This week, Jake goes out with comedian Hannah Jones. The two discuss the Canada Goose coyote scandal, Jones’ experience being homeschooled, and accidental rudeness. Tune in for more.
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Jake Cornell: Gorge, when did you get here?
Hannah Jones: Yesterday afternoon.
J: Gorge, did you go out last night?
H: Yes, I had one show and then my friend who’s also from Denver in the city right now doing shows, had a different one. They were 10 minutes away.
J: Oh, wait, where were the shows?
H: I did just come and they were at Our Wicked Lady.
J: Oh, cute. Very fun.
H: We met up at their brewery afterwards and had a drink.
J: Oh, very fun. Is this your first time being in New York doing shows?
J: That’s so exciting.
H: It is so exciting.
J: How long have you been doing standup in Denver?
H: Five, six years, I think.
J: That’s amazing. What’s the comedy scene like in Denver? Is it big? Is it really small?
H: It’s bigger than I would’ve ever guessed, definitely small compared to here, but it’s so good. There’s one main club in Denver that has two locations and then we have an improv as well that’s outside of the city and then several more clubs within the distance, but then the indie scene, because Denver’s like so brewery heavy and every brewery, they’re indistinguishable. The way to get people in the door, they love having comedy shows and then the people in the city just love watching comedy.
J: That’s cool because I’ve been watching your videos for a while, but I was watching a bunch earlier today and a lot of your videos are from clubs and I was like, “Oh, these look like New York comedy clubs,” the way the stage is set up and stuff and I was surprised because I think I pictured it. I assumed it would be more indie so it makes more sense to hear that.
H: You would assume it’s nowhere. I feel like everybody goes there, they’re like, “Oh, the comedy scene is actually really good.” That’s crazy.
J: I think because I went to college — it’s not that I didn’t think the comedy scene would be good, but I guess it’s more that I always — because I went to college in Burlington, which always gets compared to Boulder and Denver.
H: Oh, OK.
J: They’re considered like parallels a lot of the time. Also, so many people that go — I went to UVM. There’s like a pipeline of you graduating at UVM and then you just move to Boulder or Denver.
H: Boulder sucks. If you go to college and then move to Boulder, that’s not a super high chance that you’re a cool person.
J: That’s so funny. How far is Boulder from Denver?
H: It’s like 40 minutes.
J: Why does it suck?
H: It’s all sort of the problems of Denver, but it’s extremely wealthy and extremely White. I mostly know it from a comedy perspective. They hate jokes. They come up-
H: Yes. If it was, oh, they just don’t go to comedy shows, that would be one thing. It’s like, no, they’re convinced that they would love to come to a comedy show and then they get to a comedy show and they’re like, “Oh, this is so not what I had in mind.”
J: Is it, what did you have in mind?
H: I don’t know.
J: That’s so interesting. Most of my friends from college live in Denver so I feel pretty good about that. You’re not from Denver originally, are you?
H: No, I’m from North Carolina originally.
J: Oh, my God. Wait, this is such a parallel.
H: Wait, really?
Katie Brown: I’m from Charlotte.
H: Oh, nice. I’m from Fayetteville.
K: Oh, no way.
J: Now, your family lives in Colorado?
H: Oh, sh*t.
K: I have tons of family in Denver.
H: That’s so dope.
J: You’re sisters?
K: We are.
J: What drew you to Denver?
H: When I graduated college, I had no money and also no idea what people did after they graduated from college. I think a lot of people were like, “We’re all going to get jobs.” I was like, “What? I missed the memo, f*ck.”
J: I know. No, it’s actually, I relate to that so deeply because something I didn’t know. Because neither of my parents worked in corporate America, ever. That was not part of — No one in my family really — I guess one of my aunts does, but I just didn’t know how. I didn’t understand what the term entry-level position meant.
J: I was just like I don’t know how you become anything. That’s why I worked in restaurants because I was — I know if you go to a restaurant and say, “Can I work here?” Then they say, “Yes, now you work in a restaurant”, but I don’t understand how any of these other things work.
J: I also never had an internship. I don’t know what that is. I didn’t understand. I remember when I first moved to New York, everyone was obsessed with — I was so annoying when I first moved here because I was working in a restaurant, trying to do comedy so broke. Any time I met anyone, I’d be like, “Hi, how do you make money?”
J: Literally, I said, “How much do you pay in rent and how do you make money and how are you doing this? I needed to know that and everyone was obsessed with being, I’m a copywriter and I would be like, “Yes, word.” Then I’d be like, “What is that?”
H: It’s fake too, right? Copywriter means low-key my parents are paying my rent.
J: Copywriter means your parents are paying your rent. Nanny is one where it’s, I babysit once a week, but I say that’s what I do but I actually pay my rent. This is the most iconic response I ever got. One time I asked someone what they do for work and she said, “I just think there’s something more interesting we could be talking about than what ties us to capitalism.”
H: I love her.
J: I went, “F*ck me.”
H: She needs to run for office.
H: I had a similar wake-up experience when I went to college because.
J: Where’d you go?
H: UNC-Chapel Hill. I’m from Fayetteville, which is not a super wealthy city. It’s very military and not a lot of people work in the corporate world. Anyway, I got to college and it’s like the first time I realized that there are people who are significantly wealthier than my family.
H: I was like, I kind of thought everyone was just like, exactly like us.
H: All of your bills are covered, but you don’t have health insurance and that’s fine. I would go to school with all these kids who had insane levels of wealth and they would refer to their internships as their jobs. I was like, “Wow, that’s crazy that your job is so much cooler. Your job is in publishing and my job is at a coffee shop.” What I didn’t realize is they were not getting paid.
J: Not getting paid, no.
H: Then when I graduated college, I was like, “Oh, I just had a very different four years from you guys.
J: For me, with college, the thing about UVM is — UVM is one of the state schools from Vermont. The Vermont kids are normal but then the other kids, a lot of them are really, really rich but the kind of rich kids that UVM attracts are rich kids who love living like dirtbags.
H: Oh, one people.
J: Snowboard, ski. I would find out someone was rich and I would be like, “They smell.” They are dirty. Apparently, they are so rich and everyone wore baggy clothes. No one at my school was wearing Chanel. That wasn’t the vibe. My college version of wearing Vineyard Vines or wearing Chanel or wearing anything was like wearing Burton or North Face or Patagonia.
H: That’s so Denver.
J: Yes, they’re so similar in that way.
H: That makes sense.
J: It’s like there are these wealth signifiers. Towards the end of college, it was also — what’s the one that they say is stuffed with down feathers, but it’s actually stuffed with coyote fur? Canadian Goose?
J: Canada Goose, yes. Allegedly.
H: Oh, my God.
J: That was a scandal.
K: Wait, what is it?
J: Can you Google this so I don’t get arrested? There was something where it was revealed that the Canada Goose jackets are actually stuffed with poached coyote fur instead of Canada goose feathers. Can you google Canada Goose coyote fur?
K: That’s the first thing that came up. I’m not even kidding.
J: This is the thing. It was a thing.
H: I’m shocked to the level I’m never going to get these jackets. I’ve never even considered it.
J: They’re also like $1 billion. Am I right?
K: You’re right that they use coyote fur, but I think it’s just to line the hood. I don’t think that they lied about using goose feathers.
H: Oh, no, it’s libel. You’re going to get sued.
J: OK, edit that out. Sorry, Canada Goose, sponsor me. My point is what you’re talking about, I went through when I moved to New York because I thought what my version of it was, was like, I knew that there were people who were poor and I knew people who were rich. In my mind, rich people got to go to Europe twice a year. Then I got to New York and started working in fancy restaurants and was like, “Oh, no. Rich is spending $4,000 on lunch.” I truly was like, “Oh, we’re f*cked.” I could not believe how rich, rich people were, and it f*cked me up. It f*cked my brain up.
H: Something within you just breaks, especially when you’re in the service industry for a long time and you’re interfacing with those people when you come in with the worst day in the world and you’re so stressed. I was a barista for a long time so it’d be like, I just accidentally dropped a gallon of milk in the back, and it exploded and I had to go mop it up in a second. I’m talking to this woman who reminds me six times to make her drink with almond milk, even though I’ve never messed up and I was like, “OK, this is when people say eat the rich, they are envisioning violent cannibalism. I fully get it now.”
J: 100 percent. It’s like slaughter, clean, cook and eat the rich.
H: It’s not a metaphor. It’s like, “I’m hungry.”
J: Oh, 100 percent. Was baristing your main service gig?
J: Nice. I’ve never been a barista, but my best friend is a barista. I was a bartender and server for a decade. It’s hard out there. Baristing, I think, is one of the hardest, as someone who’s never done it, but watching my bestie go through it because, one, the pay gap between a bartender and a barista is psychotic because it’s the same level of difficulty.
J: It’s different. I guess it’s different because you’re not dealing with drunk people ideally.
H: Also, “bartender” is such a wide gap. If you think about a sh*tty dive bar bartender who’s like — There’s crazy b*tch named Marge. I was that version of a barista. I didn’t make good money as a barista because I was bad at it and I have so much respect for the blue bottle people. They deserve to be paid so much more, absolutely. They should be making what a good bartender makes.
J: For example, if I came to your coffee shop and you’re baristing and I say, “Can I get a cappuccino and a latte?” How different are those beverages actually going to end up in the cup?
H: Pretty different. I’m good at making the drinks, but I’m not good at — the barista experience, people go to a coffee shop because they want an emotional experience by and large.
J: 100 percent. There’s a romance.
H: Nobody is looking at how much foam there was in the cup. Maybe once or twice you get those customers.
J: Don’t barista in New York because it’s a different ballgame.
H: Oh, that’s so true. In Denver, it’s like everyone just wants something with a lot of vanilla syrup in it. You’re fine. You can spitball, honestly. We would have our special-
J: There’s a lot of wiggle room.
H: -machine breaks and we would just use the cold espresso that’s not espresso anymore. Chemically, it changes so much because you refrigerate it. When it’s just fine, nobody notices.
J: Yes, that’s valid. Wait, but you are not giving that experience is what you’re saying?
H: No. Socially, I just can’t get that experience for long hours. I would come in the morning hype. I was like, “This is going to be the day that I’m gregarious and mysterious and sexy but friendly. This is the day that I’m going to do that my entire shift. I know I have the energy in me.” 10 minutes later, I was like, “What do you want?”
J: There’s a barista on my block. I live on the same block as a coffee shop that I love and all the baristas there are angels. There’s one who is like I give you nothing and I respect them so deeply because it’s like I just see it. It’s like you’re never going to give me anything. I don’t need anything. I just want the coffee but I just love that they do — there’s no performance. Oh, my God, “Hi.” It’s just like, “Hi, what can I get you?” It’s not even rude. It’s actually the most neutral human I’ve ever experienced. They have fully perfected, I come and I present the coffee and the service and the transaction with no emotional tie. I don’t know if they’re taking ketamine before they get to work. I don’t know what they’re doing, but I respect you so deeply.
H: The best barista is one that just switches it up on a dime for no apparent reason. They’ll give 110 percent to one person in line and then the next seven people they give -5 percent and you walk out of there like I’m questioning myself on an existential level.
H: What’s wrong with me? That’s a huge experience. That’s an emotional product. That’s so much more than a cup of coffee.
J: That’s also sending a butterfly effect through the community. What they are doing to the entire community. If everyone in a given area is going to that coffee shop, the psychic influence of that is so deep and so powerful.
J: Especially if they’re just not being consistent. If you go one day and you’re getting — if you get the 100 percent and the next day you get the -5 percent, that’s destabilizing.
H: That happened to me with a coffee shop that I was a regular at in my old neighborhood and I was like, “Oh, OK. They’re having an off day.” It’s like I’m capable of empathy 100 percent. I go back the next time and it’s still nothing and then after three times-
J: Was it nothing or they’re mad at you? Was it just like, “Oh, I normally get something in and I’m getting nothing,” or were you like, “They’re mad at me?”
H: Those two things aren’t different. I have an anxiety disorder. If someone’s giving me nothing, it’s like they’re for-sure mad at me by default.
J: I hear what you’re saying.
H: It was like the switch-up. It’s like one time I’ll write that off as a fluke, three times in a row, I have to go to a new coffee shop now.
J: Did you change coffee shops?
H: Now I know they’re mad at me. It’s across the street. They could probably see me going in. I used to have pink hair so it’d be like, they would probably notice.
J: 100 percent. There’s a coffee shop around here. It’s actually one block up, which is the only time I know of in New York where I have been a rude customer, and the second it happened, I was like, “Oh my God.” I never thought I would have a day that pushed me to — It wasn’t even that. I’m going to tell you exactly what I did. Have I told the story on the podcast? Katie? I don’t think I have.
K: Which do you like?
J: With the sausage roll at Bourke Street. You look scared about it.
K: I don’t know.
J: Wait, what story were you thinking of?
K: Tell this one.
J: I had a day where I don’t even fully remember what was going wrong, but I remember being really upset and also I think I was running late. My schedule was f*cked up and I hadn’t been able to eat and I was so hungry that was also making me upset and I was just like, I’m going to get — there’s a place up here that sells these really good sausage rolls and they have a special ketchup that comes with them. Gorge, and I go and I’m just going to get this and eat it quickly because I was coming here to record the podcast. I get there and I’m like, “Hi, can I get the whatever sausage roll?” They’re like, “Yes,” and they put it in and I see that they don’t put the ketchup in the thing and I was like, “Oh, can I get the ketchup?” He was like, “We’re out of the ketchup.” I went, “Ahh, great,” like a demon and then I caught myself doing it and he went, “I’m really sorry.” He could tell b*tch, enough with the dramatics. He was annoyed. Rightly so and I literally went, “Oh my God, I’m so sorry. I think I’m having — that was not OK. You didn’t need to see that. I’m genuinely so sorry.” I’ll never go back there. They never have to see my face again.
H: You don’t believe in redemption?
J: I would go back now, but for a couple of months, I was like, “I can’t go back here.” I have to put myself in time out and then when I come back I’m going to — do you know what? I’m going to be on my best behavior. I never would’ve been that person.
K: That’s not the one you told on the pod.
J: That’s not the one I told on the pod?
K: That one that I was thinking of is when you accidentally were like, “Can I have a second?” But you were-
J: No, that was different where my just gay voice sounded rude and I didn’t realize it until after where I was like, this guy came up — I still think about this and I have anxiety about this. It was at Five Leaves in Williamsburg. The guy came up like, “Hey, guys, can I get you guys something to drink? I was trying to keep it like, “Can we get a second?”
H: That does sound so bad.
J: I realized in that minute I intonated wrong and I’m like, “Sorry, can we just get a second?” Or like, “Sorry. We’re just —” I was trying to be quirky and fun and he went, “Yes.” He was like — I was like, “I’m going to kill myself.”
H: That’s funny because the second time you said it, it also sounded rude.
J: How do you intonate the sentence? What I was trying to say was like, “I’m so sorry, we didn’t look at the menu yet. All we need is a second, it’s my bad,” I guess I should have just said that. I should have been like, “Oh, my God, sorry. We just need a second. That’s what it should have been, like, “Oh, yes, sorry. Can we just get a second? I just didn’t look.”
H: It still sounds weird. I’m so sorry. That might not be the phrase for you. You might have to switch to ruin the thing.
J: That’s the thing. It’s like my gay voice sounds rude.
H: It’s just that phrase though.
J: I just was like, “Yes. Sorry —” I don’t know. I could tell he hated me. I was like, “This is the worst burn of my life.” It was. It was the worst burn of my — actually, no, it was wonderful otherwise. I’ve actually never gone back to that place because of that.
H: The funny thing about that is that I would have to go back later that day in my most chipper. I would have to immediately overcompensate.
J: Here’s the thing, the server was a hot straight Australian man, and he’s fine. Do you know what I mean?
J: I was like, “He can take the dig. I can forgive myself for that.” If you happen to be listening to this podcast, hot Australian man that worked at Five Leaves at this point, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven years ago, I’m genuinely very sorry. I hope you have not carried the vex with you, but I think we can bury the hatchet. Do you know what I mean?
J: That time, I did not have rude intent. I was so happy he had come over. I just donated wrong. Worst thing that’s ever happened to me.
H: That’s so relatable. I accidentally say things rudely so frequently. I’ll hear my own voice and be like, “B*tch, do you not have any control over tone and stuff? Are you not a performer? Have you not read lines before?”
J: When you accidentally say it rude, is it like, “I’m feeling rude and I accidentally let it slip out?” Or it’s like you are feeling fine, all what I’m talking about at Five Leaves where I just like you say it and you’re like, “Oh, that sounded rude and I didn’t mean it to.”
H: It’s like the second, and I am preoccupied, but continue going around being a person, It is rude 100 percent of the time.
J: Wow. Can you give me an example?
H: Yes. I mean this happens in comedy so often, but if I’m thinking about a set thing or just when you show up at a show.
J: You’re running through your set of-
H: Time to socialize, but it’s like you also did just get to work.
J: 100 percent.
H: I have to meditate before I walk in, be warm, be friendly,-
J: Oh, my God.
H: -Rihanna, the performance starts now. It’s good. It’s been so good for me to know that. I literally just, in Denver, right before I left, I had a night where I showed up to this, this bar that a lot of comics go to at the end of the night. This girl ran up and hugged me and was like, “Are you mad at me?” I was like, “No. What did I say?” She’s like, “Well, at this time, you greeted me so weird.” I was like, “That is honestly such useful feedback. I know you probably feel insane right now. You’re not the insane one. I get this so often. I’m so glad you checked with me.”
J: It’s like a rude voice. It’s an accidental rude voice. That’s hard.
H: It’s resting b*tch personality. Ultimately, I am a good person, but the good person is not default or intuition. The good person is action.
J: I actually think that’s more respectable that you’re doing the work. You’re doing the work. I’m not joking, I think that’s 100 percent more respectable.
J: Someone has to work at being a good person because it doesn’t come naturally to that.
H: If someone’s naturally a good person, does that mean anything at all?
J: No, not at all.
H: When you meet a friend and they’re so complimentary like nightclub bathroom, just complimenting the sh*t out of you. It’s like when you’re 20, it means so much. It’s like that girl just said my outfit is giving the universe. Then you, by the time you’re 24, you’re like that girl needs to do less cocaine. That’s so annoying. I know she said that to every girl she saw in the bathroom tonight.
J: 100 percent. It’s short-term positivity versus actually doing good things in the world. At some point, you need to transition. That’s the thing that’s hard when you are on the other side of service is being like, “Is this person being accidentally rude to me or is there actual evil behind this?” Oftentimes, if you are the service person, it all just feels evil.
H: Which is crazy as a person who’s constantly accidentally rude that I still, when I get it from someone else, I’m like, “It’s crazy that they’re not naturally so warm and friendly in every moment.”.
J: For me, the thing that I had to get over the hardest that I still — I think it’s just a thing in life is the knowledge that there’s no, not I don’t want punishment, I’m not a believer in punishment, but it’s the thing of they will never know how this affected me. They will never know that this was rude. They will never know that this hurt me. You know what I mean? That lack of I just have to take this and then this experience lives and dies within me.
H: See, my favorite thing to do, when I was a barista, if someone said something even a little bit too rude, of crossed my line of you’re a rude customer, I would do the most manipulative sh*t.
J: I did make someone cry once at work, but moving on.
H:I would start groveling to a degree that was extremely disproportionate to what they have said. The full customer service style, I would be like, “I fully understand the fact that we are out of almond milk today is really unacceptable. For you, it’s like you trust us to have the ingredients for your drink,-
J: Oh my-
H: -and today, we didn’t deliver that for you.”
H: I keep going until I can see in their eyes that they feel bad and stupid, and then I would be, “So whatever we can do to make it up to you and earn back your business next time, we are prepared to do that.”
J: I’m nauseous and this is a role play of that situation. I would literally never go back.
J: It’s genius, I’m applauding you. That’s genius.
H: It felt really good, looking back on it, it’s like it was never that serious, the real answer was I needed to not be working that job. Some people are good at that job, they need to be paid more, but I needed to get out of there. I should never have been interfacing with customers for 40 hours a week.
J: I think that’s when a lot of people get out is when you realize like, “Oh, this has become a bad — I’m now a liability to this business and a liability to myself. I have to go,” even though it’s the other people that are in the wrong, part of this job is dealing with that. You shouldn’t have to, but that’s the reality of it, and that once you lose that capability, you have to go. It sucks because you have to figure out how to make money, but it starts to kill you, mentally kill you. When did you get out?
H: Two years ago.
J: How is going out now that you don’t work in the service industry?
H: When I was in the service industry, I didn’t make a livable wage-
H: -and then during the pandemic, they cut our hours and were really struggling. Then I got a job that is a livable wage, so I also just like experience being,-
J: Eating food.
H: -financially safe for the first time, and that has changed going out so much. The idea that I would walk into a place and my mission for a city is not how can I get navigate this experience in the cheapest way possible. Now, it’s like how can I just have the most fun.
J: I know it’s crazy.
J: It’s actually crazy.
H: It changes everything.
J: 100 percent it changes. How old are you if you don’t mind me?
J: That’s the age where it started to shift for me as well where I wasn’t every week being like, “Oh, I have no money, but I need to have a social life. How do I navigate this?” And knock on wood, that fear never goes away. It changes everything on such a fundamental level, and I think that’s going back to what we were talking about earlier. I think that’s why I think it’s as much as it sucks, it’s important because I think that is why the rich kids in college and late in your early ’20s are losing their f*cking minds because there’s no hustle for the fun. They just have access to it and they’re like, “If I wanted to go and buy 100 drinks every night and blackout, I could, so maybe I should try coke.” Know what I mean?
H: Literally, especially with those drugs, because there is a window of time where you’re experimenting with drugs where you don’t necessarily have all of the knowledge of what your dosage should be or anything. The limiting factor for me was always, “I can only afford one tab of acid, so that’s what we’re doing tonight,” and thank God.
J: Thank God. I remember, literally, at this point, I’ve tried them all and I know which ones I like and what I don’t, and I don’t like most, I’ll do a couple here and there. I vividly remember when I tried coke, I was like, “I’m not afraid of getting addicted to this because it is actually fiscally impossible.” The funds do not exist, I know for a fact I cannot afford enough coke to get addicted to it, and therefore, I feel comfortable trying. I vividly remember thinking that, and that was true every time I did it. The coke of all the drugs is the one I think is the worst. I hate how it makes me feel.
J: When I did it, every time I’ve done it, I’m like, “There’s no world in which I can get addicted to this because I can’t afford it.”
H: For me, most of the time that I have done coke, it has been provided for me, and that is such a problem. It’s like if I had had access to that, none of my friends did it in college. If I had had access to that at 18 or 19 when I was trying all the other sh*t, I would’ve no friends. Thank God I was just old enough that I did coke a few times, it was a weird year, and I was like, “Oh, this makes me the worst person in the world.” The next day, I’m like, “Oh, no, I was the worst person in the world last night.”
J: Oh, yes, and how rude are you on coke?
H: Well, no. Honestly, I don’t even know how rude, it is mostly just annoying.
J: I’m annoying. We’re all annoying.
H: I’m not the-
J: Uppers make you annoying.
H: Yes, and I’m not the best with social cues, to begin with. I was homeschooled.
J: Were you?
J: All the way through?
H: All the way through.
J: Wow. I think you’re the first homeschooled guest.
H: Oh, my gosh. Thank you so much. It’s so important for people to have representation.
J: Wait, what? OK, now I want to know, what was it like going to college from homeschooling?
H: Oh, I’m so glad you asked. How much time do you have? No, it was really weird. The weird thing is that homeschoolers always addressed really well to the academics because you have already been independently managing your time and your motivation for a really long time.
J: Yes. Can I ask why you were homeschooled?
H: Yes. For religious reasons, like Duggars’ style, religious reasons, very fundamentalists.
J: Do you have a lot of siblings?
H: I have three older siblings but where I come from, my mom was made fun of for having such a small family because like eight or nine was like the sweet spot. 12 was like a lot, but 8 or 9 was like, “Come on, just like have eight kids. Why do you only have four?”
J: The fact that you’re the youngest of four, it’s like you’re boring. Wait, were you still in that religious sect when you went to college?
H: It was a very gradual experience. By the time I graduated high school, I was very dissatisfied with the community I grew up in, but what I would tell you is like, of course, I believe in God, 100 percent believe in God. I just believe in him in a very different way, I think women should be able to have their own financial decisions and not be abused by their husbands. That’s what I think and I think women should be able to go to college and stuff like-
J: People were like, “She’s being rude.”
H: Well, I was made fun of so much. They called me feminazi when I was growing up, which is so insane looking back on it because it was the most low level like white-
J: You were literally saying — mentioned hitting their wives and they’re like, “Feminazi”?
H: Yes. They’re like, well it’s kind of a man’s choice, whether he wants to hit her or not.
J: Oh, my God.
H: I make light of it because I’m from that community. It does have an abuse problem, but-
J: That is awful.
H: Yes, but going to college, it was really strange coming from such a sheltered upbringing and meeting so many different types of people. I just had a lot of learning to do very quickly about how to be a person and self-discovery and also how to be a good citizen of the world. It’s like, “Oh, my God, racism exists. That’s an entirely new concept to me.”
J: I’m sure that community you were in was Homogeneously White. Wow. It makes 100 percent sense to me that you became a comedian. I have like that level of observation of society to then be like, “I have to navigate this.” It makes sense that you’d be a very funny person and a comedian. Comedian.
H: There are a lot of homeschooled comedians and we like, we keep it under wraps because-
J: That’s so funny. Wow. How do I word this? When you got to freshman year, were you like an outsider because you were so different, or were you really good at masking it and being like, “I’ll be normal like everyone else and then figure this out on my own time”?
H: I thought I was really good at masking it. I was also one of the more socially normal homeschoolers in my high school community. People would comment on it, I was fun and bubbly or whatever.
J: It’s so crazy to have been in a community of people that are homeschooling their kids and being like, “You’re really normal for what we are doing to these kids voluntarily-
J: -an acknowledgment that we’re f*cking these kids up,” it’s so crazy. Oh, my God.
H: My mom is incredible and the exception to a lot of the negative things in our community, mom, incredible.
J: Still a part of that community?
H: Very much also gradually got out in the same time span I did. We had a lot of growing that we did together, but-
J: That’s beautiful.
H: It was so beautiful. I was like, “Oh, I’m fun and outgoing and bubbly,” and I remember specifically, one of my best friends in high school had a crush on this guy and she was like — he was also our friend. She’s like, “We’re going to hang out together and go to McDonald’s and get smoothies. Can you come because whenever you’re around, the conversation’s less awkward?” I literally remember when I graduated high school, I was like, “Oh, I’m the socialization queen. I have the charisma. I’m the one who keeps the conversation going,” and I get to college and that was the first time where I was like, “Oh, f*ck, I need to start telling people I was homeschooled so they don’t think there’s like a worse reason for how I am.”
J: Oh, my God. Can you distill what things you were not good at?
H: Greetings have always been like a huge struggle. OK. That sounds so weird. It took me a really long time to figure out that if you see someone that you know, no matter what the context is and how surprising it is, and what else you have going on, you do have a moral friendship responsibility to acknowledge them and stop for as long as you both want to stop and talk to them.
J: I don’t know that everyone feels that way. I think most people do, “Oh, you were just talking like blanking a friend in the store.”
H: This might be a South versus New York City thing.
J: That’s probably a mixture of the two.
H: In the South, that was a social pattern that people would keep being, “Oh, yes, I saw you on the quad, and you iced me out.” I was like, “We weren’t going there specifically to meet each other, was I supposed to, and I’m over time-”
J: What do you mean? Were you not even looking at them or was it just that you were waiting and not-
H: Yes, I would usually pretend not to see people or if — but I would also be peeking at them in the corner. I hope they’re not seeing me as well, but I was just so-
J: You had friends in New York? I feel like that’s a New York thing a lot of the time.
H: That’s my favorite thing about coming here is not making eye contact with strangers. Not saying stuff to strangers that often, having headphones in the whole time.
J: Yes. There is a song and a dance because they do think that New York gets a bad rap too far that way where people think no one’s looking at each other, no one’s connecting. No, when we need to connect, we connect. Do you know what I mean? I almost got hit by a car the other day, and I looked at, no, that’s a biweekly occurrence. Not in a bad way. It was just this guy ran a red light and almost hit me. I made eye contact with a woman where she was like, “Jesus,” and I was like, “Yes.” Then we just kept walking in. It’s like, “See, there is a community here.”
J: Had that car gone, did I need to make eye contact with her? No. Then something happened so we did. Do you know what I mean?
J: When you see someone in New York, you’ll make eye contact, but there’s a knowing that neither of us have time to stop, and that’s fine. Unless it’s someone that you maybe haven’t seen in a long time.
H: It’s more functional. It’s like you just look at people and communicate with them when you have something to communicate.
J: Yes. OK. Greetings was one of the things. Were there any others?
H: Yes. I really wanted to make friends, and everybody came to UNC with a lot of friends from their high school, and I was like-
J: Oh, that’s hard
H: None of the people that I knew in high school came here.
J: Were you homeschooled fully at home, or was there a community of homeschooled kids?
H: There was a community of homeschooled kids. We went once a week.
J: You met once a week?
J: To do schoolwork or to party?
H: Not party.
J: I mean activities.
H: Yes. Activities. We partied at the speech and debate tournament.
J: OK. Absolutely.
H: We were wearing business attire.
J: Wait, what was partying when you got — because UNC-Chapel Hill is a party school.
H: Yes, huge party school. First weekend, I had this roommate, absolutely f*cking gorgeous, like drop-dead gorgeous. Her bra size is 32 double D, which, the ratio there is absolutely insane. I’m looking at you because you know, that’s wild. Right? It’s like she-
J: That’s really small waist but huge boobs.
H: Literally. I went to frat with her because that’s what she’s going to do because that sh*t is free and you get to be the princess of the room. I went to frat with her first weekend. Someone had a bag of wine. He was going throughout the party, and he would squirt the wine white Franzia, into your mouth.
J: You didn’t have to say that, we know.
H: He slapped the bag to make a go first. The second it touched my lips and my social anxiety, which had been the defining characteristic of my entire life up to that moment, evaporated. I was like, “You’re telling me drugs and alcohol fix every problem that a privileged white, sheltered young woman has ever had in her life,” been worrying about other people’s perception of me and whether or not boys think I’m hot, fixes that problem, fixes everything. I was like, “OK, perfect. I’m going to do this for the rest of my life.” I, immediately, I was like, “I’m going to do this specifically as moderately as I can. I’m going to do this moderately in an addictive way because if I don’t, I’m going to become an alcoholic in a moment.” That’s how much it was made for my brain.
J: Wow. Did you become an alcoholic?
H: No, I’ve always kept a really firm grip on it. Though, I’ve navigated my relationship with alcohol with a lot of mindfulness since the very beginning because that first sip of white Franzia, I was like-
J: You know? I really relate to that. I was like, “Oh, this works for me.” Have I had moments of being like, “I’m drinking too much?” A 100 percent, but I do think I’ve never not been conscious of it.
H: Same, that I had a period where I cut back more recently, but, I’ve always been really successful in the amount that I need to cut back, and I think that’s because I’ve known for the first day, I want to be able to have a drink for the rest of my life and that means I have to make sure that I’m not going overboard.
J: I’ve said this before, I remember, that is something I tried to say to someone who I thought was drinking too much. I was like, “Hey, if you don’t want to f*ck this up, you need to cut back, or you’re going to have to cut it out.”
J: This was someone who worked in line, so it was part of their job. I was like, “You’re going to have to find a new job. You need to get on your together or you’re going to f*ck your whole thing up.” I also feel like this is kind a few times on the podcast because I think oftentimes, alcohol gets talked about in black or white terms.
J: Yes, cutting it out would be better. I get that but it’s also like if you don’t want to, we can talk about being mindful of it within the scope, and I think that’s helpful.
H: My boyfriend’s sober because he did have to cut it out of his life.
H: Which I love so much. It’s an extremely hard thing to do and he is a really all-or-nothing guy, and so moderation just would’ve never worked for him. He loves the choice that he made to go sober. He’s not one who everybody has to, but he truly loves that choice. I am so good at cutting back because I have this dream. I’m imagining myself when I’m 50 or something because I’m imagining myself with longer hair and a very chic older woman with lots of bracelets on for some reason.
H: If I can’t go out to an Italian restaurant and swirl a glass of wine-
H: -chicly, then what would be the point? I’m being such a chic older woman.
J: It is interesting. I feel similarly sometimes where I think about — I don’t feel like I need alcohol for any of the things in my life, but it’s like, there are those moments where it’s like, “I want the glass of wine for that moment.” Do you know what that means?
H: Yes. Absolutely.
J: If it’s not there, would I cry? No. Would I be devastated? No, but I don’t want to up my life and then not be able to have it. I think it was the line I landed on.
H: Every other time I pass on a drink, I’m like, “I’m doing this for her.” Every time I go home early because I’m not sure if this night’s going to continue to get better and I want to leave it wanting more. I’m like, “I’m doing this for her.”
J: The thing I’m bad about is not even so much drinking as it is staying in. I’m not a home person. I stayed in last night and it was like literally, thank you. It is such a conscious choice for me to not go out and find something to do because between doing comedy, working in restaurants, I can find an activity. I can go visit one of my friends at their restaurant job. I can go see a show. I can go try to get on a show. I can text a friend and see if they want to meet up for whatever. I was like, “You have been so social and hanging out and you actually have a little bit of work to do and also you probably need to recharge,” and I have such a fear that I’m going to feel antsy and not be able to fall asleep and just be up all night. I saw him last night. I was texting my friend from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. about how antsy I was feeling about not being — and it was literally not alcohol-related. It was about being out of the house, feeling very much like — look, I just think it’s a New York thing too, but I feel like you probably feel in any city where I’m like, everyone’s hanging out without everyone. I’m the only person sitting inside their apartment right now, which is so patently false, but I really feel that way, and then come 10:30, I was like, “Actually, I’m sleepy. I’m going to bed.” I went to bed. I got a hard eight last night.
H: Oh, my God.
J: It’s not that bad. I have such a fear of it and then once I get there, it’s like literally fine. It’s just a buildup.
H: I have literally the exact same problem and it is a little bit a New York thing because in Denver, it’s a lot less social of a city that we go to sleep way earlier. Even if there is a night out, it’s rarely a long one, and that has helped me so much because I can only enjoy a night in if I know that nothing fun is happening.
J: That’s 100 percent. That’s why I low-key love, it’s like, “Oh, there’s a blizzard so bad. It’s shutting the city down. I love that because no one’s hanging out without me.”
H: That’s why I can’t live here. It’s because I do think I would have such a problem. I would love-
J: It’s genuinely really hard.
H: -to go out and to socialize every night until — one thing that’s weird about New York, every time I come here, you go to any other city, you know a few people, it’s like, “Maybe one night, they’ll make dinner plans with you,” whatever. I come here, I know a few people, they all want to hang out. None of them work for some reason. They’re all free every night to hang.
J: I know.
H: You’re like, “Do you want to get a drink?” They’re like, “Yes, of course. I’m drinking tonight. It’s a Tuesday? Yes, we’re grabbing a drink tonight,” and I love that for exactly one week. I could not live that way.
J: It takes a lot of mental energy and emotional energy to navigate and the worst part was the hardest part, and you wouldn’t go through this because you have friends here now, but when I first moved here and it was like everyone in this city is hanging out and I don’t have friends yet. I moved here with a couple friends, but we weren’t going out. My two best friends that I moved here with are much more homebodies and I like to going outer. I wanted to go out and do stuff and I was like, “This whole city is full of people hanging out and doing fun things and I don’t know who and how and where,” and it was killing me. I didn’t have roots yet. I didn’t have a community. Now I do and it’s fine, but that was the worst part, but even still now, last night, I was sitting on my couch. I love my apartment, I love my home. I love my life. I was like, “I have to get out of this house. I have to go do something,” and I was like, “Why? To go to a bar I’ve been to a million times and I’m going to go to a million more times probably, to do what? I have plans this weekend. I can stay in tonight and it will be fine,” and it was, and honestly, I feel amazing today because I did it, but the two hours between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. where everyone’s getting ready to go out and do fun things and I’m at home. I was like, “This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”
H: It’s funny that you mentioned when you had just moved to New York, those moments flipped at switching your brain almost because I know that when I got to college — I talked about my roommate, we didn’t end up becoming real friends. That’s not where I found community. I found community elsewhere, but there was that period of time where I didn’t really have-
J: Same, same thing.
H: -close friendships. I was like, “Say, ‘Yes,’ to everything,” but there was one Saturday night, at a big party school where I could hear everyone partying, and I just didn’t have plans. I remember the way that my brain was rewiring in that moment. I was like, “Next week, we text people on Thursday. What are the plans for tonight?”
J: You and I had twin experiences. This was me.
H: I will never let that happen again and I’m a Capricorn, so I know exactly how I cannot let that happen again. I am going to organize, I’m going to do the work beforehand to make sure I’m never in this position again of sitting at home, vaguely wishing that I was connecting with.
J: 10 a.m., in the morning, I’m going to start investing, what are the parties today? What’s happening? I will not be left out again. I will be involved again. I went through that exact same thing in college because I think my version of that, I’ve talked about this so many times on podcast, was that I was a gay guy. I didn’t fit in with the straight guys in my dorm and then I did fit in with the girls, but they also had like, “We’re doing a girl’s night,” and also, it took me a real minute to find my community in college. I made really good friends freshman year, but then we didn’t click as a community, community until junior year because I did my whole sophomore year abroad. I did my sophomore year abroad. I think part of that was because I was like, “I’m not finding community here. Let me go to another country,” but I so vividly remember the first time there was a weekend where everyone had gone to a party, and I was like, “I guess I’m staying in the dorm.”
H: Staying in the dorm, the infrastructure is not there. It’s not like you have a beautiful apartment where you can enjoy a night in, a cold beer,-
J: No, you have a cell.
H: -and watch “Love Island.” No, you have a laptop, you have a to-do list, and you have no food or drinks, and a twin-size lofted bed because your roommate got there before you and claimed the one that’s on the ground.
J: It’s really bad.
H: It was so bad.
J: We didn’t do bunk beds in my dorm, but we did the thing where we lofted both and had the living space under them.
H: That’s very equitable.
J: It was nice.
H: No, my roommate got there and claimed the regular bed. I was like, “We’re not going to fight about this. That would be crazy to start off the year on that. Such a power move.” I also was like, “Your boobs are huge. You’re capable of asking for what you want. You’re a fully new species of person. I’ve never met a girl with boobs that big.”
J: Is she a Fox News anchor now? What does she do?
H: No, she’s so nice. Let me clarify. This is really rude, the way that I’m talking about her, but I did idolize her, actually. She was the first proper hot girl I had met, no shade to anyone I went to school with. It’s just we were all homeschooled.
J: No, they were your siblings, right?
H: No, shade to my sister, but her knockers were not that much. I had other kids in our co-op.
J: You touched on this earlier, but I feel I’ve heard this thing. Did you feel that when you came to college from homeschool, you were much more educated than the average? I feel I’ve heard that homeschool students, either if they had a bad homeschooling situation where their parents were staying, they’re homeschooling but not educating yourself, but I’ve also heard that there were homeschool kids that they got to college and they’re highly educated compared to the average public school education.
H: That was my experience. The reason for that is not because we’re smarter, it’s because if you think about all — take your entire high school experience. Think about all the time that you actually spent literally learning, and take out all of the other time that you spent, how many hours is that, realistically? You probably could have learned that same amount. There’s nothing slowing you down. I would do work for four hours a day, but I would still just get a lot more learning in than the average high school I had access to.
J: Usually tests, like state-mandated tests? How is it monitored?
H: They make you take a standardized test every year and report it to the government so that, theoretically, if there are warning signs that people are not being educated at all, they could intervene. In my experience, they don’t. My mom, also, was a teacher before she started homeschooling us.
J: Oh, that’s a huge success.
H: It was super different. She was like, “My kids are getting an education and the education’s going to be very godly.” I’ll be honest, I didn’t get a ton of education about evolution. That was the only whole reading, writing arithmetic. I, also, from a pretty young age, we had a conversation about, “Do you want to be on a pre-college track? My parents were also really good with preparing us for the fact that at 18, we were fully independent, which is a very Protestant thing. Also, why it was so confusing to me going to college and finding out that other people were still getting money from their parents. I was like, “Mine will take me out to dinner when they’re here. They might fill up my car if we stop at a gas station.”
J: It’s crazy the different experiences because I know people who have never once paid their own rent.
H: It’s so bonkers.
J: I know. God bless them. I’d take it if it was offered to me.
H: I think it would be bad for my brain. I do really need stakes to the — I’m one of those people where I’m like-
J: It’s the Capricorn.
H: -I’m so busy and I’m so overworked but if I worked even a little bit less, I would be so bored.
J: No, it’s the Capricorn, 100 percent.
H: My favorite activity is complaining about how busy I am. That’s the most fun part of my day.
J: I know. It’s the same with me, “I’m so bad at doing nothing. I’m so bad at doing nothing.”
J: Yes. I can’t handle it. How are we on time? Oh, it’s time. I’ve sensed it. Wait, you’re here till Sunday?
J: OK, gorge. The normal way we end the episode is that we plan a night out together.
H: Oh, my God. Fun.
J: Yes. What is the night out that you were desiring to have while you were in New York?
H: Saturday, I only have an early show, and my friend from high school, also homeschooled.
J: OK, fine.
H: She’s also normal, is going to be in town, and that’s our night where we’re going to try to party. We have no plans currently. We have some recs we’ve received.
J: OK, fun.
H: -but any direction, you can give us.
J: I’m going to a drag show and we’ll be out and about after that.
H: Oh, my God.
J: You should try to come to the drag show or meet up after.
H: That would be fantastic.
J: Because you’re off the F, so you could get to Brooklyn pretty easily.
H: I’ll be in Brooklyn for the show that we have.
J: Oh, then gorge. I’m going to tell you where we are, and that’ll be perfect.
H: Oh, my God.
J: Also, if you’re free on Thursday night, I’m going to a party at a gay bar that is avatar themed.
H: Oh, that’s odd. Full costumes and everything?
J: I’m not going in a costume. I don’t really know how it’s going to play out, but I just saw that it was happening. I was like “I’m going.” It’s also very close to my apartment so that makes it easy.
H: That’s dope. I might.
J: That’s another option. We’ll explore some gay nightlife options.
H: Yes, please. I’ve never done the gay nightlife.
J: Well, that changed. Well, thank you so much for the show. This was perfect.
H: Thank you so much for having me.
Thank you so much for listening to “Going Out With Jake Cornell.” If you could please go and review us on whatever you’re listening to this on, that would be really gorgeous for me in a huge way, so thank you.
Now, for some credits. “Going Out With Jake Cornell” is recorded in New York City and produced by Keith Beavers and Katie Brown. The music you’re hearing is by Darby Cicci. The cover art you’re probably looking at was photographed by M Cooper and designed by Danielle Grinberg. A special shoutout to VinePair co-founders Josh Malin and Adam Teeter for making all of this possible.
The article Going Out With Jake Cornell: Homeschooled (w/ Hannah Jones) appeared first on VinePair.