Our closed polycule of four (the Quaple) is launching a podcast: And They Were Roommates! Our podcast is about modern love, life, and everything in between. Don’t worry, our advice isn’t just for polyamorous people. We are four 20-somethings with very different lived experiences and we think our (potentially dubious) advice could be helpful for anyone!
This is the Story of Us, our backstory episode and a sneak peek of what’s to come. Listen to the story of how we all found love (and found each other).
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We are at least one listener question every episode. You can email us at email@example.com with your questions about life, relationships, polyamory, or even a specific weird situation you need help with. We are looking forward to answering your questions and doing our level best to give you good advice!
A big thank to molly ofgeography for the use her song Hanahaki (Bloom) for our music.
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Hello, listeners, I'm Sage.
And I'm Foxglove.
And this is And They Were Roommates, a podcast about modern love, life, and everything in between.
And during this extra-special episode, we're telling you the story of us!
So, Iris and I met first. This is a longer story, but she and I had Latin class together freshman year of college? Which was about seven years ago now? And I failed to learn her name for an entire year because I'm terrible. Despite some pretty legitimate reasons to learn her name. I think it was a class of eight?
Yeah. They thought my name was Emily. I assure you, listeners, I look nothing like an Emily.
I did—I did think her name was Emily. Um, I told my mom that with great confidence. So—then we met up again at the first day of sophomore year, and she was like, 'Fox, old friend!' And I was like, 'Oh, good. I definitely can't ask your name now.' Um, and I'm pretty sure we got to be like, actual friends about... a while before I managed to eavesdrop on enough conversations to learn her name for sure?
I mean, at some point, you just can't ask someone their name.
Yeah. Especially like when someone runs up to you and like, gives you a hug on like, the first day of Sophomore year.
Yeah. You're just screwed at that point.
And they're like, 'Oh my God, so good to see you, like how was your summer? We have class again together this year!' And I was like, Oh, good. Excellent. I know your name.
I... really thought we were friends at that point, since I had hung out in your room watching a movie with all of your friends. And we had spent more than four hours in the dining hall having a long conversation together. You know, normal friend stuff.
I need an embossed invitation for any relationship including friendship.
So, in summary—
Stamped and notarized!
Fox is never going to live this down.
Yeah, no, I'm never gonna live it down, and I don't I don't deserve to live it down. But so a couple of months after the start of Sophomore year, at—by the time I knew her name, for the record—we... I'm gonna say manipulated events so that Iris would replace one of the two girls I was living with. Also a long story and an important life lesson about choosing good roommates.
And also never live in a triple.
Something for a later episode.
Also don't live in a triple. Don't—just don't live in a triple. That's the whole answer. And so then Iris and I lived together through the end of college, and everyone took bets on whether we were dating, and also one time her girlfriend at the time came up to me and said very seriously, 'hey, listen, whenever you decide to get your shit together, I really like Iris, but I want you to know that I understand. And I'm happy to step aside.' A real thing someone said to me in college.
Yeah, she was a bro.
One time, my Organic Chemistry tutor yelled at Iris in the dining hall for cheating on me, despite the fact that we were not together at the time.
I was innocently going about my business with my actual girlfriend at the time. But—
Four years later...
It was, it was fine. She was—the Organic Chemistry tutor and I made up and we were friends after that. It's fine.
Yeah. She came to like, our next review session, and she was like, 'hey, um, you know your roommate.' And I was like, 'yes, I know, my roommate.' And she was like, 'I yelled at her in the dining hall.' And I was like, 'o-kay...' And she was like, 'well, I thought... I saw her kiss this other girl. And I thought she was cheating on you.' And I was like, alright, yeah, that's how I expected that sentence to end actually.
So, for the rest of this story, you need to understand that there's a small town ice cream store involved. And the small town in question is where Iris and I went to college, and also where Sage went to college, he graduated the year before she and I started I believe?
Can confirm, this college is a very strange place where all of this stuff happens fairly regularly. So—as much as you guys seem to be a unique case, could absolutely have happened to any number of other people.
I also think it's very important for people who don't know, this isn't early college, so they were not 18 so when all of this nonsense began.
Yeah, we all started college at 16 I think.
Yeah, I think that's right. I don't know how long ago was that? What is time anyway? I have no idea what age I was.
Many years. Lo, these many years. And this was also where Sun grew up, or, like, close enough to the same vicinity in a sufficiently rural area that it's pretty much the same place?
About 45, an hour away. Tangentially related.
Like I said—
Yeah. Okay. Alright.
An hour is close in a rural area, right?
I used to live in Montana, uh, yeah. Um, and the ice cream store was Hell.
Yeah, so, the important detail here is that, it might have been a small town ice cream store that was completely dead during most of the year, but during the summer, it was a tourist town. So, instead of tiny sleepy town ice cream store with just regulars coming in, we got flooded by people coming from Manhattan to their second homes, which meant that from opening til close, there was a line all the way to the back and back out the front door all over again.
So Hell though.
So Hell. So, Iris got a job at Hell at the start of our Sophomore year a little after we moved in together? And she was trained by Sage, who was working at Hell full time. And the three of us immediately became friends, because as Sage pointed out, our college was really weird, and so everyone who went there had this sort of weird, like, foxhole buddies bond.
I was gonna go Stockholm Syndrome, but foxhole buddies makes a little bit more sense.
Yeah, we all had—it was one of those things where if you met someone, and you were like, 'oh, well, you know, I went to this, like, weird little social experiment of a college out in like, the middle of nowhere.' And the person would be like, 'oh, my God, me too!' And like, congratulations, now you're friends. Um, and sun also worked at Hell, but she only worked there over summers, because she was in college out of state at the time, so she knew Sage, but didn't know Iris well at all, and had never met me. Um, I didn't work at hell yet, but I did homework there all the time and took shameless advantage of the fact that everyone knew me and was therefore willing to give me free ice cream and sorbet, which is how I knew Sage.
You knew I'd always hook you up.
Like, it was Hell, but we really liked giving free stuff to people.
Maybe a little too much, but, eh, it was worth it.
Yeah, I'll agree with that.
We made lots of friends. Also, got a whole bunch of other stuff off of all the other businesses on the street.
Like, trash bags full of—
—popcorn from the movie theater.
I can't—I can't—I, a person who doesn't like popcorn, can't fathom the appeal there, but sure.
You mean you don't want a bag of popcorn big enough to go diving into?
Uh, not really. That sounds like it would leave me very salty, and buttery, and I don't—I don't like that.
Okay, well, you're already one of those things.
Yeah, you're salty enough as it is. Yeah.
Savage. Two jokes at you, same time.
All right, so to recap, by the end of Sophomore year, Iris and I were joined at the hip but not dating, she and I were both tight with Sage, and Sage knew Sun, who had met Iris I think like twice.
I think we're gonna have to do one of those conspiracy boards, just to diagram this out for all of our listeners?
Yeah, this is, I'm like the, I'm that meme.
It gets a little—yeah, you're that meme.
You're the keeper of the picture.
I'm the keeper of the picture. So, anyway, hard cut to Junior year, during which time Sun was working full time at Hell still and got to be friends with Iris, and I still didn't really know Sun except by extension, but she and Iris went out to drink and stuff like that while I tried to do like a stupid number of credits in one school year.
I also—it's important for—that's a confusing statement, unless you know I dropped out of college? So then I was actually not out of state half the year.
Yeah, so Sun came back—
Yeah, it went from Sun working only during summers to Sun working full time year round, which is how we then met.
On the other hand, Sage had just become the Manager of Hell—uh, promotion to Satan.
Yes, thank you. It really does a lot for my—
No no no, that was the CEO, not Sage.
No, that's a fair point.
It does a lot for my self esteem to be called the Manager of Hell.
It's middle management. He's just like a high-dollar demon.
Promotion to Archduke of hell.
There you go. That's the way it is.
Anyway, point is, by the end of Junior year, Iris had moved into Sun's spare bedroom for a while–I think I definitely still could not have picked Sun out of a lineup, although as we've established, my—my ability for names is not great.
Not the greatest track record there, no.
Also probably not until my—also like, you probably learned my name after my ex-boyfriend broke your lamp.
I don't think I've heard this story.
Do you not remember that?
Oh my goodness.
Yeah. No, 100%.
Oh my God.
What happened to my lamp?
Yeah. When Iris was moving back into the dorm for the start of a new semester of school and everything, we were moving, and—my ex, my boyfriend at the time, my ex-boyfriend, put a lamp in a car without, like protecting it at all, and just fucking mutilated the like, lampshade of the lamp.
Oh is that what happened to my lamp?
So exactly what I would have expected of him too.
It was 150% like a $15 lamp I got from like, a shitty, like corner store, so like, I'm pretty sure I replaced it, but it was actually the same lamp.
Yeah, he was, he was a dick about it. I'm kind of just surprised you don't remember him being an asshole.
Oh no, I remember him and how much I deeply despised him as a person. Um, I just don't think I remember this lamp image.
Like visual imagery. visual imagery, he was the Grinch, but without the hair.
Oh, you're really right.
Oh my God, he was! Awful.
You're so right, actually!
I'm glad your taste has improved significantly.
Yeah, we're all hot as hell.
Yeah. All my partners are super cute now.
Yeah, like, hot take, we're all much hotter.
Yeah, no, that's a mood.
So, the reason that the lamp situation happened is because at the end of Junior year, Iris decided to stay in town so that she could work and save some money over the summer, and moved into Sun's spare bedroom along with my lamp. Um, and they kept working under Sage at Hell, and I went out of state to do an internship, which isn't relevant. All right, so Senior year, Hell opened another store, which we will call hippie hell, and it did froyo and then slightly later, like a juice bar? And no ice cream, because fuck you.
Actually, we did soft serve, thank you.
We did do soft serve.
And when we say hippie hell, we mean this is the kind of place where people would do shots of wheatgrass, and also do what with wheatgrass?
Oh God, I hate—
Please someone who worked there, tell this story.
There was a woman, who put it in her eyes.
Wasn't, there was—
And also, she snorted it, and also put it in her ears, because quote unquote 'it's good for all orifices.'
There was a woman who did come in once and order wheatgrass and just like, start dabbing it on her face, like with her fingers?
Mm-hmm. Probably the same woman.
Probably the same woman.
Yeah, I—yeah. It was A Time.
So yeah. Hippie Hell.
I did tell a woman she couldn't do it, like, out in our customer area.
Yeah, there was also the—someone kept coming in and trying to find out why they wouldn't—why we wouldn't let them put their home grown raw eggs through our juicers?
Oh my God. That's right.
And we were just like, there's a lot of reasons we won't let you do that. And incredibly, the fact that you just showed up with raw eggs in a Tupperware is only the first.
Hey, Fox. Quick, quick question. Is this the same person who later ended up working at hippie Hell? Or is that a different person that I'm thinking of with the eggs?
I think it's someone else.
Oh, thank God.
This was like, some person.
This is really one of those things where it's like, if we had a nickel for every time we had that conversation, we'd have two nickels, which isn't a lot of money, but it's weird that it happened twice.
I also think like, also, I may have ran a juice bar, but I was also cert—certified in food safety?
And like, the nonsense that happened in that place.
Yeah. Anyway, um, the reason this is relevant, is because Sun became the Manager of hippie Hell, and then poached Iris to be her Assistant Manager. And then I started working there specifically at hippie Hell while I had time during my second year of really stupid classwork.
So now, as you will see, starts the trend of all four of us working in the same place.
Yeah, you have to work with at least three partners at any given time.
Yep. Minimum, there's a minimum partner capacity in any profession.
I think the minimum is actually two, because we frequently dipped below three or four, but there's always at least two people working for the same place—
Yeah, I'll agree with that.
—for an extended period of time.
We talked a big game about no one working in the same place when we moved, and it lasted like, four months.
I also, it was, it was—I think the the preface really—it's because this was my role because I'm a mean person. But I think really the preface was, if we were all going to work in the same place, it needed to be bigger than one room.
We couldn't all work in the same physical room. Right now we work on at least two floors.
So, once we were all working in the same place, through a frankly Hollywood rom com plot, Sage, the Manager of an ice cream store, and Sun the Manager of a competing froyo store started dating, and it was really cute, and everyone was extremely gratified by proof positive that our years of jokes about Hell parents were confirmed.
Everyone was like yeah, I already wrote this fanfic. And now it's coming true finally.
Yeah, because they were just referred to as like Hell mom and Hell dad. So it was important for them to get together in the long run.
Yeah, it's important for the children.
Yeah, it was the long con.
It's really interesting that it's just become Hell mom and Hell dad instead of 'name of store' because that really does give it a whole different connotation doesn't it?
Whole other vibe, yeah. And so at this point, Iris and I were still living together obviously. And—we—because we'd pretty much established our dynamic, like, within six months of meeting, and have carried on exactly like that since then, including when we started dating properly changed nothing.
Wait, I—six months after you learned her name.
Not six months after meeting.
Fine. Six months after I met her. How's that?
Uh, no. Six months after you learned her name.
Yeah, as if the four times a week Latin class—
Yeah we did have Latin class together four times a week for an hour and a half every day.
Just keep on digging that hole Fox, I guess you could call it a Foxhole.
Oh, actually, this whole goes deeper. One of our mutual friends had a psychotic break Freshman year, which we managed together. And I still did not learn her name.
Yeah, I completely managed all of the running interference, making sure that Fox could go with our mutual friend to the hospital—
I did the medical end of that crisis.
Yeah, I handed Fox a cell phone and was like, here, I'm your line of contact back here, I will make sure none of our idiot friends show up out of the blue at the hospital. Um, and we texted for hours at a time, and then when they got back, they actually gave me a hug and thanked me and still did not know my name.
All the way, down to the core of the Earth you dig this hole.
I... have nothing to say in my own defense, except that I'm just historically really, really bad with names.
Also just genuinely dense. I had to like, sit down and be like, I have emotions in your direction.
I require a embossed and gold-plated invitation for any kind of interpersonal relationship.
Signed letter of intent.
Yeah, it has to be notarized with like signatures from multiple witnesses.
See, this is why you—you need to be in a poly relationship. So you can have multiple witnesses to these kinds of things.
Exactly! Exactly. It's really just so I can function as a person. Um. Anyway, so since we weren't working directly under Sage any more, Iris and I could be like, tight with him again, and so all four of us started getting together for drinks like once a week, which is how I finally met and had a conversation with Sun in person, as like a real human rather than just a co-worker that I like, said hi to for 30 seconds and then ran off to count pineapples from or whatever? So then Iris and I graduated, and Iris moved in with Sage and Sun, and I moved out of state.
And we missed you so badly immediately. It was actually kind of pathetic, the minute you left, we were like, 'no, when is Fox coming back?'
I was just really sad. Also, it's worth mentioning that Sun and I got super close over the course of this time because we were running the mobile division of Hell, where we went to Hell festivals and served ice cream there.
That really is the most accurate though.
Yeah, so we were—
Hell on Wheels, if you will.
Oh, my God—
Uh, highway to Hell?
Very rarely were we actually on a real highway though, because we had a car that couldn't pull the trailer that was full of the ice cream.
Gotta love those commercial vehicles.
That was the worst.
A giant—yeah, giant trailer hooked up to a car that couldn't pull it, and then we would go to the middle of nowhere with no cell service, and the car would die, and we would think we would die, but no we made it through.
We'll get to those stories in a later episode as well.
Oh, yeah. We have a lot of—
Yeah, there are some wild ones.
We have a lot of stories from the newly-dubbed Hell on Wheels.
Yeah, we should do a special episode with that.
And so I moved in with the others like, I don't know, like eight months after we graduated?
Yeah, six months? Yeah, that seems right.
Yeah, six months.
So to recap, when we moved in together, Sun and Sage were dating and had been for a bit, Iris and I were Iris and I which is to say that we were like, super codependent, but not officially dating yet? Sage and I were friends, Iris was friends with Sage and Sun, and Sun and I had like, spoken a couple of times. Um, normally while drunk. I will say, we're gonna get more into detail about this in a later episode, I am sure but vis-a-vis me and Sun, as ways to pick up a life partner go, apparently, move in with someone you barely know, get wine-drunk together, watch a couple cooking shows, and gossip about every-everyone you've ever met, works great, because I will say the first time Sun and I were like left alone in a room together, we both, uh, had some fair warning and had like, a crisis to the other parts of the group the night before. Separate, unrelated to each other.
Well I had to drive you somewhere for three hours, and I don't know if I ever had a conversation with you one on one where we weren't just like—
Prior to that yeah.
—watching a cooking show and judging people for making paella in less than 30 minutes.
Which like, hot take, you cannot make a paella in under 30 minutes.
Strong opinions on what you can cook in short amounts of time.
I've made paella, and you cannot make paella in under half an hour.
You can't. It's not—it's a—that's not how food works. It's just not.
The laws of thermodynamics exist.
But so yeah, the night before that, uh, Sun had a crisis to Sage, and I had a crisis to Iris, and then we went and it was fine. And then like, a year and a half later, I was like, 'oh hey, yeah, I remember when you drove me to this place, and I had like an hour meltdown to Iris the night before.' And Sun was like, 'oh my God, me too!'
And we both told our partners, it's gonna be fine, you guys both like each other already, and you have a ton of stuff in common, you just need to talk about it.
Yeah, both of us had the same crisis of being like, that person is too cool. They will hate me if I, if we actually hang out.
You had the exact same crisis. It was kind of adorable.
Almost verbatim, apparently.
Yeah. It was really cute.
And so now the four of us have lived together for what, three years? Almost? Yeah,
Yeah. Three years. Yeah.
It'll be a little more than three years when this all drops.
Oh my god, it will.
And so obviously, the, the four of us are all a lot more like, emotionally connected and affectionate than we were when we first moved in together. But, every once in a while, someone will be like, 'how did you guys get together?' And we have to be like, mm, the transition line from like, 'we're roommates!' to, 'we live in each other's pockets and we love each other and we're gonna raise a family together and we're gonna stay together forever, the end' is a little bit um, I'm gonna go with the adjective 'perforated'.
That's an adjective.
That is an adjective.
It's little bit of a blurry transition period there.
Continue to need a conspiracy wall.
Yeah, it was like, 'oh, hey, you know, we just like, we spend all of our time together, and we go out on like, group dates that are like, pretty fancy, and like, we do all these things, so like maybe we should, uh, put, like, apply some sort of word to this?'
I feel like the real final straw for me was when we were talking about raising kids together and still weren't using the words 'poly' or any sort of—
—descriptor of the fact that we were really way more romantically committed than just... friends, hanging out.
It was also like, I was having conversations with Sage and everything, and we were like, we're definitely gonna get married, right? And like, you know, have a couple little ones and like,
Couple li'l guys.
And then it was like—running around. Like, we started having those conversations, and I don't know if I could really even imagine like, I don't know, like, what, kicking Iris and Fox out, because we're—
Oh God no.
—like, I don't know, doing the, doing the hetero thing or whatever?
Yeah, no, seems wrong.
Yeah, absolutely could not envision it.
So like, smash cut three years forward, now we live in Brooklyn and we're running a podcast.
Here we are.
And that's as coherent and enlightened a version of our history as we've managed to assemble. So I would say half the reason we're making this episode is so no one's like, 'so how'd you guys get together?' so that we don't have to be like, we are not sure.
Maybe we should make a companion chart so people can reference that as they're listening through. I feel like that might be helpful, do some—do some diagrams
Make an Unraveled-style video, that's just me in like, a vest and slacks, getting increasingly unhinged as I put red string up.
I also think like, if you have any questions, we all met because of an ice cream storm— store—storm. An ice cream storm.
It was kind of an ice cream storm, most of the time.
Yeah. Okay. Well, we all met because of an ice cream store, in the middle of nowhere, and now we're dating, and that's it. That's the whole thing.
Yeah that is kind of the TL;DR of it.
And now we're in Brooklyn.
Yeah. And now we live in Brooklyn, and work at a nonprofit and are running a podcast!
And that's great.
And we still spend all of our time together and with no one else, because we don't like other people.
That's not true.
Okay, that's a little bit extreme. We like some other people. Like, maybe one or two other people.
And also because 2020.
I like how the others immediately got defensive, and I was like, 'no, we don't like other people.'
Just double down.
Yeah, but, also, it's 2020. And we've been living and working from home.
It's pandemic o'clock.
It's pandemic o'clock, and we like each other despite it.
Quaran-times? I like that one!
All right, I think that's all the news that's fit to print about our—our collective history.
Yeah, good for the outro now?
My—yeah, my dude, you want to read that outro?
So that's us, the Quaple! A big thank you to molly ofgeography for the use of her song Hanahaki (Bloom) for our music. Check out our Patreon at the ATWR podcast, and help us pay Foxglove! You can find us on Tumblr at Quaple-network and at ATWR_Podcast on Twitter. You can also email us at Quaplenetwork@gmail.com. We love hearing your questions, and if you love our podcast, please leave a rating wherever you listen! And remember, we believe in you!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai