Cattitude Adjustment

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Wiley Coyote: This Ad free podcast is part of your slate plus membership. Lucky you. And. Hello and welcome back to Big Little Mood. I am your host, Daniel Ellsberg. With me in the studio this week is Myles Klee, a senior staff writer for Mill magazine, as well as author of the novel Ivyland and a collection of stories, True or False? Myles, welcome to the show.

Speaker 2: Thank you so much. Dan, it’s great to be here.

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Wiley Coyote: I think of you so much as also someone whose job is like assembling high pools occasionally of people getting mad at you online in like the gentlest way imaginable. And then sort of just like picking out starfish and looking at them and be like, Oh, that’s interesting. And then moving on.

Speaker 2: Yeah, I guess the other nature metaphor would just be like poking various bears and seeing what happens.

Wiley Coyote: Bears and starfish. That’s kind of like the milia that I associate with. So I am very excited for that reason to have you here, especially because this is a rare week where there are no horrible problems. I think that anyone’s facing, you know, one’s no one’s facing like a life or death issue or like I have to stop talking to everyone I’m related to, which is a really nice break. So I feel like we get the luxury this week of really exploring the space as they so.

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Speaker 2: Little problems count to.

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Wiley Coyote: Yeah. Yeah.

Wiley Coyote: So I’m looking forward to your energy in this one. And I’m wondering if I can ask you to read our first letter.

Speaker 2: Sure. The first letter is on the subject of buying my own breakfast. And the question is, how do I get my friend to stop paying for everything? We’ve been friends for many years and we’ve been through a lot together. She comes from a poor and unsupportive family and is rightly proud of how far she’s come. I struggle with mental health issues that keep me from pursuing more lucrative jobs, and I’ve worked a series of entry level positions that don’t leave me with a lot of disposable income. She insists on paying for every meal or ticket when we’re together and buys me too much at the holidays or when she comes to visit. We see each other a few times a month. When I insist on paying for something, she’ll make a mock threat or insist that it’s nothing, considering how much she makes now. I’ll venmo her anyway, but it leaves me with a bad feeling. When we were younger, our friendship was somewhat co-dependent and her insistence on paying is reminding me an awful lot of that.

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Wiley Coyote: This is, you know, I mean, of all the problems that a person can have, not that it’s not an important one to think about, but like this is this is nice. It’s nice. Just like my friend pays me too much money. She she buys me too many gifts.

Speaker 2: Overly generous friend.

Wiley Coyote: Do you. Do you have a policy on, like, the mock threats to get your friends not to fight you for the check? Like, is that something that you.

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Speaker 2: I have I have a friend who’s who’s just so good at getting the check before I even know that it’s there. Like, I’m always I’m always trying to fight him for it, but he’s he’s already, like, gone behind like hell. He’ll go to the bathroom and he’ll come back and he’s like already settled out, basically. So I’m I’m not good. I’m not I’ll never be on his level. I can’t I can’t get on that level. But I do you know, I do appreciate friends being generous. I like to be generous when I feel like I have a lot of money. So I understand, I guess, where this generous friend is coming from, too. I don’t know about this this threatening thing, though. It’s not something I’ve really experienced in my life. I don’t know about you.

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Wiley Coyote: I mean, I’ve never heard anyone say, like, I’ll I’ll kill you with knives. But certainly I’m familiar with that sort of jocular, like, hey, don’t insult me or like, put that away, I’ll fight you for the cheque or something. I don’t think it’s the most common response, but I do think that it’s one that I’m at least somewhat familiar with.

Wiley Coyote: So, you know, I think this one is like fairly straightforward. Don’t wait until the next time that you two are out to a meal together. Bring it up unprompted and just say that you would like to occasionally treat or split the bill. And you know, if you need to also then suggest going to a slightly different kind of restaurant or outing so that you can afford to do that, you know, bring that up as well and just let your friend know that it’s important to you. You’re not necessarily looking to split everything 5050, but you do want to be able to occasionally like buy her a cup of coffee and that you’re letting her know so that she knows you’re not just saying it to try to, like, make sure that you don’t seem like you’re taking advantage of her, but it’s actually important to you. My guess is she will be pretty open to that. And if she isn’t, you know, at least you get to have that conversation when you’re not facing an actual check. And so there’s less pressure.

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Wiley Coyote: I don’t know that you need to say this reminds me of when we used to have a codependent relationship. You can just say, this is important to me and I want you to know that. I don’t know if it’s also the right time to bring up the question of like holidays, but you kind of talk about it all at once. I think you can you can also say, like, I feel a little unsure how to discuss this because obviously, like, I really appreciate your generosity and it means a lot to me, but I would also love it if sometimes you scaled back on how much money you spent on me at Christmas.

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Speaker 2: I was going to say the different purchases seem to weigh differently. You know, whether it’s like trying to split the check is sort of a different thing than trading gifts at the holidays. And someone gets you something that’s ten times what you can really budget realistically for them. And so, yeah, maybe that is the that’s the kind of area where it’s more important to talk about like this financial boundaries of like, you know, it makes me feel kind of bad when I’m giving you like this little trinket and you’re buying me like a weeklong vacation or whatever it is.

Wiley Coyote: Yeah, but, you know, I think you can really go into this conversation assuming it’s going to go okay, because you’ve never really, it sounds like, talked about this before. So, you know, this is, I think, a good opportunity for your friend to know a little bit more about what feels important to you. And I don’t think you need to assume that she’s doing all of this because she wants to make you feel like things are really lopsided so much as just she knows that you make less money. She feels happy to pick up the check more often, and she wants to make sure that you don’t feel uncomfortable. So she’s like doing like I am. I guess she does the jokey threat thing because she doesn’t want you to feel, she wants to lighten the mood. She wants to make it clear this is not a problem. I like being able to help out. And you’re not you’re not bothering me by letting me take care of the bill.

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Wiley Coyote: And so if you just give her the information of I actually do know that I feel fine about that. It’s it’s not that I’m worried that you don’t really mean it. It’s that I would like to contribute more in other ways and maybe sometimes plan on events that don’t cost so much money. Not because I think we need to split everything exactly down the middle, but because I start to feel a little like left out or like I’m not able to do things for you when all the stuff that we do is on more expensive terms. And you can say that without in any way like putting down her generosity or saying like, never buy me a sandwich again. I think.

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Speaker 2: You know, it’s hard to imagine the friend being genuinely offended.

Wiley Coyote: I mean, I can definitely understand how I ideas about, but I’m just trying to help. And now I feel bad because I worry that you’ve been offended this whole time. Like, I can imagine a situation where somebody could get hurt and such a conversation, but not like overwhelmingly or exclusively hurt. And I think would probably rather know than not like it’s just lots of people don’t talk about money extensively with their friends, which I certainly understand. Like, I get why that’s not something that everyone necessarily wants to bring up all the time. But I think once you start doing it, it’s a little bit easier to keep checking in every once in a while. And that might also go a long way towards making you feel, you know, happier about the times that you do let her pay for something.

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Speaker 2: I want to know if she’s accepting these Venmo’s.

Wiley Coyote: I was wondering about that too. Like, is she just sending it back? Because I like again, that can be so tricky if like if someone’s really thinking, oh, I just think my friend feels obligated to send me the money, but since I don’t need it, I’m just not going to accept it. And I can see some situations where that works great. And then in this one, the friend in question is like, Well, now I feel like you don’t want me to contribute and like you would rather have me as like you’re your feudal vassal than your friend.

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Speaker 2: Yeah, it’s a form of patronage. Yeah, I know I’m a bad person because I would just let my friend continue to pay for everything and probably not even feel that bad about it.

Wiley Coyote: Oh, yeah. If there’s one thing that I hope we can communicate in this episode, it’s that if you do have a friend who’s happy to spend money on you and you accept it, you’re a bad person. Well, like, I think this is incredibly, incredibly subjective, and any number of responses all would make a great deal of sense to me. I could see people in such a dynamic where they’re both really happy and clear about the sort of dimensions of of what’s going to happen and who’s going to pay for what. And that’s beautiful.

Wiley Coyote: And if somebody else says, this makes me feel, you know, a little crowded, that makes sense to me, too. It’s it’s really just a question of figuring out what you would like your friendship to look like and then communicating that relatively honestly and also kindly, because I’m sure she has good intentions. But if she you know, I hate to go to the like if she’s really your friend thing, but like if this is really just a true friend who really cares about you and wants to help you out, she will, even if she feels a little chagrined at first. Be glad to know that you would like to occasionally treat in return and will happily like switch to going to cheaper places once in a while.

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Wiley Coyote: And if this is maybe a little bit more about I feel really good and powerful when I’m generous and I like setting the terms of of how we spend time together. You might experience a little more resistance, which doesn’t mean she’s like an evil, you know, instrumental lighting person who only cares about you in as much as you make her feel like Lady Bountiful. It just maybe means that she has, like, a little weirdness around money to work on which who doesn’t. But yeah, hopefully she won’t pushback if she does a little bit, you know, you can push back too. And that is a good idea, especially if you are looking to get off that codependent train that you maybe sometimes have in relationships. I don’t know. I don’t know anything else to say. This is like a nice problem to have that I hope will be resolved by a quick conversation. Breakfast is nice. Friendship is nice.

Speaker 2: I’m going to make friends with this woman.

Wiley Coyote: You absolutely should. This feels very much like the kind of friendship that you would seek out whereby, like, you just know a lot of slightly older, slightly mysterious seeming women. Some of you might have eye patches who have just like a standing date where they buy you like a short stack of pancakes.

Speaker 2: The Denny’s is right down the block. Yeah, I.

Wiley Coyote: Feel like I’m higher than Denny’s at this stage in your life.

Speaker 2: It’s IHOP.

Wiley Coyote: If you’re going to. If you’re going to have, like, an actual breakfast, like patroness, you should be. I don’t know. You should be aiming really, really high breakfast wise. Yeah. That’s all I want for you. Thank you. Thank you for taking that into consideration.

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Wiley Coyote: All right. I will I will move us on from troubles about breakfast to troubles about cats, because we’re just playing this on easy mode today. The subject is concerned cat ants. Sure is. During the pandemic, my partner and I adopted pets for the first time in our lives. A 17 year old cancer ridden cat and an elderly, toothless small dog who has a laundry list of ailments. I love them. I talk about them too much. And I spent a lot of time researching various health issues they might encounter with some loving pointers from my partner. I’m improving and identifying when it’s appropriate to bring up vomit or veterinary fecal scoring charts in conversation. Rarely, it turns out.

Wiley Coyote: But there’s one thing that I continue to struggle with, and that’s giving advice. I’m not a vet and I’m not pretending to be, but I have learned a lot in the last couple of years. My partner has cautioned me about giving unsolicited pet advice, and I understand that. But now my sister in law is describing symptoms in her senior cat that could be a sign of two very common old cat diseases, both of which we’ve personally experienced with ours. We mentioned it to them once and they didn’t pursue anything. So now I’m wondering if there’s anything else I can do. The whole family has me pegged as a little eccentric about pets at this point, and I know that that’s not how they’d respond. But is there a way to politely check in one more time or offer to pay for bloodwork? I know a vet visits aren’t cheap, especially for someone right out of college and I would be happy to. Doing this now could be the difference between managing a chronic condition and its early stages and finding out about it when the cat has a crisis. Do you know anyone like this in real life?

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Speaker 2: No, I don’t think so. I have. I have you know, I am a cat bad now. I’ve had this cat since October and I love her dearly. And yeah, I will certainly, you know, ask other cat owners about basic stuff like what’s the good nail trimmers to get and stuff like that. But no, I don’t have anyone who’s like kind of analyzed her or her behavior and just like giving me give me the rundown. I mean, I think I think the flag for me in this letter was I’m not a vet, but which is just like I mean, we could probably stop it. I’m not a vet.

Speaker 2: To me, this is a little yeah, it’s a little intrusive. If you have told them once already. And the question is how to do it again. And it seems like there are not receptors for that information the first time. So I’m not really convinced there’s a way to do that that’s going to be helpful or that’s not going to seem like kind of no at all. Nagging. Yeah, I don’t know. To me, this is like leave it alone. And if they have a question about the cat because they know you have this extensive cat knowledge, then they’re probably going to come to you. Right?

Wiley Coyote: Yeah. I think at this point, like the letter writer knows, I’ve mentioned this specific issue to, you know, my partner’s sister. I’ve apparently talked about cat health generally enough with the family that I’m developing something of a reputation for it. And she didn’t do what I wanted when I told her the information. And now I would like to try to get her to do the thing that I want her to do. None of this is like evil, by the way. Like even if the letter went for the letter writer went with like the most overbearing possible option next, like at worst, she would be guilty of like an infraction. Like there’s there’s, you know, she doesn’t seem like she’s about to go kidnap anyone’s cat or, like, put her on blast.

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Speaker 2: So now it’s just like an intense hobby. It feels like that it’s sort of spilling over the boundaries of these other relationships.

Wiley Coyote: Yeah. And I think like to me it does come back to, you know, this is our first time owning pets and we like went down to the shelter and got the most abject ones that we could find, which is absolutely your right and is lovely. And I’m so, so glad that you love your elderly pets. That’s wonderful.

Wiley Coyote: But I also think, especially if this is your first time with elderly pets and maybe first time with pets generally, it can also be a lot like sometimes people who get a pet for the first time are really like overwhelmed by how intensely they feel about their pets. And I just want to float this one out there, letter writer, which is that some of this might have to do with your anxiety about the fact that your own pets, regardless of how incredibly like informed you are and incredibly careful you are about managing their care, you know, they will die soon. That’s that’s an absolute that’s going to happen maybe in the next six months, maybe in the next two years. But they will die and they will die soon. And I feel like a monster for saying that. So like calmly, I’m just that that’s just what happens.

Wiley Coyote: And so I think maybe part of what you’re feeling is this, you know, I don’t I don’t know exactly how old’s your sister in law’s cat is. But, you know, it sounds like fairly elderly. You know, the average cat lifespan can vary depending on whether or not they’re like indoor or outdoor. But, you know, the ceiling is right around 15 to 17. Every once in a while, someone’s like, here’s my 23 year old cat. And they’ll show a picture of like a very unhappy looking, like clutch of straw with eyes.

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Wiley Coyote: But but it’s, you know, I guess all of this is to say that there are people who love, love, love their elderly cats and do their best to care for them well and to make sure that they are healthy, happy and comfortable. And if they encounter a chronic or crisis condition, might decide. I’m going to euthanize my cat and be there with him in the last moments and, you know, celebrate more in the end of their life. And there might be somebody else who says, I’m going to do a lot of anticipatory research and talk about all my options with the vet and see what other possibilities we might have that might get another couple of months, couple of years on the lifespan. And I think both of those people can be good and loving pet owners.

Wiley Coyote: And so all of this is just to say not everyone is going to go all out in terms of preemptive preventative care for elderly cat conditions. And that’s not the same as like abuse or neglect or not caring about your cat’s life. It might just be like, I don’t want you to help pay for bloodwork. I don’t want to spend the next couple of years anticipating and managing like elderly cat conditions. If my cat makes it to 16 and then gets sick and dies, I’ll be sad. But that’s what happens, right? Like, is that is that totally off base?

Speaker 2: No. The cat has had a long life. And, you know, I’m not going to go as far as calling vets scammers because they are nice, knowledgeable, helpful people.

Speaker 3: But that’s scary.

Wiley Coyote: Because they are scammers and we all know and love it. Wow. A little surprised. Tell me more.

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Speaker 2: Right. But in my opinion, my experience, they do tend to over medicalized some things that really sometimes come down to like, listen, it’s a cop, it’s a dog. I love them dearly, but I, I, I am not going to pay five grand for this, like, blood panel for like, every last condition that you think they could possibly have without, you know, like, you know, much in the way of symptoms or anything.

Speaker 2: And I do think we have a way of this is true of like human health care, too, but we over medicalized some things. And with pets, it comes to feel almost like, I don’t know, exploitative because you go to the vet and they’re like, well, you know, we could be doing X, Y and Z using all these technologies that we have at our disposal. And like, you know, the dog or the cat seems fine. I don’t know that we need to go to like the invasive level of I don’t even understand like some of the terms she was throwing out here with fecal scoring. That just seems to me like not. It’s just overboard to me like, yeah, I understand the card is old and it’s going to have some problems, but there can be a there can be a problem of looking for problems, let’s put it that way.

Wiley Coyote: Yeah, I think that was where I came down on the question of like, what if I offer to pay for bloodwork? Because like it seems like in this case, if you paid for the bloodwork, the bloodwork would be about establishing whether or not the cat has this condition. And to me it’s less of the one off cost and more. The question of I think why you’re trying to push for this is because you kind of want to suss out whether or not your sister in law, if she found out her cat did have that chronic condition, would decide, okay, great, let’s do all the treatments or say let’s do nothing. And as long as the cat seems relatively happy and healthy, great.

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Wiley Coyote: And when that changes, let’s talk about euthanasia, which my guess is like is the answer you’re trying to prevent. And so it’s not just a question of a one off cost. It’s also a question of like, well, if I found out that my cat had this particular condition, I might not choose to treat it. And you might. And I really do just like want to stress, I think there are a lot of multiple options there that good cat loving people can disagree on. Like if you feel like it’s worth it, you know, to like aggressively treat a health condition in a 17 year old cat, you should be free to do that. And if somebody else decides not to, again, that’s just not on the level of like. They don’t care about their cat. It’s it’s you know, you don’t have to worry about, like, what’s the human analog like? We just get to go ahead and say, like, we we value human and cat lives slightly differently. And that’s, I think, a good thing.

Wiley Coyote: But yeah, I think the thing here is like cats die a lot sooner than people and that’s sad and hard. And this is your first cat and your cat’s old and not well, and you kind of want your sister in law to feel about elderly cats the same way that you do. And because you feel like you have really good intentions, you kind of want to push, even though I think you’ve already gotten your answer a couple of different times from a couple of different people.

Wiley Coyote: So with all that being said and with a great deal of love and compassion and a memory of, you know, when my 18 year old cat died a few years ago, I was incredibly sad. And, you know, I would have wanted a lot to have one more day with him. And so I do really get it. And it wasn’t like a casual, like, oh, he died. No worries. That’s what happens. I think you should let this go. Letter writer. And I’m sorry. But on the other hand, it’s great to have a cat. You have a cat, right?

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Speaker 2: A cat that lives as long as possible. Also good.

Wiley Coyote: Yeah, I think. I think that’s all I’ve got left on that one.

Wiley Coyote: Do you have any more general advice about cats or mortality or cat mortality that you just want to share with, like the people?

Speaker 2: My cat is under my desk right now, so I do. I do strongly feel the the need to have as much time as possible. But yeah, you know, this is the pet care question always comes down to is it their longevity or is it their quality of life? And you’re talking in this case about cats that have already lived a very long time. And so it becomes more and more burdensome to make these interventions. And ultimately, like, in my opinion, not going to be worth it. So, yeah, if you want to have that kind of discussion with another cat owner, then you can. But I don’t think you can really hope to steer the diagnosis and treatment of someone else’s pet. That’s really just not your business, ultimately.

Wiley Coyote: Yeah. And that’s that’s it. That’s all I have on the subject of other people’s cats. And I wish everyone listening a very long lived cat if they have one. And it’s a reminder, if nothing else, to think about, like getting a living wills for ourselves because, you know, human health care is not the same thing as cat care. But it is a good reminder that if you have specific feelings about what kind of like heroic interventions you may or may not want in the event of an emergency, you should write it out because it’s not a one size fits all thing. Some people want everything possible done and some people feel very strongly about Don’t do this or that, and so you should write it down.

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Wiley Coyote: So nobody has to guess which just great because when I was in the UK last month, I would guess that something like 120% of all commercials were for cremation services and every single one of those cremation commercials began the same way, which was like somebody in their forties cutting up fruit in the kitchen, looking directly at the camera and saying something like, I don’t want anyone to make a fuss when I die.

Speaker 2: It’s the most British thing I’ve ever heard.

Wiley Coyote: It was like it felt too on the nose because everything was just like, Don’t go to any trouble. Throw me into the ocean. I don’t want anyone to think about me the second I’m gone. Like, on the one hand, it’s obviously superior in some ways to like American denial of death, but it was like it was too much. It was too like, don’t. Burial rituals are for the birds. Why even bother remembering those who die? You know.

Speaker 2: You just need to be there. And it’s always sunny. You just, you know, just throw me in the trash.

Wiley Coyote: Yes. Put me in a trash compactor. Turn me into Soylent Green. And it’s like, can we can we find a middle ground here where we’re still sad and people die? There’s got to be when we write down something on a headstone, maybe, what do you want people to do to you when you die?

Speaker 2: I think I would go cremation, but I also want to just be like have pee in the ground and have like a tree planted there. I would like to be somehow be transformed into a plant. Sounds good to me.

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Wiley Coyote: I feel like every so often somebody will, like, show an insert like an infographic on Twitter that’s like, here’s this special nylon bag we could put you in. And then like, if an oak tree around you and that’s someone on my side. Yeah. And then someone else is like, here’s why that couldn’t actually work. But like tree pod burials, that feels very in line with with your whole situation.

Speaker 2: I feel I am a huge ocean person, but I don’t I love the ocean. I love swimming, love going to the beach. But I still don’t think going to the ocean would sit right with me because, you know, that’s not where I’m from. You know, ultimately, I’m just a tourist there.

Wiley Coyote: That makes sense. I like the idea of you have to get buried where you were born.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Wiley Coyote: So mostly people are going to get buried under regional hospitals. Yeah, yeah. But you have to you have to go back there. I feel and I’m always surprised by this. I feel very strongly. I want like the classic nice casket, bury me facing up, put me in a nice outfit. Like not necessarily all the formaldehyde stuff. You don’t have to, like pull out all of my organs and stuff me with preservatives, but, like, bury me like a human being, you know, put a headstone up, put me in, in the cemetery, have people stand around and, like, toss a lily on top. Like, I don’t want to be set on fire or like put in a trash compactor. And I always feel a little, like, privately judgmental when someone says, like, just embrace me. And I’m like, I understand I’ll be dead and I will not be able to have a continued effect upon the world. And like, oh, well, I’ll continue to work on accepting that.

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Speaker 2: I mean, as someone who really loves having picnics in cemeteries, yeah, it would be nice to have someone have a picnic on you.

Wiley Coyote: Yeah. Put me in the ground in a in a box. It doesn’t have to be those like, steel numbers that never, never deteriorate. But I don’t want to like rush the deterioration process. Anybody who’s, like, put me in the body farm, I’m like. Fine. You do that. I’m not. I have no desire to be shot out of a cannon like I am Wiley Coyote.

Speaker 2: So I didn’t even think about that. Yeah, that is that’s that’s another option.

Wiley Coyote: I mean, I do I appreciate that because I think the type of person who’s very enthusiastic about the body farm is often like a pleasant and enjoyable kind of person to spend time with. I just like it’s kind of like the cat thing, like, I’m very glad you have that option. And if someone suggested that that was going to happen to me after I died, I would be pretty mad.

Speaker 2: I feel you.

Wiley Coyote: All right. So I think that’s about as much as we need to do on that one. Before I let you and the rest of the world go. I have a quick letter from a listener that I’m going to answer, I think, very briefly and demand an update from. So I’m going to read this really quickly. Well, we’ll just I’ll read it at my regular pace. It’s just going to be short. The subject is T for B, I’m a 20 something and I think I might be a trans man. I fantasize about transition and the possible effects of testosterone regularly. This is all well and good, but I have lived most of my life as a lesbian and I am absolutely infatuated with butch lesbians. I don’t encounter butch people who would be interested in me post-transition, and this makes me sad. How can I reconcile my desire to transition with my undying love of bitches? I know this sounds silly, but it’s genuinely making me reconsider my transition.

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Wiley Coyote: Letter writer. I love you, and I want to just give you a big hug. If hugs are your deal, it doesn’t sound silly. And I think that incorporating like your libido and your desire and your sense of who you want to date into your ideas about transition makes a great deal of sense. So nothing here feels like frivolous or unimportant or foolish or like something that you ought to be ashamed of. And I want to try to strike a balance between two things. I don’t want to just lean into don’t worry. There are a ton of butch lesbians who do love dating trans guys and want to use the same words you want to use and will want to have the same identities that you want to have and just go on Lex and type in Butch for trans mask and see what happens.

Wiley Coyote: You will have no problems on that front, although I do think I can offer you some encouragement on that front that that is a definite like type of, you know, relationship dating, pool cruising type that I am familiar with that I have myself encountered. I don’t know that all of the books in question would have called themselves lesbians versus various other things. But like the Venn diagram of butch ness, trans masculinity, various forms of non-binary identities is real and present and outside of like weird people on Twitter who want to say No, you have to choose one of 27 flags that identify exactly who you want to fuck and date. And if you pick one flag and you ever use the word butch, you know, we will send someone to your house and they will shake you down. Those people. Should be ignored. Don’t worry about them.

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Wiley Coyote: And then the other question is like. You know, if you feel like there is an entire contingent of people who will only date you based on you are not transitioning. Whether that is like something you have actively heard from those people or just the thing that you fear. That to me usually like that needs some sunlight on it. So I would I would recommend maybe trying to meet some of trans guys, trying to talk to some trans guys, maybe share some of these fears with them. Like if you’ve established a friendly relationship and they’re okay with hearing you talk about something that’s on your mind, I don’t mean just like walk down the street and look for a short guy with like patchy facial hair and say, I need to talk to you about butch lesbians right away. Your name’s Troy, right?

Wiley Coyote: But, you know, if anyone’s saying, you know, if you were to change your name or use different pronouns or take testosterone, you would be banned from the realm of the attractive. And we would just all have to say goodbye to you. I would encourage you to think of that as transphobia, however kindly someone is trying to put it.

Wiley Coyote: And I would also suggest that it is possible that if you were to take steps towards transition, you might find that some of the deep passion and desire you have for Butch is some other bushes are coming on that journey with you. They don’t call it butch flight for nothing. That’s a joke. It’s not a real thing. We’re not stealing bushes from anybody. But you will not be the first butch in history who eventually thinks.

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Wiley Coyote: You know what? Maybe I would like to transition and just, you know, there are butch is on testosterone. Testosterone is not exclusively the provenance of trans men, which is not to say that you don’t get to be a trans man who goes on testosterone, but like there were cooler and weirder subtypes of people than you might have imagined. I have known and hooked up with Butch is Auntie, and they are in many ways extremely different from me and my whole deal, despite us having a ton in common. And it’s very, very cool and very, very wonderful. And I just want you to know that whatever you do or don’t decide to do in the near future, there are more options than you think there are, and there’s not one clubhouse that you’re going to get kicked out of.

Wiley Coyote: And if any individual person is like, I liked you when you were butch, but if you’re going to, you know, go by Kyle and start t you know, you upset me. Now that person’s not looking out for your welfare. That’s not to say if, like, you start transitioning and someone’s like, Oh, thanks, I don’t want to date you, that’s fine. But if somebody is like putting the pressure on you, then I would encourage you to push back against that. Good luck.

Wiley Coyote: If you are anyone who feels at all represented on the butch spectrum and you sometimes date trans guys, and if you want to share your experience, strength and hope, feel free to write in. Obviously, I can’t hook you up with this letter writer, but you know, be on the lookout. And obviously, if you can think of a better dating site for bitches and trans guys than Lex, please mention it because that would be great. That’s it. That’s all the wisdom I have. Miles. Thank you so much for walking us through breakfast and death.

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Speaker 2: Thank you so much.

Wiley Coyote: Went through the whole life cycle. Have a fabulous rest of the day. Thank you for being right about everything. I really appreciate that.

Speaker 2: Oh, yeah. No problem.

Wiley Coyote: Thank you for joining us on Big Mood, a little mood with me. Danny Lavery, our producer, is Phil Surkis, who also composed our theme music Don’t Miss an episode of the show, had the Slate.com slash mood to sign up to subscribe or hit the subscribe button on whatever platform you’re using right now. Thanks. Also, if you can please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. We’d love to know what you think. If you want more big mood, little mood, you should join Slate. Plus, Slate’s membership program members get an extra episode of Big Mood Little Mood every Friday, and you’ll get to hear more advice and conversations with the guest. And as a Slate Plus member, you’ll also be supporting the show. Go to Slate.com forward slash mood plus to sign up. It’s just $1 for your first month. If you’d like me to read your letter on the show, maybe need a little advice, maybe some big advice.

Wiley Coyote: Head to Slate.com slash mood to find our big mood, a little mood listener question form or find a link in the description on the platform you’re using right now. Thanks for listening. And here’s a preview of our Slate Plus episode coming this Friday.

Wiley Coyote: To me, the idea that you are considering moving in with two partners when you have never had a like sit down frank conversation where you just said, hey, you both complain about each other to me a lot and I’m fucking sick of it. That suggests to me that maybe you’re putting the cart before the horse and you have been kind of hoping that you can be in a throuple where you hint, suggest hope your way through interpersonal problems that in fact just require.

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Wiley Coyote: I need to talk to you both right now, and it’s about this thing, and I need you to both fix it. And if the idea of saying that just feels like I would have to become a different kind of person, I would need to, like, join the French Foreign Legion and travel the world for 100 years and, like, watch mountains rise and fall. Before I could imagine myself sitting down both my partners and saying, just like, frankly, and without concern for like massaging their feelings. Like you’re both bitching about each other to me constantly, and I hate it. And I need you to stop. Like you got to get there. You got to be able to do stuff like that. You got to.

Speaker 2: Be able to demand a throuple meeting.

Wiley Coyote: Because like you’ve already and I want to encourage this literally, like you’ve already done a lot to, you know, buck convention. You’ve already pursued your dreams sufficiently to be in a relationship with two people at the same time, which, like, you know, that’s not nothing. It’s you don’t it’s it’s a little difficult to stumble into a throuple, right. Like you. Not that the only people who do it are, like iconoclastic road pavers to listen to the rest of that conversation. Join Slate Plus now at Slate.com, forward slash mood.