Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis (2020) | Transcript

She's halfway through her 20s, and she's over it. Too old to party, too young to settle down, comedian Taylor Tomlinson takes aim at her life choices.
Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis

[“Making Love to the Dead” by Beginners plays]

♪ Darling, go ♪

♪ Hey ♪
♪ Watch your head ♪
♪ Don’t look down, baby ♪
♪ Under the bed ♪
♪ Let it show ♪
♪ What you’ve read… ♪

[emcee] Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Taylor Tomlinson.

[cheering]

Wow! I hope my ex sees this. Thank you. Oh, my gosh. Thank you so much for coming. This is amazing. How are you? Good? Okay, I’m sorry. That was so aggressive. There’s so many people. I did not need to single you out that way. I would hate that if someone did it to me. I’m an introvert. Is anyone else an introvert?

[scattered cheering]

All right. That was a test, and you failed. Uh… No introvert’s ever gone “woo!” at any decibel. Real introverts are parked outside going, “Is it even worth it? I don’t know who she is.” Here’s how much of an introvert I am. Recently, I read a statistic that said, in 80% of homicide cases, the killer was someone the victim knew. When I read that, I was relieved. Like, thank God. I don’t want to get murdered and meet somebody. [groans] That’s a lot for a Friday, getting stabbed and acquainted. Just dump me in the river. Don’t introduce yourself, Jeff.

So glad you guys are doing well. I’m doing okay. I am halfway through my 20s, and I am done with this shit. Oh, my God! I’m sick of my 20s. I’m so sick of people telling me to enjoy them. They’re not fun. They are ten years of asking yourself, “Will I outgrow this, or is it a problem?” Like, is this a phase or a demon? I just need to know. Like, am I fun, or should I go to a meeting? Someone help me.

And people get upset when I complain about being young. I had a woman come up to me after a show furious. She’s like, “You should appreciate this time of your life ’cause someday you’re gonna have a family like me, and you’re really gonna miss it.” I’m like, “Where are your kids buried? Holy shit.” I’m just trying to get to my car, Ghost of Christmas Future. If you’re sitting there going, “Taylor, you should be grateful. I miss my 20s.” No, you don’t. What you miss is a time in your life where you didn’t have a lot of responsibilities because nobody expected anything from you. But do you remember why nobody expected anything from you? Because you sucked. That’s what everybody forgets about your 20s. You were garbage. Thinner garbage, but you were garbage. You have no intuition, no instincts. You can’t make decisions, only mistakes. That’s why you’re thin in your 20s. You don’t have a gut to listen to yet. There’s no mystic bad feeling under your ribs going, “Hey, maybe don’t date a DJ… again.” Nobody expects me to do shit right. I’m like, “What can I bring to the potluck, Nana?” She’s like, “Napkins. Can you handle that? Dry ones this time. And if they say Starbucks on them, I swear to God, Taylor… Go to a Dollar Tree. Stop ruining Easter.”

I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself. You have to work on yourself in your 20s ’cause if you don’t, then you’ll turn 30, and all the shitty parts of your personality will solidify, and that’ll just be who you are now. Your 20s are an opportunity to fish trash out of the lake before it freezes over. It’s like, ooh, what’s that? Codependency? Daddy issues? All right. Better get all that out of there ’cause winter is coming. I’ve done so much work on myself in the last five years. I quit dating losers. That took a minute.

Yeah. Thank you.

[cheering]

Thank you. There’s no rehab for that, only sponsors. Uh… Losers are hard to quit. Losers are a lot like cigarettes. You have one in your mouth, you feel pretty cool, but everyone is like, “Ew! We’re sad for you. Don’t do that around my kids.”

All my friends are like, “You need a guy with a car and a job.” And I’m like, “But then I’ve got to deal with his wife. It’s a whole thing.”

I’m trying to be a better partner too. I haven’t always been a great partner. I dated one guy, on again, off again, for four years. I would dump him, get back together, dump him, get together. I was the girl you couldn’t bring home for holidays ’cause what are you going to say at that point? Like, “Mom, Dad, this is my lesson that I can’t seem to learn. Don’t get attached.” He and I broke up because he cheated on me. In my head, and I could not… Sorry, if you love me, you wouldn’t even do it up here. Like… You wouldn’t even put yourself in that situation.

I read too many of those “signs he’s cheating” articles. Have you read those? They’re all the same. Like, “Oh, did he buy you flowers? He feels guilty. Oh, did he call you ‘babe’? [chuckles] He doesn’t know your name. Was he nice to your family? He slept with your mom.”

He never cheated on me, but he did do this weird thing where he would let me know any time other women hit on him. He’d go out of his way to be like, “Babe, I just want to let you know, girl at Starbucks tried to give me her number, so…” And I’m like, “Cool. [chuckles] What do you want me to say? You want me to fist-bump you? Like, ‘Nice, bro. Get it.’ Like… You want me to get jealous? Turn into Batman? Like, ‘Where is she?’ Like, what?” He’s like, “No, I’m trying to be honest with you ’cause I love you. That’s what I’m doing. I’m being honest with you.” I’m like, “No, you’re not. You want me to know that you turned down the option of other people today. You want points for not cheating on me.” Like I’m supposed to swoon or something, like, “Oh, my God, babe. You honored the most basic term of our agreement?”

[laughter, applause]

“I’m so lucky. This is like a fairy tale. I never understood Taylor Swift songs before, and now I do. Like… I thank you so much. I know you have a lot of options…” I turned into Southwest Airlines. “I know you have a lot of options when you fly. Thank you for choosing us. Can we get you anything else?” I was so pissed. “Do you have any idea how easy it would be for me to cheat on you? Do you know how many holes I have in me? I take this slice of Swiss cheese for a walk around the block, it’s over for you, dude.”

[laughter, cheering]

Yeah. “I don’t even have to try that hard. I’ve just got to raise my hand in a Walmart or uncross my legs in a Denny’s and we are open for business, all right?” Just like, “Boom! Got your Grand Slam right here, fellas. Line it up. Mama has a point to make.”

The real reason he and I broke up is the reason everybody breaks up. We were no longer having the amount of sex you need to have in order to ignore everything that’s wrong with each other. Yeah, love is blind. Lust is Helen Keller. So… We weren’t there anymore, and it got tough because I have a fairly high sex drive. Not crazy high. Not like “I’mma catch something at the bus station” high. But if I love you, diarrhea doesn’t deter me. We’re… We’re in that zone, you know? It’s like, “Your stomach hurts? Push through it. I want to feel close to you.” Mentally push, not physically. Don’t make a mess.

That joke makes me sound so much cooler than I am. I’m not that cool. I’ve had sex with two people, four if you’re Christian. Like, I’m not a good time. I’m not. I don’t like casual sex. My friends are like, “You don’t know if you like it. You’ve never tried it.” I’ve also never tried cottage cheese, and I know that shit looks nasty. It’s all wet and bumpy. I don’t trust it, okay?

I had a friend try to convince me with this argument: “You have to try it, Taylor, because there is nothing as empowering as just banging some guy and leaving.” I’m like, “That sounds good, but I don’t know. Have you ever tried to make a dude’s mom love you more than him?” That is power. I still talk to Sheila, so… Haven’t heard from him in eight years, but every Christmas she’s like, “I miss you.”

I was very sheltered growing up. I was terrified of sex. I thought I would be bad at it. Now that I’m older, it’s so easy to be good at sex, isn’t it? All you have to do is approach it with the enthusiasm of a child. Just put everything in your mouth. Like… If you can reach it and it fits, that’s where it goes. Uh… Pretend you’re four and your partner’s made of LEGOs. It’s not… It’s not complicated.

I grew up very religious, so I was encouraged to abstain from drugs and alcohol and sex and enjoyment… and uh… Yeah, being abstinent is when you wait until marriage to have sex. They used to tell us, “The safest sex is no sex.” Which is a lot like saying, “The safest travel is books.” When I have a daughter, I’m going to make sure she’s abstinent in high school and probably before that, while we’re at it, because… When I was younger and I was abstinent, I was not having sex, but I was having other things done to me, and I don’t know if you know this, but “other things” are kind of the best part of sex for ladies. So while my friends were having sex, I was the only one having orgasms.

[cheering]

Yeah. I could not believe it when I found out. My friends are like, “Yeah, me and Chad have had sex, but I’ve never, you know…” And I’m like, “You’re going to hell and you didn’t even finish? I’ll pray for you.” First time I tried to lose my virginity, I missed. That happen to anybody else in here? Not physically. I wasn’t stupid. I wasn’t like, “It’s like trying to put a straw in a Capri Sun.” It wasn’t like that. What happened was… I was waiting until marriage, or until Jesus came back, ’cause I’m like, “My dad will like him, right?” And… I waited, waited, waited. And then, finally, I tried to lose it to my boyfriend in college who said, “No, thank you.” Uh, which was a bit of a curve ball. Nobody… Nobody told me to expect sexual rejection as a woman. Nobody prepares you. From the time you start walking as a little girl, they’re like, “Hey, everybody wants in there. You gotta build a perimeter and keep everyone out.” I was so busy trying to keep people out of me, I never thought I’d have to talk someone into me. Men take sexual rejection much easier ’cause they’re prepared for it. From the time they start walking they’re like, “Hey, Brent. You’re a little creepy. Maybe keep an eye on that. You’re going to need to get consent, which is a noise she makes, not a feeling you feel.” But because men are prepared for it, they bounce back real quick. They walk around like vacuum salesmen. Just like, “Eh, eh? There’s another house over here.”

My boyfriend was nervous to have sex with a virgin, and I was like, “The good news is, you only have to do it once, and then guess what? Problem solved.” I felt like a high schooler trying to get a job at the Gap, just like, “We really want someone with retail experience.” “Well, how am I supposed to get some unless someone takes a chance on me?” I was literally told by somebody that getting rid of my virginity, as a woman, was going to be like handing out free samples at a Costco, and instead, I felt like one of those guys on the Vegas Strip, trying to hand you a nightclub flyer. It’s like, “No, come on in. It’ll be fun. There’s lights. It’s kind of damp. Get in here. Ha! It’s fun.”

But you know what they say: women go for men like their fathers, so I keep going for guys who do not want to sleep with me. That is… so like my dad. All right? No reason to be offended. That joke’s about what a great dad my dad is.

I lost my virginity late. I lost it when I was financially independent. Yeah. I went through my bank statements. “I could afford to have a dick in me.” Just, like, so responsible. All my other friends lost it under a Backstreet Boys poster in their mom’s house, and I lost it under an IKEA painting that I purchased… with a coupon. But I’m glad I was raised that way because it taught me how to choose sexual partners in a very responsible way. Okay? So when I was younger and I was waiting, I would tell guys, “I’m not ready to have sex yet. Is that okay?” Anytime guys were really cool about that decision, that made me want to have sex with them more because there is nothing hotter than someone respecting your boundaries. You’re just like, “What? Take your pants off. Get over here.” The hottest thing you can say to a girl is, “Hey, we don’t have to do anything.” [breathing heavily] Now we do.

So I still do this as a sexually active adult. I pretend I’m not ready to have sex with someone new yet, just to make sure they’re a good person first. I call it the gobstopper test. I go, “Ooh, I’m not ready. Is that okay?” He’s like, “Totally fine. No worries at all.” I’m like, “Charlie, you won! You did it. I knew you could, my boy! Now, come inside my chocolate factory. It’s all for you.”

I am not a casual dater. Here’s how not casual I am. I actually got engaged this year. Uh, nope. Didn’t work out. Context clues. I would have expected better from you, front row. It’s okay. It’s all for the best. Uh, didn’t work out. Just wasn’t the right fit. But man, I learned a lot about myself in the process of getting engaged. First off, I didn’t know what a basic bitch I was, who was gonna love being engaged that much, but something happened when that ring went on my finger. Something in my stupid lady lizard brain went… “bloop!” “Level completed.” I just kind of floated through Target, like… “Oh, am I better than everybody? What’s that? No, I don’t need help. Someone loves me. I’ll find the towels, right after I cancel therapy. I’m all fixed.” [chuckles]

I wore that ring for two months. I never got used to it. It kept getting caught on stuff, like sweaters and my freedom. It was cumbersome. It also didn’t look right on me. It was a diamond on this. It looked stupid. I looked like a rescue dog in a Gucci sweater. It was… so dumb. I had a friend who goes, “Are you afraid you’re going to get mugged?” I’m like, “Bitch, I look like I stole it. Are you serious?”

I knew I was too young to get married because people kept telling me I was. I had so many people that were like, “I got married at 25. Don’t know if I’d do that again.” I’m like, “Aren’t you guys still together?” They’re like, “Yeah.” I had a woman at one of my shows yell at me from the audience. She goes, “You should really wait till you’re 27 to get married.” I said, “Why 27?” She goes, “‘Cause that’s when your frontal lobe has finished developing in your brain. That’s when your brain’s done, 27.”

Yeah, what a mean fact to yell at someone. Just like, “Oh, you think you’re happy, Scarecrow? Why don’t you wait a beat till the Wizard gets you a brain? I’ve been drinking since noon. Make me laugh.” But I Googled it, and that fact is real. And that fact is proof that God is a man because who else would finish your boobs years before your brain? That’s bullshit. You’re telling me no one in Heaven’s like, “Hey, God, are you gonna finish the brain today? You keep putting it off, and it seems important.” He’s like, “This is important! [chortling] Don’t tell me how to do my job. I’m God, damn it! I’m gonna make one of them bigger for, like, eight years.” I’m sorry if you love God. That’s what he’s like.

I did want to be married, though. I wanted to be married. Mostly so I wouldn’t have to date anymore. I will say, though, the best time to date is immediately after a very painful breakup ’cause your standards are so low. Oh, after I broke off my engagement, I was like, “All I want to do is make out with someone who hasn’t seen me cry in the tub.” Like, that’s all I wanted. I just wanted a fresh one who didn’t know I was crazy, who’d come in like, “You’re not like other girls.” I’m like, “Mm-mmm, not yet.” You’re sitting across from him at dinner while he talks about his ex. You’re like, “She sounds nuts.” [chuckles] But in your head you’re like, “We would be friends. If this doesn’t work out, I’ll call her. She made a fake Facebook account to stalk you after you blocked her? That’s insane. I would never do that… on Facebook. She sounds old.”

I’m not good at dating. I tried a dating app once. I tried OkCupid. Okay, heard some judgment from the back. Look, I didn’t know. I didn’t know it was a bad one. I should’ve known. The name sounds like giving up. Just like, “Okay, Cupid, you take a stab.”

I just don’t like dating apps because I feel like people curate these really fake opening lines that they’ll copy and paste and use on everybody. I talked to a guy who told me on Tinder, his opening line, no matter who it was, was, “So, do you like sunrises or sunsets?” That’s me choking on his dick ’cause that’s a great line. I mean, that’s… That’s poetry. It’s like… That’s a haiku, I think. Check my math, but… That line’s a Trader Joe’s bag. You should reuse it.

I had a guy on OkCupid send me an emoji as an opening line. Not a cute one. Not like a heart or a kissy face, or even an eggplant, which is gross but I get it. He sent me one of these. You know the one you never touch ’cause it looks like Pac-Man getting a colonoscopy? Half of you won’t enjoy this joke ’cause you don’t know what I’m talking about. That’s how rarely this emoji is used. I responded. I was like, “I gotta make sure this guy doesn’t hurt anybody.” So I wrote back and I said, “Does this work for you? Do people respond ’cause they’re confused? Are you negging me? What’s happening here?” He goes, “Well, the way a woman responds to the emoji tells me a lot about her character.” I said, “All right, Detective Douche Rocket, what does my response tell you about my character?” He goes, “Well, it tells me you’re really transparent, honesty is super important to you, and you have trouble trusting people.” “That emoji works. We should get coffee, or married. I don’t know. Dr. Douche Rocket, I’m sorry.”

I’m not good at dating ’cause I’m not fun. I’m not like a fun person. You can probably tell that by now. For example, this is my impression of a fun person. This is what I think fun looks like. Your creepy uncle trying to corner you at Christmas. “You’re so big now. Let’s dance.” I look like something outside a car sale, but it’s just very depressed. It’s like, “Yeah, we got Subarus in there. I don’t know. I took a bunch of pills.” I’ve never been fun. I’ve never been the life of the party. At best, I’m the faint pulse of a potluck. Like, that’s all I’ve been able to achieve. I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. I did start using weed this last year.

You can tell because… Thank you.

[audience member whoops]

You can tell ’cause I say “using” like it’s PowerPoint. Wow, I suck. I started taking edibles at night because I was having trouble sleeping. Some of my friends got too excited. They’re like, “Now we can get high and go see Spider-Man.” I was like, “Oh, no. I only do that at night-night.” They were like, “You ruined weed too. How did you… do that?”

I had to start taking something at night because I was having nightmares as an adult, which is like when you get braces at 40. Everybody’s like, “You’re still doing that?” Like, “Yeah, I guess.” It’s embarrassing. And nightmares as an adult are so much worse than nightmares as a kid. So much worse. A lot of things are worse as an adult. I think we know that. Have you tried to give yourselves an adult pep talk lately? Yeah, it is laughable. It’s impossible. You can pep yourself up when you’re a kid ’cause you still believe in stuff, like Santa and magic and the government. You still think… there are forces at work for you. So you can shadow box in the bathroom mirror. “You’re going to do it ’cause you’re great and I believe in you.” As an adult, you’re just leaning on that sink, like, “You’re gonna do it ’cause what other goddamn choice do you have?”

[laughter, cheering]

You guys tried to buy greeting cards for your family as adults? Can’t do that anymore. Too much has happened. And Hallmark can’t cover it. When you’re a kid, you run into CVS on Father’s Day. “You’re the best dad in the whole world.” I’m done. As an adult, you walk down that aisle, like, “You’ve always been there for me.” Nope! “Thank you for accepting me exactly as I…” Okay, try again. “I couldn’t have asked for a better…” You know what? Screw this. Excuse me. Do you guys have any that just say “You are my dad”? How about “You screwed my mom”? You got any of those? I’ll get a blank one. It’s fine. All right. “You are a father. This is a day. Here is a card.” Nailed it.

When you have a nightmare as a kid, you can run somewhere for comfort. You can go to your parents, “I had a dream there was a werewolf and a vampire, and my hands were snakes.” They’re like, “You’re an idiot! Go back to sleep. None of that’s real. Why did we have you?” You’re like, “Okay, awesome.”

As an adult, you wake up from nightmares. “I had a dream there was an earthquake and I got cancer and you cheated on me.” Everybody’s like, “Oh, yeah, that’ll probably happen.” They’re not even dreams. They’re just premonitions.

So I started taking these edibles at night, chocolate-covered blueberries, ’cause if I’mma be a drug addict, I’mma have a treat. And… When I started taking them, I was so nervous about becoming a druggie that I would cut them in half and then just nibble on half until I got sleepy. Do you know how afraid of your own personality you have to be to be hunched over one blueberry? The smallest of the fruits. With a plastic knife from Taco Bell. Just like, “Ooh, be careful. You don’t want to be fun to hang out with.”

I’ve never been drunk ’cause I’m pretty sure I’m an alcoholic. The only times I’ve ever wanted to drink are alone in a La Quinta Inn. I’m told that’s where you’re not supposed to do it. So I stay away from the stuff. I have been pulled over for drunk driving completely sober, which is a great way to find out that you’re a terrible driver. When cops are stopping you on the highway, like, “Are you wasted?” You’re like, “No, officer. That… was my best.” That cop didn’t believe me either. He kept hounding me. “How much have you had to drink? How much? How much have you had?” Finally I was like, “You don’t understand. “I’m not drunk. I’ve never been drunk. I don’t even know how. I’m a little sad. Is there a sad driving test?” I think they should have one. Like instead of a breathalyzer, they just have you sigh into a harmonica. And if it’s on pitch, they’re like, “Out of the car, Johnny Cash. Can’t have you on the road.”

But I’m at a bit of a crossroads in my life, you guys, because I’m 25, and I don’t want to party, I don’t want to hook up, and I guess I’m not ready to get married, so what is left for me to do? Judge people. Exactly. So… I was on Facebook this week. Just making sure my family is still racist, and… That’s a joke. I don’t have to check. And… I saw that a girl I went to high school with just got back from her honeymoon, and she posted that she’s going to be taking a break from social media. Have you guys seen people do this? Yeah, these heroes of the internet. Their big announcement. “Hear ye! Hear ye! I will be taking a break from social media, #Brave.” Dude, nobody wanted to see a picture of your sandwich on Wednesday. No one’s gonna miss it on Friday. All right? Also, why are you posting about the fact you’re going to stop posting soon? That’s like toasting you’re gonna quit drinking in the morning. You’re not off to a great start, sweetheart.

This girl made a whole video for Instagram, Facebook, all of them. “Hey, guys. Suppose you probably heard I just got married. And I’m going to be taking a little bit of a break from social media, just to focus on my new wifely duties.” “Wifely duty”? I’m like, “You can’t blow your husband and share cat videos?” You have two hands. Multitask. Like… Get an apron. I thought it was weird though, so I played the video backwards. You play it backwards, she’s like, “I’ve made a huge mistake. Come pick me up. He’s so boring.” We’re like, “Yeah, we know. We met him.” He’s the type of guy, you get halfway home from the theme park before you’re like, “Shit! Where’s Doug? No, we have to go back. My wallet’s in his fanny pack, so…” Oh, do not feel bad for Doug. He’s terrible. Every time he tells a story, somewhere a child loses a balloon.

I went to their wedding. I’m so glad I did. I learned a lot. If you’re single, go to as many weddings as possible so you can walk around, just like, “Okay, not this.” We watched her walk down the aisle for what felt like 45 minutes to an hour. Oh, my God. These 20-something brides are really milking that walk. She’s like… [whispers] “I am a princess.” It’s like, “You’re Bigfoot. Speed it up. We have lives.”

I swear, when I get married, I’m gonna jog a little bit down the aisle, like I’ve been in a crosswalk too long, just like, “I see the numbers going down. I’mma have you out of here in nine seconds.”

So she gets about halfway down. Everybody’s like, “She’s an angel. She’s beautiful.” She looked okay. And… You ever go to a wedding, like, “Huh. That’s your best? Interesting.” So… Don’t be scared. Let it resonate with you. So… So she gets about halfway down, and I start getting antsy, so I go, “I’m going to check out the groom.” Usually, at this point in the ceremony, the groom’s crying a little bit because she’s so beautiful, he’s so lucky, they made a mistake. Whatever it is. It’s part of the experience, and I wanted my money’s worth. Those knives weren’t cheap. So I look towards the front, not expecting, like, a blubbering mess of a man, just, like, a light produce aisle mist. You know? Like a respectful “let’s keep those zucchinis damp” type of deal. And he was dry as a bone, you guys. Nothing going on. Just another Tuesday for this asshole. It’s cheaper to get married on Tuesday, and… And I thought to myself, “Wow. If that happens to me, I’m going to stop my wedding.” “You know what? Cut the music. Cut– Just cut it real quick. Babe, come here. We’re just gonna… Just– I miss him! [giggles] Sidebar. So much fun. You need to get your shit together. I showed up. I have a spray tan. I’m wearing flavored underwear for you. Yeah, pot roast panties, just like your mom used to make, which is weird. That’s a weird request, but I did it. We’re going to go back– Don’t look at them. Look at me. I’m your future. You focus up, buddy. Oh, don’t start crying now. It’s too late and too early. You save that up ’cause we’re going to go back out there and we’re going to get it right this time, aren’t we? Yeah, we are ’cause if you don’t… ‘Cause if you don’t… I will make your life a living hell. Do you understand me? I could bake you cookies every day, or I can make you miserable forever. I don’t give a shit either way. I just need a project, motherfucker.”

[laughter, applause]

But it is feelings like this that indicate I am not ready for marriage. I do want to get married, but I think before you get married, you have to make sure that you’re realistic, okay? About what love and relationships are and can be. Not cynical. Don’t go too far. I mean, I made the mistake of babysitting after I broke off my engagement, and that is not the time to be caring for someone with hope. I was so nervous. I’m always nervous to babysit. I don’t want to ruin her life ’cause that’s her parents’ job. So I just put on a Disney movie, and I hid in the kitchen, and I thought, “We’ll get through these four hours together.” Halfway through the Disney movie, this little girl, she’s six years old, she comes running up to me in the kitchen, and she goes, “Taylor… what does being in love feel like?” It’s tough. How do you even begin to explain love to a child that young? How do you begin to explain romance and courtship? It’s complicated. There’s an app. You gotta download it and swipe. There’s a whole… résumé you have to fill out, take a picture from up here, Facetune it. That’s another app, okay?

But I didn’t want to lie to her, and I wanted to relate it to something she would have understood, something she would have experienced in her young life. So I thought about it, and I said, “Being in love is sort of like… Okay. Do you remember when you got lost at the grocery store? That was scary, right? But then do you remember how you felt when you finally found your mom? How safe and happy and relieved you were, and how you ran up to her and you grabbed her leg and then you looked up and it wasn’t your mom? That’s kind of what it’s like out here, yeah. [laughs] You think you know somebody. Turns out it’s just some stranger with your mom’s knees. Trust no one. Swipe left.”

So that’s not good. But you need to be realistic. I have girlfriends that are terrible about this. A friend told me that she thinks the perfect relationship is one where you feel safe, but not bored. I’m like, “Bitch, get an Xbox. That’s not going to happen.” You have to think about what you want and what you need in a relationship because what you want is usually a fantasy, and what you need is what’s gonna make you truly happy. Same friends. Like, “I want Channing Tatum.” “Well, you need Seth Rogen, so… make peace with it.”

I’ve been thinking about what I want and need in a partner because I travel all the time. I have a weird job where I work at night. If I want to have a family, what I need is a stay-at-home dad. The problem is, I don’t want someone who, like, plans to be a stay-at-home dad. Those guys who are like, “I’d love to be a stay-at-home dad. You just sit on the floor, smoke weed, eat crumbs.” That guy sucks. That guy watches your water break and asks you for a ride to the hospital. The only upside to marrying that dude is he’ll never leave the baby in a hot car because he doesn’t have one. I need a guy with goals and drive and ambition, and I need him to give all that up to support mine. I need to find a winner and destroy him. I want to say, “This is my husband. He used to do this.”

I can feel some people pulling back. Like, “Taylor, he’s going to resent you.” I know. I’m kind of into that. I’m super into it. I’ve dated dudes that don’t make as much money as me. Almost exclusively. What up! And one of them really hated it, made him feel embarrassed and emasculated, and it was… so hot. Oh, my God. I’m like, “Come here, baby girl. We’ll role-play. You can be the breadwinner tonight. How does that sound? Yeah, you go right back to making pancakes in the morning. Don’t get cocky just ’cause Daddy lent you some pants.” I have a savings account. That makes me Daddy.

Then I dated a guy who was super fine with the situation. He’s like, “So you make more money than me? Who cares? Doesn’t matter to me at all.” And I was like, “Well… Okay.” And I don’t need you to be upset always. I just want that edge in our relationship. I need you to choke me in bed, but kind of mean it a little. I want… I want that power struggle to keep it hot. I want you to make passive aggressive comments at dinner parties and make all our friends drive home. Like, “What was that? Are they okay?” Sitting in that circle before dinner, drinking wine, like, “So how are you, Bill?” He’s like, “You know, pretty good. Hard to sleep with all these dead dreams under my pillow. [laughs] Am I laughing? I’ve been practicing. Anyway… I’m just going to get another beer. Honey, do you want anything? I mean, you’ve already taken everything from me. I’m doing finger guns because I can’t shoot you for real.” I’m like, “Don’t worry about him, everyone. You know how they are right before they get their allowance.”

Don’t know why some of you seem offended. I’m the one who has to die alone. I’d like to have kids, too, which is a shame because I’m so talented, and… You understand. I don’t know what happened. A few years ago, I was like, “Yeah, I’ll get to kids.” Now it’s like, every day I wake up and my brain goes, “You have goals.” My body’s like, “I’m empty.” All the time. I saw a baby in a fedora last week, and I was like, “I need to make something and put a hat on it right now.” It came from somewhere inside me I didn’t know existed. I felt like a young boy who’d just seen porn for the first time. Just like, “What’s happening to my body? I have to go home forever.”

I do still get annoyed with other people’s kids, which I think will keep me empty a little bit longer. My biggest pet peeve are those babies that wave at you from strollers. Have you seen these babies? They’re strangers to you, but they wave like you owe them money or something. Like, “Hi.” Don’t engage. It’s a trap. The same thing happens every time. “Hi. Hi. Hi.” “Hi, sweetie. How are you?” [laughs] You know why they laugh? ‘Cause they just wasted your time. They know one word. It’s not a conversation. That’s a dead end. That would be like me walking up to a French person like, “Bonjour.” They get excited, talk to me in French, and I go… [laughs] Then a bigger person wheels me away in a carriage. “Au revoir, asshole. You thought you made a friend. Baguette.”

I do want to have kids, but I want to make sure before I have them that I have made enough mistakes so that I give great advice as a parent. You have to make mistakes, learn from them, and then you give amazing advice. My dad read his Bible every night, he got a scholarship to college, married my mom, and then had us. His advice was terrible. He’d be like, “Don’t do that.” We’re like, “Why?” He’s like, “I don’t know, kid. I read it in a book. I’ve never really lived.” Joel Osteen pose. My uncle was a drug-dealing alcoholic who got shot in the ’90s. I listen to everything that man says. ‘Cause he can back it up. He’s like, “Don’t do that.” “Why?” “‘Cause Uncle Larry pees sitting down now. Go play.”

I don’t want to be one of these people that has kids too soon before I think about what it’s gonna be like. My biggest fear is the technology thing. My kids are always going to have the internet. Don’t get me wrong. I’m young. I had the internet pretty early. I got the internet as I was going through puberty, which was awesome. I had a magic box I could hop on and be like, isthishairnormal.com. Upload picture. Someone from Arkansas is like, “You’re probably fine.” I’m like, “Cool. I’m getting back on my bike.”

I don’t know what people did during puberty before the internet. Just, like, read Judy Blume until they started tingling. Like, what happened? Can you imagine going through puberty in the 1300s? Back then you were alone. Something weird was happening downstairs. “That’s a little strange. Hope I’m not a witch. I can’t go swimming.”

My daughter will always have the internet, from the time that she is born to the time she dies. She’s always gonna have it. And I have to explain to her that the internet is the most beautiful, amazing, disgusting, horrifying thing in the universe. How do you do that in a balanced, measured way? “Hey, sweetie. Have fun on the internet, talk to your friends, do your homework, but be careful ’cause a lot of people on there want to kill you.” “Everyone on the internet wants to kill me?” “Not everybody. Some of ’em are just nice kids from Arkansas who want to let you know your pubic hair is A-OK. But… Yeah, some of them want to wear you like a skin jacket, so just please look out for Mommy. Okay?” “But you met Daddy on the internet.” “That’s different. I met your daddy on a dating app. He sent me a very thoughtful emoji. And um…”

[laughter, applause]

“Just really saw me for me.” “How did you know Daddy wasn’t a bad internet person who wanted to kill you?” “Look, you little bitch, I didn’t. Okay? But Mommy was going through a dry spell, your daddy had nice shoulders, so I took a fucking chance.”

♪ Tale as old as time ♪

I don’t want to be somebody who has kids before I’m ready to have them. I have a friend who told me in the next year, she either wants to get a dog or have a baby. If you think those are the same thing, you are not ready for either one. A dog or a baby? That’s like saying, “Yeah, I’m either going to get a skateboard or my pilot’s license. Just whatever I have time for.”

It is insane to me how easy it is to have and keep a baby. Like, if you get your appendix removed, they won’t let you take it home, but if you have a baby, they’re like, “Here, you dropped this.” And you know there are days at the hospital, nurses look at each other like, “Are we going to let this happen? They both have neck tattoos. One says ‘fuck,’ one says ‘babies.’ Either way they stand, it’s bad news. Really, this is fine? This is fine with you? What were you gonna name her? ‘Big Red,’ after your truck? Yeah, we got to do something.”

If you want to adopt a kid, you have to jump through so many hoops, but if you just have one, pft, they’re like, “That’s yours forever.” No questions asked? That’s insane. There’s no exit interview on the way out the hospital to make sure you’re okay? Just like, “Hey, before we hand you a baby forever, can you put this metal bowl in the microwave for me?”

[laughter, applause]

Some of us not clapping. I encourage you to go home and try that. Nobody tell him. I have a friend who has a seven-year-old, and she shouldn’t. And she just bought him an iPhone. I’m like, “For what?” She’s like, “It’s for protection.” I’m like, “Get him a sword. You’re a terrible mother.” I said, “Do you punish this little prince?” She goes, “Yes. As a matter of fact, sometimes I will take away that iPhone for a whole week and make him use a flip phone.” Yeah. A flip phone’s a punishment now. All over the United States, there are little kids going, “No! All I can play is Snake.”

That is not a punishment. You want to hear a real punishment? When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to walk to school in the morning with my friends because my dad said I’d get abducted. But then anytime I forgot to do a chore, he would make me walk home from school alone, as if to say, “You don’t want to do your dishes? We don’t care if you disappear this week.” That’s a punishment. That’s why I’m up here. I was trying to understand my friend’s parenting style because I don’t have kids ’cause I’m responsible. And I said, “Have you thought about alternative punishments?” And she goes, “Like what?” “I don’t know. Chores, grounding, spanking.” She’s like… [gasps] I’m like, “Is he behind me? Did he hear? Where is he? You got eyes on him?” She’s like, “I can’t believe you suggested I spank my child.” I said, “Whoa, nobody suggested that. I don’t believe in spanking, but I did get spanked, so there’s a bitter part of me that was like, ‘They’ll not have it better than me,’ that I had to work through in therapy. And I’ve done that work. I wasn’t sure if you had. It was just a question. Also, why are you acting like I invented spanking? I didn’t come in here, like, ‘You know what would be good?’ We both got spanked. What are you talking about?”

I got spanked growing up. Did you guys get spanked? Yeah. Do you feel fine? I feel fine. Do you feel fine? I feel fine. Do you feel fine? I feel fine. Do you feel fine? I feel fine. If we keep saying it, will we be fine? Maybe. You know, every three years, you’re like, “Was I abused? Let’s not ruin Christmas.” Have you guys realized your parents messed you up yet? Have you found that stray dent in your head? “What happened there?” They’re like, “We did our best. That’s what happened there. You were slippery, so…”

You had this happen as adults: you realize your parents messed you up based on how other people react to stories about your childhood. Stories you thought were fine ’cause when you’re a kid, you’re stupid. You’re just like, “Everybody gets tied in the yard. [laughs] Happy Fourth of July.” Fast forward ten years, you’re at a work party, everyone’s going around swapping stories, like, “Yeah, my mom was crazy. She used to make us take our shoes off in the house.” And you’re like, “Oh, my God. I know! We wore muzzles at night. What happened? Why’d everyone get sad? We could wear them on the carpet. It wasn’t like her thing.”

But my friend was very offended, and I felt terrible, and I said, “I’m very sorry.” And she said, “You know what, Taylor? I’m never going to spank my kid. Our parents shouldn’t have spanked us either. Spanking is the same as hitting.” And I was like, “Okay, back up. There was a huge difference between what my parents did and hitting. Location, location, location. They never spanked me in the face. There’s stuff in my face. People can see that, all right? There was nothing in my butt except justice for my parents.” I got spanked so much growing up, I thought that’s what your butt was for. I thought God made the first kid and was like, “I’d better add some fat somewhere in case this starts mouthing off at Olive Garden.”

Parents are so nice to their kids now. It’s crazy. I mean, parents apologize to their children. Did you know apologies went that direction? Did you know you could drive backwards on the freeway? It’s crazy town out there. The closest my parents ever got to apologizing was this… “You’re okay. You’re all right.” “You’re okay” was code for, “Don’t call anybody. Let’s just chalk this up to a whoopsie-daisy. I think mistakes were made on both sides. Walk it off. I love you.”

My friends talk to their children like they’re human beings. Like they’re equals. They get down here at eye level. They make eye contact. I didn’t know the color of my father’s eyes till I was 22 years old. And that’s just ’cause his license fell out of his wallet once. They’re down here, like, “Hey, buddy. How’s the Lunchable treating you? Good? Awesome. Well, if you have any feedback for me, notes, input of any kind, I would love to hear it. You know why? ‘Cause it’s your childhood. I’m just honored to be a part of it.” Anybody recognize any part of that speech?

My parents were amazing parents. I love them very much. They did a fantastic job, but they were old-school, tough love, no coddling parents. All right? When I was 15, I told my dad, “I’m very depressed. I need a therapist. I’ve been thinking about killing myself.” And he took a knife out of the knife drawer, shook it over his head and went, “Be my guest.” And I was like, “Wow! I don’t want you to fix it. I just want you to listen.”

The best part of that story is, I brought it up to him recently, and he just goes, “Oh, yeah. I remember that.” [laughter] I’m like, “Yeah, me too, every week in therapy.” He’s like, “I called your bluff, though, didn’t I? Look who’s not dead, drama queen.” I’m like, “Okay. Touché, big guy. Only on the inside. [stilted laughter] Am I laughing? I’ve been practicing.”

There’s no healthy fear of your parents anymore. Nobody’s scared of their parents. I was terrified of my parents. I never talked back to my mom, except for once. She was spanking me in the church parking lot because you gotta get rid of those demons before you enter the house of the Lord. So she’s cleansing her soul, a little pre-communion, and halfway through, I go, “That didn’t hurt.” And she went black in the eyes, and in a voice I’d never heard, goes, “Oh… Well, then, we’re going to have to make it hurt.” And for the rest of my childhood, wooden spoon. She went Martha Stewart on my ass. I still cannot watch the Food Network. Great British Bake Off doesn’t calm me down. But I never talked back again.

You try to spank a kid now, they’ll laugh in your face. They’ll be bent over on the iPhone you pay for, looking up reasons why you’re a dickhead. “Really? You’re going to go through with this, even though Psychology Today says that you’re undermining my well-being long-term? All right, Eileen, you stupid bitch. You do what you got to do.

[laughter]

[woman in audience] Yeah!

I’ll be down here playing Angry Birds and googling how you live with yourself.” By the time I have kids, they’re gonna be monsters. “How dare you address me directly? Avert your eyes. And get out your boob. I’m hungry. The big one.” I’m like, “Who gave you an accent?”

I had amazing parents. I keep saying that in case anyone here knows them. Anyone can come to these. I love my parents. I think if you expect your parents to be perfect, you’re immature. Okay? Parents aren’t these magical, perfect beings. They’re just people who suck, like the rest of us. That’s how we should introduce them. “These are my people, Rhonda and Tim. They do what they can.”

My dad was very overprotective. He had four daughters, which means he was just like playing dick goalie and… You don’t have to laugh. He hates that joke too. His biggest fear was that one of us would become sexually active before we got married, and, uh, some of us have been activated, so that’s… Can’t take this back to Best Buy. “I’ve spilled some stuff on it.” On it. In it. The keys don’t work. It’s over. So…

I would hate to be the father of four daughters. It seems very stressful. My younger sister’s in college. She had lingerie delivered to my parents’ house once ’cause she’s an idiot with an Amazon Prime account. And my dad opened the box because he’s a middle-aged man who pays the mortgage, and if a box comes to his house… that’s his box. He didn’t talk to anybody about it. He just opened the box, freaked out, and then hid it behind a plant in his room. That was his solution. Just like… [quavering] “Well, she can’t have sex without her underwear.”

I really respect my dad a lot. You know why? He was never a hypocrite. He was just as strict with himself as he always was with us. We found porn on my dad’s computer once, and it was like the porn of a good man. Like, I think he Googled “missionary.” Like, I don’t even think… he was looking for porn. I think he was trying to become a missionary, and he just got lost. The internet just duped him. He’s like, “That’s not my wife. Why is she naked?” I’m the only person who’s ever found porn on their dad’s computer and gained respect for him. It wasn’t even porn. It was just a pop-up.

I know that sounds naïve to say, but my dad doesn’t watch porn. He won’t even watch sex scenes in movies and TV shows. One came on in a theater once, and he marched out like it was a protest. He came back 40 minutes later. I was like, “Wow, remind me to high-five Mom. I’m like, “Where were you? You missed half the movie.” He’s like, “Well, we’re not at home. You can’t fast-forward.” I was like, “You fast-forward through sex scenes in your own house?” He’s like, “Damn straight. God is everywhere.” And I said, “Bless your heart. You deserve to see some boobs that you’re not married to every once in a while.” So I bought him Game of Thrones on DVD.

[laughter, cheering]

I said, “You can’t fast-forward. They’re talking while they’re naked. It’s important.”

I’m so glad I was raised by my dad. I mean, I think I’m so much like him. He’s made me the person I am. He’s the reason I do stand-up. I don’t watch porn. Not ’cause I’m against it. I just never got into it. The same way some adults didn’t read Harry Potter. You missed your letter to Hogwarts. I have a friend… hates it. She’s like, “I hate pornography, Taylor.” She calls it “pornography,” like a loser. And I said, “Why is that?” And she goes, “Because it sets unrealistic expectations for men and women. It’s so unrealistic.” I’m like, “Have you seen porn? It’s, like, very realistic. Like… Like, they are fucking. I think you saw Star Wars.” She goes, “No, Taylor. It’s unrealistic ’cause those women aren’t finishing, okay? They’re faking it.” And I was like, “Yeah, it’s super realistic. Isn’t that what we’re all doing?” Fake it till you make it. Back to your place to finish yourself off. Am I right? That’s a joke. I’ve never faked it. I’ve never loved someone that much. I don’t hand out trophies for showing up. Grab an orange slice and a Gatorade. Get back down there. Let’s see some hustle, Anderson.

You guys are absolutely amazing. Thank you so much.

[applause, cheering]

♪ Darling, go ♪
♪ Watch your head ♪
♪ Don’t look down, baby, under the bed ♪
♪ Let it show what you’ve read ♪
♪ Underground making love to the dead ♪
♪ I wear the crown like a clown on the promenade ♪
♪ Dripping wet with regret and some heartache ♪
♪ Strip down back and down Do you like the taste? ♪
♪ On the floor, gimme more Don’t you hesitate ♪
♪ Darling go Watch your head ♪
♪ Don’t look down… ♪

[zipping]

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