4. Social Awkwardness.

“As I tell this story, I’m so red! Me being naked... well, it rarely helps a situation, but it definitely didn’t help in this situation.”

Ah, social awkwardness: Where would comedy be without it? I think it happens when the scripts our social interactions follow get disrupted, and nobody knows what to do next. Rebecca has some theories about it, and also the funniest stories. Michael thinks it has to do with an excess of caring and self-awareness. What separates awkwardness from worse things, like bullying, is that the latter involves deliberate malice on someone’s part. But being bullied can make you more self-conscious, and therefore more awkward.

[This episode includes a discussion of bullying and homophobia.]

Guests.

Michael Collins grew up a weird kid in a small Newfoundland town. He moved to Toronto in 2009 to pursue a Ph.D. in English literature, but eventually the scales fell from his eyes and he left academia. Now he is a personal trainer whose life goal is to be Julia Child, but for lifting weights. He is good at his job but still suffers from an impossible-to-suppress inappropriate laugh. He hosts the Megaphonic podcast This Is Your Mixtape.

Rebecca Norlock grew up in Brantford, Ontario, moved to Toronto to pursue a degree in social work and has now been a social worker in downtown Toronto working in homelessness and mental health for 25 years (so she is obviously very wealthy and has very low blood pressure). She is a single mother to two and a half kids (the half being her daughter’s boyfriend, who has lived with her since he was 17).  When not working or parenting, she is making out with her cats Hero and Pepper, hanging around her many weird friends, or reading.

Show Notes.

Selfie Bee on Tumblr.

A handy roundup of all the Selfie Bee strips we talk about in this episode.

Fleshlights [NSFW].

Bunz Trading Zone.

Three’s Company.

Mary Tyler Moore.

Kate & Allie.

Famous Comedians vs. Hecklers.

Zach Galafinakis.

Socially Awkward Penguin.

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3. Sociability and the Single Woman.

“When I was in my 20s, a part of me wanted to feel normal by society’s standards. I wanted to be married so that I didn’t feel odd. And that’s a terrible reason.”

As a “relationship virgin”, I wonder whether I even want a relationship anymore, or just feel like a weirdo for not being in one. Melissa describes her current status as “willfully single”—she’s focusing on building other meaningful relationships in her life. Sabrina’s single and looking, but has also just bought a house with five friends; is that really any weirder or riskier than getting married? We also talk about strategies for making new, close friends when you’re past your twenties; planning way ahead, financially and socially; and how being single isn’t the same as being alone.

Guests.

Sabrina Bowman is a 35-year-old single woman who loves her bike, Kensington Market, running an environmental nonprofit called GreenPAC, dance parties, doing lunges, and delighting in the wonderful people of Toronto,

Melissa Brizuela grew up in the suburbs of Toronto and moved downtown while she was an undergraduate student at Ryerson. She loves the challenges and rewards of her day job in higher ed, but she's still trying to find her "life's work". She loves to sew, but does her best creative work in the kitchen.

Show Notes.

“I’m a relationship virgin: I’m 54 and have never had a boyfriend”.

The book by a twentysomething homesteader that Melissa mentions is Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich.

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2. Siblings.

“We always have each other’s back. It’s the defining feature of our relationship.”

Daniel is the youngest of three kids; Vanessa’s a middle child from a large, blended family. We talk about how older siblings mold the younger ones’ tastes and ambitions, how sometimes staying good friends with your siblings as adults means setting some boundaries, and how the one thing that always brings you and your brothers and sisters together is making fun of your parents.

Guests.

Dr. Vanessa Lehan is contract faculty at York University in Toronto, where she teaches critical thinking to undergrads. She works primarily in the area of philosophy of logic and also sometimes publishes on pedagogy.

Daniel Rotsztain is the Urban Geographer, an artist, writer and cartographer whose work examines our relationship to the places we inhabit. He is the author and illustrator of two colouring books: All the Libraries Toronto, featuring every branch of Toronto Public Library, and A Colourful History Toronto, featuring Toronto’s historic sites. Recently he worked with Lindsey Lickers and Art Starts on the Cartography 17 project, a giant, collaboratively made, decolonized map of Toronto. His work has also appeared in Spacing Magazine, the Globe and Mail and Now Magazine.

Show Notes.

Adult Siblings Can Make Our Lives Healthier And Happier.

The episode of The Imposter featuring Daniel’s brother is Episode 35: Justice for Cartoon Jonny Rotsztain!

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1. Gezelligheid.

We kick off with an episode about togetherness, and some of the many different ways to find it. I call my mom and ask her about the Dutch word for the opposite of lonely. Dylan talks about confraternities, which were basically the meetup groups of the Renaissance. Wendy talks about how public libraries are evolving to include maker spaces and “urban living rooms” where people can learn and make things together. Was socializing simpler for our parents? How can we make it easier for ourselves?

Guests.

Dylan Reid is one of the founders of Spacing, a magazine about Toronto's urban landscape. He is Spacing's books editor and the author of the Toronto Public Etiquette Guide. Dylan is also one of the founders of Walk Toronto, a grassroots advocacy group. He has a Master's degree in history and is a fellow at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at the University of Toronto, and has published several academic articles on urban culture in Renaissance France.

Wendy Banks is a librarian at Toronto Public Library, where she has helped to establish cultural programs including the Eh List (Canadian) Author Series, the Museum + Arts Pass program, and author talks at the Appel Salon at Toronto Reference Library. She currently works as the Digital Content Lead for the Collection Development Department, where she uses the internet to help people find out about all the different things they can get from the library.

Show Notes.

Petra Halkes’ website.

Census 2016: More Canadians than ever are living alone, and other takeaways.

The Toronto Public Etiquette Guide by Dylan Reid is available from Spacing.

Shelve Under: Podcast! Coming from the Toronto Public Library this spring.

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0. Coming Soon.

Coming soon! The Opposite of Lonely is a podcast about how people find and create community and social connection. Each episode, Nadia will sit down with a couple of interesting guests and discuss how people create community and social connection these days. We’ll focus on the relationships that don’t usually get discussed on “relationship” podcasts — with friends, siblings, even coworkers. We’ll try to pin down what gives us a sense of togetherness, and what puts the quality in “quality time.” Being unlonely these days is a work in progress. It can be challenging and confusing, and most of us are still figuring it out. Let’s talk about it. Come hang out with us!

The Opposite of Lonely will begin on March 21, 2018, at Megaphonic.fm.

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