You’re concerned that your foot fetish betrays the dedication you have to your significant other and makes you some kind of pervert in waiting. Is there anything you can do to course-correct your way back to decency, or should you just embrace this as an indelible part of yourself that you have the power to control? (Or maybe no one should judge you for your foot fetish until they’ve walked a mile in your shoes?) Welcome to Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Is your foot fetish really a problem as long as the way it makes you feel doesn’t intrude on the way anyone else feels?
- Is your roommate just wagging the dog when she insists her pooch got fleas from your apartment instead of the other way around?
- Was there a better way to make it clear you and your significant other want to get married on your own terms than refusing to participate in the garter/bouquet toss at their pushy family’s wedding?
- Would it be rude of you and your siblings to request your historically terrible gift-giving mother, instead, direct her resources to charity?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
- WRKOUT: Find out more at wrkout.com (tell ’em Jordan Harbinger sent you for 20% off your first training package)!
- BetterHelp: Get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan
- Chinet: Visit mychinet.com to find out more
- GoodRx: Learn more at goodrx.com/jordan
- Klaviyo: Get your free trial at klaviyo.com/jordan
- Edmunds: Learn more at edmunds.com
Resources from This Episode:
- Mike Rowe | Dirty Jobs and Peripatetic Moments | Jordan Harbinger
- Tom Wright | Billion Dollar Whale | Jordan Harbinger
- Dennis Rodman | The Worm Is Back | Jordan Harbinger
- Anderson Cooper | The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty | Jordan Harbinger
- T-Pain | You Can’t Auto-Tune Your Way to Happiness | Jordan Harbinger
- Brian Chesky | Lessons Airbnb Learned to Survive the Pandemic | Jordan Harbinger
- Ray Dalio | The Changing World Order | Jordan Harbinger
- Matthew McConaughey | Following Life’s Greenlights to Success | Jordan Harbinger
- Michael Scott Moore | What It’s Really Like to Be a Pirate Hostage | Jordan Harbinger
- Jordan Harbinger Inks Seven-Figure Deal to Stick with PodcastOne | Podcast News Daily
- Everything You Need to Know About Foot Fetishes | Healthline
- Here’s How Tarantino’s Actresses Feel About His Feet Fetish | The Things
- What Is Kink Shaming and Why Should We Care About It? | Metro News
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) | American Psychiatric Association
- How Can I Expunge the Family Sponge? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- People Share Their Absolute Worst Roommate Horror Stories | George Takei
- History of the Wedding Garter Tradition | Reader’s Digest
- Please Stop Telling Us When to Get Married | Jezebel
- Why Are Narcissists Bad Gift Givers? | Quora
- When Cringeworthy Gifts Are Worse than Inconsiderate | The Conversation
- John Ruhlin | Gifts That Make a Big Difference | Jordan Harbinger
- Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention by John Ruhlin | Amazon
604: Put Your Best Foot Fetish Forward | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, Gabriel Mizrahi. Wow, without a nickname, Gabe. You know, I usually do those nicknames. It just feels like a weird open.
[00:00:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: It doesn't sound right.
[00:00:16] Jordan Harbinger: It doesn't, it sounds like I just forgot some serious part of the show, but I still, after weeks, whatever -itis I had like that Dennis Rodmanitis, like there's a little five percent of it's still alive, somewhere in my sinus cavities. It's driving me freaking crazy. Like as a broadcaster, having anything weird with my voice is pure torture. It's just like a thumbtack in my shoe.
[00:00:37] In any case, on The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. Our mission here on the show is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening even inside your own mind.
[00:01:03] If you're new to the show, on Fridays, that's today, whatever day it is, it's still Friday, here on the show, we give advice to you. We answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes to authors, thinkers to performers. This week, we had Tom Wright. He investigates corruption from government all the way through to financial fraud. In this episode, we discussed one of the biggest financial frauds in history, corruption that resulted in billions of dollars being stolen from the everyday Malaysian. It's really a fascinating conversation that got into corruption and oligarchs and shell companies and shady financial deals all around the world, including how us here in the United States are complicit in a lot of this. We also had Mike Rowe. This is one from the vault, always loved talking to Mike Rowe. We talk about the beginning of his career, the foundation, training for jobs that actually exist. He is always so compelling, so fun. You will definitely love this episode. It's from quite a few years ago. So I think you'll really enjoy it, even if you've already heard it because yeah, it was probably half a decade ago when you did. So be sure to check out everything that we created for you here this week.
[00:02:06] Gabe, you know, to crown off my weird -itis here yesterday, I drank dish soap—
[00:02:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: What?
[00:02:14] Jordan Harbinger: And it was an accident. Yeah. So I came home after a walk and I was like really warm and thirsty. And on the table, on the kitchen island, there was a nice tall beer glass. And at the bottom, there was like three inches of apple cider. And there was a jar of apple cider, you know, on the kitchen island like, what do you call it? Like a jug of apple cider. And it was nice and cold. And I was like, well, I'm not going to pour more in here. I'm going to finish what Jen left because she's probably taking a nap. And so I took it and I downed a bunch of it in an immediately burned my throat, like immediately burned. And I spit out as much as I could, but you know, like when you're like slamming a liquid, it's too late, so I'm washing my face and I'm washing my mouth out and I'm spinning and I'm like coughing and gagging.
[00:03:00] And Jen's like, "What happened?" And I'm like, "I think I just — what's wrong with that cider?" And she's like, "Are you kidding me?" So she had been processing these persimmons from a tree in the next door neighbor's yard. My brother-in-law lives next door. He has a persimmon tree. So she's processing these. They peel them and they dehydrate them and they cut them up. Well, she left them in the sink for a while because we were all kind of under the weather and had a cold and she's very pregnant. So she was like, "I just can't do all this at once." Fruit flies started to sort of invade our kitchen and how you get rid of fruit flies is you pour a little bit of apple cider and/or apple cider vinegar into a cup with dish soap and it traps them and you leave it out and she left it right next to the jug of apple cider in a place where, you know, we leave cups of things that we're drinking and I freaking chugged it.
[00:03:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's so gross.
[00:03:46] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah. So my throat is on fire.
[00:03:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's why you have Rodmanitis. You don't have it. You graduated.
[00:03:53] Jordan Harbinger: I graduated.
[00:03:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: You killed the Rodmanitis—
[00:03:54] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe.
[00:03:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Replaced it with some other diseases.
[00:03:56] Jordan Harbinger: That's a good point. Now, I just have raw vocal chords from slamming dish soap. Luckily, we use some fancy organic crap. So I didn't have to call poison control, although I did. And they were like, "You're fine. You're just a big baby."
[00:04:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, you actually called them.
[00:04:09] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, you have to because it's like this is poison. What soap was it? I was like, "Oh, it's—" and I don't want to give the brand away because I don't know if that's a good idea, but they were like, "Oh, you're probably okay. Like it's probably fine." Yeah. "How much did you drink?"
[00:04:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: They thought you were like gargling with Palmolive.
[00:04:24] Jordan Harbinger: They thought like I had a death wish and I just slammed a whole bottle of dish soap and they're like, "Oh, you took a sip of your wife's flytrap."
[00:04:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Homemade hippie—
[00:04:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You'll be fine. You're an idiot, but you're fine. You're going to be fine. You're going to probably have the runs and be really embarrassed. That's our professional opinion.
[00:04:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sir, your problem is not with what you ingested. It's what's going on in your household. That's a different number, right?
[00:04:45] Jordan Harbinger: Like Feedback Friday, there's a deeper issue here. Yeah. So moving right along.
[00:04:51] This is our last episode of the year. And I have to say this year flew by. Not that every year doesn't fly by, but this one really flew by primarily because I spent like everyone else, most of it in my kitchen doing work. I remember giving my little sum-up of 2020 talking about how brutal last year was in many ways. You know, wondering when the vaccines would be available, when we could get back on airplanes and go home for the holidays and all of that again, and now we're there and things are like kind of back to normal, but also definitely not really back to normal. We're still feeling our way through this thing, very much in the transition between the horror show of 2020 in a post panty D world if there even is such a thing, maybe there is.
[00:05:33] That's fascinating in a lot of ways, but I also know for a lot of us, it's just uncertain. It's difficult. It's intense. It's bringing up a lot of huge questions that we never thought we'd be asking ourselves, including the questions y'all are sending us here on Feedback Friday. I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Gabe, I'm going to speak for you and say, thank you from you as well. Unless you want to chime in here.
[00:05:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Absolutely, I'm with you.
[00:05:57] Jordan Harbinger: Y'all have invited us into your lives this year. Whether you wrote in with your question or you just tune in each week to hear how wild other people's lives can get. Feedback Friday, it's a real joy for me. It's my favorite part of doing the show, just hearing your stories, getting to talk to you directly. I appreciate you guys sharing so much of yourselves with us, letting us do the same with you, even if it's just me slamming dish soap. I try to keep some of my personal anecdotes minimal, but sometimes they're too ridiculous. This part of the show, getting real with you guys, looking for answers, finding new insights. It's really special. It's a lot of fun.
[00:06:31] So, yeah, 2021 was another wild one, but it was also, it was exciting for us here on the show, right? This month, I'm going into my 15th year of podcasting, 15 years. So four of them are here on the new show. Once again, 2021 was our biggest year, by far. We hit our 600th episode last. And this episode you're listening to, now, this is our 200th Feedback Friday on this show alone. I had a few hundred more before we even got to this point, right? So this is a real sort of achievement here for The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:07:03] I also got to sit down with some amazing folks this past year, Anderson Cooper, T-Pain, Brian Chesky founder of Airbnb, Ray Dalio at least twice I think, Matthew McConaughey — all right, all right, all right. And I'll stop there. The list goes on and on. I would say some of my favorites are not even famous people, just the wild stories that some of the scientists and people kidnapped by pirates and these types of folks are some of my favorites. As a lot of you know, we also signed that really exciting new deal with PodcastOne that I talked about a few weeks ago. I'm super proud of.
[00:07:34] And best of all, Jen and I, by the time you're listening to this, we'll have had our second child, which is the greatest gift of all. Hopefully, you know, unless we're just sort of over baking that thing. I'm a podcaster, I'm a dad times two, I'm a husband. I get to talk to fascinating people without having to leave my house/put on pants.
[00:07:49] This career is a literal dream come true. And I get to do all of it while hanging out with my amazing wife and partner and my kids and my incredible team. And they just make the show possible from the editing to the coordinating, to the artwork, to the show notes, to the videos and the transcripts. There's a whole machine behind the scenes here. I just feel super lucky to work with such great people.
[00:08:08] But none of that would be possible without you guys. You've listened to the show. You've supported our sponsors, which you can find at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You've shared the podcast with other people. I am so grateful for that.
[00:08:22] By the way, Gabe, I know that we didn't talk about this, but you know, Spotify does that wrapped thing where everyone shares their top podcasts. We were number one for 11,000 people.
[00:08:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:08:33] Jordan Harbinger: Which Spotify is a very small percentage of our audience and to be number one. And that means like bigger than Joe Rogan, more time than the New York Times Daily News on these people's lives. That's tough. Joe Rogan's got like three-hour long shows and he's only on Spotify. So if people listen to him, like they have to use the app, whereas like 80 percent of our audience doesn't use Spotify.
[00:08:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:08:55] Jordan Harbinger: So the fact that we were number one on Spotify for 11,000 people's list is really something still wrapping my head around that. And I'm very grateful for that.
[00:09:04] Thanks to all of you for being part of our family, whether you've been listening since I was recording the show on my laptop in 2006, or you're joining us for the first time. And if you are then welcome, I know I say this all the time, but I mean it, we have the greatest fans in the world. Thank you for making another strange year, a year of insight and growth for all of us. I'm thrilled that we found each other and I'm pumped for all of the amazing things that we're going to do in 2022.
[00:09:29] And since it's the last episode of the year, we decided to do another Roundup of some of the most interesting/unusual/funny questions that we received this year. Hopefully, it will send you into Christmas with a little chuckle or at least something to talk about at the dinner table if the conversation is a little dry.
[00:09:45] All right, everybody, I know we're busy getting fat over the holidays and all that. And I am no exception, but I have to say I've been working out with my trainer. It's been keeping me completely sane. I've mentioned this company before my friend started it. It was based on his company full of gyms, taking a massive nosedive during the pandemic. And this has been life-changing. You know, I helped him with the idea. So I had to cave and try at home training with Wrkout. And it has been an absolute life changer. I don't know how I lived without it. This is just something that has completely changed the way that I move, the way that I sit, I'm able to just run around with my kid. I don't run out of energy. I can roll around on the floor and wrestle. I can get up without like using a chair. I don't have to do old man stuff. I'm very strong, compared to how I used to be. I'm very flexible compared to how I used to be. I actually look forward to it. They don't make you like cry at the end. It's probably been the best thing that I've ever done for myself besides marrying Jen and having kids. I know that sounds like an exaggeration, but I'm trying to sort of like highlight, bold, underline this for you, because I think you should try it as well. They're not a sponsor of the show, but my friend does own it. So there's the disclosure right there. Check it out wrkout.com/jordan, W-R-K-O-U-T, W-R-K-O-U-T.com/jordan. If you want to see what virtual personal training with a live trainer can do for you, they're offering a 10-day free trial. Plus if you tell them I sent you, you get 20 percent off your first training package. W-R-K-O-U-T.com/jordan. I just can't recommend this enough.
[00:11:13] So Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:11:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe. I've had a fetish for feet for many years, but in recent years it has become increasingly worse, not as intense as Quentin Tarantino's, but it's up there. It's eating at me constantly and has become the bane of my existence.
[00:11:29] Jordan Harbinger: Wait, Gabe, just Quentin Tarantino has a foot fetish?
[00:11:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Famously, he does. Yeah. Almost all of his movies have scenes where actresses are like putting their bare feet up against the car windshield, or they're just like prominently in the shot or whatever, really into feet, this guy.
[00:11:45] Jordan Harbinger: That checks out. And that is like the least weird thing about Quentin Tarantino, I think.
[00:11:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally. Yeah, exactly, it fits. So he continues.
[00:11:53] Every time I see girls wearing sandals or showing their legs, I feel aroused and it makes me feel guilty because my girlfriend and I are totally in love with each other. And I kind of feel like I'm somehow cheating on her. I've tried to do something about it, but every time it comes back with a vengeance, I fear that if I don't get rid of the fetish, it will affect my relationship and spiral out of control. And I will end up becoming a pervert or a stalker. Do you guys have any advice for dealing with this unwanted desire? Signed, Quentin Tarantin-Toe.
[00:12:22] Jordan Harbinger: Well, yeah. Interesting question. I promise you are far from the only person to be wrestling with this. The research on fetishes, eh, it's not the most rigorous. It's hard to pinpoint exactly how many people out there have a fetish or a foot fetish specifically, but I can tell you a huge percentage of the population is into something. And a pretty big percentage of those people, as many as 40 percent of people, according to one study that we read are hiding it from their partner, because they're afraid of how they'll react. And I know this whole foot fetish thing is bringing up a lot of guilt and shame for you, but it might help to acknowledge that this isn't a you-problem. I'm not even sure it's a problem at all. Tons of people have some kind of fetish, as long as no one's getting hurt, you're actually going to be totally fine.
[00:13:08] The thing is you're worried that this foot fetish will affect your relationship with your girlfriend and spiral out of control. And that you'll end up becoming like a pervert or a stalker to use your words. But just to be clear, if you're not acting on this desire in an inappropriate way, you're not doing anything wrong, ethically or legally. I don't think glancing at a girl's sandals in line at Ralph's or rewinding Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to stare at Margot Robbie's feet makes you a monster. You might feel ashamed, but that doesn't make you some kind of predator, okay. But if you're following a girl in sandals around Ralph's or you're screenshotting Margot Robbie's feet and looking at them at work instead of actually doing work, something like that. Well, then there's a different story, okay.
[00:13:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. It's definitely different.
[00:13:55] Jordan Harbinger: And in fact, the DSM, which is the Bible for mental disorders. Basically, it actually explains the difference between having a fetish and having fetishistic disorder. Being into feet or hair or leather or balloons or feet touching leather balloons or whatever it is that only becomes a true disorder—
[00:14:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know that's a thing too, right?
[00:14:15] Jordan Harbinger: That's for sure, someone's thing. Someone's got that thing. It only becomes a true disorder when an individual has experienced sexual urges focused on those things. And has acted out urges, fantasies, or behaviors over a six-month period and — and this is the important part — the fantasies, urges, or behaviors cause distress or impairment in functioning.
[00:14:35] So the question is, is this foot fetish causing you distress or getting in the way of you functioning well as a person? Well, it does sound like it's causing you distress. You feel guilty, you feel ashamed, you're keeping it a secret. Plus you stressed that it's going to spiral out of control. So you do seem to meet that criteria, but is it impairing your functioning? Hard to say. That depends on whether you're, I don't know, struggling to concentrate at work because you're thinking about toes all day or you're spending hours every night Googling celebrities' feet pics, or your obsession with people's hooves is preventing you from focusing from exercising, from having a healthy sex life, that sort of thing.
[00:15:13] If so then you might meet that second criteria too. And this could be an issue that you need to resolve. And look, it's only so helpful to try and line up your symptoms with what the DSM says. At the end of the day, this is your life. This is your experience. It's harmless at least right now. It's not like you're asking whether you're schizophrenic or homicidal or something like that. I think there's a lot of gray area when it comes to paraphilia and paraphilia, by the way, is the technical term for having most fetishes in general. It's kind of vague. Also, we're not qualified to diagnose you whatsoever, so there's that.
[00:15:48] So if you want to deal with this unwanted desire, I don't think the answer is, you know, stop wanting it. Pretending you don't have this fetish is not going to make it go away. You know this, you probably tried. And as long as it's not destroying your life or hurting anyone else, I'm not sure it has to go away, but I do think you need to accept it as at least a starting point. Accepting, it means understanding that it's okay to have a paraphilic desire. Not judging yourself too harshly for being into something idiosyncratic, recognizing that this attraction, wherever it comes from, is there. And that's okay. Once you accept it, then you can decide what to do about it.
[00:16:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I agree, Jordan. And maybe the best thing you can do is talk about it with your girlfriend. I'm guessing that's probably the last thing you want to do, but I actually think it could be incredibly helpful. I mean, first of all, it sounds like 90 percent of the distress that you feel is just your own shame, your own guilt. The shame that you're describing probably comes from the feeling like you're wrong or you're bad for being into something a little bit unusual, which again, I just want to echo what Jordan said, not that unusual, not something to freak out about, but I understand that you feel that way. So it makes sense that it's, you know, bringing up some shame.
[00:16:57] Also working so hard to hide that part of yourself, it sounds pretty exhausting to be honest. The guilt piece, though, that comes from keeping it a secret and keeping it a secret from your girlfriends specifically. If you did tell her about this, I bet it would dramatically reduce both of those feelings pretty immediately. I mean, it would be a tough conversation, but at least you wouldn't feel like you were hiding anymore. And the way you can tell her about this is, you know, you can sit down and say, "Listen, I want to share something with you. To be honest, it's really difficult for me to talk about. I've been hanging onto this for a while. I've never told anyone about it, but it's eating me up inside. I don't want to keep anything from you, especially. So here's the deal. I'm into feet like a lot. I don't know why, but I am. When I watch her Quentin Tarantino movie, that's like a hungry person watching Master Chef. I don't know what to tell you. I've never acted on this impulse with anybody else. But every time I notice a girl's feet, when I'm out in public or whatever, I feel like I'm cheating on you. I don't want to feel that way. So there it is. That's my thing. I don't want it to come between us. I'll work on it if it is a problem, but I didn't want to create another problem by keeping it from you," something like that. And then hopefully she'll be willing to listen to that and have a conversation, an open conversation with you about.
[00:18:05] Now, I can't promise that your girlfriend is going to be 100 percent cool with us. We don't know your girlfriend, but I think there's a pretty good chance that she's just going to hear that and say, "Oh, okay, that's a little unexpected. That's kind of different, but fine," I guess. I mean, everyone's got their thing. She probably has her thing. Maybe this will be a chance for her to talk about it. There's also a chance that she'll be into the foot thing. I mean, I don't know, maybe we're speculating, but you know, sometimes your partner is into the same thing. I don't know. You guys could explore working it into your sex life somehow. I imagine that that would be a pretty great outcome for you.
[00:18:35] The other thing you can do, of course, is talk to a therapist about this. It might be helpful to understand the origin of the fetish pinpoint when it kicked in, how it kicked in — poor choice of words there. Instantly regret the kicking thing. You know what I mean? Like you had a crush on a babysitter who never wore socks or something like that. And the two got linked up in your mind. Who knows? Or maybe something more problematic happened to you with feet, I guess that's possible too. But to be honest, man, not all fetishes are born from trauma or whatever. That's just overly simplistic. It's just not true. Sometimes you're just into what you're into. There's no need to pathologize it. You just need to find appropriate ways of acting on it in your life, like with your girlfriend.
[00:19:12] So seeing a therapist that might not, you know, quote-unquote, "cure" you of this fetish. You probably don't need to be cured, but talking to a professional would definitely help you come to terms with it. Maybe unpack the shame and the guilt a little bit. Hopefully, find safe ways to explore this fetish in your life in a way that doesn't compromise anybody else or impair your ability to function overall.
[00:19:34] If you can do that, then you'll be good. This really doesn't have to be such a liability. I think it can just be a preference of yours. That's a little bit different, maybe from other people's. But I do think, and I'm with Jordan a hundred percent on this, that you have to start by owning it and really opening up about it.
[00:19:48] Jordan Harbinger: I agree, Gabe. You know, he might always feel some type of way when he watches Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. It doesn't have to eat him up inside. My hunch is that the bulk of his suffering isn't the fetish itself. It's his feelings about the fetish. So I'm with Gabe, man. Start talking, maybe do some Googling on foot fetishes, although be careful with those results, read through some fetish forums on Reddit. Hear other people's stories. You'll feel a lot less alone when you realize how many people are in your shoes. Another poor choice of words there. You know what I mean. All right. Just make sure you tell your girlfriend about this the right way when you two are knocking boots. Okay. I'm done.
[00:20:29] By the way, when I worked at — well, I shouldn't even say where this was. But I worked at a — screw it, I think this is public. I know it's public knowledge. So there's a guy at SiriusXM Satellite Radio, who sort of like also famously has a foot fetish. I won't say his name because I don't want to like — look, it's been a long time since I've seen him, but he is really, really, really into it. And we'd have celebrities all the time at SiriusXM. And we'd get like Carmen Electra and it's like 2007, right? So she's still, you know, top of the pops, whatever. And she'd walk in or like Pamela Anderson would be there and stuff like that. And we'd sort of all go to him into being like, "Can I get I'd look at your feet?" you know, or do something weird. Because he was, he's on the metal station. He's like a very nice, charming guy. Everyone loves him. So we would sort of make it like extra showy and he would go get down there and he's married and his wife is like fine with it. She's like, "Look, if you're going to cheat with feet, get it out of your system. I don't care. Just don't cross the line, you know, in any other way." So he would just go to town. There were many times where we would watch like Pamela Anderson get like chocolate sauce on her toes or whatever from this dude. And we would just be sitting there like taking — you know, we didn't have, there were no iPhones and stuff really at that time, nobody had cameras on their phones all the time. So there's definitely some footage of it somewhere, but yeah, I've had like a front row seat to all this has to offer and how wild it can get, the Hollywood version anyway.
[00:21:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, see that guy is thriving. So you got nothing to worry about.
[00:21:59] Jordan Harbinger: He's doing great. Yeah, hosted Headbangers Ball on MTV a bunch of times. He's killing it. You know, who won't follow you around at Ralph's because they'd like the tambour of your Tevas, the amazing sponsors who help support the show. We'll be right back.
[00:22:13] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:22:18] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help online therapy. We talk about Better Help a lot. This month, we're discussing some of the stigmas around mental health. A lot of us have been taught that mental health shouldn't be part of a normal life. We've kind of ignore it or we deny it. That's a bunch of bunk. We take care of our bodies in the gym. We talked to the doctor, we go to a nutritionist, or at least we try to eat right, some of the time. We should be focusing on our minds, just as much. Many people think therapy is for people with really serious issues or crazies. Therapy doesn't mean something is wrong with you. It means that you recognize that all humans have emotions. We need to learn how to control and manage them. Not just stick our heads in the sand. Better Help is customized online therapy that offers video, phone, even live chat sessions with your therapist. You don't have to see anyone on camera. If you don't want to, no driving, no parking, and it's more affordable than in-person therapy. You can get matched in under 48 hours, give it a try and see why over two million people have used Better Help online therapy.
[00:23:09] Jen Harbinger: For 10 percent off your first month, visit betterhelp.com/jordan. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan and join over 2 million people who've taken charge of their mental health with the help of experienced professionals.
[00:23:20] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Chinet. Chinet is a people-focused brand disguised as a premium disposable tableware brand. Chinet prides themselves on being part of authentic human connections and playing an important role and togetherness. They've been a part of American culture for over 90 years, providing durable plates, cups, cutlery, napkins, and table covers. Chinet is the go-to brand for cookouts, holidays, birthdays, game nights, baby showers, and more. Chinet brand believes not only that everyone should have a place around the table, but that everyone should be welcomed with open arms and a full cup. Chinet Classic, Chinet Crystal, and Chinet Comfort products are all made in the USA with at least 80 percent recycled materials. Chinet brands products can handle anything from the sauciest ribs to the most generous slices of cake. Made to be microwave safe and leftovers' best friend. Easy cleanup, environmentally conscious. Great for the upcoming holiday gatherings and perfect for all of life's get-togethers, visit mychinet.com to find out more.
[00:24:09] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us going. Who doesn't love some good products and/or services? You can always visit jordanharbinger.com/deals for all the details on everybody that helps support the show.
[00:24:23] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:24:28] All right, next up.
[00:24:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe, I'm a college student in Los Angeles and my roommate's dog has fleas. Therefore, my apartment, including the rugs, beds, clothes, and couch cushions all have fleas as well. An exterminator and professional cleaners came and my roommate paid for them because she and her dog were the only ones living in the apartment at the time of the incident. This is really generous of her. And I have no doubt that all of our physical belongings will be safe and flea free in a few days. The problem is my roommate insists that it was not the dog that brought the fleas into the apartment. Rather she believes the apartment gave the dog fleas. This is pretty unlikely. There's no way that an infestation of this magnitude could just pop up from the floorboards out of the blue. My gut tells me that she's only saying this because she feels embarrassed or guilty, but at the same time, this feels like crazy-making and borderline propaganda. I feel a bit weird getting ready to live with this person for the next year if she can't even acknowledge the obvious truth that her dog would probably just pick up fleas at the dog park. Am I going too far with this? Should I just let her repeat an absurd lie if it makes her feel better? Signed, Exterminating the Bullsh*t.
[00:25:32] Jordan Harbinger: Man, Gabe, I'd love a good, horrible roommate story. Stories like this make me so happy. I'm grown up. I'm not living with people who aren't my family anymore. Also, didn't we had another flea story recently? I got a little—
[00:25:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: We did.
[00:25:44] Jordan Harbinger: —deja vu here. Someone's in-laws had a flea problem and that they brought fleas on their person over to people's houses. Like they had fleas.
[00:25:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. That's right. A few months back there was like the guy who had his in-laws refuse to get the cat's flea medicine or something. So every time I went to visit, they would bring fleas back with them and they were all in the bed.
[00:26:03] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:26:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: He couldn't sleep in the bed. And then his wife was getting mad at him for saying that her parents were not like taking care of the cats. That was a good one.
[00:26:10] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Even though they all had fleas. It was just like the elephant in the room. And she was like, "Oh, you're mad at them. What should they do?" And it's like, literally take a flea bath. Yeah, that was crazy.
[00:26:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Episode 556, if you guys want to check it out.
[00:26:20] Jordan Harbinger: I guess fleas are a really common point of contention when you're living with people. I never really thought about it. You know, we would dab some advantage on our cats, like you're supposed to and forget about it, but apparently some people get really worked up about this. It's interesting. My first instinct was that you are 100 percent, right? And your roommate is a hundred percent annoying and that is probably the case, but we did a little digging and it turns out that people can actually bring fleas into an apartment. I mean, we saw that with the in-laws, right? That fleas can live in carpet and even hardwood floors for up to, I think, two or three months without a food source, which is gross. And also, so it's possible, it's unlikely but possible that the apartment somehow gave the dog fleas and not the other way around.
[00:27:04] But since your roommate was the only one living in the apartment, when that happened, that would mean that the only other culprit was her, right? So it would still be her fault unless the landlord or the Comcast cable guy tracked them in or something. In which case it's really no one's. But let's be real in all likelihood, the fleas jumped on the dog and the dog brought him in and that's what caused the infestation. It happens all the time, which to your point, it's totally fine. It's not even her fault, but the fact that she's denying it so hard is pretty weird. So she's embarrassed. I get it. She feels guilty, fine, but why not just say that? If this were me, I'd be like, "Man, I'm really embarrassed that my dog dragged these fleas in. I feel bad. I'm the roommate you read about on roommate horror stories in Reddit threads or whatever. Also, I'm not sure if it was the dog or if they were in the apartment already, but since there's no way to know, I'll just pay for it and I'll get flea medicine for my dog. And hopefully this doesn't happen again." Right, Gabe? Like, what's the big deal here?
[00:27:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's not a big deal at all. She's making it a big deal by being so defensive. But I guess that's, I don't know, that's how she wants to play it. And that's fine. I do understand why it's putting our friend here on edge though. I mean, if this roommate is so defensive about this, which seems like not a big deal, then what else is she going to get weird about over the year that they're living together? I could see this coming up again in some other contexts.
[00:28:16] So my advice is try not to spin out too much here. Maybe she's just being weird about the fleas thing and otherwise she's pretty cool.
[00:28:22] Jordan, do you remember when you lived in LA, people in LA were crazy about their dogs?
[00:28:27] Jordan Harbinger: They are.
[00:28:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dog people in general are pretty intense about their dogs, but there's something about LA dog owners, I don't know. I don't know what dog owners are like in the bay, but down here, if they feel like someone doesn't like their dog or they feel like their dog is reflecting poorly on them in some way, people will do all sorts of weird sh*t to deflect. It's like, it's like the dog is an extension of them. I see it all the time. Maybe don't hold this against your roommate too much. I would just make sure that she's given the dog some flea medicine. So this does not happen again. But if you notice your roommate doing something similar in another situation, like, I don't know, maybe what's a roommate thing? She forgets to pay the electric bill, and then she turns around and blames you for not Venmo-ing her or something like that. Then maybe I would talk to her about this. Tell her you're not looking for a fight. You're not trying to put her down or anything like that. But you are noticing that she's dropping the ball on a couple of things. And when you bring them up, she gets a little defensive, like with the fleas thing.
[00:29:14] You can tell her. "I'm not mad. Look, it's fine. I'm not judging you. It's all good if you made a mistake." You kind of want her to acknowledge it and work with you to fix it. And hopefully that will help her lower her guard a little bit and realize that she doesn't need to be so combative and so defensive when something goes wrong. But in the meantime, yeah, you might just have to let her repeat this absurd story about the apartment, giving the dog fleas, which now that I'm saying it back, it does sound pretty batsh*t crazy, but if it makes her feel better, fine, especially because you don't actually have airtight proof that the dog brought them in and also you're in college and this living situation isn't forever. So maybe just pick your battles, right?
[00:29:50] Jordan, have you ever had a really bad roommate?
[00:29:53] Jordan Harbinger: I've never had a really bad, like really, really bad roommates, but I did live with a giant man baby, who would have literally two months of laundry on the floor and he would have no clean clothes at all and he would go and buy new clothes instead of washing them. And then his girlfriend, which somehow like he had a girlfriend, she later broke up with him for these exact reasons. But his girlfriend would come over and there'd be a pile of laundry that was as tall as she was on the floor and no clean clothes, no clean, anything. She'd be like, "These are the same sheets you had two months ago," or whatever. I remember once they were like going to do laundry together. Okay. And she was helping him aka doing his laundry for him. And they picked up a bunch of these clothes. And after like laundry basket, number six, full of clothes, all of these silverfish came out from the bottom—
[00:30:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh so gross.
[00:30:43] Jordan Harbinger: —because they were all living in there. So gross, yeah, yeah. And it smelled like, as they picked up all the clothes, you could smell like musty, moldy, old, sweaty clothes that had been there for like two weeks buried by other clothes in this pile. It was so vile.
[00:30:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: But to be fair, the apartment could have given the clothes silverfish.
[00:31:03] Jordan Harbinger: I'm quite sure that is the case. I will say however that I had zero silverfish in my room. That's as close as I have to like bad roommate. I never had anybody who like, refused to pay rent or anything like that. Or like, you know, no meth labs in my house, nothing like.
[00:31:19] You can reach us email@example.com. Please keep your emails concise. Try to use a descriptive subject line that makes our job a whole lot easier. If you can include the state and country that you live in, that usually helps us get you more detailed advice. If there's something you're going through, a big decision you may be wrestling with, or you just need a new perspective on stuff, life, love, work. Whether you should marry someone who has three years to live? That one from last week, Gabe, stuck in my brain again.
[00:31:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Intense.
[00:31:45] Jordan Harbinger: Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help. We keep every email anonymous.
[00:31:52] And by the way, if you're joining us for the first time, or you want to tell your friends about the show and I appreciate it when you do, we have episode starter packs. These are collections of top episodes, organized by topic to help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start to get started. And those playlists work for any podcast player, including Spotify.
[00:32:15] All right, next up.
[00:32:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, my girlfriend and I recently attended her mother's wedding. All weekend long, the bride and groom were dropping hints that they were expecting us to get hitched very soon as well. I love my girlfriend very much, and we do plan on getting engaged, but we want to do so on our terms and on a timeline that feels comfortable for both of us. At the reception, they did the garter belt toss tradition, where the groom takes the garter belt off of the bride and then throws it into a crowd of bachelors. The lucky recipient of whom will supposedly get married next. This tradition has always felt very creepy to me, but this time, that feeling of uneasiness was compounded by the fact that the garter belt belonged to my girlfriend's mother. The groom started calling out for all the bachelors to gather, but I want no part of it. So I stayed in my seat. The groom then singled me out, calling for me to participate. I respectfully declined, but it became clear that he was not taking no for an answer. Not wanting to make a scene, I called the groom over and I told him, look, I'm sorry, but I'm way too uncomfortable to participate in this. He seemed to understand and went back to continue the toss. I was about to breathe a sigh of relief when I noticed the groom decided not to toss the garter belt into the crowd, but instead of ran back over to my table and threw the belt directly at me. I sat in my chair, staring blankly, as I let it hit me feeling like the biggest assh*le in the room. Later, I asked my girlfriend if I had handled the situation poorly. And she told me that at first she felt disappointed because it was clear that the bride and groom wanted me to participate. But after the groom threw the belt at me, she felt like they took it way too far. That feeling was reinforced when another lady caught the bouquet and then ran it over to my girlfriend and said, "I think this belongs to you." The whole ordeal felt extremely uncomfortable and overbearing. After things settle down the groom and I clear the air and everything ended up being fine, but I'm left wondering if I could have handled the situation better. Should I have just sucked it up and got along with this? Or was it fair of me to dig in my heels and not participate? Signed, Arguing the Toss.
[00:34:06] Jordan Harbinger: All right. So this whole situation is so cringe. I don't even know where to begin.
[00:34:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:34:11] Jordan Harbinger: I didn't realize people still did the whole garter belt tradition. I mean, I guess I've seen it in the '90s, but I thought it was like throwback, even then.
[00:34:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:34:19] Jordan Harbinger: I know it's like the bachelors equivalent of the bouquet toss, but I've never really heard of this being done in the last, I don't know, 20 years. It's been so long since I've seen anyone do this. We didn't do this at my wedding. One, it would horrify Jen's sort of Chinese-Taiwanese family. And it also makes my skin crawl a little to think of myself doing this because I remember seeing it in early '90s weddings and just being like, "Oh my gosh. Like, this is so weird." And I'm not even just being uptight. I don't think it just, the way it was done was really icky and cringy and gross. No shade on people who are into it or think it's a cool tradition. For me, it's always made my skin crawl, just a lot.
[00:34:57] We actually did a little research on this and it's even creepier than we thought. Apparently, the garter belt tradition began, because way back in the day, like middle ages or probably even before the bride and groom used to immediately leave the ceremony and go into basically an adjacent room and just like seal the deal. And I guess to make it — this is so ridiculous — to make it official, there had to be witnesses, which apparently meant that a bunch of strangers and slash wedding guests would crowd around the bed to get a good view. And I'm quoting an article we read, "Try to get their hands on a lucky piece of the bride's dress as it was ripped from her body." Gross.
[00:35:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Gross.
[00:35:40] Jordan Harbinger: And then over time, finally, people realized that this was just super creepy and they decided that the groom could just remove an item of the bride's underwear and toss it outside the room to prove that he did the deed basically, which still is so creepy.
[00:35:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: So creepy.
[00:35:57] Jordan Harbinger: Probably better than turning your wedding night into like an eyes wide shut party.
[00:36:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, compared to that, it's a step up, but it's still weird.
[00:36:04] Jordan Harbinger: So given all that, where are you the asshole here? In my opinion, no, not really. It's totally your right not to participate in certain things. It's not like you ruined the whole evening by sitting it out. You didn't stand up and object to the wedding. I mean, look, you could have just sucked it up, stood on the edges, tried not to catch it, moved down with the rest of the night. But given the way everyone was acting to you and your girlfriend all night long, I can understand why you didn't want to sort of jump and be part of that.
[00:36:32] If anything, the groom is kind of the a-hole here for turning it into a whole thing and throwing the belt at you and getting like way too much attention on you. Like what the hell? Gabe, am I missing something or is that kind of weird behavior? It's a little too much.
[00:36:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I do think it's weird behavior and it's extra weird because this isn't like his frat buddy from college. This is — if I'm understanding correctly, this is his girlfriend's mother's new husband. So that's like a step father-in-law kind of.
[00:36:56] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah, like features — yeah, that's even more icky.
[00:37:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Like, what's up with this guy? He's like, "Take my wife's underwear. She's going to be your mother-in-law one day."
[00:37:04] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Making you walk around with your future mother-in-law's garter belt. The whole thing is just bizarre. Or maybe look, maybe I'm super uptight and this is just not a big deal. It means whatever you want it to mean. I just kind of got icked out from my previous experience with this and the letter. It also probably depends on what kind of mother-in-law you have. I would imagine.
[00:37:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:37:24] Jordan Harbinger: Anyway, when your girlfriend said she was disappointed, I think she probably just wanted to make her mom happy on her wedding day. And yeah, maybe you could have played along a little more. I probably would have, and then just laughed it off. But as soon as the groom made it about you, literally in your face with the garter belt, I think he crossed a little bit of a line. That's on him, even though it's his wedding. So you got to cut him some slack there.
[00:37:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I agree, Jordan. I am glad you guys managed to smooth it over though. Now, you can just look back on it and laugh. The bigger concern to me though, Jordan, is why is this family so obsessed with them getting married? I mean, I'm sure if the bride and the groom and that other lady who ran the bouquet over to his girlfriend weren't pressuring them so much throughout the evening. He probably would have been more of a good sport about the garter belt thing. I mean, maybe the family is just super pumped about them getting married, which I guess is sweet, but it kinda seems a little insensitive kind of tone deaf to just be like forcing them, pressuring them to get married. It's like chill guys. Like give the young couples some space, let them decide when they want to get engaged. It's their lives. If this guy didn't love his girlfriend so much because I got the sense that he really does, they might have actually managed to scare him off. I have heard of that happening when families just get way too intense about the timeline. Super sad.
[00:38:30] Anyway, if all of this starts to get a little too intense for you guys, you or your girlfriend might want to say something, probably your girlfriend though. She can respectfully tell her mom and her stepdad that you guys are on your own timeline and that them constantly pushing you to propose, not helping things and that it's actually becoming kind of inappropriate. Hopefully, they'll realize that they're acting like maniacs. And then they'll back off.
[00:38:52] The real question is, are you guys going to have a garter belt toss at your wedding?
[00:38:56] Jordan Harbinger: I think they totally should. And he should force his mother-in-law's husband to just stand dead center in the crowd and tosses stepdaughter's garter belt right at him, so he just knows how frigging uncomfortable that is. Maybe just put it right on his head, like a little used underwear, coronet. And then if the stepdad gets mad, he should lean in and say, "If you think this was weird, you should be happy we're not getting married in the middle ages, bro."
[00:39:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that should fix it. Also used underwear coronets, that's got to be a fetish, right?
[00:39:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. For sure. For sure. We'll ask the guy from Q1.
[00:39:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: From Q1, yeah. After he hears that he's going to be like, "Ah, feet, that's fine. That's no big deal. I'm not those coronet people."
[00:39:37] Jordan Harbinger: Anyway if you're looking for something better to give people than your mother-in-law's used underwear, then you can't do much better than the products and services that help support the show. We'll be right back.
[00:39:48] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show, and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:39:52] This episode is sponsored in part by GoodRx. Did you know different pharmacies charge different prices for the exact same drug? Welcome to the wild world of prescription drug pricing. GoodRx is a neat platform. They gather current prices and discounts to help find the lowest cost pharmacy for your prescription at over 70,000 pharmacies, like CVS, Kroger, Walgreens, RiteAid, Vons, Walmart, and more. You can save up to 80 percent quite a bit. Please don't go to the pharmacy without checking GoodRx first to make sure you're paying the lowest price on your medication. It's the number one most downloaded medical app in the app store. It's free. It's easy to use. My father-in-law recently went to get a prescription filled, even though he already has really good insurance, pulled up the GoodRx app, showed the pharmacist, saved 30 bucks. Pretty surprising actually. Pretty amazing how well this works.
[00:40:36] Jen Harbinger: Start saving up to 80 percent on your prescriptions today, go to goodrx.com/jordan. That's goodrx.com/jordan. Goodrx.com/jordan. GoodRx is not insurance, but can be used instead of insurance. In 2020, GoodRx users received an average savings of over 70 percent off retail prices.
[00:40:55] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Klaviyo. Do you remember that ideal holiday gift as a kid? It was probably a certain toy, a hot new console, the big kid bike, maybe Tickle Me Elmo. Am I too old for that? I'm too old for that. Then you become a grownup. The perfect gifts are the unexpected essentials that you often get for yourself, like fresh socks and undies, stackable storage containers, owning your company's marketing data and growth. The last one is definitely a great gift because owning your data helps build and retain larger audiences who stay actively engaged with your company. And that's a self-gift our friends at Klaviyo are ready to share. Sure. Boosting your marketing with Klaviyo probably wasn't the gift you had in mind this year, but you got to admit, it's a pretty great one to get yourself. Want to own your data and your growth? Learn more at K-L-A-V-I-Y-O.com/holidays.
[00:41:38] Jen Harbinger: Get started with a free account at klaviyo.com/jordan. That's K-L-A-V-I-Y-O.com/jordan.
[00:41:45] Jordan Harbinger: Also special thanks to Edmunds for sponsoring the show. Have you noticed how hot the car market is lately? It's actually quite insane. Demand for used cars, especially it's back in full swing. Buying a car is one of the biggest purchasing decisions you can make. And right now, it can be especially difficult. Edmunds has been taken the stress out of the entire car shopping process for over 50 years. We've outgrown our little car. We're considering upgrading soon. The first step is to get an appraisal. We used Edmunds' free vehicle appraisal tool, which gives you an accurate price for your existing vehicle in as little as a minute. They're not going to ask for your personal info. You're not going to get contacted by sketchy third parties. Appraising your car is the first step to getting a good return for it. Vehicles depreciate over time, obviously. So it's important to know where yours stands. Knowing its value will help you determine what steps to take next. Are you going to trade it in? Are you going to sell it to a private party? Are you going to get an instant cash offer for your trade-in online? Well, you can do that at Edmunds as well.
[00:42:35] Jen Harbinger: Car shopping can be stressful. Edmunds is here to help. Visit edmunds.com to get your free online appraisal today and start searching for vehicles in your area. That's E-D-M-U-N-D-S.com. For cars, there's Edmunds.
[00:42:48] Jordan Harbinger: And now of Feedback Friday.
[00:42:52] All right, what's next?
[00:42:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabriel. I'm almost 50 years old and my dear mother is, and has always been terrible at giving gifts. She's not a miser, but you can definitely tell she buys things from garage sales and bargain bins. She also re-gifts expensive cosmetic packages that she purchases for herself. My sisters and I have come to accept her cheap attempts by smiling politely and then donating or giving them away. Last year for Christmas, my sisters were super polite about the terrible jewelry and bedazzled Eiffel Tower t-shirts my mom gave us.
[00:43:23] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my god.
[00:43:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: I got a great mental image of that t-shirt right now.
[00:43:26] I was plain baffled by the rolling pin I got, mostly because I don't even make pie. My mom says that her husband wants her to give little gifts like that. And he gets upset if she suggests that all we really want is money or a high quality item, that we'll actually use. The irony is that she has always expected us to give her high-end gifts, to the point of self-sacrifice. When we were children without jobs, she didn't like handmade gifts or a cheap trinkets. She never wore the fugly Christmas pins or the drugstore perfume we bought her. By the time, I was 14, I had learned to please her by providing her with things she liked. I've suggested many times that my parents shift the focus off of us and give to a charity or just trim down their expenses, but that was met with crickets. As much as I feel compassion for them and their need to feel good, I feel we're all getting a little too old for this farce. So do we keep up the act or do we throw down the truth? Signed, Wrapping It Up.
[00:44:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. This is quite a funny dilemma. Also such an interesting parent to have. The mother who expects a super fancy credenza. Why do I feel like I need to say that with a smoker's voice? Credenza.
[00:44:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Credenza.
[00:44:29] Jordan Harbinger: Davenport.
[00:44:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep.
[00:44:30] Jordan Harbinger: Why does she want a credenza from Pier 1 Imports or whatever, but then turns around and gives you a frigging rolling pin from the 99 Cent Store when you don't even bake. I get why you're worked up about this. It's not just that she's kind of being a scrooge with the gifts. It's that she's not even considering what her children really need. And I'm sure that that's the part that rubs you the wrong way, right? Like, mom isn't really attuned to you or even curious about what you actually want, even if what you want is actually no gifts at all, but then you also have her husband getting mad when she does try to give you something nice that you'll actually use, which is so weird. I don't know if he's being stingy or if he literally just doesn't even like you guys or what, but between the two of them, you guys are really getting shafted at Christmas.
[00:45:15] But look, I know it's not about the presents. It's about the charade of pretending you like what she gives you, feeling misunderstood or under appreciated as a daughter. Knowing that you had to learn how to please your mom from a young age, but that she isn't willing to do the same for you now at all. And I know that might seem trivial or even petty, but I actually get that. I could see how that would sting coming from a parent that you worked so hard to make happy your whole life.
[00:45:40] The thing is you've already tried talking to your parents about this and they basically ignored you. So what do you do? Well, you might want to give it one more shot, but be more direct. Maybe you need to be more explicit with your mom. And that's hard because you don't want to hurt her feelings, but maybe she doesn't realize just how much she's missing the point with these gifts. So you might have to be a little gentle with her.
[00:46:03] You could say something like, "Listen, mom, I really appreciate all the gifts you've given us over the years. I know it means a lot to you for us to open presents together. And I know you're doing your best to make us happy, but I got to tell you, I don't know if we need to keep this up at our age. Most of the gifts you give us, as sweet as they are, to be honest, we can't really use them. Laurie's never going to put on that, but dazzled Hannah Montana t-shirt, she's 30. I promise you. Christine's not going to wear the cork necklace. She wouldn't have done it, even in middle school. Me, I don't even bake. So I gave that rolling pin to Goodwill. So someone who actually needs it can use it. I find that I end up doing that with most of your gifts, actually, because I don't want to hang onto something that I can't use. I know this costs you time and money, not a lot of money but some, so can we please talk about doing something different? Maybe you can ask us for one thing we really need, or you can give us money if that's easier. But I'd be just as happy if you donated to a charity or we just got together and hung out without any presents. That's honestly what matters most to me," something like that.
[00:47:05] And if your mom goes, "Oh, don't be silly. We have to give presents. And I want to be the one to choose what you get." Then maybe you can ask her why this tradition is so important to her. Try to get her to explain why she picks these gifts. Why she and her husband don't want to give you what you really need? And if she brushes you off, you could even be like, "Mom, I feel like you're not listening to what I'm saying here. I'm confused. You say you want to make us happy, but I'm telling you what would make us happier. So do you think you can try to understand where we're coming from? Can we at least try something different this year and see how it goes?" And then, hopefully, she'll realize that there is a much better way to spend Christmas than showering you with stuff you could have found in a frigging treasure chest at your dentist's office.
[00:47:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, wow. Those are such specific toys. Do you remember in the dentist office, they would have like that little thing with the ball and you had to get it into the hole? Like you always got—
[00:47:58] Jordan Harbinger: Oh gosh.
[00:47:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Do you know what I'm talking about?
[00:48:00] Jordan Harbinger: No, my dentist would just be like, okay, here's the like little box you get to reach in without looking.
[00:48:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, what'd you pull out like a tongue scraper or something?
[00:48:09] Jordan Harbinger: No, no, I, there was one, like I pulled out like a fish, like a little plastic fish and he'd be like, "Oh, you got Freddy the fish." And it had the little islet on it and you could turn it into, I guess, like a necklace for like a truck. So I would have Freddy the fish in my pocket, or like wear it on like a little bracelet or something.
[00:48:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh damn, yeah, their mom would love that. I think she should go to your dentist.
[00:48:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's Christmas right there.
[00:48:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Boom. But look, if your mom just won't listen to you or she listens to you, but then she turns around and gives you 13 Chinese finger traps. She picked up Chuck E. Cheese liquidation sale or wherever she's shopping these days, then yeah, you might just have to grit your teeth and play along a little bit. At that point, you'll just know that your parents are going through the charade for themselves. They just aren't interested in changing. I mean, I guess you could boycott Christmas and protest and make them pay attention, but I doubt that make them change and then you're just causing drama and you don't seem like a dramatic person and then you don't get to see your family. So nobody wins.
[00:49:06] My advice would be, find something you do appreciate in this ritual, even if it's something tiny, maybe laughing with your sisters or cooking with your mom or just being together during the holidays, which is always the best part and just choose to focus on that. You might find that this whole gift giving thing is taking attention away from the other parts of Christmas that are actually really great. So I'd say, just decide what to care about and don't get worked up about the stuff you can't change.
[00:49:30] Jordan, weird holiday gifts. That's another thing I love. They're always hilarious. I remember one year my uncle gave my mom a ladder for Hanukkah.
[00:49:40] Jordan Harbinger: Your mom lives in an apartment or like condo.
[00:49:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's why it was so funny, and I'm not talking like a step ladder or even one of those like small letters that you would use in an attic or something. I'm talking like a full-length industrial 25-foot ladder. And yes, she lives in a condo. She's not even handy. She doesn't do like home DIY stuff at all. She was totally confused and she was basically. "Okay. No, thank you." And she left the ladder at his house, and then we would like laugh. We laughed about this for years, but then about 10 or 12 years later, she suddenly needed a ladder one day to fix a light outside or building or something like that. And she was like, "Damn, I should have taken the ladder." So maybe it was actually an incredible gift. I don't know. But it's just, I don't know. I just love when people give a gift that misfires.
[00:50:25] Jordan Harbinger: Weird gifts are hilarious, man. They usually reveal so much about the person who actually is given the gift or how they really feel about the person they're giving it to. So I got a lot of like mediocre gifts probably, but one that really stands out that to me is just hilarious is, I was dating this girl named Nancy. She was like a very professional woman. And one day, we had just met probably a few weeks, maybe even a month or so prior. And she found out it was my birthday because she's like, "Oh, what are you doing?" And I'm like, "Oh, I don't know. I'm on my phone with my mom. I'll call you back." And she's like, "Oh, what's up with your mom?" I was like, "Nah, she's just calling because it's my birthday, to wish me a happy birthday." And she was like, "Oh yeah, me, too happy birthday." And I realized like sort of from her vocal tonality that she completely forgot it was my birthday. And I didn't really care. We'd been dating for a couple months. Like we'd never talked to, I don't know what her birthday was either. And like three hours later, the doorbell rings and I get an Edible Arrangement, like cake thing with like, but not cake, right? It's like strawberries and pineapple on like little spikes.
[00:51:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:51:26] Jordan Harbinger: And don't get me wrong. I love me and Edible Arrangement. These are great gifts. They're awesome, but you get that for your secretary or for your, you know, a teacher you like, or your neighbor or something, you don't get that for your significant other. So it almost was, it was even worse than just no gift for my birthday, like at all. And it was so professional, but like, it was like a professional gift, like last minute I didn't know them well. And the funniest part was, there was a little code on the card. I don't remember how I found this out, but I think it was from the code on the card.
[00:52:00] And a friend of mine happened to like work at Edible Arrangement and I was like, "Hey, did you just send me this thing for my birthday?" And he's like, "Oh yeah, yeah, yeah," and somehow it had come out that she had like build it through her HR company to send it to me. So I was like, I literally got corporate gifted an Edible Arrangement from my girlfriend on my birthday.
[00:52:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Nice. That says it all, doesn't it?
[00:52:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:52:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Edible Arrangement, just signaling I forgot your birthday until two hours before, since like 1987.
[00:52:27] Jordan Harbinger: So much. The other thing that made no sense is she lived like minutes away from me and I'm like, you know, I'm probably like 31. There's a lot of, and she was probably 26. There's a lot that a 26-year-old girl can do her 31-year-old boyfriend on his birthday that does not involve—
[00:52:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Three blocks away.
[00:52:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that does not involve sending a corporate gift from like your company's balance account with Edible Arrangement.
[00:52:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Shocked that it didn't last.
[00:52:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, what happened there? You know, Gabe, I think what the story really captures though, is stuff doesn't matter. The stuff doesn't matter. I mean, sure, expensive things are fun. I appreciate a good leather jacket and a cool car or whatever. Fancy bed frame from stores whose names I can't pronounce. Obviously, those things have some value. But they're just, they're nothing compared to spending time with people you really love. And I know it's cheesy.
[00:53:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:53:14] Jordan Harbinger: I know it's kind of trite. I know I talk about it all the time, but every year I do this show, it just becomes clearer and clearer to me. Relationships, experiences, acts of service, those are things that really matter in life. They're kind of all that really matters in life in a way. I mean, look, you can be driving a Bugatti. Cool. Where are you going? You could be sitting on some super fancy chaise longue. Did I say it correctly this time, Gabe?
[00:53:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Nailed it. Yep. Perfect.
[00:53:43] Jordan Harbinger: The nicest chaise longue in the world, but who's sitting next to you? You know what I mean? Not to be too cheesy about it, but my hope for this holiday, actually my invitation for you, because we usually need to be proactive and do this stuff ourselves is that you create those experiences for yourself. It doesn't have to be some huge thing. Hit up a friend for a pumpkin spice latte over the holiday. Call your mom, call your dad, call your brother and your sister, your cousin, whoever it is, ask them how they're doing. Tell them what they mean to you. Take your colleague to lunch. Tell them what made you proud this year. Write an email to your boss or your professor or your mentor. Thank them for teaching you what they taught you. Book a weekend trip with your best friend. Take your mom out to lunch, take your dog on a hike and invite two friends you haven't seen in a while. I promise you will not regret this kind of thing. Because of the people, we keep in our lives, how we show up for them, how they show up for us, the way we share our love and our ideas and our attention, that is what makes life meaningful. All of the science about happiness proves it. We know this in our bones. It's just so easy to forget when we're caught up in the day-to-day of our lives.
[00:54:51] So my last piece of advice for this, be generous with what you have at this moment, whatever that is. It doesn't have to be money or gifts or vacations. In fact, the less tangible, the better and give it to the people that you care about. That is the big secret, which isn't really a secret at all. Just to give and to find out how far giving yourself to other people will take you in life. And that's as good a place as any, I think to put this showdown for the year.
[00:55:20] Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for letting us into your world in such a cool way. Thank you for letting us make dumb ass jokes while we ponder some of the crazy issue that life serves up. You guys are the best. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. We'll be back in your feed the first week of January, and I hope you all enjoy that. Go back and check out the episodes with Tom Wright and Mike Rowe if you haven't yet.
[00:55:42] If you want to know how I managed to book all these folks, and if you want to improve your own relationships, check out our Six-Minute Networking course. It's free. It's over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig the well before you're thirsty. If you start now, you're starting in 2021. Look at that. It'll be 2022 before you know it. The drills take just a few minutes a day. The holiday is a great time to do this because a lot of people have time to respond to your stuff. Your response rates are going to go through the roof. You can find it all at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:56:11] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or just hit me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:56:27] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions, they're our own. And yes, I'm a lawyer, but not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. If you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice that we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next year.
[00:57:02] If you're looking for another episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show to sink your teeth into, here's a preview of one of my favorite stories from an earlier episode of the show with Jonna Mendez. She was the chief of disguise for the CIA in Moscow during the latter part of the Cold War. We'd really get into the weeds on how they hid people and hid spy gear in one of the most hostile espionage environments anywhere in the world.
[00:57:24] Jonna Mendez: We invented technology that didn't even exist yet. The small batteries, for instance, they're in our watches and our phones and all of that stuff today.
[00:57:32] Jordan Harbinger: You're kind of like Q from James Bond, but it's the CIA.
[00:57:36] Jonna Mendez: We could create any kind of character over your face, masks that came out of Hollywood. We'd say, "Great. Go down to the cafeteria and have lunch." This is at CIA headquarters where everybody knows everybody in the cafeteria and they would go and discover that no one paid any attention to them. You go, "Wow. I'm hiding in plain sight."
[00:57:56] They were following us just every minute. The case officer would step out of the car. The driver would hit a button. This dummy would pop up wearing the same clothes as the guy that had just left trailing surveillance would come around the corner and they follow that car all night. They never knew. And if they could get to those people, they would execute them. They were feeding people into these crematoriums, feet first, alive.
[00:58:20] Jordan Harbinger: Unbelievable.
[00:58:21] Jonna Mendez: A really valuable agent said, "I'll work for you on one condition. And that is that you give me the ability to take my own life." Eventually everybody got arrested. So they arrested him, and we had put that L pill we gave him in the cap of the Montblanc pen. It was cyanide and he knew where it was. And they said, "We want you to write your confession." So they brought him his Montblanc pen.
[00:58:44] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Jonna Mendez, including some incredible spy stories that will really perk your ears, check out episode 344 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.