Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called… a season finale! Yes, it’s true, today’s episode marks the end of the absolute blockbuster that was S2 of Wait, Is This A Date?
And to celebrate that ending, who better to come on and discuss the joys and successes of a long distance crush, than actor and queer person Elise Bauman? You might recognize Elise from Lifetime’s delightful queer Christmas rom-com that come out last year, Under The Christmas Tree, but around these parts, she has another title that is nearly as vaunted: Drew’s girlfriend! Yes, that’s right, this sparkling twosome was birthed from the great queer tradition: the long distance crush.
But what is it about the long distance crush that is so appealing to queers around the world? Is it the relative scarcity of like minded queers around you? Perhaps the ability to flirt long distance takes some of the pressure off? The three of us get into all of it, AND Drew and Elise share some possibly TOO cute details about their relationship!
And of course there is a game! This week, I make Drew play the game that simply took over Twitter and Tiktok for a few fleeting weeks: “They’re a 10 but…” It’s a good time, all around!
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+ Johnny Sibilly’s thighs are… indeed quite compelling!
+ Will Shortz is in fact the name of the NYT Crossword Editor! *the more you know*
Elise: And then we got off the phone, and then we both hopped on the phone two seconds later we’re like, “So the border is closed, we are legally not allowed to actually go across the border.”
Christina: I mean, top among one of my favorite voice memos and or texts I got from Drew, I can’t remember which form it came in, it was like, “I made this plan and now the borders are closed.” Yeah.
Elise: Yeah, it was a real moment.
[theme song plays]
Drew: Hi, I’m Drew.
Christina: And I’m Christina.
Drew: And welcome to Wait, Is This A Date?
Christina: Wait, Is This A Date? is an Autostraddle podcast brought to you by me having the giggles, and the question that is on everybody’s lips, wait, was this a date?
Drew: We’re at the end of our second season, and I think we solved it, I think.
Christina: Yeah, I think I’m just bringing big finale energy, like when comedies used to be in front of a studio audience, and everybody would walk in and there was an hour of applause because it was like, it’s the last, that’s how I’m feeling. Though to be clear, no one has applauded me yet, hateful. Thank you, thank you. Now I feel loved and held. Drew, who are you?
Drew: Oh wow, forgot about that part.
Christina: Yeah, right?
Drew: Maybe season three I’ll get the intros. My name is Drew Gregory, I am a writer for Autostraddle, a filmmaker, a queer trans woman. You know what, I think if we do another season I want to have a fun one I throw in at the end.
Christina: Ooh, something spicy, you want to jazz it up?
Drew: Yeah, I don’t have anything today though.
Christina: Okay, leave them wanting more, I think that’s great.
Drew: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Christina: I am Christina Tucker, I am also a writer at Autostraddle, and the internet at large. A podcaster, a gay Black woman, and someone who’s feeling pretty jazzy right here on this afternoon.
Drew: Great, I’m really glad that you’re jazzy and I’m spicy, or at least I’m planning for the possibility that someday I’ll be spicy.
Christina: Yes you’re like, I don’t know, the first half of the movie Dune, the spice will come. Cool reference, ladies, she’s single. Anyway, I do have a game for us to play on this hollowed day of our finale.
Christina: This is the classic, and by classic I mean a game that took over the internet and TikTok for a couple weeks, “They’re a 10, but…”
Drew: Ah, great.
Christina: Now Drew, I’m going to set out some ground rules for you, because I know you love a follow up question.
Christina: When I say they’re a 10, they’re a 10 to you in any way that matters to you, that could be physically, that could be emotionally, this is just a person you feel is a 10, okay?
Drew: Okay, okay, thank you.
Christina: I do not have any scenarios for what else you in this person have been doing in your dating life, you’re just going to have to go with your gut and decide.
Christina: All right?
Christina: We’re going to put where make that clear, here we go. They’re a 10, but they clap when the plane lands.
Drew: I always felt like people were too dramatic with this, where it’s like they’re a 10 and that thing makes them go to a two, come on.
Drew: So I’m going to still give a pretty generous eight.
Christina: Yeah, I think that’s fair. I think eight is the correct amount of cringe removal for that little action. All right, this is a great start. Okay, they’re a nine but they never text you first.
Drew: And I can’t ask follow up questions?
Christina: No, no, no.
Drew: So I can’t ask, well do they text me back when I text? I would say a five.
Christina: Yeah, not texting first ever, that’s rough.
Drew: Ever is weird.
Christina: That’s rough stuff. All right, they are a five but they drive you to every errand that you’ve ever had to run.
Drew: That’s really nice, but I could always… If there were five, I’ll give him a six.
Christina: Sure, sure. But I know you love a solo jaunt anyway, you love an errand run.
Drew:I mean today my girlfriend Elise did drive me to an errand, and I was very grateful, but if that was the only thing she did we wouldn’t be in a relationship, that was just an added little nice bonus.
Christina: I think that’s fair.
Christina: All right, they are a seven but they only pretend to read your work.
Drew: See the aspect of that that bothers me is the pretend.
Christina: Pretending, I knew it would be.
Drew: It’s not the not reading it. If they didn’t read my work it’s like, I’m not that, I’d be a little, it’s like never? But it’s fine, I could get over it. But they lie to me about that is what’s weird to me, so that’s going to go down to a three.
Christina: Yeah, correct, correct. They are a three but they have access to the criterion closet.
Drew: And do I get you to go?
Christina: And you get access, you benefit from that access, yes.
Drew: I could have a solid fling with that six.
Christina: I think you could. It was a three, but yeah, you’re knocking it up to a six.
Drew: No, no, no, that’s what I’m saying, I’m knocking it up to a six.
Christina: Gotcha, gotcha. I love that. They’re an eight but all of their friends are straight.
Drew: Okay, there was some discourse about this, because I think there was a you need help. I think I maybe was on the opposite side of most of the Autostraddle team who said that it is fine to only have straight friends. I would like to say that it is fine, it’s just not the life I lead. All straight friends, that’s going to go to a two.
Christina: Yeah, I’m going to have to agree with you on that one, I would just find it a little troubling, confusing.
Drew: All straight friends?
Drew: If they’re new to queerness and are wanting to meet more queer people, that’s different than if they’re an established season queer who’s like, you know what? I like being the one lesbian in my friend group of straight people.
Christina: Yeah, I would feel the same way if it was a Black person who was like, “I don’t have any Black friends,” I would be like, “What’s going on there?” Internally.
Drew: We’re not in a network sitcom, we can’t have a token person.
Christina: You don’t need to be the token, you don’t need to do that to yourself. All right, we have three more. They are a seven but they spend all their free time in the gym, constantly lifting weights up and down. I don’t know what people do in the gym.
Drew: All of their free time. I guess it depends on what counts as free time. I’ll say a five.
Drew: I’ll bump them down two.
Christina: Bump them down.
Drew: But that’s fine. I guess it depends largely for me, which I’m not asking a follow question, I’m sticking with five, but it depends to me what counts as free time.
Drew: Can we watch movies together, or go out to eat, is that free time? Is not work time free time, or is it just like when we don’t have other activities?
Christina: I hear you, I hear you.
Drew: But I’ll stick with five.
Christina: All right. They’re six, but their mom is hotter than they are.
Drew: Oh, I don’t know to go up or down.
Christina: I know, right?
Drew: I don’t think I could ever date someone for their… It’s like if I’m not attracted to someone in the first place, I’m probably not going to be dating them.
Drew: I’m not going to be like, well, they could turn into their hot mom. I think I’d say that they’re still a six, I’m just going to not call them and I’m going to call their mom.
Christina: Yeah, I feel like it’s like you stay the same, but maybe I hang out with you a little longer than I would in order-
Drew: That’s a good point.
Christina: To get some mom time. I don’t think you change.
Drew: I did something really bad that I still feel badly about, which is that someone asked me out, and this was when I was in college, and I was not interested, and so I was clear about that, I was clear I wasn’t interested. But then she wanted to be friends, and I could tell that she said she wanted to be friends but it was coming from place-
Christina: She was hoping.
Drew: Yeah. But the thing is that all of her friends were really hot and cool, and so I did continued to be her friend in order to hang out with her friends. I didn’t lie about my intentions generally, but it still wasn’t the nicest thing I did as a 20 year old.
Christina: I mean unfortunately it just reminds me of that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie’s dating, I believe it’s Justin Theroux, and he sucks, but his family rocks, and she’s like, I can do this for a bit. I’m like, yeah, absolutely, who couldn’t.
Drew: Carrie wasn’t trying to hook up with his family, which is the difference, but you know what? It’s fine, we’re all good.
Christina: A hookup can look like anything, I’m always saying that.
Drew: That’s a really great point.
Christina: Your final one, is a three but has a beach house.
Drew: I’m about to say an annoying sentence, but I went to NYU.
Christina: Horrible to say.
Drew: Something that sucks about me, which this is going to sound like a humble brag, because it’s actually probably a good character trait, but it sucks as a person going through the world. I went to a school that’s filled with rich people who have all sorts of awesome beach houses, and all these other things, and I only became friends with people who were there on scholarships. Not only, but primarily, I definitely, I didn’t make friends with people who had beach houses.
Christina: You didn’t utilize.
Drew: Yeah, and so I think if they’re a three but they have a beach house, they’re probably a two. The fact… I don’t know.
Christina: Yeah, you just can’t make that leap to utilize the sick beach house moment.
Drew: No, it sucks. But what I’m really hoping is that my friends who are fairly down to earth, good people, more and more of them are just going to continue to get that new money and then get beach houses, and then I’ll be able to hang out with my great friends and be at a beach house. That’s the dream where I could get the beach house.
Christina: That’s the dream at the end of the day, it’s new money and a beach house, that’s all we’re looking for. You heard it here first folks.
Drew: I love new money.
Christina: Love new money.
Drew: Love new money. Yeah, that was a delight. I’d actually, I’d really been wanting to play that game since it was a thing on TikTok, so thank you for making my dreams come true.
Christina: I thought it would be a fun one to do, and it was very fun to come up with them.
Drew: Well, should we move on to our main segment of the week, which is falling for people who live in other cities. Which is different than long distance relationships, because long distance relationships can start well into a relationship, they can continue on into a relationship, this is the desire that queer people have to look at their place that they live and go, no, I’m not going to flirt with these people, I’m going to go on instagram.com and find someone who lives very far away. And we have a, I know we always say a very special guest, but for me this is a very special guest. Do you want to introduce yourself?
Elise: I would love to introduce myself. Am I the special guest?
Drew: You are, yes.
Christina: Baby, of course.
Elise: Great, wow, amazing. My name is Elise Bauman, I’m an actor, I’m a queer person, and I’m here today because I’m sleeping with one of the hosts.
Christina: Guess which one?
Elise: Yeah, the rest of the podcast is just the audience trying decipher which host I’m sleeping with. I like that, it’s like a murder mystery but-
Christina: There’s no way to know.
Elise: There’s no way to know. Yeah, does this make me a nepotism baby? Is that how the industry works.
Christina: Yes, that’s how the industry works, babe.
Elise: Nice, nice.
Christina: This is it.
Elise: Wow, maybe I could get a career out of this.
Christina: Fingers crossed for you.
Elise: Nepo baby to career, wow, fantastic. I’ve always wanted to be a nepo baby.
Christina: I’m so glad.
Drew: Yeah, I was just going to say that for people who don’t know, well now I’m ruining the murder mystery of it all, but Elise and I are in a relationship, and did start dating during the pandemic, and Elise lives in Toronto, and I live in Los Angeles, which are in fact different cities, and are in fact in different countries.
Elise: They are indeed, they are indeed.
Christina: And Drew, not to say that you went against your own gut, but I do feel as though you are usually a person who says, why bother with a long distance moment? There are people right here I can date, why do this to yourself? You know it’s going to be hard, you know it’s going to be a challenge, why do this? And yet here you are.
Drew: See, that’s interesting, because I feel like I always liked to have a little of both, I just think I didn’t take the long distance ones maybe as seriously.
Christina: Maybe that’s it, yeah.
Drew: But I always enjoyed a long distance flirt.
Drew: And so I think this just kept going. When we started-
Elise: So the answer, Drew, wasn’t that I was just irresistible and it was personal to me, and that it was very specific to me that I was just amazingly irresistible so you just broke all your rules and you said, “I have to have that one.”
Drew: I mean it is sort of the answer in a longer sense. In the sense that it just kept happening. And then our good friends of the pod, Mal Blum and Gab Dunn, who I used to live with, as some of you may know, I would always be like, I’d be trying to date people during the pandemic in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas of Los Angeles. And then they’d make fun of me because I would sometimes just be like, “I mean, I could just try to date Elise Bauman.” I was always, “I mean, this person lives in Toronto, so no we’re just going to continue flirting.” But then at a certain point I’d made a lot of mistakes. Some of which have been documented on this here podcast during the pandemic and my dating. And then I was like, “Well, I keep being drawn to this person. And yes, the distance is tricky, but maybe we should do a little FaceTime.”
Elise: Which was a year into us flirting via the internet.
Christina: I am very aware of the Drew side of this burgeoning relationship. But Elise, I’d love to get your takes. Are you a long distance dater? Are you one of the queers that is constantly, “If I was in Ireland, me and this person would be together.” Because was this a new experience for you?
Elise: No, I mean, truthfully, I hadn’t really been in many long term relationships.
Elise: Until recently. No, it was. I think the reason for me that it all worked out so well is that I had so many walls up. And so, being able to take it slow with zero pressure. We met over this Zoom live read at the beginning of the pandemic and added each other on Twitter, started liking each other’s tweets. Then I think it went into a Twitter DM, very romantic. And then we just started talking and then we just talked on the internet for a really long time. And it was like, this really slow, organic, nice way of doing things. Because I think because you lived in a different country, it meant that the pressure was none. I was like, “Wow, if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. I’ve never even seen her face to face still. What’s the worst that could happen?” Because of that, I don’t know, it just, it gave it a nice rumination period. I like to say that if my last relationship was 30 seconds in the microwave, this was a slow braised lamb stew. Or something.
Christina: Okay. It’s giving barefoot Contessa.
Elise: You know what I mean?
Christina: We’re going direct from the Hamptons. We love that. We love that. I mean, I do think that part, I have never done an actual relationship, surprising no one, via a long distance. But the long distance flirt that is very fun to me. But it’s always, as it always is, making it something more than just a long distance flirt or spicy replies to Instagram stories. I’m always like, “Ooh. And that’s where I get lost.” Or I forget, or don’t have the attention span. I wonder if that’s part of the problem for me. It’s tough to say.
Elise: It was funny because when Drew eventually, a year into us every couple weeks having long flirts on Instagram, was like, “Would you like to FaceTime sometime?” And my first reaction was like, “No, you’ve ruined it. You’ve taken…” I was like, “No, we got to either be in a relationship or the flirtation ends. There’s stakes. Now, it actually goes somewhere now.” And I was like, some of the walls started coming back up. And then we FaceTimed. And our first FaceTime, true to queer history, was about seven hours long. And then we just kept on FaceTiming for… Well, it was originally not going to be as long, but then we had this big, long talk one time. We were like, okay, we talked about everything. We talked about how we like to share space about what it would be like to meet for the first time we literally talked about everything. And we got off the phone and we were like, “Okay, we’re feeling good about this. We’re going to do it. We’re going to, Drew’s going to come here or I’m going to go there. It’s going to be great.” And then we…
Drew: No, we picked a date. I was going to book a flight.
Elise: Oh, we picked it. Right, right, right. And then we got off the phone and then we both hopped on the phone two seconds later. We’re like, “The border is closed. We are legally not allowed to actually go across the border because of that.”
Christina: I mean, top among my favorite voice memos and/or texts I got from Drew, I can’t remember which form it came in. It was like, “I made this plan and now the borders are closed.”
Elise: Yeah. It was a real moment.
Drew: And initially we were FaceTiming once a week. We kept that as a boundary of sorts, where we… It was really just once a week. They were six or seven hours long, but it was once a week. And then, once we reached that point where we were going to meet and then the existence of borders got in the way, then it became a lot more like we were just in a relationship. Where we didn’t talk about it that way, but where we just would FaceTime each other randomly when we were going about our days or whatever.
Elise: It was less of a once a week date night thing.
Christina: It was like, we’re going to meet in person at some time. Let’s remove some of these boundaries around our communication style.
Drew: I mean when I asked you to FaceTime, I genuinely didn’t know if we’d been flirting. Is this a date?
Elise: That’s so funny.
Drew: But stretched out over a year where… And it’s because people all have different flirting styles and we weren’t like-
Elise: You literally sent me poems that you wrote in Paris when you were a teenager.
Drew: Right. See to me that’s flirting. But to a lot of people that is the sort of friendship. Not…
Christina: Hey, hey, hey, hey.
Drew: We weren’t doing anything sexual. It wasn’t like so-
Christina: Could have been the start of a podcast. Did you think about it?
Drew: Exactly. I also had multiple experiences over the years where I had been like, “Oh, this is flirting.” And sometimes, we responded to each other’s stories with… I think once I responded to a thirst trap you posted with swoon and things like that. There was definitely some acknowledgement of attraction. But also again, people who are becoming friends sometimes are also like, “Oh my God, hottie.” It’s confusing. And then, I said, “Would you like to FaceTime sometime?” And you said, “I usually wait until I’m at a year into an Instagram flirtation before I do a FaceTimes, but I could break the rules by a couple weeks,” is exactly what you said. Then I was, I remember…
Elise: Wow, that was good.
Elise: I’m like, “Yeah, cool. Great.”
Drew: I was in the main house with my friends and was like, “Yes.” I was like, “Yes, this is flirting. It was flirting. We were flirting.” And they were making fun of me because I had been so, “I shouldn’t have sent that. I shouldn’t have sent that. I shouldn’t have sent that. I’m going to ruin.”
Christina: You got the touchdown, babe.
Drew: Now, when LA people break my heart, I’m not even going to be able to have this hot Canadian to think about. Oh God, what did I do? What did I do? And then you said that. And I was like, “Yes. Yes.”
Elise: Oh. And the rest is history.
Christina: And the rest is a gorgeous history. And then, Drew got to not only meet me in person for the first time, but then drive right on up to Toronto to see you.
Drew: I know.
Elise: No, that’s true. Yeah.
Christina: I do feel like I’m hugely a part of your story, to be clear.
Elise: Massively a part of it. Huge, huge, huge.
Christina: In many ways, it’s like who is in a relationship here? It’s who know? It’s like, it’s all married together.
Drew: I mean season one, we would always ask our guests if this was a date. This is a little bit of a thruple date I think.
Christina: This is absolutely.
Drew: Right now. Yeah.
Christina: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Elise: Because you couldn’t fly for some reason. And so, you drove to Christina’s and then drove across the border.
Drew: Because I was in Cincinnati with doing that job. I flew to New York. Was in New York for a bit, took the train to see Christina. Then went from there back to New York. And then I drove because I didn’t have a passport because of a combination of pandemic and Trump and trans.
Christina: The big three.
Drew: Yeah, but I had a New York state driver’s license that was an enhanced ID. I couldn’t fly to Canada, but I could drive across the border. I drove nine hours to meet you for the first time.
Drew: And when I got to your place, you were working, you were on set. And so, I…
Elise: Right, right. You were in my bedroom before. Oh right. Yeah, I did this cute thing. Tell them the cute thing that I did.
Drew: You left me a bunch of little notes on the stairs leading up to your room. And then there was a little note on the bed and it was really, really cute.
Christina: That is so cute, I want to throw up a little bit, man. I feel a little queasy actually thinking about how cute that is.
Drew: It was really, it was real good.
Elise: Yeah. You sent me a video from my bedroom being, “Just waiting here to meet you in person.” Wild. What a time.
Drew: Were you nervous?
Elise: Was I nervous? Yeah. But I think that we had… This is also the thing about long distance or falling for people in other cities, as this podcast title is called, is that, I mean, not that you couldn’t do this in person, but you just get to communicate about everything before it happens. And so, we talked about our nerves. We talked about, we were both, “What if we don’t the way that we smell?” Weird things like that, just all of your weird neurosis or all of your weird insecurities, we just talked through every possible thing. And then it worked out pretty well I’d say.
Drew: I mean, I feel like it was drastically different than a scenario where let’s say we were flirting for a bit, a shorter period of time. Either we never FaceTimed or maybe we just FaceTimed a couple times. Because of the border being closed, by the time we met, I guess I had been more nervous about not being able to cross the border. I was so nervous the night before I drove. And that I’d get to the border and they’d be like, “Yes, Americans are allowed in now, but not the trans ones,” or just something. Or I had just done the paperwork wrong or just some border patrol person having an issue with me. And so, that’s what I was nervous about. But once I made it in, I was so relieved. Or getting COVID right beforehand. There was all, that was where so many of the nerves were. Once I was in your room. Also, you had just done this very cute thing that reminded me why I had driven nine hours and why I was excited to meet you. I wasn’t, I think…
Elise: All it takes is a couple Post-it notes, ladies.
Drew: I guess I just didn’t think the nerves that might exist otherwise if our first kiss wasn’t great. If the first time we had sex wasn’t great.
Drew: If it was awkward for the first couple days, I wasn’t worried that any…
Elise: But it was awkward.
Drew: It was. Whoa.
Elise: For the first maybe two hours.
Elise: And then we both acknowledged that the next day. Or we even acknowledged it in the moment. We were like, “This is weird.”
Drew: I think we acknowledged it in the moment.
Elise: We were like, “This is weird. You’re a person in front of me. You’ve lived in my phone for the last five months.”
Drew: But I had a lot of confidence that if any of those things, that it wouldn’t be a deal breaker. If the whole 10 days I was there had passed and we weren’t connecting, then it would be like, “Hmm, should we try that again? What was happening there?” But I don’t know. And that also, I think took away some of the nerves and allowed the weirdness to only last a couple hours instead. By the next day, we were so… I don’t know. It really felt kind of magical.
Elise: It was, yeah. We literally went away for the weekend, the following morning while…
Elise: Yeah. It’s funny. Because I’ve been on a lot of first dates, but not a lot of second dates. And I think there is something of, I don’t know, I always could find a reason to not see someone again, just based out of fear or whatever. Probably a lot of it was just like, I think you can tell, for me personally, within the first 20 minutes of meeting someone, if that person is going to be someone that you get along with or not. But there is something about, I don’t know, just more slowly getting to know someone that just shuts down that fear mechanism a little bit. For me, for me.
Christina: Yeah. I think that totally makes sense.
Elise: I mean speaking more broadly because we’re not the first queer women to do this.
Elise: It is a stereotype.
Drew: As much as I love just talking about us, speaking more broadly, is it as simple as queer people historically have been in places or even Queer people, historically, have been in places, or even still—Generally, there will be more straight people in your city than queer people. So there are less options. Is that where it’s coming from, or is there something else going on that is causing this to be a stereotype?
Christina: I don’t know. I mean I do think of it as scarcity seems dramatic. But I do think it does come from partly because of that. If you are in a community that you don’t know a ton of queer people or you’re just like, “I feel a little bit unmoored here. I’m just going to reach out to queer people writ large. Who cares where they are?” I do think that’s part of it. I don’t know. I feel like straight people are just like, oh, how did we decide to get married? He was right there, and that’s it.
Drew: That’s true.
Christina: It is so much for me a thing of like, oh, maybe we are just a little bit more interested in taking that time and taking that long, slow build and knowing that, no, this isn’t impossible even if we’re X miles apart. We can still make this happen. I don’t know. Maybe straight people are just allergic to working hard for their relationship sometimes.
Elise: But I also think that more straight people started doing the long distance or the meeting people in other cities during the pandemic. I have maybe a couple straight friends, my token straight friends, and-
Elise: … one of them was basically doing the exact same thing. I was like it is interesting that during the pandemic, I don’t know, I was like, wow, what a beautiful way to be an ally to the queer community, is you guys are doing long distance now, too. But I don’t know if there’s a correlation there somehow, but I do think it’s interesting that more straight people did turn to broadening their dating geography over the pandemic.
Drew: Good for them.
Elise: Good for them. Do you think there’s something to that, though? Do you think that that’s … Or maybe I just know one straight person who did this?
Drew: No, no, no, no, no. No, I think that’s completely accurate. I’m just thinking about it.
Christina: No, I absolutely agree. I think there was like, certainly in the beginning of 2021, absolutely a genre of TikTok that was going to meet X person for the first time and it was always stitched with lesbians who are like, “Baby welcome to the community. This is what we do. This is how we ball.”
Elise: Maybe people just aren’t as attached to remaining in the same city anymore, like rules just went out the wayside and they’re like, “Okay, I don’t need to find someone who … ” I don’t know.
Drew: I mean I definitely, even more than before, was flirt, it didn’t make a difference. If I wasn’t going to meet anyone in person, like at least-
Christina: If I’m not leaving my house
Drew:.. especially in the early, early months, it truly doesn’t matter. It is interesting because I do think for the two of us, it was … Like there are queer people in LA and people in Toronto, and we could have pandemic dated them. I do think for the two of us, it was more about our emotional walls that we had up. I often joked before … I don’t know, before the pandemic, that a lot of the dating … Or even during the pandemic, a lot of the dating I was doing, I was pursuing people who were unavailable. That was a way of having walls up, of being like, okay, this person is probably not someone who will date me. It maybe was a distance, but it was something else. I don’t know. Maybe their entire personality and brand is that they don’t date. So to then be like, oh, that’s who I’m going to try to date is that’s not a great move. I do feel like the distance allowed, in our relationship … Like that was the thing, and that’s something that can be overcome by travel. I mean especially in 2019, some of the people I was trying to date, it just was so messy and it was because the people who were messy and the people who weren’t kind and weren’t giving me much, there was no stakes the same way that maybe during the pandemic initially flirting with someone in Toronto felt like there were no stakes. Then we were gradually able to work towards a place where there actually were stakes. I could get over some of my commitment issues that were spurred on from my previous relationships. So I do think that it makes sense that scarcity is a factor for queer people. I also think that, yeah, sure, it can be that it’s a nice way to ease in. Look, a lot of people, though, especially … I mean we talk about this all the time, especially on the lesbian side of things, people can be really timid and really scared to make moves and whatever. I think probably the lowering of the stakes of someone being far away does help with that stuff, too. So I think that also is maybe a factor for a lot of people.
Christina: That was my gut reaction too, is that if you feel like those stakes are not as high, then it necessarily makes you feel like, oh, then my walls don’t have to be as high in correlation to that because what am I really risking here, having a light flirtation every couple of weeks or every couple of days, until you suddenly realize, wow, we’ve been doing this for a year. Maybe we should hop on a quick call.
Elise: Wow. Have you ever fallen for someone in a different city, Christina?
Christina: No. I’ve entertained crushes in different cities, but I’ve done a proper falling for. I …
Elise: I …
Christina: … couldn’t say.
Elise: Couldn’t be me.
Drew: I do feel like the times where you’ve been like, “I have a crush on someone,” they’ve usually been in another city.
Christina: Yeah, that is usually …
Christina: Again, it is those similar walls and it is similarly, well, at the end of the day, I’ll be over here and they’ll be somewhere else. That makes me feel a little less stressed. But, yeah, could I successfully move that to the gorgeous, beautiful thing that you two have built together?
Elise: God …
Drew: I think it could.
Christina: Maybe. Maybe.
Drew: The other thing is that sometimes the connection, there are similar situations not virtually. I know that when I travel … Like my best one night stands have been when I was traveling. It was because it truly was I felt a similar sort of the stakes are low. It doesn’t go well, I’m like, “Well, I’ve got to get back to LA,” or wherever I was living. There is something about even that where you don’t have-
Elise: You’re never going to run into this person at a Walgreen’s.
Drew: Yeah, you don’t have the build-up time that we’re talking about when you fall for someone in another city virtually, but you do have a similar lowering of the stakes where it’s like this isn’t real, I’m on vacation, or even if you’re on a work trip, like I’m just in another place and it feels … When I think of the nightstands I had in the same city as me, it’s not so much. But when I think about the one nightstands I had while traveling, those are such good memories and I’m just like, “What great people. Am I going to see them again? Probably not. Do I want to?”
Elise: What great people.
Christina: What great people.
Drew: I really have very fond feelings about a handful of people who I had that experience with.
Christina: I mean I think part of that is just being … When you’re on vacation brain, you’re just like, “Who am I?” I can be a different person because I’m on vacation or I’m not where I actually live. What are the repercussions to my actions?” and just vibe.
Elise: Do you think too that there’s something about dating within your own city, you feel as though you’re attached to older versions of yourself in that city, too? If you’re looking outside of your current geographical location, there’s something a little more freeing about, I don’t know, not being attached to the past or not being attached to past versions of yourself.
Christina: I definitely think that would be part of it. I’ve never really thought about it in that way, though. That is interesting. But it makes a gut emotional sense, like I left her behind, old Christina. I don’t know her anymore.
Elise: Old Christina.
Christina: Who is she?
Drew: I also … In talking about this and thinking about our relationship, distance …
Elise: Makes the heart grow fonder. Is that where you’re going to say?
Drew: Well, no, there are opportunities for romance that … I mean, look, we’re raised on romantic movies, romantic books, whatever, that need conflict. So part of romance as a genre, generally, is conflict. And so, the conflict can be, “Oh, this person’s married. Oh, this person is a nightmare to me,” and those aren’t necessarily as fun as … I mean they can be fun in their own ways, but they’re not as capital R romantic as, oh, this person lives far away.
Elise: Justin Trudeau closed the border.
Christina: It’s the longing.
Drew: Yeah, or it’s the, oh, we only have one night before I have to get back on the plane. Those are both such great experiences of romance. If we had been dating early months, yeah, I could have gotten you a surprise gift or something, but that wouldn’t be as fun as sending you a book that I really loved with a little note in it.
Elise: That is true.
Drew: When you sent me … Elise makes these incredible collage cards. When you sent me the first one that you sent me, it was like … I feel like that … Recently we had some friends ask, “When did you know that you were in love?” and I didn’t really have a good answer. Now that I think about it, yes, we had to meet first before … Love is so many different things, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Elise: Sure, sure, sure.
Drew: But, yeah, I do think that when that happened, I had always been such romantic and I’d always been a romantic towards the people I was with. I was always doing gestures and I always got so much joy from that. But I don’t think I ever really was with someone else who was romantic in that way. There are lots of ways to be romantic, and it’s fine, whatever, but I was like, oh, it feels really good to have this returned. It feels really good to get a surprise card that’s beautiful and personal and …
Elise: It’s like a little snail mail.
Drew: Yeah. It’s like that shit is … I don’t know, I’m not proud of it, but sometimes you just want to be in a story that theoretically would end with one of us dying from tuberculosis. Those aren’t healthy tendencies necessarily, but a little bit just … I feel like mail is a great, safe, non-death-related thing that I could take from that genre.
Christina: If you can’t have consumption, you can have snail mail.
Drew: Exactly, exactly.
Christina: That’s a gorgeous way of thinking about it, I think, absolutely.
Elise: Oh, man. That first one that I sent you two, I think I had to resend it because the original, we thought, got lost, because it had been a month or two, because this was during the time when everything was slow down-
Christina: Post was slow.
Elise: Yeah, post was slow. But that was what it was like back in the old days, waiting for a letter. I don’t know. There’s something interesting, though, about the transition then between that and real life.
Drew: For sure.
Elise: Not to say that the other thing is not real life, but it reminds me of … I had this friend back in the day who was a singer on cruise ships, and she met her boyfriend there. They had this cruise ship relationship where they were both working. They both had all of their meals supplied for them. They both were traveling the world and off sailing the seas together and never really in one place for too long. They would always be in the honeymoon phase on the ship.Then as soon as they would dock and go back to their apartments, the relationship would always fall apart. They did this multiple times. I think there is something to be said of needing to also ground the long-distance posts or cross-country flirtation in a bit of reality too, so that it can grow into something and shift and change and evolve.
Drew: I think it really helped that our first in-person meeting, you were working a lot of that week. So I think we did go away and we did have a couple nights that were honestly pretty magical in nature and beautiful and just, “This is really good.” But then most of the rest of that trip, you were busy and there was a little bit of real life thrown in. I don’t think that was a bad thing. I think that was good for us after this long drawn out.
Christina: Well, I also think, as you guys mentioned before, talking about how are we going to share space together, doing logistics conversations like that before actually meeting in person was probably super helpful, because I think it is well, and good, and lovely, and romantic to just trust that our connection will get us through this. But if you are a person who does not want to be spoken to in the morning, you got to kind of holler at someone, and be like, just to be clear, I don’t want you to have to feel that you are driving me insane by doing this thing that I hate.
Elise: Especially when you have as many neuroses as me.
Christina: Yeah. I mean, I just love two logic brain girlies getting together and saying like, well, let’s sit down and talk through these logistics. Let’s be serious here.
Elise: When do you eat breakfast in the morning?
Drew: Oh, Elise has a Virgo rising.
Christina: Oh, yeah. That’s good stuff.
Elise: She’s a real present Virgo. Let’s just say that.
Christina: It’s a present sign. If it’s in there, it really pulls its weight I said. Do we have any other thoughts on long distance relationships, or not even relationships, the beginning falling for someone?
Elise: Falling for people in different cities.
Drew: So catchy. I don’t know. I mean, I definitely recommend it.
Christina: Yeah. This is a very pro visiting episode for our listeners, I would say.
Elise: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Christina: Hey, could be you. You guys could be a nepotism baby on another podcast somehow.
Elise: Wow. Fantastic.
Christina: That’s the dream.
Elise: I love being a nepotism baby.
Drew: I will say that something I’m also grateful for is, I don’t know if you know this, but at some point Elise and I are going to be very rich and famous both of us.
Christina: I’m counting on you guys for a beach house. Let’s be clear.
Drew: There you go. I do think that long distance in general, but long distance in the beginning also is very much determined by money because of being able to travel to each other and sending gifts and things like that. I do think that I’m glad we were at where we were at, where neither of us were so broke that we could never see each other. Going back to the reality thing, Elise has a roommate, who is honestly just the loveliest person and she’s great. There would be a different conversation if, oh, instead of going away to nature for two days at a small little cabin on whatever on the lake. Instead, it was like, oh, we’re going to go on this trip together and it’s going to be this thing. There could be a sort of unreality that I think would be harder to get over. Whereas there are more logistics when you have financial boundaries. And so I do think that I’m grateful for that and I do think it can be hard, and it was something I thought about. There definitely were times where I was flirting with people in the past before the pandemic where they lived far away.I mean, it’s one thing to rent a car and drive nine hours and take on that expense. You can’t rent a car in New York and then drop it off in Toronto. So I had to rent a car for a week. It was a financial investment.
Christina: It was.
Drew: I only was able to do that because we had been flirting on Instagram and Twitter for a year and then FaceTiming for an additional nine months or something, six months, nine months.
Elise: Five, five.
Drew: Five months? Okay, whatever.
Elise: Even five months seems wild.
Drew: Five months was so long. It felt like six years. So I was confident enough, whereas there had been people who I had had little flirtations with in the past where if I was rich, I would’ve taken a trip based on only the potential for vibes or whatever.
Christina: Potential for good vibes.
Drew: So that is something to say. Some people have less money than me and some people have more money than me, and that probably does impact how feasible some of this is.
Drew: But if it takes you two years, you know can save some money to rent that car.
Christina: There you go. You got keep it. Got to keep it that whole time. Yeah. I think that’s a good final note to always consider, the Benjamins baby. Speaking of Benjamins, does anybody have a crush? What?
Drew: First I was just going to say, but now that we’re in a real relationship, now we can get rid, if the world wants to make us rich and famous.
Elise: Yeah, that would be great. That would be great. It would be great. If anyone else would like to make us nepotism babies.
Christina: I’m banking on YouTube, for real.
Elise: You’re invited to the beach house anytime, Christina.
Christina: Thank you.
Drew: We can do crushes. We could talk about some crushes.
Christina: Let’s talk about our little crushes. Drew, who’s your crush of the week?
Drew: My crush of the week is Jinkx Monsoon.
Drew: I was lucky enough to interview Jinkx. That interview came out two days ago and it was one of those kind of dream interviews. It was really lovely. Jinkx is an incredible drag queen as she was just named Queen of All Queens by RuPaul’s Drag Race Allstars All Winners, but she also was the first drag performer I ever really saw. I definitely took some time in the piece to gush about Jinkx as a talented drag queen.
Drew: I didn’t do a lot of thirsting, one might say, because I try to be, what I’m looking for, professional when I’m in an interview.
Christina: Oh, heard of it.
Drew: But now I’ll also throw that in where I’m also have a huge crush on her and it was lovely to chat with her. Yeah. She’s just one of those queer figures in my life that’s just special, and I’m glad that I got to meet her over Zoom and I think we’re best friends now. I think that’s how an interview works.
Drew: I think next time I’m in Portland or whatever, we’ll just hang out.
Christina: Give her a ring-a-ling.
Christina: Elise, go.
Elise: Me. Okay.
Christina: Yeah. Tell us your crush.
Elise: Well, we’ve been watching Queer As Folk, the reboot recently and I must say Johnny Sibilly. I think most of my crushes for most of my life have less been like this person has a crush and more like, I would like to be this person.
Drew: Gay classic.
Elise: Vintage, a gay classic.
Elise: Specifically his thighs. Am I allowed to say that?
Christina: Thighs are great.
Elise: So that’s where I’m at and thank you for letting me share.
Drew: You want his thighs is what you’re saying.
Elise: Yes, yes. On me, but as me. As me, not on top. As my body, but as him.
Christina: Right. Scaled appropriately.
Elise: Sure, sure, sure, sure, sure, sure. That would be great. Yeah. Yeah. His style, all the earrings, everything just impeccable. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Christina: Yeah. My crush of the week, I had the thrill, the pleasure of introducing my dear roommate and friend Chrissy to the film Bend It Like Beckham for the first time. She’d never bent.
Christina: Like Beckham or anyone really.
Christina: I mean, obviously a classic, a movie I love. I hadn’t seen it in a while and I forgot just how delightful it was. Not only for the obvious gay energy, betwixt Parminder and Keira Knightley, but the family stuff is so beautifully realized and it is just a delightful time to watch a bunch of hotties play soccer and love their family and try to have it all. Honestly, the early aughts filming of it all, there is a CGI Photoshop experience in the beginning that looks so bad. It’s one of my favorite thing that’s ever been committed to film, and it’s just a delightful, charming film and I was really glad to revisit it and really glad to watch someone just cry anew over the love of family and friendship.
Drew: When you said this, I didn’t know that your crush was going to be the movie as a whole.
Christina: The movie as a whole.
Drew: I was trying to remember what mom is in that you would be crush. It’s definitely not either of the two girls.
Christina: Parminder, I have had a love for. I mean, she was also on ER, long standing love of my life. The television show ER, I do think she’s very beautiful and her hair looks incredible, but yeah, just like the film writ large is a banger, and if you can introduce it to somebody who’s never seen it, do so. It’s a damn delight.
Elise: I saw the musical Bend It Like Beckham once upon a time.
Drew: There was a musical?
Elise: There sure was. Yeah.
Elise: Was it good? Not particularly, but it’s definitely something to experience full body.
Christina: I bet. I bet.
Drew: Wow. Well Elise, thank you for being here with us.
Elise: Thank you for letting me sleep my way to the top. This has been an honor and a privilege.
Drew: Do you want to tell people where they can find you?
Elise: They can find me on Twitter and Instagram at Bauman, Elise. B-A-U-M-A-N, E-L-I-S-E. That was my last name immediately followed by my first name.
Christina: Keeping them on their toes.
Drew: Your first name was in the New York Times crossword today, which I now do every day because it’s the thing that started happening. And I was like, oh my God, it’s my girlfriend.
Elise: Love to be a clue. Not me specifically.
Drew: It was the name Elise.
Elise: We haven’t made it there yet. I’m not a nepotism baby to that level yet.
Christina: In my mind, it was about you.
Elise: Thank you.
Christina: Can’t tell that for me.
Drew: You should sleep with the guy who edits the crosswords.
Elise: That’s really how you make it.
Drew: Short. Something like that?
Christina: Will something with an S that is Short or Shorts.
Christina: Cool knowledge we have here.
Drew: I’m really ending the season with a bang.
Christina: Crosswords out.
Drew: This is the end of the season, but we will still be doing some fun mailbag episodes. So send in your questions if you’re an A plus member and we will release those randomly because it’s fun to do.
Christina: It’s fun to keep you on your toes. Don’t forget about us.
Drew: And you can also comment and tell us what guests you might want to see in future seasons because that could be a fun thing.
Christina: Who do you want to hear from and about what?
Drew: We’d love to hear from you. Yeah. Yeah. Great, solid, end of season. Very confident end of a season.
Christina: Drop the mic.
Drew: Thank you so much for listening to Wait, Is This A Date? You can find us on Twitter and Instagram at Wait Is This A Date, and you can email us at WaitIsThisADate@gmail.com.
Christina: Our theme was written by Lauren Klein. Our logo is by Manya Dar and this podcast was produced, edited, and mixed by Lauren Klein.
Drew: You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok at Draw_Gregory.
Christina: You can find me on Twitter at C_GraceT and on Instagram at Christina_GraceT, and you can find Autostraddle of course at Autostraddle.
Drew: And you can find Autostraddle at autostraddle.com. The reason we’re all here today. Thank you so much and see you next week. Christina, what is the difference between a date and a podcast?
Christina: Oh, actually, that’s really interesting that you asked that because scientists are at this very moment hurriedly trying to figure this out. We have some of our best scholars on the case here. We don’t have an answer, but I think every day we journey closer to understanding.
Drew:I wish them and us the greatest luck.
Drew (Voice Memo): Being in love is so embarrassing. There’s like no way to talk about it, that isn’t like… [sighs] I guess there are worse things to be than embarrassing.
I love this! The premise of the podcast itself is brilliant, and to do it with nepotism baby Elise is next level. Thank you for sharing your great story with us. I hope your story and relationship will continue to grow and flourish. XOX