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mouse and weens

part comedy, part life. A podcast.

Episode 25 - Trader Joes Tragedy, Body Image, Caveman Theories, Lean In

We catch up and hear about Weens’ scary news from the night before: a 3-hour hostage situation at the Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake, a neighborhood in Los Angeles about 1/4 mile from Weens’ house. There is a lot of news about it now (abc7.com), but in summary, a suspected murderer stole a car, kidnapped his girlfriend, embarked on a high-speed chase which ended in a car crash, injuring his girlfriend. The teen exchanged gunfire with police, resulting in the death of a woman in Trader Joe’s, and he was finally taken into custody. Weens stood at the line with the reporters and took some photos and videos. She describes the multitude of emergency vehicles and watching the SWAT team roll closer to the store with their car doors open as shields. Police and negotiators used a mirror on a pole to see into windows where he was barricaded. Some people escaped out ladders from the second story, and other hostages were released out of the front door.
 
At her house, she heard the chaos go past – ambulances, helicopters, police – so rode her bike down to the scene to see firsthand what was happening. Weens was bothered by the fact that at first, she was watching this unfold on-screen from home during a live feed on Facebook and that those commenting were being flippant and making jokes about it. So, something inside her told her she needed to go there and witness it in person. She was also secretly hoping to get a toe shot off so that she could be on disability and not have to go to work because she is so tired! It did start to feel like she was at work, or like watching a movie, because this type of thing happens so often and we are so used to living our lives on screens. The scene of the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, walking down the street with the chief of police and others, reminds Weens of The Right Stuff  (look it up, millennials!), which sends us on a tangent about another slo-mo walking scene in Gleaming the Cube with Christian Slater, the van skateboard scene in the same movie, and the van and skateboards scenes with Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf and Back To The Future. Weens debunks her crush on Michael J. Fox and reminds us all that Bruce Willis was the one and only.
 
Weens recalls her friend being held at gunpoint in San Francisco at an Adidas store and having PTSD afterwards, so we think of the poor people in the Trader Joe’s who might forever be afflicted with this tragic memory. This gets us talking about trauma, what qualifies, and how do you rate your trauma. Weens is reading The Body Keeps the Score and it explains that unless you receive treatment for your traumatic experience in your past, the event can manifest in a variety of ways. You might become dissociated from normal emotional behavior and react in rage, and there is even evidence that trauma can change brain chemistry. Weens asks Mouse what her biggest trauma has been, and we discuss our dad’s death and the fact that we weren’t able to grieve properly because we were immediately sued by his ex-wife for his estate. She was Mormon so there might be LDS components to it. We are going to do some research, like listening to the Mormon Happy Hour Podcast!
 
We start discussing therapy and Mouse explains why she doesn’t go, that she feels it’s a waste of money, and she wouldn’t have anything to talk about with her black and white personality and the fact that she feels that life is good. But maybe one reason would be to seek therapy for body image issues. Growing up, Mouse was skinny and was always being fattened up. So that same mentality has stayed in place: finish everything on your plate. Now that she is working out a lot and did the Cool Sculpting, she felt confident and wore a bikini to the beach during the past weekend for the first time in 12 years. And the takeaway was that everyone should be happy in their body and strut their stuff no matter what. When you examine all the body types at the beach, you realize that anything goes. Weens remembers the robust women in Italy walking in Italy in all sorts of revealing clothing and being amazed at their confidence. Men don’t seem to have the same body image hang-ups and strut their bellies at the beach, so why is this? We should all learn from this and just own it! Weens recalls a story about being in Mouse’s Real Housewives closet and beginning to complain about her looks, but Mouse shushing her from saying anything construed as body shaming. Mouse messes this up all the time, but tries to shield her daughter from this self-doubt because it’s such a shame that kids go from being confident about their bodies when they are little, to losing the confidence as they get older.
 
Mouse has thoughts on why women worry so much about their bodies: the caveman theory. This is her favorite go-to theory that applies to many things in life, including diet.  She claims to have “invented” the Paleo Diet before it was ever published! A nutritionist friend and she were going to write a book about mimicking how humans, as animals, were meant to eat whole foods and seasonal offerings such as meat and fruit. Weens questions this, asking how evolution, vegetarianism, geolocation, and weather play into the theory, and Mouse explains that evolution of course is a part of it, and there are always exceptions to the rule. Her theory is just a general sense that this is similar to how we should eat.
 
This theory also applies to females trying to attract males of the species to procreate and that it can all be boiled down to reproduction. If women see men attracted to thinner body types in media, then women are going to try to emulate that, which breeds competition. This breeds “mean girls” and may be why women can’t really support each other, because there is some instinctual need to be the best in the room. Weens plays devil’s advocate and asks how homosexuality plays into this theory. Mouse surmises the evolution plays into this too, in that as the population grows, humans don’t need to reproduce as much, therefore evolve to not be attracted to the opposite sex. Weens explains that there were many other gender permutations in ancient civilizations to maintain the balance of tribes, and goes into a current description of fa’afafine, a third gender in Samoa. Mouse continues to theorize about later-in-life homosexuality and the sliding Kinsey scale.
 
We get into the caveman theory and matriarchal versus patriarchal societies. Are we seeing a shift in power these days with women’s marches? Is it solely a coastal phenomenon in the United States? Is history repeating itself regarding turn of the century voting rights, 60’s civil rights times, and now our fight for gender equality in the workplace. Weens relates a scene from a documentary on feminism describing a job opening for a secretary required to have certain looks and a quiet demeanor. Mouse talks about Sheryl Sandburg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, a book about how women can use their power and voice in the workplace and in raising strong girls. We talk about the idea that the word “bossy” can be a good thing and Weens says she is embracing that quality in herself more. As time goes on, her tolerance is less and less and she is speaking up more and more. Mouse’s daughter has two big brothers, so we talk about how important this quality is for her to stand up to them and raise her voice.
 
We talk about roles in the home since Mouse’s daughter models herself after her. Mouse did this as a little girl and sees the same in her daughter, mimicking the stay-at-home-mom chores with dishes, laundry, etc. We talk about how Weens was not like this as a kid and was always outside playing outside with the boys on bikes, skateboards, catching lizards and building forts. Mouse doesn’t like chores per se, but does see something satisfying about a nice pile of folded clothes, as happy as Snow White! In child development, Weens explains that when one sibling fills a traditional role, the other siblings fill the remaining roles. We do a fact check and find that Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler discovered that sibling hierarchy has a profound effect on influencing everything from career choices to people we fall in love with. Oldest children are often more confident leaders, but can be bossy, perfectionists, and worriers (Mouse), middle children are often more adaptable, diplomatic and patient but might struggle to establish a clear role for themselves and can go through a period of rebellion and can be competitive (Weens-ish). Youngest children are compulsive and good at getting their way, and often rebel as a way of distinguishing themselves from older siblings and are more likely to take risks and choose a career that is different than other family members (Weens-ish). We talk about whether this was true but boil It down to people-pleaser and maybe an ADD tomboy! What role did you play in your family? Write in!
 
Closing out, (1) we are now on Spotify, (2) please share, follow, and tell your friends. Word of mouth is powerful and we would love to spread around the friendship! Weens would also like to get plugged! Guys, reach out. She needs a well-aerated plug in her hot cottage, a la lizards doing push ups! Please contact us on social media @MouseAndWeens We would love to connect! And enjoy Weens’ outro song “Cavegirl” that she wrote while working on the Aquabats Super Show.

This episode took us a while to publish due to some audio issues. But Weens figured it out, all while working 16-hour days on set for the upcoming TV show The Rookie, starring Nathan Fillion of Castle. Poor thing needs her sleep and some better hours. Sheesh! Meanwhile, Mouse has 3 kids at home for the summer and didn’t make a lot of plans for camp. So sitting at the computer a lot is not in the cards. They have been out and about doing day trips, going on appointments, and making a homemade movie to keep the boys off Fortnite!
 
Also, you may have to RESUBSCRIBE to our show because we have switched hosting companies. Yes, we are now available on Blubrry at mouseandweens.blubrry.net directly, as well as just about every other podcast player. We are working to merge everything over, so you may have to manually search Mouse And Weens in your player and then SUBSCRIBE again as the apps update the new automated feed. Thanks for your patience!

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