Welcome to the first issue of the “This Is Uncomfortable” newsletter!
The other day, I was talking with our producer, Hayley, and she made the point that marriage is having a bit of a cultural moment. And it’s not really being portrayed as a dreamy, romantic undertaking. In Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” and Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women,” marriage looks more like an economic contract. It’s super practical (and kinda bleak).
For our first episode of 2020, we felt inspired to explore what happens if — or when — that contract falls apart. Because when two people get divorced, it really becomes a fight about money. And as someone who’s always been kinda skeptical about the idea of marriage, I didn’t realize until recently just how much it financially binds you to someone, even after you’ve broken up.
Your stories (with proof)
This week’s receipt is a cashed check from Marketplace producer Erica Phillips.
“John (his name is on the top left of the check) was my favorite grandparent, and a sort of ‘most interesting man’ type. He was a philosophy professor, but also spent time as a pilot, a cowboy and a conscientious objector during WWII. He had an appreciation for natural beauty that he passed on to me during our frequent bike rides around the lakes in Minneapolis. This is a check my dad (Craig) wrote me from the account he shared with his father. The funds helped me and my husband fly home for my grandpa's funeral in 2017.”
This week on the podcast
Money gets complicated when a marriage falls apart. First we'll hear from a divorce lawyer who ends up representing herself. Then from a couple trying to plan for the day they hate each other. (Listening time, 23:45)
Tony is into fleeces. We can’t really explain it, but he’s not alone. If you, too, are really into fleece, here’s a look at its history. Unfortunately, this particular timeline stops in 2011 — the article ran in the New York Times the same day that fleece-maker Patagonia ran its famous full-page “Don’t buy this jacket” ad.
Reema binge-watched “You” after the second season dropped and she’s into it because of the suspense, the drama and the creepiness. We’ll spare you the spoilers, but if you’re looking for a way to navigate all the new streaming content without the shock and horror of a massive bill, Fast Company has a guide.
“This Is Uncomfortable” is produced by Reema Khrais, Megan Detrie, Hayley Hershman, Peter Balonon-Rosen and Daisy Palacios. Digital producer Tony Wagner built this newsletter.
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This is a show about life and how money messes with it. Each week, Reema Khrais digs in with stories about the unanticipated ways money affects relationships, shapes identities and often defines what it means to be an adult. Presented by Marketplace.