Episode 93: Romp and Circumstance

Published May 19, 2017.

Ann: Support for today's show comes from Squarespace. Whether you need a portfolio to showcase your work, a store to sell your products and services, or a blog to share your ideas, Squarespace gives you everything you need to make your next move into a reality including a free domain. Not to mention with Squarespace's templates and customizable features, creating a beautiful website is a simple and intuitive process. We know because it's how we made all the CYG web stuff. Simply add and arrange your content with the click of a mouse. So start your free trial today at squarespace.com and enter offer code GIRLFRIEND to get 10% off your first purchase plus a free domain.

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Ann: Get 20% off your first order by using the code GIRLFRIEND at vimvigr.com.

Aminatou: Welcome to Call Your Girlfriend!

Ann: A podcast for long-distance besties everywhere.

Aminatou: I am Aminatou Sow.

Ann: And I'm Ann Friedman. On this week's agenda, online shopping as a form of therapy, the RompHim, a new romper designed for men, and Cheeto Watch: Flaming Hot White House Edition.

[Theme music]

Aminatou: Hey, Ann Friedman!

Ann: Hey Aminatou Sow. How's it going?

Aminatou: Girl, it's going. Mm-mmm.

Ann: Guess what? Guess what this week is?

Aminatou: What is this week?

Ann: This is the three-year anniversary of us doing this podcast.

Aminatou: Oh my god! Officially one of my lastest-longing relationships. [Laughter] Wow.

Ann: But think about how often relationships with significant others could last if you only checked in once a week.

Aminatou: Listen, we've already discussed how a long-distance romantic relationship is my ideal.

Ann: Oh, the dream.

Aminatou: So everything. Hey, happy anniversary!

Ann: Happy anniversary. Oh my god, what is the official gift for a three-year? I'm going to look it up.

Aminatou: It better be something good.

Ann: Cotton? Wait, that can't be right.

Aminatou: Are you getting me a caftan then?

Ann: I'm going to get you a cotton caftan, a box of super-jumbo cotton tampons -- organic -- maybe a really cute like wrap of some kind.

Aminatou: My dream caftan right now is in the Of a Kind drop and every day I'm just like "Ah, I'm not allowed to spend money on clothes this month," because I put myself on like a clothing money fast.

Ann: Right.


Aminatou: But I'm just going to buy it. It's amazing. It's pink and amazing. Claire I think posted her aunt wearing it and I was like actually this is the perfect model I needed. It wasn't like all of you young, waify people; it was like real women doing real shit in caftans and I was so happy.

Ann: Here is my ish: that caftan is beautiful but it's like a short caftan which on me is like a mini caftan and I'm just like . . .

Aminatou: Aww! There's no hem we can like unhem for you?

Ann: No, it's got a cute trim on the hem. So anyway, Of a Kind, not super sensey to my particular body on this issue but I endorse the short caftan.

Aminatou: What if we add a pang of fabric or you so we've got matching caftans?

Ann: I mean I'm also okay with not every caftan being for me, let's be real. Like I'm totally fine.

Aminatou: I don't know. I would be this mom though if I had tall children. I'm just like "What do you want, baby? We'll just add some fabric." [Laughs] Which is probably not very helpful.

Ann: You know this is how my sewing skills developed. But okay, wait, wait, I have an important fact-check. So I looked up what the actual third anniversary gift is and the traditional third anniversary gift in the US and the UK is leather.

Aminatou: Okay, so here's what I want: I want you to buy me that caftan but also I want a new leather tote so thank you.

Ann: Oh my god. The perfect boss lady tote that you can fold your caftan into is like a summer look I can so endorse.

Aminatou: It's the actual, actual, actual dream. But also we just had like a real friendship anniversary.

Ann: I know! A big one. Eight years.

Aminatou: Eight years. What's the gift for that?

Ann: The eight year gift is traditionally . . .

Aminatou: Is it diamonds finally?

Ann: Oh, listen, you don't get to diamonds for like -- until you get up into the multi-decades. Okay.

Aminatou: Ann, eight years is longer than most celebrity marriages. Like we are in this to win it.

Ann: It's longer than most non-celebrity marriages. [Laughs]

Aminatou: I don't know any non-celebrities. I only keep track . . .

Ann: Okay. The traditional gift in the US is bronze, okay? I'm going to get you a sculpture. Traditionally the UK gift is salt. Okay, also a great gift. Fancy salts.

Aminatou: Salts? I can buy myself Maldon. I don't need you. [Laughs]

Ann: No, no, no, some really rare Himalayan stuff, okay? But the modern US is linens and lace.

Aminatou: I know!

Ann: Very Stevie Nicks.

Aminatou: Ooh. Okay. Let's be better at giving anniversary gifts because you're a very good gift giver. I deserve everything I want from you. Thank you.

Ann: 100%. And also I love thinking about the modern best friend adaptations of these traditional wedding anniversary gifts because I'm like you know it is true. Like caftan/Bespoke smoking accessories/fine salts, that covers most materials on this list of traditional gifts. You know, it's like silk.

Aminatou: Oh my god.


Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: I just Googled bronze anniversary and one of the top listings that came up is there's like an Etsy. There's an entire Etsy list for this.

Ann: Oh my god.

Aminatou: And Ann, you can give somebody a bronze guitar pick that says "I pick you."

Ann: No! No!

Aminatou: [Laughs] Can you actually use a bronze pick? I don't think so. I think it's just for display but I love this.

Ann: Oh my god, all right. Well now I'm going down a rabbit hole of anniversary gifts because I mean statement jewelry, listen, there's so many options here.

Aminatou: It's true. May was the month that I was not allowed to buy anything because I've been spending too much money on just like things and I think we've already established on this podcast that I medicate with things which is bad. So let's just like no consumerism this month and all I've done instead is buy a lot of books which I'm like that's still buying things. So I feel like I've cheated, so now I've extended this not buying things into like June, like late June.

Ann: Wow. That's pretty good.

Aminatou: Pray for me. I know, but then I buy other things. I'm like "Oh, now I'm going to buy four apps on my phone." I'm like stop it.

Ann: I mean buying apps is a pretty low-level -- like that's like buying yourself a fancy beverage, right?

Aminatou: You don't know the games I play. It's crazy. [Laughs]

Ann: It's true. It's also not considering the long-term investment.

Aminatou: Like in-app purchases is how they get children and how they get me. Next thing you know I'm like "I'm just trying to build this restaurant from the ground up." [Laughs]

Ann: Is that why you're so good at podcast moguldom? You learned it all in the restaurant business app?

Aminatou: Yeah. I learned it all in my waitress game. [Laughs] This is so ridiculous. But it's mostly because I'm OCD too and I'm just like I just want to log in one day in my bank account and nothing has been debited which is an insane game to play. But you know what? I'm working on it.

Ann: That's what Costco is for, right? Like you just stock up and then you can have a month without debited expenses.

Aminatou: Exactly. But it's such a dumb like -- oh my god, I'm just like I just don't . . . stop spending money. But it's harder than you think. You're always spending money constantly.

Ann: Also I go through this thing that I definitely talk to other friends about and we've maybe talked about on this podcast of like absorbing a lot of really stressful news and then like almost reflexively finding myself just online shopping immediately thereafter. I'm like looking at every mule in the Nordstrom web shop or something totally absurd like that just because I can't process the news anymore.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: And then I get really upset and then I'm like "Oh my god, I'm going to buy this stuff and therefore the economy is going to look strong and people are going to be like Trump is good for the economy." And I'm like Ivanka is . . .

Aminatou: No, starve the economy. Starve the economy.

Ann: I know! But it's a very catch-22. I'm like when you take away our therapy and like -- I don't know, it's stressful.


Aminatou: Yeah, it's really hard and it's also like so . . . I don't know. I'm trying to do -- it's like everything that I need for the summer, I'm just trying to find what is the best like high-end version of this thing so that I don't have to constantly keep buying it, which I feel is . . . because usually that's how my summer wardrobe works where I'm just like "Oh, I'm going to buy all these trendy things," and then I don't want them three months later. So it's tough, but right now I'm shopping my closet. I'm making all my lunches and all my meals. It's like it's hard.

Ann: Okay, wait, back up. So you mentioned summer. You know what we're doing this summer?

Aminatou: Um, hey! I don't know, what are we doing this summer? [Laughs]

Ann: We're going to do a live show in Philly!

Aminatou: Hey, Philadelphia! We are coming your way July . . . tell me, July when?

Ann: 16th.

Aminatou: July 16th at the . . .

Ann: Philadelphia Podcast Festival.

Aminatou: And tickets are on sale when?

Ann: Right now tickets are on sale. If you're listening to this tickets are on sale.

Aminatou: I know, and they're going to go so fast so bring your friends and come see us in Philly. I'm super excited about this trip. It'll be fun.

Ann: True story about me, I have never been to Philadelphia. This is going to be baby's first Philly.

Aminatou: Stop it.

Ann: I know.

Aminatou: What?

Ann: I know.

Aminatou: Not even in some like eighth grade like America was born here trip?

Ann: Listen, I don't know how to tell you this but Midwest eighth graders to not fly to the coast for trips like that if you're from like a normal school. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Then where are all of those kids from?

Ann: I mean I assume they're from rich suburban schools. I don't know. They're definitely not -- my school did not fly anywhere. We drove to like Wisconsin Dells.

Aminatou: That -- listen, I did not go to school here but whenever I see children at monuments in D.C. or like at monuments in Boston or Philly I always assume that there is some sort of like government indoctrination program that brings all of you everywhere all the time. Like it just made no sense to me.

Ann: Yeah, definitely not for me. So anyway, baby's first Philly. Can't wait.

Aminatou: I am excited. If you are from Philly or you know cool Philly things to do tell us where we should go. You can tweet at us or you can email us but I'm really excited about this trip. It'll be fun.

Ann: And you know how much I love cream cheese. It's like real shock that I had never made it that far.

Aminatou: [Laughs] First of all, I had never put those two things together. Also my last like memory of going to Philly was going with Phoebe to go see Taylor Swift at whatever the stadium is that their football team plays at. I don't know football so I don't care about the team. But it was a very big stadium, thank you Taylor Swift. But every bar that we went to after that, all the bartenders were lady bartenders and you know that I love that. It was perfect.

Ann: Of course. Yeah.

Aminatou: So yeah, tell us what we should do in Philly. I'm excited about this.

Ann: Yes, please send us your recommendations.



Ann: So yeah, so many things to be excited about this summer: leather, lace, Philadelphia. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Let me tell you another thing to get excited about: RompHims. Have you heard of this?

Ann: Okay. Please explain -- yes, I have heard of this because I was on the Internet this week. Please though explain in detail what this is.

Aminatou: RompHim? I barely know him.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: [Laughs] So here is what the RompHim is: it's a romper designed for men. There's a Kickstarter for it. Like do what you need to do. Obviously I hate the name but I love the spirit and energy behind it. And the Internet is out in full force and people are hating, like "Men in rompers? That's ridiculous." First of all, that's not ridiculous. Men have been out here wearing rompers for a long time: see James Bond. Which James Bond is it where he wears the terrycloth romper?

Ann: I was just literally Googling "James Bond terrycloth romper."

Aminatou: Yeah, it's like the hot James Bond. He wore a romper and it's like amazing. We'll post it in the show notes. But definitely Google James Bond terrycloth romper.

Ann: Oh, it's in Goldfinger.

Aminatou: Aren't they all called Goldfinger? I don't know James Bond names.

Ann: Girl . . . yeah.

Aminatou: Girl, it's always like Goldfinger, Goldfinger Eye. Like it's the same . . .

Ann: Golden Pussy.

Aminatou: Yeah. It's like the same . . .

Ann: Dr. Golden.

Aminatou: Dr. Golden, you know? It's hard to keep track. But yeah, also like that Bond man was a hot Bond man.

Ann: Sean Connery, my dear. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh my god. Oh, yeah. I thought it was the other one.

Ann: No. Wait, is Sean Connery not your favorite bond?

Aminatou: No, there's that other really handsome one. I can't tell -- you know, I have white man face blindness. They all look the same to me.

Ann: I mean are you referring to Pierce Brosnan? 

Aminatou: No, it was like before Pierce Brosnan. It was another -- whatever, all of the Bond men are hot including this one. Daniel Craig, is that him?

Ann: That's the latest.

Aminatou: Yeah, I like this bond.

Ann: I mean moody bond, emo bond Daniel Craig.

Aminatou: I know. No, he's my favorite bond. He's so moody. I'm like "Oh, I like you." So anyways I'm really into this romper situation and I hope that especially straight men start wearing rompers because I'm going to harass the shit out of them on the shit.

Ann: I mean . . .

Aminatou: "Hey, yo, blue romper, come here. Yo, you with the floral romper come here. I need to talk to you." I'm very excited about this.

Ann: I have to say anything that moves us toward a sort of like gender-neutral, utilitarian jumpsuit future I'm in favor of. And so that's why I agree with you, I hate the name, and why I also want people to just like be encouraging of this because I'm like this is a great option for men, women, children, and the gender non-conforming. Like anybody can get into a romper.


Aminatou: It really is. Also as a bigger lady I'm kind of into the male romper design because I bet you that there's more room in the midsection.

Ann: Totally.

Aminatou: And like below, you know? Like I'm just like heteronormativity ruins everything for everyone. Embrace this trend. The only thing is that the problem is that you know this trend is born out of men going to more music festivals, right?

Ann: Listen . . .

Aminatou: [Laughs] It's just like what's the best outfit to wear at Coachella so I can pee? And it's like a romper future. But I'm so down for this.

Ann: But I have to say too that okay, this reminds me of a similarly Internet-maligned fashion trend for men which is a bun, right? You know how the man bun quickly became a trend section thing that was maligned?

Aminatou: Yeah. And you know -- hmm, and you know how I love a man bun.

Ann: Me too. I'm like all for slightly gender-transgressive hair. I don't know, like love a man with long hair; love a bun. I always was so frustrated, there always struck me to be this undercurrent of kind of gender policing going on with looks like that. I mean I know it was immediately associated with like "Oh, these men are coastal hipper whatever -- jerks." But . . .

Aminatou: Stupid. I'm like you don't have samurais that you have crushes on? Those dudes have been wearing man buns. What's wrong with these people?

Ann: Right? I know. I know. And so, anyway, just like the term man bun, like RompHim, I'm like it's just a bun. It's just a bun.

Aminatou: It's just a bun. Just wear it.

Ann: They wear the same elastics we do. It's just a bun.

Aminatou: Yeah. It's like what makes us different? But also, Ann, the copy for this Kickstarter is actually hilarious.

Ann: Hit me.

Aminatou: It's like "We were sitting around over drinks one evening and got to talking about the men's clothing options out there. Everything was either too corporate, too fratty, too runway . . ."

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: "Or too basic." It's just like who are these men? Please be my friend.

Ann: I know.

Aminatou: Anyway, I support this trend. Like don't be a part of hating on things that bring us closer to closing the gender spectrum divide. This is rad. I'm into this. I want to see men in RompHims on bar patios all summer.

Ann: It's true. I mean it's -- think of also all the great lines you can use to come onto a man wearing a romper, right? It's like nothing comes off in one piece. The only thing, I'm like they will . . . I have to imagine that most people who are going to buy this particular romper will not know the pain of having to get completely naked to pee. Some people definitely, but not all people wearing this garment.

Aminatou: Yeah.

Ann: And I'm like that is -- the vulnerability that comes that is the flipside of wearing a romper is also part of the experience. [Laughs]

Aminatou: I know, you know? And I know that I'm 97% all the way to full misandry but I don't know, sometimes you need men in your life. The product features on this thing are incredible: a front shirt pocket -- they don't like putting pockets on women's clothes -- adjustable waistband, zippered back pocket. The things I could do with a romper with a zippered back pocket, let me tell you.

Ann: I know.


Aminatou: Like a zipper fly, some deep front pockets. Like, you know, men can be useless at a lot of things but they're very good at pockets so I support this.

Ann: Totally. And they've raised, as of this recording, this Kickstarter has raised almost $70,000 of a $10,000 goal and 652 people have ordered this garment.

Aminatou: I know! I'm so happy. I'm so happy for our romper future that we're all walking into.

Ann: I know. I know. Our like multi-gendered romper future. [Laughs]

Aminatou: That's right. Shout out to RompHims everywhere.

Ann: Yes.


Ann: Support for today's show comes from Squarespace.

Aminatou: So if you listen to podcasts of course you've heard a Squarespace ad. We just want you to care about our Squarespace ad.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: Ann -- but here's the deal, I know that annfriedman.com is a Squarespace production. Do you think that we could get ginadelvac.com to become a Squarespace production?

Ann: Oh my god, I'm so glad you bring this up. Indeed, annfriedman.com, a Squarespace production. Callyourgirlfriend.com, a Squarespace production. I have been pining for ginadelvac.com for months and months and months and if only she understood how quick and easy it would be to use Squarespace and get this setup. People need to find this woman.

Aminatou: Squarespace is so easy! You can setup a portfolio to showcase your work. You can make a store to sell your products and services. The CYG store is a Squarespace production. You can blog. Basically Squarespace just generates beautifully-designed templates, customizable features. You can create your own website in the most simple and intuitive process. All you have to do is add and arrange your own content with the click of a mouse. Gina, this is your moment. Where is your website?

Ann: Girl, get on it. Start your free trial today at squarespace.com and enter offer code GIRLFRIEND to get 10% off your first purchase.

Aminatou: Yeah, friends don't let friends not have personal websites. Springtime is a great time to hit the reset button and tackle some personal goals like cleaning and cooking. Luckily Blue Apron makes incredible home cooking easy and accessible by delivering seasonable recipes with step-by-step instructions and pre-portioned ingredients right to your door all for less than $10 a meal.

Ann: Let me hit you with some of the meals available in May. They include beef teriyaki stir fry with sugar snap peas and lime rice, baked spinach and egg flatbread with sauted asparagus and lemon aioli.


Aminatou: Let me hit you with the three cheese and baby broccoli Stromboli with tomato and oregano dipping sauce, crispy salmon, and roasted potato salad with pickled mustard seeds and a crme fraiche sauce.

Ann: Ugh, check out this week's menu and get your first three meals free with free shipping by going to blueapron.com/girlfriend. You'll love how good it feels and tastes to create incredible home-cooked meals with Blue Apron, so don't wait. That's blueapron.com/girlfriend. Blue Apron, a better way to cook.


Ann: Oh, well that was a delightful distraction from other horrible meltdowns happening in the Cheeto administration and elsewhere in the US government.

Aminatou: Wow. Well, the news is moving too fast. So again the caveat of today is Tuesday. By the time you listen to this on Friday Barron could be president. Who knows? Who knows?

Ann: Ivanka's dad will have just fully offered up all state secrets to the Russians and be denying it.

Aminatou: Y'all, this man is crazy. I mean this is what you get when you basically elect a Twitter honey to become president. It's like how can you -- like you can't trust this person with basic secrets so of course you cannot trust this person with state secrets. It's crazy. It's so nuts.

But the other thing too about the Cheeto that's so fascinating to me is that I know that he was obviously incompetent at presidenting. I know that he was incompetent at running his company or whatever. But I imagine that he was decent at media and publicity because he's been out there, and it turns out he's bad at even that. It's like every day he creates a crisis that is bigger than the last crisis that he created. It just makes no sense. It's just chaos.

Ann: I have to tell you I read this headline today that made me laugh so hard: evil turtle Mitch McConnel this week was pleading for "a little less drama from the White House." And I was just like . . .

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: I was like wow, what an age we're living in. And of course he wants a little less drama so "we can focus on our agenda" which is basically murdering Americans by taking away what tiny access to health care they currently have, so it's not like I really feel sorry for him.

Aminatou: I know!

Ann: But wow.

Aminatou: It's nuts! It's like the whole thing is so nuts, right? And it's the kind of nuts too where you're like wow, if Obama had known he would've just fucking gone rogue. Like this is just crazy. I went to this thing yesterday, this gala that Dave Chappelle was at, and the only funny-to-me joke at the time where he was like George Bush -- he was like a George Bush, LOLs. He was like "Cheeto, 45, this guy is exciting in the way you thought a black president would be exciting." [Laughs]

Ann: Wow.

Aminatou: It's like it's true. I'm like it's true. Everything is fucked up and crazy all the time. I'm just like I don't get it, but I'm also like wow, how can you get so many incompetent people on one team? Like is that possible? It's happening right now.

Ann: Oh my god. Okay, speaking of the incompetent team and other news have you heard about these allegations that Kellyanne Conway, like evil Paddington Bear, is actually just taking this job for the money and her heart isn't with her boss? Did you read her response? It's like so funny.


Aminatou: Girl, so I didn't read her response but I'm ashamed to say that I watch Morning Joe every morning so I was definitely watching that yesterday when Micah and her fianc Joe Scarborough said that and I gasped audibly.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: I was like are you picking a fight from this MSNBC podium right now? This is nuts. Okay, what was her response? Because I haven't gotten to that part of the story.

Ann: Okay. She did one of those things where like you write many paragraphs then tweet a picture of the paragraphs. That's what she did.

Aminatou: First of all, that's called an iOS press release.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: With notes app and then most it. It's cool.

Ann: Okay, so she did an iOS press release in which she wrote "The notion that I am serving for the money' or a paycheck' is absurd. As campaign manager I made a fraction of what other consultants have made on unsuccessful presidential campaigns," and "She walked away from dozens of opportunities for millions of dollars and instead walked into the White House and I would do it again." It's like oh, what a hero. What a martyr.

Aminatou: Oh my god.

Ann: Can you imagine anything so shameful as being like "No, no, no, I did it because I truly believe in this person?" Like at that point that's your out. You just go like "Yeah, I'm here for the money. I'm not as dumb as everyone thinks I am." Like just take the out.

Aminatou: No, but I mean I also believe her that she was underpaid because hashtag #genderpaygap.

Ann: Of course.

Aminatou: But also, Ann, if there's something that Kellyanne Conway doesn't get it's shame. Like it's insane. She was on CNN the other day on our boyfriend's show, Anderson Cooper. Anderson Cooper has had it with the election. Like he's ready to go back to Haiti and put on a tank top and save people from earthquakes. He's just had it from being on the thing, and you can tell. And also everybody on his panel is like zeroes. It's like every night he's like "Jeffrey Lord, say something ridiculous." You can't have it. Can you tell I'm watching a lot of cable right now?

Ann: I can.

Aminatou: But he had Kellyanne Conway on and she said one of her momentous lies, like I don't even remember what it was, and Ann, Anderson Cooper like rolled his eyes. Like it was insane. Like on HDTV, the entire screen, just like rolled his eyes. You know, the next day it was like that's the thing. It's ugh, Anderson Cooper is all of us. He's like rolling his eyes at Kellyanne Conway's lies. And she was on Fox News. I watch Fox now, Judge Jeanine shout out. She was on Fox News and they were like "Kellyanne, why do you think Anderson Cooper rolled his eyes?" And she went on this diatribe about sexism and how much sexism she experiences. And I was like you -- this is like gaslighting to the most extreme power that it is possible to gaslight someone.


Ann: Right.

Aminatou: Like this is the woman that says sexism doesn't exist and she's not a feminist, she just works hard, and she's like blah, blah, blah. And then Anderson Cooper is like -- you know, he's had it, rolls his eyes a little bit at her, and then all of a sudden "Oh my god, I'm a precious woman child of God. Why are people sexist at me?" I wanted to go into the screen and kill her. It was insane.

Ann: Ugh. And you know, the thing too about like -- I mean I understand and feel the eyeroll so deeply, but then you realize that when like the front page of the newspaper is all like oh, colluding with enemies of the state and firing FBI directors that you miss all of this nefarious policy stuff that GOP minions are scurrying around to enact. It's like it's so, oh, I don't know, Medicaid might be completely axed again by the time this podcast airs and the EPA is like "Cool, keep spraying that pesticide that was connected to bodily harm on pregnant women in low-income neighborhoods. Definitely just spray that everywhere." You know, like all this stuff that's going on that is always kind of difficult to get headlines for that only nerds are paying attention to in good times is now pushed way deep in the paper. And I'm like that's what really bothers me about this too. It's like yeah, yeah, like the terrible things going on with Ivanka's dad but then also all of this other shit that Republicans in Congress are doing while we're distracted by the White House being in flames.

Aminatou: Yeah. Like they're currently right now scurried into evil rooms like evil men do and they're writing an awful healthcare bill in the Senate. Like that's happening right now, today. And then we're all going to be subjected to that. It's so nuts. It's like I really reject the very basic media frame of like "Trump is doing this because he's distracting you from that." I'm like first of all he's not a fucking mastermind. This is not like three-dimensional chess. He's a fucking idiot. But this stuff has real consequences because we're all chasing this shiny, crazy, like here's the crazy shit he's doing right now. We forget that process-wise and policy-wise all those gears are turning at the same time.


Ann: Yeah, and I agree with you. It's like I'm not someone who believes that this is all a complicated, interlocking, nefarious plan. I mean that plan is called capitalism and it's going on and that plan is called like . . .

Aminatou: Yeah. Also if these people were actually good at what they were doing we would be in Handmaid's Tale like the first day he was president. They would've shut the credit cards down, can't go to Canada, like we're all stuck here.

Ann: Ugh.

Aminatou: Like that's what would've happened. But yeah, it's like the only thing that makes me feel a little better is that they're actual fucking idiots but at the same time it's like they're dangerous in a different way.

Ann: Do you want to talk about The Handmaid's Tale?

Aminatou: I mean, I like . . . 

Ann: Or do you want to . . .

Aminatou: Handmaid's Tale, it's stressing me out. Let's talk about it next week. Let's talk about it when the show has wrapped maybe. Does that make sense?

Ann: Yeah. I mean because it is true. As soon as you brought it up I went back to the physical state that I am in when watching it which is like my stomach just dropping out through my butthole, like horrible sweats. Like it is just like -- it is a bad, bad feeling. Yeah.

Aminatou: No, it's true. But we're literally one executive order away from Handmaid's Tale at all times with this stupid administration. Like it's crazy. And in some ways I'm like "Oh, thank God they haven't figured it out yet." But at the same time it's like no, this shit, it's coming and it's coming really fast.

Ann: So yeah, so basically let's just take refuge in the idea of an expanded gender notion for rompers and not go into Handmaid's Tale right now.

Aminatou: That's right. It's like buy all the men in your life rompers and pray that it works.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: That's what I'm going for. I'm just like wow, maybe if they wear rompers they won't try to kill us. You never know. You never know. If they find joy from being liberated from the limitedness of toxic masculinity, who knows? The possibilities are endless.

Ann: Yeah. The romper as detoxifying masculinity seems to me kind of a high bar but I'm willing to place my hope there at this point. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Literally crazier things have happened. [Laughs]

Ann: It's true. It's true.

Aminatou: At this point I'm like anything is possible.

Ann: We'll look back on this as the turning point.

Aminatou: I was telling a friend the other day that the only good thing that's come out of the Trump administration for me is that actually it's been a boon for my confidence. Like I have gotten a serious confidence boost where I'm like oh, if this idiot can be president what can I do? Like this is nuts.

Ann: Right.

Aminatou: It cured the imposter syndrome. It's not there. Part of all the stuff that we've been doing, the work out and call your Congress people or whatever, it's just like the focus of resisting is I'm like oh, I hate that we have to do this but at the same time this is good discipline for just like fucking shit up all the time so this is great.

Ann: That's true. Becoming finely-tuned machines in leotards. [Laughs]

Aminatou: I know. I hate that we have to do it though. I'm like all I'm trying to do is buy presents for my friends and like fuck around on the Internet and now got to be baby revolutionaries every day five times a day. This is crazy.


Ann: Revolutionaries also fuck around on the Internet. Let's be real.

Aminatou: I know, but this is really cutting into my fucking around on the Internet time.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: Like there's so many things I don't know about because I'm constantly on hold with yelling at people on the phone. I'm upset.


Ann: What are you reading next, maybe? Tell me about the stack.

Aminatou: I am a reading machine this year because as we talked about I had that one dark year where I was like I have read no books and that's never going to happen to me again. So now I'm on -- you know, I'm like on a diet for this stuff. So here are a couple books that I'm reading. I'm reading Onlyness by a friend of the podcast Nilofer Merchant. It is not out until the fall I believe but you can pre-order it now. Honestly, Ann, this is a great book. First of all, it's like Nilofer did this talk, this TED talk, on this topic called Onlyness which is what the book is about. And it's really about everybody's potential to be a change-maker and how what she calls like owning the narrative of your own wild idea. You know how I love management books; you know how I love everything that is self-actualization.

And a lot of times we make fun of those kinds of topics on this podcast but this book is like no-bullshit incredible. It tells the story of like ten different people and what makes them unique and special and gives you strategies for how to channel your own Onlyness and get there. So preorder that. It's really good.

Another thing that you should preorder is We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby which is hilarious and insightful. She's a gift, honestly. If you haven't read her previous book Meaty you should also put that shit in your Amazon cart or pick it up from a local bookstore.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: And the other thing that I'm reading right now is Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat and illustrated by a friend of the podcast Wendy MacNaughton. And Ann, this book is great. Like it's a cookbook but it's really charming and Samin made the best Caesar salad I've ever had in my entire life. Like Caesar salad is a top three food for me. I don't think that there's any way that you could make it better or innovate. You know, it's one of those things where I'm like just stick to the basics of it. Don't make it fancy. She did just that. She made like a classic Caesar salad and I thought about it for months on end, it was so good. And every recipe in this book is just like really . . . I don't know how she does it. It's like people who do simple food but delicious food. I know how to cook. I don't know how to talk about food. So having somebody boil it down to like these are the basics of food, salt, fat, acid, heat, I'm like oh, this is why you are the good cook. Great. So that's out now so you can actually pick that one up.


Ann: Awesome. Okay, let me tell you about my stack. A little -- kind of now actually that I look at it, a lot of non-fiction.

Aminatou: Oh, I'm so proud of you.

Ann: I know. But I mean, okay, wait until you hear what I say because it's not like business book non-fiction. So I'm Reading This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare, the Gabourey Sidibe book which is . . .

Aminatou: Oh my God.

Ann: Her life is crazy interesting. Like honestly I think I kind of expected it to be like oh, this is an actress writes a memoir. I'm like air quoting, but really you haven't done anything. I could not have been more wrong. Her upbringing is fascinating. The way she talks about her first jobs, like her . . . I don't know. I am very much in love with it.

Aminatou: Yes, and all the fascinating people in her family also.

Ann: Totally.

Aminatou: I don't want to give any spoilers but this book is like pick it up.

Ann: Yeah, yeah. No spoilers, but I have to say I'm also just angry. I'm like oh, wow, you're a super-accomplished actress and you can write this well? Like hmm.

Aminatou: [Laughs] Leave something for the rest of us!

Ann: Thank you. Yeah, so that. And then also, so that one is actually out already and then I'm also reading Roxane Gay's new memoir Hunger. I don't know, have you picked this up yet?

Aminatou: It just arrived in the mail today. I'm very excited to peruse.

Ann: Yeah. So I confess that this is sort of next on my stack so I haven't opened it yet either but I'm very excited about it. I heard her speak a few weeks ago and she mentioned this being something that was really difficult for her to write, that she stopped and started, and just talked about how close it is to her and everything that she cares about. Like that alone was a selling point for me, right? So that is kind of like next.

And alongside that is the writer Chris Kraus who wrote I Love Dick has a forthcoming biography of the artist/icon/it girl/scholar Kathy Acker and that biography is out in July I believe but I'm reading an advance copy of that. And it's really interesting because Chris Kraus and Kathy Acker were kind of in the same circles. Kathy Acker died in the late 90s, but they were sort of around each other. And so she writes from this point-of-view of like totally idealizing her and kind of occupying the same scene but also as kind of like a journalist. It's like an art journal, this book, so I'm like oh, I'm so into it.

Aminatou: Oh, I can't wait until we do a book swap now.

Ann: I know, right? So anyway, so I'm reading those three things and recommend them all highly.


Aminatou: And I'm going to make one more plug for the indie bookstore. I'm the worst person about buying everything on Amazon and I'm trying to change that about my ways. If you live in Brooklyn we have a really cool new bookstore called Books Are Magic in Cobble Hill and don't be a butt, like go check it out. I went and I spent too much money and it was the best money I've spent all month. It was great.

Ann: Yes. Oh my God. Also, I think that I have found -- now that video stores are dead, really showing my age here, the bookstore is where I go.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: And I'm like ooh, what is really grabbing my attention right now? I use my Amazon cart as essentially like a wish list and then I do sometimes go into a bookstore and buy stuff off that wish list. But I also love the idea of like -- I mean browsing, a lost art.

Aminatou: I know. Here's honestly how I have . . . this is how I have reconciled my Amazon strategy. I'm like I will go to the bookstore to buy books. But when my friends have books that are out, actually I learned from Nilofer and from Anne Harnish (?) about supporting your friends by buying many copies of their books because it makes a difference in the Amazon rankings for them. So I'm like I will do the preorder on Amazon for nine books that I give away to people and then I will go pick up my own copy at the bookstore.

Ann: Oh, the best.

Aminatou: And then it makes me feel -- I feel like I can do a little bit of both. The game is dirty, but like, you know . . .

Ann: It sounds good until everyone you know writes a book then all of a sudden you're bankrupt. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Let me tell you about it, like my book budget is out of control. But it honestly also just feels really good. We have a lot of like -- you know, we know a lot of really cool ladies that are writing really awesome books so it's a pleasure to support them.

Ann: Totally. And if anyone listening to this, if you want to share your recommendations for spring books, what you're reading now, or what you're excited to read in the near future, you can use the hashtag #CYGBooks. All right, boo-boo, I'm going to let you go then and get back to your fucking around on the Internet time. 

Aminatou: Yes! Oh, you. Ann, nobody gets me like you get me.

Ann: After eight years I see and hear your needs. [Laughs]

Aminatou: [Laughs] I am going to go make a delicious sandwich because I'm not allowed to buy lunch, and yeah, and I get to see you so soon. I'm so excited.

Ann: Oh my god, I know. It's going to be the best. Okay, and everyone come see us in Philly. Get your tickets. All right. I'll see you on the Internet.

Aminatou: Oh wait, I have one announcement.

Ann: Fuck. Yeah?

Aminatou: No, it's cool. It's really cool. Last week I had the privilege and honor of interviewing Gina Delvac, the producer of this show and the producer of this new podcast called Pitch Makeover. And Gina is such a boss lady. Like obviously I knew that, but then I had to like, you know . . . it's like I had to put on a new hat to talk to her and it was really cool.

Ann: I mean the pictures of the two of you onstage at that event, I was crying and clapping like a proud mother from long distance. I was just like yes, you both look so good. You sounded so good.

Aminatou: I like Gina. Oh, she's so -- she's such a gift. It's perfect. So shout out to Gina and her new podcast Pitch Makeover. Check it out. It's in the iTunes store. Yeah, that's it.


Ann: Definitely. For women who are interested, or anyone really who is interested in tech and getting that money, right? Is that what the podcast is about?

Aminatou: Yeah, it's like tech and getting that money, and also all of the people that they featured on the podcast are incredible. It's like we got to hear from all of them and they all run these really cool startups and companies. I feel like I left learning how to pitch myself better and it was good.

Ann: Ooh. Okay, I'm going to go do that right after this and not shop for things on the Internet.

Aminatou: Let's get this money, ladies! See you on the Internet, boo-boo!

Ann: 2017. See you on the Internet. [Laughs]


Aminatou: You can find us many places on the Internet: on our website, callyourgirlfriend.com, download it anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast, or on Apple Podcasts where we would love it if you left us a review. You can tweet at us at @callyrgf or email us callyrgf@gmail.com. You can also find us on Facebook -- look that up yourself -- or on Instagram at callyrgf. You can even leave us a short and sweet voicemail at 714-681-2943. That's 714-681-CYGF. Our theme song is by Robyn. All other music you heard today was composed by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs and this podcast is produced by the beautiful, talented, wonderful, amazing Gina Delvac.