Hasan Minhaj ("Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj") reads Brian Goedde's essay about a man investigating his own breakup.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love the podcast is supported by produced by the island, W B war. Boston. Just a quick note before we begin this is a great moment of fear and unrest in the United States. This episode was recorded several weeks ago and we hope it offers you at least a small space to find respite. from the New York Times and w you are Boston. This is modern love stories of love, loss and redemption. I'm your host
which are Chakrabarti sometimes when you go through bad breakup, the thing you want is answers. Why, things work out. When did it go from good to bad? What went wrong Well, Brian Getty took an unusual approach to getting those answers. He writes about the experience is essay researching, Jenna, discovering myself
it would by hasn't been harsh essence. Netflix show is Patriot, act with Husbandman hush and its releasing you episodes. Now. Why do you think Jenna left me? I asked friends and family pan and paper in hand. I admit it looked silly and it fell so we too, but my psychotherapy had urged me to start writing down my conversations with people about what had happened magenta instead of a she put it just letting the wheels men and I decided to follow her advice enough with the endless whimpering for some hard nosed research, of course, I also hoped I might find an answer. I certainly wasn't having much luck staring at my ceiling night after night sleepless and distraught and Jenna had proved to be a poor source of information. Since she had stop returning my cos, I didn't think any of my interviewees new Jenna better than I did she and I had been.
other almost ten years, but still there, Jenna. I didn't know the general? Who left me so suddenly over the phone that warm afternoon in March this? Jenna. I thought the sized must be the composite of the imaginings of all these other people, flipping open my steno pad, I first post my question to a friend of mine, with whom I had quickly started in the fair after Jenna left. She was in her kitchen perched on a stool, smoking, Amal Brown, green bathrobe, o Brien. She said why do you want to torture yourself? It's not torture. I said it'll be good for me is it something about beating a dead horse. I urged her say something she engendered in like each other too much, but I always felt we're a lot alike? My rebound lover took a drag on her cigarette and said
I think it has to do with the age difference between when you started out, and now you are nineteen. When you got together overtime, she development needs and irish needs that maybe she didn't even know she was having and whether or not she I told you about these needs you weren't fulfilling them scribbling down her thoughts. I try to think of a good follow up question, as a good researcher would do, but I realized I had been hoping she'd say something more like I dunno I don't care less mess around. Instead, she had concluded that I left because of my inadequacy. In did this mean she too was into
meeting my inadequacy suddenly hurt. I ended the interview next, I ask Cynthia Jenna's favorite, professor in college, who become a good friend of us. Both it was at a party she wore a colorful blouse that look like it had been shredded and sewn back together. I pulled her out of the front porch, so we could be alone. For my interview, she left you for her own reasons. Cynthia said, I think she had a lot of small and happiness. Has the most recent thing that she felt unsupported when her dad died, she felt he abandoned her and she decided that you abandoned her too. She had a bit catharsis and you were part of that. She looked away from me. I also think she wanted someone to stand up to her and fire more. That's probably projection. That's why I leave been. If they don't stand up to me,
I winced at the thought that in Cynthia's mind I was no better than her to Ex husband, but she was right. I think, about Jenna's dad who died suddenly four months earlier. This wasn't the father who raised her, but the estranged, alcoholic, misanthropic, father, Whom our mother had left when journalists to taking Jenna with her when he died, Jenna was visibly upset, but soon stop talking about it. They were clothes Jenna would say, adding that it was more of a relief to her that he was in a better place. The subject of his death didn't come up again until she called me to say that losing her father had turned her whole world upside down and that I was no longer in it. I figured I needed to take my research deeper, closer to her family, so my next in
You was with generous stepfather Tom. Why asked him why he thought Jenna had left me? He said simply. We were standing on the sidewalk in front of my house. He had stopped by after work to pick up some things. Jenna had left behind and didn't want to retrieve herself artwork books, printmaking supplies. I stood there waiting pen to paper until he said again. I don't know I don't know I don't know I repeated writing a town. I shouldn't have mocked him. Tom had been consoling to me in the past, but today his rushed and dismissive response. Irked me. I looked up from my notepad and said: that's it I'm probably going to answer every question like that he replied. I started to write that down to. I answer every question like that
all been in relationships, he finally interrupted, and we all know that no one around you knows the answer. He paused. As I wrote, silently in the corollary, is no two people in any relationship No what's going on in that relationship, this seemed very wise to me, and I told him so I always like Tom, but as we put JANET stuff in his car, his statement lingered between US
extremely troubling to me in rapid succession. I wondered about my relationship with Jenna, about his relationship with Jenna and about my relationship with him. Before Tom drove off, we shook hands and wished each other well, the way things had been going with Jenna before she left me. I thought he and I were on the path to becoming in laws. Now we were nothing this much. We can know for sure my mother was the last person I needed to speak with for my research project. That requires some background information. When I was eight years old, my mother divorced my father and left us in Seattle moving across the country to start a new life for two years. I was an emotional wreck, but finally, I got on with the business of growing up. I saw her christmases and summers got along great with her new family in Virginia and fit in perfectly with my new step family in Seattle, I never resolved my feelings about my mother leaving, but I decide
they would be unresolvable. Look at everyone's got issues with parents. I decided life, isn't fair deal with it in my first visit to a psychotherapist after Jenna left. While I was, spinning out of control face my deft counselor identified this trauma deep in my emotional life, and I rubbed it first with tears and then, with an overwhelming clarity I was having. I realized the same reactions I had had as an eight year old grief, tray and lying awake at night wondering why she had left wanting to do anything to get her back. I roman mother telling her of my realizations, and she told me it was high time to pay me a visit to work. Some things out weeks later over our steak and salad, dinners in the restaurant. Next to oh hotel, my mother told me what it was like her to leave me my sister and my father.
Talked about how necessary it was for her to rebuild herself. It was a decision she hated having made, but the life she was living was something she had hated more. I was surprised to feel uninterested in these monologues. for so many years. I had wondered why she left now I realize I didn't so much care. The point for me was that she had all. I actually. needed was to tell her that her leaving had really Screwed me up for a really long time. She looked up from her plate and nodded. I didn't get to ask my mother why she thought Jenna left me until I was driving her back to the airport two days later,.
I her my notepad and pen and told her about my research. You want me to write down what I think she said incredulously. Yes, I told her. He was part of my psychotherapy. She was quiet for a moment and then she wrote she had too much pressure. masters degree in family of origin problems. Communication broke down because of pressure. She stop writing and spoke out loud about how you can't have too much pressure from family issues. If you're going to have a successful relationship, you have to really sweep Floor she said it was all a part of being on the ball, not only in your relationship but in your life, but you'll see she said
and your next relationship. You'll have learned. I glanced at my dashboard. The low gas light was on damn I tried to remember how many miles it was to the airport I picture trying to flag down a cab. hi where's, my mother, Mr Plain TAT down at the next exit I apologized and pulled off the highway. That's fine! My mother said waving off my biology, but when I got back in the car after pumping gas, the first She said was never let it get below a quarter tank. Okay, mom.
maybe you're, not quite ready for that next relationship. She said laughing, I laughed too, but it stung. Okay, mom, I said, and she was right about me of course, but not because I failed to maintain at least a quarter of tank of gas in the car. It wasn't about that. Just as her talk about sweeping the floor wasn't about Jenna in her father, but about me and her just as the friends I had interviewed had been talking less about us than about themselves and just as my research has led to the discovery of agenda, I didn't know, but of a me I didn't know how to approach when we arrive at the airport. I walk my mother into the terminal and hugged her goodbye Then I returned to my car and my life content this time to be left behind.
Hasn't been harsh reading. Brian Gettys essay, researching Jenna Discover and myself will catch up with Brian after the break. I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing into. we not cheating, sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own. I feel a little betrayed They may have happened again. I have one and who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words. Then I was getting nervous. I sent it to my parents or something me and my dad. We liked the first together and I wish her out. I it J C K, P, o g,
jackpot panic, yeah nice I'm same as earth's sky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at N Y Times dot com, slash games, Eddie's essay was published fifteen years ago in two thousand and five. He says he reached out to Jenna before the essay was published. That's the last contacts that I've had with her fifteen plus years, but I hope she's doing well. If I do run into, I hope you know we can have a good conversation. Do you know, I know very little about her life after this, but I've certainly had a lot happen in my life after
and I hope we can catch up on amicable terms. Just a few weeks before his modern love essay was published, Bryan met Emily the woman he eventually married. We've been married now, twelve years, we'll have our thirteenth anniversary coming up. We have three kids, twelve and eight and three years old and very happy busy family life, but back, then we were newly dating, and so I told her that this is a crazy thing. This piece is going to come out in the times on my God, so we celebrated we took article two, this bar- and I were city called Georgia's and toasted, with whiskeys. It was a really happy memory, though
all the while thinking it's a little awkward. Maybe that, like is starting to date, this guy who's been through this and then it's writing about it in the newspaper, but it didn't stop her these days. during the covert nineteen outbreak. Emily Brian and their kids have been doing movie nights playing basketball together, and balancing home schooling and working from home and Brian in some ways it's been a good experience. There has been a lot of stress with the quarantine situation, but the great things has Ben how much time we spend with each other now- the kids get older as well, they should a lot of time and I with activities and with friends and and all that's fantastic, but we're like in this capsule now with each other.
And I think at the end of all this, where we can look back at this time as being a pretty special one, Brian, says that unconventional as it may be, he does recommend conducting interviews after a breakup up, worked for me in a lot of ways. It definitely was kind of goofy and awkward to put people on the spot and ways and it also made me feel bad and awkward, and people would say things that I wouldn't want to hear, but That's good in the long run too so yeah I would recommend it. It helps to get the insights from others so that you may be better able to read the writing on the wall
that's Brian Getty he's a professor of writing and literature at the Community College of Philadelphia. We should also that we reached out to Jenna, but she decided not to participate in this episode. More from Daniel Jones and Hassan Minhas after the break. I love spelling bee my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together. I mean sitting next to each other playing individual we not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed They may have happened again. I have one and who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words. Then I was getting nervous. I sent it to my parents or something. me and my dad. We likes this funny together and I wish Heather out it.
J C K, p o g jackpot panic, yeah, NICE I'm same as ascii, the digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at annoying times dot com, flash games.
here's Daniel gowns he's the editor of the model of calling for the New York Times. What I love about, Brian's essay was how it begins with this rational dissection of his relationship and the sort of investigation into what could have possibly gone wrong and how it takes them just further and further into himself and into this emotion, all reckoning and with a sense of abandonment and with his mother, and these sort of deep knew now herds that affect us throughout life. But you don't really realise that until you do the work to get there was such a moving essay in that sense, but it also had a light touch to it, and I particularly liked you now his relationship with his mother at the end, which is the fraught relationship that drove him out
on but ends in this sort of sweet place where she sort of making fun of him for not realizing that they're running out of gas, and they have a laugh about that. It sort of releases you from the essay in a nice way where, where it had led sort of this painful spot, but there was still room in that relationship to be able to smile and laugh and sort of share a warm moment and here's Hassan been on why he chose to read this story. As a comedian, we're in our heads so much and we always flush out all these narratives about our relationships with other people and the story really stuck out to me because I'm a person who really lives in his head
thanks to hustle for recording this week's essay at home in a closet at eight o at night. His Netflix Series is Patriot, act with hasn't mynors and it's releasing new episodes. Now modern love is the production of the New York Times and W B you are Boston and PR station is produced direct then edited by Caitlin, o scoring and sound design by Matt, Reed Iris. Adler's our executive producer were edited by Catherine Brewer Jones is the editor of modern love for the New York Times and adviser to the show the aid for the modern love. Podcast was conceived by LISA Tobin Additional. thanks to me, Elite, Julia Simon and on your streaming in at the New York Times and to Michael Garth, Will you be? You are additional music courtesy of APL
I magma Chakrabarti see you next week.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-15.