Terrible, Thanks for Asking

Mailbag #1 - TTFA PREMIUM - Transcript

This is a transcript of a “TTFA Premium” episode entitled “Mailbag #1 - TTFA PREMIUM" The text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future for accuracy.

Listen to the episode here.


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Hello, Terribles. It’s Nora. Maybe you’ve heard me talk about this already, but we have a new subscription service called TTFA Premium. For 8 bucks a month, you can sign up, support our show, and get ad-free episodes and bonus content. This is a little bit of an excerpt from one of our bonus episodes. Enjoy!


Nora McInerny: Hello, Terribles. Hello, hello. It's Nora McInerny. You are listening to TTFA Premium, and today is a mailbag episode. What this means is that we are taking your letters, your questions, your DMs, your concerns, your criticisms. I actually don't know what's in the mailbag. So I had my friend, my colleague, Jordan Turgeon, come on to help me. She is our mail lady, frankly. Jordan, are you the mail lady? 

Jordan Turgeon: I am, yes. I'm the mail lady. At least today. 

Nora McInerny: Wonderful. At least today. Today's mail lady is Jordan Turgeon. This is, this is a big thing for Jordan, because Jordan prefers to be behind the scenes. 

Jordan Turgeon: True.

Nora McInerny: And today we are putting her in a scene. 

Jordan Turgeon: This is, this is very true. I'm kind of a ... I prefer to be behind the scenes. 

Nora McInerny: Well, today we're going to make a scene, baby. OK, so what do we have? What's going on? 

Jordan Turgeon: OK, so basically we asked folks on Instagram to send us questions that they have, whether it's about you personally, Nora, or about the show, how we make it. Some of them are a little more serious because, you know, that's kind of what we do here. Some of them are a little more lighthearted, and yeah. So we're just going to kind of pick a few, talk through them. And if you have questions that you want to ask us in the future, just send us a DM. That's a direct message on our Instagram account, which is at @ttfapodcast. 

Nora McInerny:  Podcast, singular. Podcast, singular at noreaborelais.com. That's an email address that you could also use if you don't use Instagram, because honestly, not everybody does. And honestly, I don't blame you. I don't blame you. All right. What do we got? What's going on? 

Jordan Turgeon: This is from Denali. And this is a much, much, much easier question. What is your favorite ice cream of all time? And I think I know the answer to this, but—

Nora McInerny: Oh, my God. I can't, I can't pick a favorite ice cream. That's abolute ... honestly? Yes, I can. It's McDonald's twist soft serve, followed by Dairy Queen twist soft serve. McDonald's no longer serves twist soft serve. It's a crime. It is a travesty. Those are my two favorite. However, if I'm in the grocery store I am getting like, Moose Tracks. Were you going to say Moose Tracks? Moose Tracks. Very Minnesota. I don't know if it exists. Kemps Moose Tracks. For sure. Or cookies and cream or a chocolate. OK? But I prefer as much, you know, I don't even really care what kind of ice cream it is, as long as there's a lot of it. That's like, my main criteria can be like, what kind of foods do you like? I'll tell you what, I don't like small foods. I don't like small things. I don't like small treats. 

Jordan Turgeon: Those are all great answers. And none of them are what I thought you were going to say. 

Nora McInerny: What were you going to say? 

Jordan Turgeon: I thought you were going to say vanilla ice cream with those Lucky Charms imitation marshmallows that you bought off Amazon.

Nora McInerny: Oh my god, I forgot about that. But, you know, that was the, that was 

Jordan Turgeon: That was your beginning of quarantine ... 

Nora McInerny: That was the beginning of quarantine. I ate a bowl, two bowls a day, like cereal bowls, like a full bowl of like the yellowish vanilla, like I think it's French vanilla, like that with ... oh yes, you are right. With imitation ... oh my God. I forgot about that. So good. And you kind of let it get soft and then you mix it up and and I've not had that in a long time. And also I have not been to the dentist in a long time, and I can't wait to see what that did to my teeth. 

Jordan Turgeon: Well, we'll update you, folks. 

Nora McInerny: We'll keep you updated. I'm going to the dentist next week. Can't wait. Can't wait. 

Jordan Turgeon: All right, this last one is from Lola, and the question is a bit longer. So bear with me. "My grandmother died 22 years before my grandfather died. He missed her terribly the whole time. I obviously miss them both. But when he finally died, I was sad for me, but happy for him. Do you ever find yourself envious of people who died after your father and Aaron did. Not in a harmful way, just happy for them that they don't have to miss the people they loved most anymore?" 

Nora McInerny: Oh, my God. Yes. Yes. I think the clearest example of that is my my great aunt and uncle lived six blocks away from me when I was growing up. But they were like an extra grandpa and grandma, and they didn't have children of their own, so we were really like their their world, which was wonderful. And they'd been together for 50 years. They were each other's world. Betty lived for Billy in a really sweet way. He went golfing every day, and when he came home, she had a sandwich and a Mickey's malt liquor ready for him on his TV tray. And then they would spend the evenings together reading or watching TV. Just like an absolute dream marriage, if you ask me. And he died when I was in high school, and she was so heartbroken, she was so heartbroken, and she flipped very, very quickly into dementia, which may have been there, may have been something that he was covering up. But it happened really quickly and it felt like she was dying truly of a broken heart, that without him she could not stay tethered to this world. And I watched her brain sort of float through different areas of her life where she thought I was her mother or she thought my dad was her father or she thought, you know, my little brother was her brother. And there was so much sadness in watching that and watching someone die over and over again, which every time we saw her, it felt like that. And also when she died ... I will always miss her. I'll always miss her. She's the funniest person, the sweetest person. And also, I was so glad she didn't have to miss Billy anymore. Like, Billy was her person, and now she's with that guy, like, forever. It just feels so comforting to me to know that and ... I don't feel like relieved that my dad is dead, except that, like, you know, we don't have to ... I get to live not knowing what kind of political disagreements we would have had over the past seven years. So that's good. That's good. And now I get to make this version of him where I'm like, yeah, my dad, like, totally feels the way I do about everything. It's wonderful. And when my dad was dying, he was he told me about this dream that he had about his mother, where he was like sliding down the handrail of his childhood home, like the staircase railing and like into her arms on the landing. I'm like, oh, like, now, you don't have to miss your mom, which I never thought about. Like my dad would have missed his parents, you know? I kind of assumed, like, well, you're a parent. I don't know, like. Even though as a kid, obviously my favorite, like, you know, I didn't even play fantasy football and I still don't. I play like, fantasy grief. And I would always be like god, just imagine if my parents died, like, imagine myself at the funeral. 

Jordan Turgeon: Oh, yeah. 

Nora McInerny: And I and I never imagined, like, my dad had already done that, you know, like his parents died when he was young. He was in his 20s and, and ... so, yeah, I know, I know, I know what this writer means. 

Jordan Turgeon: I think we sometimes forget that it's not like, like, I mean, all of my grandparents have passed. And so sometimes I think about my parents, and I'm like, they don't have parents. And they seem too young to not have parents. I mean, they do have parents. Sorry. I mean, I know they do have them, but just they're not here. And yeah, I think, I think it's easy to forget that it's not like you reach a certain age and suddenly, like, you don't care if your parents die, like, you know? Like, like it's never not going to be painful. And I think it's easy to forget that, you know, when your parents are, if your parents reach the age of 60, 70, and then they lose their parents, it's still just as painful for them. It's the same thing. 

Nora McInerny: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's the same thing. It's the same thing. So yeah. And I feel that way, you know, when people are able to die like peacefully, people are able to die when they're like old and kind of like ready to go. My current husband's grandma died a couple of weeks ago and even like even her son might, my father in I was like, "Oh, good for her," because, like, she was ready. Poor Grandma Betty was so ready. She was calling to say goodbye. She called to say goodbye to her sons every Sunday, like, "Well, hopefully this is it," you know, like she was so old, and her body hurts so much. And she had been through so much, and she was ready. She was so ready. And I just felt like this sense of relief for her, like that she, you know, I would never say to people again, "Well, she's in a better place." But I'm like, oh, my God, Grandma Betty is right where she wants to be right now. She is out in the everything. Out in the everywhere. And may we all, may we all get that same sort of the exit we desire. 

Jordan Turgeon: Betty and Billy. 

Nora McInerny: Betty and Billy, like they're there, they're out there just sitting in front of a TV that's also a piece of furniture, like probably right now just watching the news at an incredible volume. 

Jordan Turgeon: And eating sandwiches. 

Nora McInerny: Eating sandwiches under layers of blankets because they were you know, they came of age in the Depression and they were very afraid of another depression. And they kept their heat at like 55, Jordan, in a Minnesota winter. It was like you'd walk in and be like "I'll keep that coat on. I'll keep that coat on." They kept it a hair above freezing. 

Jordan Turgeon: Also keeping my boots on! 

Nora McInerny: They'd turn on the oven. And my dad was like, "Turn up the thermostat," and she was like, "No, just turn on the over, and I'll just, you know, bake a little coffee cake." 

Jordan Turgeon: Oh god. Terribles, if you're listening, it's not safe to use your oven to heat your home.

Nora McInerny: Not safe to use your oven to heat your home. Do not do it. Do not do that. Don't do that. 


You can hear the rest of this episode by subscribing to TTFA Premium. It is a new way to support our show, a way to subscribe and get ad-free episodes and bonus content like what you just heard. You can learn more at TTFA.org/Premium. That’s TTFA.org/Premium.