mustered the courage to ask the bride's parents whether she was adopted.


0:28:37.4 S2: After explaining her story and the identical birthmark, bride's parents eventually confirmed that their child had been adopted. Details were quickly ironed out, and the bride confirmed that she was indeed the woman's long lost biological daughter. It turns out she went missing as a child and was picked up by her adoptive parents on the road side, some 20 years ago. The wedding could have been called off at this point, but the woman also revealed that her son, her now daughters groom was also adopted. The wedding proceeded as planned, but the shocking twist is one detour their guests will never forget.


0:29:13.4 S5: If you submitted this as a script or a manuscript, they'd be like, "Yeah, go back to the FanFic that you were working on before."




[overlapping conversation]


0:29:22.0 S2: Yeah, that would never happen.


0:29:24.2 S2: Dial it down baby, dial it down. I get told all the time that I'm too so soap-opery. This is like my jam, I love this.


0:29:33.2 S5: Right, it's one of those articles you skim the first few lines like, "Oh man, that's amazing." And then for some reason, I kept reading and I was like... And then I just went on like, "Oh my gosh, you are not gonna believe what happens at the end of this thing." It's just wow.


0:29:45.8 S2: And can we just talk about the fact that this happens on the day of the wedding.


0:29:49.5 S5: At the wedding. [chuckle]


0:29:50.3 S3: Oh, yeah.


0:29:51.3 S2: I'm just like, well...


0:29:52.3 S5: And the guests are like... I'm doing tennis heads here, sorry for the podcast people.




0:29:57.1 S5: Just like watching a tennis match go back and forth like, "What? Wait, what?" I wanna see the birth mark, honestly, like how recognizable...


0:30:05.5 S2: It's gotta be super unique. But so this led to a conversation on our group chat about the ways in which families have secrets. [chuckle] And how sometimes it's hard to keep those family secrets, they always have a tendency to come out, which was interesting with this.


0:30:31.7 S5: Maybe not so dramatically, but...


0:30:32.7 S2: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, so if you've got a twisted family tree, you are definitely not alone in this world.


0:30:41.6 S5: You can pull this up, you are like, "Well, at least it wasn't like that wedding in China in 2021."


0:30:48.3 S3: I just keep thinking too, if you're thinking about being the bride in a wedding, you're like, "Oh, I want people to remember my dress, I want people to talk about the food, and the band and everything."


0:31:01.9 S2: They are never talking about that stuff.


0:31:03.7 S3: I'm like, "Nobody is ever gonna remember your wedding as anything but the day where you realized you were marrying your step-brother, adopted brother." I'm not even really sure what their relationship. Well, they're married now, so husband and wife, there you go.


0:31:20.5 S5: I wonder how long it took for them to all work this out. 'Cause I've been to some weddings that are like an hour, and then I've been to a wedding that lasted 12 hours. Was this like a long day planned already, and they were just... [chuckle] I'm sorry, but they're just like, "Yeah, we were here anyway, let's just hang out." Or was it like, "Here, the ceremonies in 15 minutes." But all this stuff happens and people are just waiting around to find out what goes... How did this... I would really love to see how this played out. But I imagine being the mother and the daughter. And the daughter is a bride, your wedding day, you're totally focused on like, "Do I have something in my teeth? Is my dress... Somebody is gonna step on it." That whole thing. And then there's this woman who keeps looking at you and looking at your hand and stuff.


0:32:09.9 S2: And it's your future mother in law.


0:32:11.4 S5: And it's your future mother-in-law, and you're like, " Oh man...


0:32:13.1 S2: Giving you the judgy look.


0:32:14.2 S5: "I thought she passed... I thought she already gave me her blessing, why is she looking at me like this?" And how did she not realize this... They hadn't met before? How did this... There is so much going on.


0:32:25.2 S2: There are layers upon layers to this. And the other thing to think about too is I wonder, okay, and this is probably just me and my active imagination, but if you do the 23andMe DNA thing, right? You get on... You get a little email listing or you can check in whenever you have relatives that come in, right?


0:32:49.6 S5: I've heard about that, that just freaks me out.


0:32:50.7 S2: Yes, and I am the person that is constantly waiting for the one that says, "You have a brother or you have a sister."




0:33:00.5 S2: I'm sorry, Dad. But that is constantly my assumption, so I am always waiting for that. So I kind of wonder how many of these type of stories there are out there now that we don't care about because of the DNA things that happen, or there have been the stories about the families that have been found because there's one sperm donor who...


0:33:24.8 S5: Oh, yeah, yeah yeah...


0:33:25.7 S2: Ended up... Yeah, 'cause that happened recently too. And like we talked about the fact that when in the olden days, our parents' generation, that unplanned pregnancies could end up with adoption a lot of times, and if that adoption was local, then you never knew. So, I don't know, I think all of these twisty little family stories are interesting and really kind of lean us back towards the importance of communication, which Rowan is always like, "Cameron, home going. Just be honest." That is the Rowan quote, "Just be honest. Just say what you're thinking."




0:34:07.7 S5: And there was stuff in the article about whether or not the daughter was a victim of child trafficking. They said that they found her by the side of the road, which may be, but imagine being a woman who carried the pain of losing your daughter, either through kidnapping or just loss or whatever, and then... That's just...


0:34:28.9 S2: To find her again.


0:34:30.4 S5: And then find her again after like... 'Cause some women just push it all down. Some people just push all the pain and all the loss and stuff down, and then to have it slap you in the face like that, that must have been quite a day.


0:34:42.7 S3: Yeah. Well, what I kept wondering was would the mother had started this all up if her son had not been adopted. If it had been her biological son, would she... 'Cause okay, it's all about what is the construction of formally right, and one of the things that gets talked about...


0:35:02.2 S2: There're genetics in there too.


0:35:03.7 S3: But what I think gets talked about so much is what makes it... What is the incest taboo? The incest taboo is not a genetic thing, it's about being with someone who was raised in the social role of the sibling, or cousin or whatever it is, but the idea that family is one category and romance and sex are another category, and in this instance, even if they were biologically related, which people have their own thoughts on this, those two people never knew each other, so they're not siblings. Culturally, but they... And so I think it really depends... First, so for some people, they're like, "Oh my God. They share genetic material. They are 100% siblings. That's horrible." Other people are like, "They may as well be strangers. Their genetics don't have anything to do with how they relate."


0:35:55.3 S2: I am firmly in the genetic camp, and I will stay there, and I will live there and I will build my big home, alright? No brothers and sisters. Sorry.


0:36:06.9 S4: I feel like that would have been something I would have said a few years ago, but I think I'm actually more in the other camp at this point, because I've seen enough TV shows and movies where we find this couple and they're so in love and they got married and oh, it's the perfect life, only to reveal that, "Uh oh, you're long lost siblings." But they were never raised together as siblings, they don't have that familial bond, and so I don't know.


0:36:37.3 S2: Well, that could be the case, but that doesn't change the fact that you can have so many genetic problems with that. With mixing the same...


0:36:45.4 S4: Well, do you have to have children?


0:36:45.8 S2: Like winding your thing. You know what? To me, that is a taboo too far.


0:36:52.3 S3: There has been research. One of the things that... I feel like that is the thing that people often bring up, and definitely it's more likely with siblings, I guess, if kids are something you're gonna have. But I actually Googled it right before this, 'cause I wanted to know the statistic.


0:37:06.4 S4: I love you.

0:37:08.0 S3: Well, because I was like... Look, reading this letter and I was like, "I'm not sure if I'm gonna come on and be the one who's like, 'If you weren't raised as siblings, I just don't think it matters.'"


0:37:17.0 S2: No, I'm with you.


0:37:18.5 S3: Or if all three of you were gonna be like, "What the fuck's wrong with you?" So I Googled it just for...


0:37:22.9 S2: What the fuck is wrong with you?




0:37:26.0 S3: But apparently, in the case of first cousins, I think they... I don't... The statistic did not deal with siblings, 'cause I think there are very many, fewer sibling couples that admit that they're siblings or whatever. But apparently the increase in any kind of genetic issues is under 4%.


0:37:45.5 S5: We have royal families all over the world that are...


0:37:48.3 S2: That is true.


0:37:50.7 S5: Very, very closely...


0:37:50.7 S2: I think there's a difference between first cousins and people who are genetically your siblings.


0:37:55.6 S4: But I think it only comes up when we think about them procreating and having children together and that these children will have...


0:38:03.1 S2: No, and maybe it's 'cause I just watched Crimson Peak last night, by the way, excellent movie. I love it to death. But spoiler alert...


0:38:10.4 S5: You and everyone else, apparently. I said you and everyone else.


0:38:15.0 S2: Spoiler alert, that is one of the big twists at the end. So yeah...


0:38:21.0 S?: But what happens in the case of...


0:38:21.1 S2: For me... I also have to say, I love how we have gone from this weird-ass wedding in China to debating whether or not brothers and sisters could get together.




0:38:35.4 S3: It goes... I'm with Rowan in that when I read it, before I got to the part of the article that said, "And it was revealed that her son was also adopted." My first thought was, "Okay, we have the reveal of she has two children who are about to get married. What do you do in that case if they are related? Do you call off the wedding then and there when these people are so in love and they've only ever known each other as romantic partners?" Because that's for me... And I know that's not the case. I know we're playing a what if kind of situation, but that was where my mind went was, "What if they were related? Were they still gonna get married? Was everybody gonna be okay with it?"


0:39:23.2 S5: Then you're talking about legality, because in a lot of places it's illegal. So was there someone there to verify that they weren't actual... You know what I mean?


0:39:32.7 S4: That's true.


0:39:32.9 S5: Like how long was this wedding? Did it go on all week? What's the, did they have to get blood tests? What... This was... Yeah. And then also a societal thing.


0:39:42.7 S3: And I was like, "Is this a Babysitter's Club super special where they're like at this eagle lodge for a whole weekend, long enough [0:39:50.7] ____?"


0:39:52.5 S5: But yeah.


0:39:52.6 S1: Like...


0:39:55.0 S2: Oh my goodness.


0:39:56.4 S5: Wow.


0:39:56.7 S4: But they're not related, so... [laughter]


0:40:00.2 S5: It's also societal. Are you in a conservative society where any sort of hint of something like that... It's like, "No! This must... " Obviously not, because everyone there accepted that this was a thing, that it was gonna happen apparently, and it happened.


0:40:12.0 S2: Oh my goodness.


0:40:13.3 S2: You know what, this went a place that I think was unexpected [laughter], which is always fun, and we're actually recording in the morning for once, folks. Usually, we do this in the late afternoon, so we're most assuredly... Well, I can say I am most assuredly sober. So... [laughter]


0:40:32.6 S4: Don't speak for the crew, Avery.


0:40:34.3 S5: Let me put my flask away.


0:40:34.6 S2: Alright, yeah, yeah, it was a double espresso. Yeah, I'm right here.


0:40:39.2 S5: Before we get off of this topic though, though I have to say, you mentioned 23 and Me. I don't know if you remember when they first started running ads, they brought in a group of people from different parts of Europe and had them take the test, and there's two things: One guy who was British, who was like, insisted he was 100% English, and then it turned out...


0:40:56.2 S2: Oh my god.


0:40:56.7 S5: He had something else going on and he was so upset.


0:41:00.3 S2: Oh yeah. [laughter]


0:41:00.7 S5: He was so upset! But then there was also... There were cousins that met through the DNA test that they didn't... One was in Israel or something, and one was in South Africa or something like that, and they were like, "Oh my gosh". They were related, and they met...


0:41:11.1 S2: Which is cool.


0:41:12.1 S5: Yeah, it was really cool.


0:41:13.7 S2: Yeah, it was really interesting. I did it. Not surprisingly, 99% Scottish, Irish, and English. So yeah, pasty are my people, so... [laughter] Yeah, not a surprise. And my husband, whose family pretty much is 100% Irish on one side and 100% Italian on the other side... Oh my goodness, his mix was a lot varied, which is not surprising because Italians and your trade routes and all of that... Everything. So that was really interesting. So his was very much mixed, and then I had an uncle who insisted he was 100% Irish and... Heartbroken is the end of that story. [laughter] It's fun, and now if I have a relative who's a serial killer, they will get caught that way, so I'm okay with that...


0:42:14.5 S4: Yes! That's a whole other conversation that I would be more than willing to have with anybody...


0:42:19.7 S3: We'll have to have it...


0:42:20.7 S5: Exactly.


0:42:21.1 S2: What is the name of the book? What is the name of the book that Patton Oswalt's wife did? I'll Be There In The Dark? I'll Be...


0:42:28.5 S2: What is it?


0:42:29.3 S4: Because they did a documentary special that was the same...


0:42:32.5 S2: Oh wait, Rowan, you're muted. I didn't hear what you said, sorry.


0:42:37.3 S2: I'll Be There In..., I'll Be Gone In The Dark. Is that what it is? That book is phenomenal, number one. And the documentary was really good too, that they did on HBO that. Yeah, that's how they caught him.


0:42:48.5 S3: I am super interested in what I'm kind of thinking of as the biological side of this conversation and the cultural side of this conversation, just to compartmentalize a little, because the talking about the 23andMe, all those DNA tests, what seems super interesting to me is the way that family members, even if it's distant cousins or close cousins or whatever it is, they find out that they have this shared genetic material and suddenly they're like, "I found a new member of my family and that's meaningful", right? So it's like all that is required for meaning to be made is this genetic connection, even if you've never met. And then there's... On the other side, there's like, what does it means to be close with someone. It means shared experience, it means being raised in certain roles in relationship to one another, etcetera. And these seem opposed in some way, but I feel like most of us have some kind of combination of both. We might... I definitely believe that culture is far more important than biology...


0:43:49.3 S4: I do too.


0:43:50.1 S5: Yeah.


0:43:50.4 S3: If I were to find out that I had a random cousin and it was a human being I'd never met, I wouldn't care at all. I wouldn't assume that that person was in any way similar to me or connected to me just because we share DNA, but I can't... But I do know that if I were to take one of those DNA tests and find that I had a sibling, I would be really curious because it fits somewhere in between, I guess?


0:44:16.3 S2: Yeah.


0:44:16.3 S3: I'm kind of like, they... There's no necessity that they would be similar or interesting to me, but they could be because my sister is my best friend socially and I know that we have these things that are really similar. So I feel like most of us are somewhere in between, but it is interesting to talk about both sides, like you can believe both.


0:44:37.0 S2: But they can also... I lean towards the cultural as well, but then you'll see... National Geographic several years ago, had a whole cover story on twins that were separated.


0:44:47.8 S5: I was just gonna talk about that, yeah.


0:44:49.6 S2: And then there's a documentary that's saved on my HULU, that I still haven't watched, about triplets that were separated.


0:44:54.6 S5: Yeah.


0:44:54.7 S2: And the similarities between what they do, what they wear...


0:45:00.7 S5: One of the twins...


0:45:01.3 S2: How they act, even being raised in different countries...


0:45:05.1 S5: Different places! One of the twins, they were brothers, they met at some random place, they were just walk... And they were wearing the same clothes, and there were... It was like that Spider-Man GIF where they're pointing at each other.


0:45:15.7 S2: Yeah. [laughter]


0:45:16.1 S5: And they ended up doing a documentary on them and stuff. Yeah, that's... It's... Yeah, I was just thinking the same thing...


0:45:22.1 S2: I think it's fascinating.


0:45:23.4 S5: It is.


0:45:24.5 S2: And I think probably there's the truth of things in a lot of stuff is somewhere in the middle, you know? But it's just fascinating, I love that stuff.


0:45:35.0 S3: [0:45:35.0] ____ the documentary 'cause I wanna watch it.


0:45:37.2 S4: Oh, Three Identical Strangers...


0:45:39.5 S2: I'll find it, and I'll bring it up during our recommendation section. I'll find it on my Hulu real quick, 'cause I...


0:45:47.4 S4: Three Identical Strangers. [laughter]


0:45:48.9 S5: Three Identical Strangers?


0:45:50.5 S2: Is that what it's called?


0:45:52.4 S4: The one about the triplets who are adopted into different families?


0:45:56.9 S2: Yes, thank you!


0:45:57.0 S3: Kelly's got us. Kelly's got us.


0:45:57.9 S4: I watch a lot of documentaries and true crime.


0:46:01.3 S2: Oh god, murder shows, they're my happy place.


0:46:04.6 S4: It balances out all the romance reading I do.


0:46:08.4 S3: I also... People think that people who write and read romance are not interested in things like true gruesome serial killer...


0:46:19.3 S4: Ridiculous. [laughter]




0:46:21.7 S2: Wait, you know what... My theory on that is that it's about control... Right? With romance, when you... Romance's one guarantee is a happily-ever-after or a happy-for-now. Right? So you are in a controlled environment...


0:46:35.9 S2: Yeah.


0:46:36.3 S2: And you feel safe. And I think with True Crime or that type of thing, again, for the most part, when they get to actually doing the documentaries about stuff, it's solved. So again, you're seeing the scariest thing that could happen and you're... And you're seeing it to the end where hopefully somebody gets captured, so that's my theory on it.


0:47:02.3 S?: I think that's super...


0:47:03.5 S2: And maybe that's just me. [laughter]


0:47:05.0 S4: No, that's a great... I actually listened to a podcast that was all about 'why are we so attracted to stories about serial killers'? And that was one of the main points, was that we watch these stories as a way to... First of all, understand how people's minds work or try to understand...


0:47:26.8 S?: Yeah.


0:47:26.8 S4: But also to think, 'Okay, if I can understand how this happened to someone, I can avoid it happening to me'.


0:47:33.5 S5: Look for the signs in someone...


0:47:35.9 S4: Yes, exactly, and so I know for me, that's what I find fascinating about it. I'm like, "Oh my God, that could have been me." Like, "Okay, oh gosh, what do I do?" And so I think there is an element of control there for sure.


0:47:49.5 S?: Yeah.


0:47:50.0 S23: You guys ever get to the end of your day and wonder what the closest was that you came to dying during your day? [laughter]


0:47:58.8 S4: Well no, but now I'm going to. Thanks, Rowan. [laughter]


0:48:02.5 S5: Yes, I have had those days, Actually, Rowan, I have a... We haven't even gotten to the recommendations yet, but I have one for you because somebody... I saw an ad for a serial killer adult coloring book, and I was like, "Oh my gosh, I should totally get this for Rowan, this is so cool" [laughter] and it's like the most morbid, gleeful thing that I've ever seen.


0:48:22.0 S3: Sometimes you just wanna chill out and let go of the day by coloring in some serial killers.


0:48:27.4 S?: Yeah.


0:48:27.8 S2: Some Ted Bundy.


0:48:29.3 S5: Yikes. [laughter]


0:48:30.0 S2: Oh my goodness. Well, I took a... In college... Sorry, this conversation has gone so many different places.


0:48:37.2 S?: That's what happens.


0:48:38.0 S2: But in college, I took a... I was a Psych minor, shocker, and... Every girl who's messed up in the head is either a Psych minor or major. [laughter] That's just a guarantee. [laughter] Sorry, then you're the exception that proves the rule. So I took a serial killers' class and it was one of the twice a week one, so it was an hour and a half. And it was at night.


0:49:01.4 S5: How To Be A Serial Killer 101? What was this?


0:49:04.8 S2: It was actually really interesting. We read this one book that messed me up in the head so hard, and it wasn't even about a serial killer, it was called 'Resilience', and it was about a... It was actually about split personality, I don't remember what they technically call that now... Sorry, it's been a really long time since I was in college. But anyways, so the class ended at 10:30 at night and I had an overnight shift. I was a CSA during college, so I worked as overnight shift at homes for folks with mental handicaps, mentally handicapped adults that were in independent living situations. So I went straight from that class to my overnight shift at this farm house on the edge of this little teeny tiny Missouri town. I had never any problems staying awake on Tuesdays and Thursday nights for that shift, ever. So yeah, it was really fun.


0:50:03.3 S3: What I really don't understand is what professor agreed to teach a class from 8:30 to 10:30 PM?


0:50:11.9 S2: This one. And there's probably a reason. [laughter] No, actually he was great, he was great. But it was a very fascinating class. It was really, really super interesting. Yeah, no, I'll never forget it, and I forgot most of... I've tried to block out everything except for Biology that I took three times, so yeah. [laughter]


0:50:36.0 S4: I love classes like that, that really stick with you.


0:50:38.5 S?: Oh god.


0:50:38.8 S4: Those are the best.


0:50:39.7 S?: Yeah.


0:50:40.5 S2: They really are.


0:50:41.3 S5: Especially when they have nothing to do with your major.


0:50:43.3 S4: Exactly.


0:50:44.7 S5: You just take some elective and you're like, 'That's the one!'


0:50:47.2 S2: That's the one I remember all the weird facts from.


0:50:49.7 S?: Yeah.


0:50:50.4 S2: Either that or it was the class that you had with the teacher that slept with everybody.


0:50:53.9 S?: Yeah.


0:50:54.3 S2: So yeah.


0:50:56.3 S4: I didn't have that class, at least that I know of.


0:51:00.7 S5: That's a whole different episode. We can...


0:51:02.3 S2: That's like Boundary problems.


0:51:04.3 S5: Teacher-student boundaries.


0:51:06.8 S?: Yikes.


0:51:08.3 S2: Alright, well, Kelly, we have loved having you on. Y'all, Kelly Reynolds is with Boobies and Noobies podcast. You should definitely give it a listen. Kelly, please tell everybody where they can find you and follow you and do all of the friendly non-serial-killery, stalky things.


0:51:31.7 S5: I just wanted to say it.


0:51:32.8 S5: Boobies and Noobies.


0:51:34.3 S2: Yeah, give it a whirl, just right off the tongue.


0:51:38.2 S5: Great mouth feel.


0:51:41.3 S2: Oh my god. [laughter] You guys, 12-year-old sense of humour, stop talking about tongues and mouth feel.


0:51:45.5 S4: Who knew, first thing in the morning too, that this is where our brain would be at, but...


0:51:49.9 S5: Yeah.


0:51:50.8 S4:, you can listen to all the past episodes there, I put all of our show notes there, we're streaming on wherever you listen to podcasts, and I'm on social media @boobiespodcast. So that's where you can find me and come chat with me and listen to all the goods, so... Thank you.


0:52:15.0 S5: Awesome.


0:52:16.2 S2: Thank you so much for being on. We loved, absolutely loved having you and I will give a shout out because both of us are part of... Well, all of us are part of the Frolic Podcast Network.


0:52:29.0 S4: Hurray!


0:52:29.5 S2: So we are like podcast siblings.


0:52:32.3 S4: Yes.


0:52:32.4 S2: So, for me, we cannot get married. [laughter]


0:52:34.3 S2: Rowan's making... I don't even know how to describe it, like kissing finger motions.


0:52:40.7 S5: Come-together-finger movements. [laughter]


0:52:42.9 S2: Oh my god, y'all, we will be right back...


0:52:46.0 S5: This is like a late night podcast first thing in the morning. [laughter]


0:52:53.2 S2: We will be right back with our Spotify playlists, our recipes, our recommendations for the week, so thank you guys so much, we will be right back. Thank you, Kelly, for coming.


0:53:03.3 S3: Thanks, Kelly.


0:53:05.5 S4: Thank you.


0:53:07.8 S5: Cool, so we're gonna talk music for a second, and this week's playlist is just kind of all over the place, but we were talking a lot about mothers and mothers' love and mothers' acceptance and mommy issues. So I have some stuff from the cinematic orchestra, I've got Peter Gabriel, Fink, SYML and Beck. But yeah, I think I hit the nail on the head with this one, so let me know what you think in the comments.


0:53:37.0 S3: Yay.


0:53:39.0 S5: Yay. [laughter]


0:53:40.5 S3: So this week's recipe is not actually inspired by our letters, but is inspired by a Twitter exchange that I had with fellow romance writer Kelly Jensen, who mentioned making focaccia. I've never made focaccia, but I really do enjoy eating it and a couple weeks ago so...


0:53:57.9 S5: Yes, yes.


0:53:58.5 S3: Right? [laughter]


0:53:58.9 S3: A couple of weeks ago, I had this... Okay, at the beginning of the pandemic, remember when there was the time when we were just ordering large cans of food, 'cause we didn't know what was gonna be happening? I ended up with a large can of beets, like a tin of beets the size of a head, and once you open something like that, you gotta use it up pretty quickly, and so I was putting beets in everything. And I like beets a lot, so I wasn't sad about that, but I saw this recipe for a beet focaccia where you use the beet juice and it tints it this beautiful pink.


0:54:31.3 S3: So I decided that I would make it. The dough looks beautiful, but it was one of those rise-it-at-night, overnight, the word that the kids used to describe that period of time and take it out the next morning, so I took mine out the next morning and the dough had not risen and it did not look good, and I baked it anyway and it didn't rise. It was garbage. It was pink, which was nice, but it was terrible, so I was really not pleased, especially 'cause I had deeply wanted to eat beet focaccia.


0:55:03.2 S3: So when I... When Kelly said something about making focaccia on Twitter yesterday, I was like, "Oh, so please send me your recipe because I really wanna try this." So she sent me a recipe and I made it immediately, and it's delicious and it rose and it's not pink, but I feel like I could put beet juice in it and it would be fine, so it's my first ever foray into focaccia and has really erased the beet mishap of 2021, but it's a great plain-based dough, and so what I will now do, now that I know it works, is of course add in all the flavoring...


0:55:37.1 S2: Oh yeah. All the good stuff.


0:55:38.8 S3: My front garden is exploding right now because of all the rain we've been having, so I wanna make some mixed herb... Do different ones with different herbs, and also there's this trend on Instagram that you've probably seen of people doing focaccia painting, where it's like you have the focaccia as your canvas and then you cut vegetables...


0:55:56.5 S5: I have not!


0:55:57.1 S3: Into little pieces and...


0:55:58.5 S5: Oh, that is so you.


0:56:00.4 S3: You can put flowers or...


0:56:00.8 S2: Wow, I love this. Yeah, my Instagram's all books and dogs.


0:56:08.4 S3: But it looks very '70s wallpaper.


0:56:11.9 S2: Oh, cool.


0:56:13.3 S2: Oh, I love that.


0:56:14.4 S3: But I totally wanna make one and I have this fantasy that maybe I could make a book cover focaccia.


0:56:18.9 S2: I bet you could.


0:56:20.0 S5: If it turns out like your cakes...


0:56:22.6 S2: Yeah, no kidding, and the cookies and stuff. Yeah, I have belief, I believe in you.


0:56:28.3 S3: Thank you, Kelly Jensen, for the base recipe, I will post it and as I try new variations, I'll post pictures.


0:56:35.4 S5: Didn't you get a huge bag of flour? I remember something about you ordering what you thought was a smaller bag of flour, and it was really a big bag of flour.


0:56:43.6 S3: Oh, I knew how much flour I was ordering. [laughter] I just thought that it would last me through the whole pandemic, and then a month later the 25 pounds were gone. More recently, though, my sister and I split a bulk grocery order from some farm that she found that did things like this.


0:57:02.3 S5: Yeah, yeah.


0:57:03.3 S3: And it wasn't a very official thing, it was just, 'Place your order here', and so I asked for another 25-pound bag of all-purpose flour, and my sister was doing the order, and I don't know if she put it in wrong or if the people read it wrong, but what came was the bag of whole wheat bread flour, 25 pounds, which... I like whole wheat all purpose flour, I like bread flour... Whole wheat bread, that's a particular thing.


0:57:30.7 S2: That is a specific.


0:57:32.0 S3: So that's what I've been using for a while, and it actually has turned out great, so...


0:57:36.3 S5: Yeah.


0:57:36.3 S5: Cool.


0:57:37.2 S3: It's really whole wheat bread flour. [laughter]


0:57:41.3 S2: So you're just having healthy flour. Healthy flour. Sure. Sure!


0:57:47.4 S2: Well, I am not a baker [laughter], as we all know, so we are moving on to recommendation side of things, and I have a new addiction and so I am sharing that with y'all for anybody else who does not have the... High-end coordination... [laughter].. The eye-hand coordination or the ability to not stab themselves in the eyeballs when they do fake eyelashes, but wants fake eyelashes... I moved from doing the metallic ones, the magnetic ones, to the Lashify thing, where you actually are putting them on your lashes and they are individual sets. And they are more expensive, I'm not gonna lie, but they also... I put them on on a Monday and they last until Saturday, and that's because I take 'em off and then just let my eyelashes have Sunday. Everybody deserves a day rest. [laughter]


0:58:51.3 S2: I don't know...


0:58:51.7 S2: I don't think you technically have to... I'm just weird. But it took a couple of tries to figure out what sort of system to do, and there are a million YouTube videos of people showing you exactly how to put these on in different techniques, but if you like fake eyelashes, then this is for you. It's pretty awesome. They have... You could just buy a certain kind or you can do a little subscription box of them. Again, another problem of mine. So this crossed so many little boundaries for me...


0:59:29.5 S5: They're like, 'What can we make that Avery will buy?'


0:59:32.2 S2: Oh my God, put it in the box and mail it to me. [laughter] I'm like a... I am like an eight-year-old when it comes to mail. I know when the mail truck is here before the dogs do. It's not a lie. [laughter]


0:59:44.4 S3: Can I ask a follow-up question about the eyelashes? Not about you, being... The dogs...


0:59:50.7 S3: Can you put make up on while you're wearing them and wash it off and still use them?


0:59:58.5 S2: So here's the thing. I will tell you, I am also a lover of eyeliner, my eyeliner usage has gone down significantly because of that, but it also... The eyelashes, like I'm wearing them right now for those of you who are watching, these are the super short ones...


1:00:15.1 S5: Now I'm looking like...


1:00:17.6 S2: There you go. These are the really short ones. But I think that they do such a good job of defining, and because they're so much thicker and darker that I don't use as much of the eye liner, but you can still do it. The big thing with washing your face at night is to use more of like a make-up eraser, then to splash your face with water and go like that. One of the good side benefits, and oh, by the way, I wear contacts, and they have not caused problems with that. So that's a big thing. But I also touch my eyes constantly, so they have actually made me more conscious of that, so I don't do it as often. So there's... My ophthalmologist is gonna be thrilled. But yeah, so they are... I don't know, I really like it. If you are a fake eyelashes person, this is really good, and they've got several different kinds you can do.


1:01:15.9 S3: I'm super curious, I've never worn fake lashes in my life, but I've always been really curious about them, and now that I've learned that it's actually a benefit to not washing your face... Like not washing your face with water is a benefit. It's like you've given me something to justify not washing my face.


1:01:33.8 S2: Well, no, you should still wash your face. Healthy skin is important, honey, you just don't use harsh chemicals and you get your little make-up eraser cloth wet, and then you do that. But yeah, so that has been my new...


1:01:50.4 S5: You burst her bubble.


1:01:52.2 S2: Yeah, sorry. Wash your face. But I won't say, girl wash your face. I'll just say, wash your face. There you go. Alright, so that's mine. What are you guys recommending this week? Not eyelashes...


1:02:07.0 S5: No. I just started... I haven't obviously, I haven't had a lot of time to read lately. But I just started Honey Girl from Morgan Rogers.


1:02:17.0 S2: That cover, it's so pretty.


1:02:18.5 S5: It's so pretty and this is her debut, which again, I hate her because it's so good so far. People with these debut novels that are just like, knocking it out of the park the first time, and I'm like, really? But no, it's really good. It actually reminds me a little bit, the premise is one of my favorite tropes, they wake up married in Vegas trope. I love when it can be twisted around. It reminds me a little bit of Sweet Filthy Boy from Christina Lauren. I'm not that far into it, so... But it's getting great reviews and she's just so... I follow her on Twitter and she's got such a great personality and it shows in her writing. So yeah, Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers. I'll follow up and let you know, but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna love it because it's so far, really good.


1:03:06.1 S2: Yay.


1:03:07.6 S3: My rec this week, I was just thinking back to make sure that I haven't actually recommended it already, and I think I've just talked about it. Is the podcast, Why Are Dads, do either of you listen to this?


1:03:21.2 S2: No.


1:03:21.7 S3: Okay, the podcast, You're Wrong About, is one of my favorite podcasts, and it is exactly what it sounds like, which is two super smart people taking you through well-known events in history or culture and debunking all the things that the official story has wrong. So one of the podcasters, named Sarah, is just delightful, like the most delightful person. Why Are Dads, is her spin... Or not spin-off, but another podcast of hers. So it's two podcasters who both love movies and both have difficult relationships with their fathers. Talking about dad-ness, basically like cultural and social and familial constructions of dad-ness, and the way that different popular movies demonstrate different kinds of dads.


1:04:21.5 S3: And so it's called, Why Are Dads, for that reason, but it's really like a movie analysis podcast. Both Sarah and Alex, the other podcaster, are super smart in talking about movies, and they have great guests on who they'll have pick a movie. So they just had someone on, in the most recent episode, who has a book coming out, I think called, We're Not Broken, about folks with autism, and he himself has autism and is like a rights advocate. And they did Rain Man, and it was a really, really interesting... That's just the most recent one. But it was a really interesting breakdown of cultural conversations around parenthood and autism in the movie, the idea of a father and the father in your family, or what is the father of the state like when you go into an assisted living facility, etcetera. And what autism itself reveals about cultural constructions of dad-ness. And although I'm making it sound very serious, especially Sarah Marshall is fucking hysterical. She's so funny, and the podcast is, by turns very smart, very poignant and very, very funny.


1:05:39.5 S2: I like that.


1:05:40.4 S5: We have to check it out.


1:05:41.8 S2: Yeah, awesome.


1:05:43.5 S5: Excellent.


1:05:45.6 S5: Well, you have spent another episode with Dear Romance Writer, where we have given questionable advice, talked about whether or not brothers and sisters should bang it out, and given you our recommendations. We're totally trustworthy. So thank you guys so much for listening, make sure to subscribe everywhere, send in your anonymous letters from our website, and be sure to check out our Patreon.


1:06:14.0 S1: Thank you so much for subscribing to Dear Romance Writer. Remember to keep sending in those letters at We can't wait to tell you what to do. Dear Romance Writer is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. Find more podcasts you'll love,

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