Quantcast

Video of the Day

Masthead

Editor-in-Chief
Alex Carnevale
(e-mail/tumblr/twitter)

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen
(e-mail)

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

Live and Active Affiliates
This area does not yet contain any content.

Entries in hard to say (161)

Wednesday
Jul192017

In Which We Accept Almost Every Situation Imaginable

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to justhardtosay@gmail.com.

Hey,

I have two older brothers who are very protective of me. I haven't been the most assertive person in the past — it is just part of my personality. So when they asked my boyfriends difficult questions or made them uncomfortable, I argued to myself that it was all in my best interest. I even recall telling someone I was very close to that they would have to accept the presence of my brothers in his life.

Now this seems stupid, since they are both married and I am not. Despite having families of their own, they are still deeply involved in judging whoever I am with at the time. Well, I have met someone new, and this time I plan to approach the situation differently. I sat them both down individually and asked them to back off, but I don't think I am getting through to either of them. I'm at my wits end. Do you have any ideas?

Thanks. You're the absolute best.

Chelsea M.

Dear Chelsea,

Often when people are determined to finally be honest about something, they do not take it far enough in one direction. Calmly and calculatingly asking these people to behave differently is humming when you require yodeling. 

Fortunately, it sounds like you have built up a lot of credit with these deplorables, so some cursory sobbing should be able to get through to them at a level honesty cannot. Since they have been oblivious to your desire so far, we cannot count on being able to react them in this fashion. If you still struggle to disabuse them of their sexist notions, then you must begin returning like for like and sabotaging their lives in a similar fashion. Soon they will realize what a disastrous fucking imposition they are.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen. 

Hey,

I have a friend we should call Charlie. He recently broke up with his girlfriend of three years, Nora. He met someone else and really hit it off, so he told Nora that things were over.

I have always liked Nora and we get along great. Before she was with Charlie, she had admitted we were attracted to each other but I was going into the Peace Corps. I would like to at least try being with her now, but I sense that Charlie would be angry about this and she might be reluctant since Charlie and I are friends. I don't want to ruin my relationship with either of them.

What's the best way to clear the path?

Dan Y.

Dear Dan,

The best thing to do is have her make the first move. This solves several problems for you.

1. It puts the impetus on her to explain to Charlie that she is now with you and not him. If she does not tell him, all the better. The longer you can delay speaking to Charlie about this the better.

2. Her reluctance about getting with you is strongly diminished if she eliminates your potential questionable motivations for being with her from the field of play.

3. It's easier.

If Charlie confronts you about it, tell him you did not want to hurt him, but she is the love of your life. What is he going to say to that? No?

Wednesday
Jul122017

In Which We Would Have So Much In Common

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to justhardtosay@gmail.com.

Hey,

My sister Asri used to live nearby me in Upper Manhattan. We saw a lot of each other because of this and became very close. She recently moved to New Jersey because of her boyfriend and new child and I haven't seen as much of her. She constantly complains about this, expecting me to be the one to always travel. Well, it's not a short trip and not a fun trip either, and expecting me to be out there more than twice a month simply isn't reasonable. How can I make Asri see the problem with her expectation?

Theodore M.

Dear Theo,

In such situations, it is best to just go ahead and tell a white lie. Claim there is a problem with your knee, nose, or ring finger. Unfortunately, our family members can sometimes catch us in a lie and when you do see you sister, she may sense that a physical ailment is not present.

Still do not be honest with her, because, really, where has that ever gotten you? No, you must find a new, better lie. One which can never be questioned and holds up under the most intense possible scrutiny. When you figure things out, write us so we can use it as well.

What's a fun trip? To the drugstore? Bali?

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen. 

Hey,

I have been seeing a woman who I will call Ellen for about two months. We have never talked at all about being exclusive, which I know is probably my fault. She never mentions going out with other guys, although I guess why would she? I am still seeing someone else, though, and I sense that if I tell her about it, it might not go very well. What's the best course of action in my situation?

Michael M.

Dear Mikey,

If she wanted to know, she would already know. She doesn't want to know. Perhaps she is hopeful that she is with someone who sees her as a candidatef or a monogamous relationship. She actually might be a lot more accepting of your situation than you believe. Maybe the two of them would hit it off. Think about how much they would have in common: they both enjoy the ethereal thrill of your company, the way your clothes smell before and after a wash, and share a similar, mediocre taste in men.

Wednesday
Jul052017

In Which The Works Of Anton Chekhov Spare Us From The Afternoon

Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to justhardtosay@gmail.com.

Hi,

My daughter Jessica is two years old. Recently, we've made an arrangement with another couple in the building that also has a child around the same age named Theo, e.g. he will come over to our home and vice versa on certain days. 

Theo's parents are wonderful, educated people. They are very focused on teaching him all sorts of things. A recent lesson I walked on concerned me, though, as it did not seem terribly age appropriate. Theo's mother was explaining the historical plight of the Jewish people to the kids. Maybe they can't process it at this age, anyway, but I'm not sure I want my daughter hearing about this stuff without me present. 

Am I crazy, and is it all right to say something to Theo's mother about that?

Janet S.

Janet,

Ideally you would just be near your daughter at all times to mitigate what Theo's mother is saying. "Many other minority groups faced similar discrimination!" you could crow as a kind of victory lap. I don't know what you think you are protecting your daughter from, but she lives in the world. Lots of stuff will happen to her that she can't control. I mean, who knows, in a decade she could be referred to as a member of the Trump generation. 

If you want to give her a different narrative to latch onto, consider the work of the Catholic writer Garry Wills. I believe he does a fantastic set of flash cards.

Hi,

I have been dating this guy I will call Nate for around five months. He is very difficult to make plans with and will often want to do things on the spur of the moment. I am the type of person who needs to know where I am going to be and what I am going to be doing at all times. At first it was nice to be around someone capable of spontaneity, but recently Nate and I have gotten in fights because he claims I don't make him a priority, like I should be waiting by the phone for him to call?

Is this a fundamental lack of compatibility or is there something we can do to make this work?

Ilana W.

Dear Ilana,

I think probably you just need to think of better excuses. When you tell Nate that you can't do something that he suggests, here are some foolproof ways to get out of that activity without hurting this man-boy's feelings:

- it's the mensies oops

- I have a harpischord in my hymen gland ("feel better honey")

- I'm going to see a local production of The Cherry Orchard. Would you like to come?

- I have to work on a long research project that could be a useful excuse for the next six months

- Actually, it's Uncle Vanya. Still want to come?

- I want you so much. But like, not at this time.

Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.