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Death, Sex & Money

Podcast Death, Sex & Money
Podcast Death, Sex & Money

Death, Sex & Money

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  • André De Shields On Living With His Shadow
    Self-proclaimed “professional charmer” André De Shields has performed on stage for more than 50 years. Today, at 76 years old, he brings his Tony Award-winning portrayal of Hermes to the Broadway musical Hadestown eight times a week. “I’m the slowest moving entity on the stage, which mesmerizes people,” he told me. “They want to know, ‘Why is this person moving so monstrously slowly? He must know something.’” André shared some of his immense knowledge with me: stories about his coming of age sexual awakening with a woman twice his age, words of wisdom he learned from Sammy Davis Jr., and the lessons about learning to live with your shadow. Since his diagnosis with HIV and the loss of his life partner, André has had many conversations with death, but he has determined that the only way to live is to “enter the darkness. And if you persist, if you will be determined, if you will be hardy, if you will have sufficient stamina, you will enter the light.”
    1/26/2022
    35:21
  • Downsizing After Divorce
    When her kids were young, Jaimie Seaton and her family lived overseas in Asia while her husband worked as a high-ranking executive at a bank. "We lived in a huge house with a pool and staff and a driver," Jaimie told me. "We always traveled business class. We always stayed in 5-star hotels. We always had a lot of parties." "From where I sit now and how I have to economize, I just kind of shake my head at the amount of money I wasted."  Jaimie's financial picture looks quite different today. A year after moving back to the U.S., her marriage suddenly ended. At that point, Jaimie hadn't been working much. "I never made much money during my marriage," Jaimie said. "I never needed to." She quickly got a temporary job, but says her spending habits didn't immediately change. "I think of it like a large ship," she said. "It takes a while to turn." Now, Jaimie brings in some money as a freelance writer, and receives monthly alimony and child support payments. But much of that will end when her children leave the house. "I’m really afraid of being old and being poverty stricken," Jaimie told me. And, she says that she and her kids feel uncomfortable now in social situations where they used to feel that they belonged. "I feel uncomfortable partly because of the money, but mostly because they’re all still married and their families are intact," Jaimie said. "It’s hard to be around it."  This episode was part of our 2018 collaborative series with BuzzFeed called Opportunity Costs: Money and Class in America. To hear more episodes in this series, go to deathsexmoney.org/class.  Jaimie wrote a piece for BuzzFeed about her class transition after her divorce. Read it here.  
    1/19/2022
    27:47
  • A New Year's Pep Talk From Robin Arzón
    For people who love Peloton, the company's head instructor Robin Arzón is an inspiration. I know quite a few people who swear by Robin's tough love teaching style and confidence-boosting mantras. But there was a time when Robin wasn't always confident, or even into athletics. "When I identify with feelings of anxiety, it is the younger version of myself," she told me. "Being picked for kickball or something like that is like my worst nightmare." But in the aftermath of trauma, she started running, and it changed her life. Robin and I also discussed how she envisioned the home and marriage she has now, the ways becoming a mother changed her relationship to her body, and the limits she places on her time. 
    1/12/2022
    32:45
  • Why I Steal
    Alice* lives in a small town, where the work dries up in the winter. She and her husband have jobs at a seasonal restaurant, where she says they each make about $500 a week. When it gets cold, they go on unemployment to support themselves and their young daughter. Alice supplements that income by shoplifting. "I do have rules that I follow," she explained. "I don't ever lift from small mom-and-pop kinds of stores. When you lift from somewhere like Walmart they already have it built into their insurance...I would say it feels more like maybe a paper cut, as opposed to stabbing someone." We first learned about Alice through Tumblr, where there's an active community of people who say they shoplift. They post pictures of their "hauls," as well as tips for other lifters. For Alice, finding that community was huge. "It felt like I had people that I could talk to about it," she told me. "Because it is such a huge part of my life, and to have people that I could talk about it with like it was normal, that felt great. It just sort of opened up a whole new world of possibilities."  Alice told us she keeps her shoplifting a secret from her husband. And while she used to steal while her daughter was with her, stuffing groceries and makeup into her diaper bag, she says she stopped once her daughter was old enough to understand what was happening. "I don't want her doing something that's obviously dangerous," Alice told us. "I don't ever see her like being a tag team. I don't really want that for her." Since first talking with Alice in 2017, a lot has happened in Alice's life. We called her back to find out how she and her family fared during the pandemic—and to find out if she's still stealing today.  Thanks to Tasbeeh Herwees for her help with this story. You can find Tasbeeh's article for GOOD Magazine about the shoplifting community on Tumblr here. And to listen to our 2017 episode featuring your responses to Alice's story, click here.  *Name changed
    12/29/2021
    33:56
  • A Season to Savor
    For the last couple years, we’ve produced special year-end episodes where the entire Death, Sex & Money team shares moments we’re proud of, and looks back at the year we've been through. But after another difficult year, I'm sharing a concept that's helped me get through it: savoring. I talk with some of the people and artists who've shared ideas or made work that I've savored this year: including my therapist; Kendra Adachi, host of The Lazy Genius podcast; and Saturday Night Live's Ego Nwodim. Plus, I share more of the TV shows and movies I savored this year. Looking for The Favorites File from Kendra Adachi? Find it here! If you're able to give right now, and would like to support our work in 2022 and beyond, visit deathsexmoney.org/donate to make a year-end contribution. Thank you!
    12/22/2021
    20:09

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