Truth Tastes Funny with Hersh Rephun

Shake Your Faith & Your Booty: Jennifer Norman

July 21, 2022 Hersh Rephun Season 1 Episode 11
Truth Tastes Funny with Hersh Rephun
Shake Your Faith & Your Booty: Jennifer Norman
Show Notes Transcript

Some say, "We're only human." Maybe being human is more than enough!! Jennifer Norman is the Founder of The Human Beauty Movement (The HBM), a community that fosters radical self acceptance and self-love. She gets right down to it with Hersh, beginning with her adoption at the age of two from Korea into a Caucasian family. Jenn used to think of herself as just another 'white girl from Long Island,' but reality had other plans. From having a sister who wanted to kill her to religious extremism, two divorces and the near death of her only child, Jenn finally found peace, love and balance. She knows all too well that if we don't laugh, we cry.

A renewed sense of purpose:
In addition to founding The Human Beauty Movement, Jennifer is also a model, founder of Humanist Beauty skincare, and author of the award-winning children's picture book series,
The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan, which inspires kids of all abilities to know that kindness is their greatest superpower.

Key Takeaways:

  • Why wait to discover that the only true love is unconditional love?
  • Faith doesn't have to be about relinquishing control; in fact, it can mean taking control!
  • Beauty is what's revealed to us when we're willing to open our eyes.

Related Links:

Jennifer Norman on Truth Tastes Funny with Hersh Rephun


[00:00:34] hersh: It's recording. It doesn't matter. Yeah. So, so then it's beauty for humankind is the tagline and it's the, the human movement. Human beauty movement. Yeah. Human beauty movement. Okay. All right. I got it. 

[00:00:46] Jennifer Norman: A lot of people say "human booty" movement which is another 

[00:00:49] hersh: "human booty movement." Yeah. Human booty movement is more of a descriptor than a company. That's right. That's right. Okay. Here we go. My guest today is Jennifer Norman of the human booty human booty movement. You, I told you uh, did I it's human beauty movement, but so many people say human booty movement that I think I would be remiss if I didn't, if I didn't say human booty movement and we're gonna cover so many things today that I think probably human booty movement comes in there at some place, maybe the dating after 50 part. Yeah. Maybe the maybe the part of maybe the part of a law of attraction, the part where we talk about possibly not, well, yeah, it will, it'll come into effect when we talk about family and and adoption and raising kids with various needs and how that all comes together.

[00:01:51] So I think that that actually was probably a very apt way to bring you in. But all of that said, I would say that there's a through line of positivity and of kind of resigning to the fact that life's gonna throw some shit at us and and that we're gonna have to handle it as best we can. So Jen, welcome to the show 

[00:02:14] Jennifer Norman: Hersh. You're amazing. Thank you so much for having me today. 

[00:02:19] hersh: my pleasure. It's my pleasure. So tell us your story. And we'll hit all these notes as we go through your story. So I may stop you to focus on something, but but it's, it's a fascinating story. So just, just go for it. 

[00:02:33] Jennifer Norman: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. My name is Jen Norman.

[00:02:37] I was really the, the product of a whole lot of compassion and it was one of those things where I think when you are born or before you're born, God tells you, okay, you've got a contract to come into this world. And we're gonna, we're gonna challenge you with a whole bunch of contrast. We're gonna see what you can make of it.

[00:02:59] We're gonna see if you can sink or swim. And I recognize that there's a whole lot of sinking going on right now and what I am here to do and why I wanted to come onto this podcast is say, you know, I, I was, I was pretty much drowning, you know, for quite a lot of my life, but I learned how to swim and I and I thought it'd be, it'd be good to share my story.

[00:03:20] And so, interestingly enough, when I was first born and, and shortly after that, I was born in South Korea and I was abandoned. I was left on the steps of a government building. And there was pretty much no note, no information. And some people found me and tried to take me. And apparently I cried a whole heck of a lot.

[00:03:41] I must have been a colicky baby, so they couldn't stand it. And they, 

[00:03:44] hersh: well, I don't blame you. I don't blame you. Yeah. You left on a doorstep with a note you can't even read. 

[00:03:50] Jennifer Norman: Yeah, no note, 

[00:03:51] hersh: no note. 

[00:03:52] Jennifer Norman: And, and so I was brought to an adoption facility called Holt in, in chiton village. And back then it was, it was a lot different.

[00:04:03] The whole adoption process was different. It was very quick. And so a wonderful family from New York found me. And you know, before I was, you know, around two years old two and a half years old I made my way into this amazing Caucasian family on long island that had three children of their own.

[00:04:22] They adopted me. And then shortly after that, they decided to adopt two other children from Vietnam. And so we were a bit wow. Mixed bag of nuts growing up. But the interesting thing was that even though I was surrounded by, you know, these, these wonderful people, you, you still feel a little bit weird, you know, you feel like they're saying, you know, you we're we're going to turn you into an American speak English. You know, there was really no cultural appreciation for where I came from. It was all, you know, kind of wonder bread and Skippy from then on. And so, you know, I grew up not really understanding my own innate identity. I kind of would feel these feelings and have these emotions and was like trying to figure myself out and why I was so different from even my brother and sister who were blood related from Vietnam.

[00:05:13] Even they had their own thing together. And I just kind of felt like this strange outsider for a lot of my life. Like I just didn't fit in anywhere. So uh, 

[00:05:22] hersh: well, it makes a, it makes a big difference to have a sibling mm-hmm to, you know, for your siblings who had each other. 

[00:05:32] Jennifer Norman: Exactly. And luckily enough, I mean, I, I was blessed with these, these amazing parents who were just very much into kids, very much into animals. We had like six cats and three dogs. And so it was just a whole lot of energy and a whole lot of craziness when I was growing up.

[00:05:49] But I realized that, you know, after a while, because I started getting like insecure with myself and really just felt almost like this this introverted type of a person I started like becoming, I think my innate DNA of being like the tiger mom or the, the tiger person started to come out. So I was like, became super competitive.

[00:06:09] So I went into like every you know, at every club I did gymnastics and dance and piano and art. And like, I just like threw myself into all sorts of like creative outlets to try to figure out like how I could express myself. And I think a lot of artists do that, that, you know, are really try, like trying to like battle with their own emotions.

[00:06:29] hersh: Were your parents encouraging you in one direction or another? 

[00:06:33] Jennifer Norman: Well, I think that to a certain degree, they encouraged me by, you know, letting me do my thing until it got to the place where it became obsessive. And there would be times where I would be painting like throughout the night or I, and then it became like, okay, there's something wrong with her.

[00:06:50] There's like, we, we need to scale her back. Where is this coming from? That it almost got to be like, you know, a, a real thing where I ha I was striving just for so much perfection and, and, and so much of just like, I can't get it wrong. I have to get an a, I have. And so there, you know, there definitely was this pressure that I was putting on myself that came from nowhere else, but myself, which was interesting.

[00:07:14] hersh: Yeah. 

[00:07:15] Jennifer Norman: Yeah. 

[00:07:16] hersh: What age was it? What age was this? Where you were doing all the activities and taking all those yeah. 

[00:07:22] Jennifer Norman: Young teens into my teenage years, I would say. Funnily enough. Like my, my family was Roman Catholic and so my mom was catechism teacher. She taught communion and all of that. But then my sister who was Vietnamese, was having a bit of a learning difficulty.

[00:07:41] She was adopted when she was six years old. And so she was thrown right into the first grade. It was really, really hard for her. And so my mom found this private school that she started to thrive in and decided to put my brother and, and me into it as well. And it turned out to be a Protestant Christian school, you know, born again SL in the spirit, all like all, all of that.

[00:08:04] And so. boy was that confusing too, to see the, like the difference in like just religious infighting between Protestant and, and I, I mean, I lived it like, you know, mentally and emotionally you know, here we were in like the seventh grade, having teachers tell us that the Pope is leading a cult and he's going to hell and all of this, 

[00:08:26] hersh: well, religion is supposed to answer all the questions, right?

[00:08:30] Every religion professes that it, well, they don't all profess to have all the answers, but they have they're right. You know, they're certainly right. There's no religion that I know of a major religion that says, you know, we might be wrong. It might be the other religion. Maybe it's the other, maybe it's the other take on God.

[00:08:48] But here's our thing. Our thing is this it's always, this is the, we know the truth. Mm-hmm somehow we got the, we got the memo, the other faith didn't get the memo or, you know, and so now you have, now you're put in a position where you, you competing competing philosophies, 

[00:09:07] Jennifer Norman: beliefs. Yeah. It's just like, and, and it's an all in the name of, of Christianity.

[00:09:12] It's like, Hey, we all believe in Jesus here. Like, you know, aren't we supposed to love that neighbor. I don't see that much happening even to today, you know, sure. But yeah, so, so that was really Just a bizarre time in my life where it was like led with, you know, ultimate confusion you know, aside from not really feeling like I knew who or myself, then I feel like I'm going to hell because I've got this you know Roman Catholic guilt.

[00:09:40] And then I also have, you know, these you know, these fanatics on the, the Protestant side that are telling me I'm going to hell because, I'm thinking, you know, impure thoughts or . Yeah. So you know, it, it, it was just a, you know, an upbringing that was rooted in a whole lot of shame and a whole lot of like praying for discipline and feeling like, you know, just really shutting myself in.

[00:10:06] And, and I, it, it was almost like just, you know, you feel like you're almost in a straight jacket. For a, you know, a period of time and just like longing to try to figure out who the heck you are. And I think a lot of teens go through this kind of oppression unto themselves, but I feel like it was a little bit compounded just by not really being able to look around my family and see anybody that looked like me or anybody in my, you know, neighborhood that even, you know, just identified with me.

[00:10:33] And I, frankly for a lot of my life, I grew up feeling like I was really ugly. Like I really just like everything about me. It was just like this kind of self-loathing and self hatred, because, you know, it's the time of supermodels and magazines and you, you just don't see anybody that looks like you and you really feel like, you know, not only are you strange on the inside, you're strange on the outside.

[00:10:56] And so, you know, what were there were 

[00:10:58] hersh: Excuse me, were there external judgements as well? Like so far, you're, you're saying a lot about how you felt, but yeah, but. What were the, how were you treated? 

[00:11:09] Jennifer Norman: Yeah. You know, as far as like, if we're talking about racism or things like that, I, it was one of those things where early on, you know, when kids are immature, then there's a whole lot of teasing as, as you can imagine with, and, you know, yeah.

[00:11:22] Kids that just don't look like you. And so there was that bit of like bullying and teasing and that feeling like, you know, I probably launched that, that seed of doubt and insecurity about my looks and, and, and whatnot going on through life. And I will say that after that, it wasn't until I found the power of sexuality, like when I was, when I became a teen and started to blossom and then, you know, just started to become a little bit more promiscuous.

[00:11:50] Hence the booty part. I think that that's when I was like, ah, now I get it. Now I know how I, you know, how I can, I can, you know, get a sense of control. And perhaps a lot of women do that too, is like, they, they all of a sudden realize what kind of power that they have over men or over whomever, they went, you know, wish to because they they're, they're longing for this kind of attention.

[00:12:12] And it's really kind of this emotional insecurity and this, this whole, in their inside themselves that they're trying to fill. And then they start filling it with things that are more externally validating then necessarily internally validating. And so I went through a whole phase man, whole phase of that, of just like trying to like, you know, go after the attention, go after the boys go after the, the fashion and the, and I actually launched a 20 year career in the beauty industry ironically enough.

[00:12:45] And I think it was because to me that was almost like a sense of accomplishment, a sense of satisfaction that yeah. I can actually work in this industry and dictate what beauty is to other people. 

[00:12:56] hersh: I think that makes perfect sense. But you didn't recognize it at the time. You're saying at the time that you went into beauty?

[00:13:03] Nope. When I, you just were responding to wanting to fill that. Yeah, yeah. To conquer that 

[00:13:08] Jennifer Norman: to me you know, I thought it was probably my greatest accomplishment, but you know, at the same time I was bulimic, you know, I would look at myself, I would feel fat and here I was, you know, five to 103 pounds, which is not, which, which is pretty normal, if not, you know, pretty slender.

[00:13:28] And I, I still felt tremendously fat. Like, like I just felt disgusting. And I was a dancer. I did gymnastics. I was, you know, very athletic in, in many respects throughout my, my youth. And and I still just felt like, like this body dysmorphia and a lot of it was because of what media does to you in parading around super super skinny girls that are like size zeros, five, 10, you know, 80 like 90 pounds. It was the time of Kate Moss. It was the time of like, just like real like heroin chic. And so, you know, that was the, that was the north star that unfortunately a lot of girls were holding themselves up to. And you know, that went on for years and it was just expected.

[00:14:14] It wasn't a whole heck of a lot of diversity let alone diverse bodies. And so it was just fascinating to see the shift that has been happening over the course of time. Once we did start getting to more of the, the democratic aspect and the more user generated content that is, you know, bubbling up that has really shifted the clout in in what is beautiful today, 

[00:14:42] hersh: it's ironic that the shift that you described is, is real and is happening and it's happening in, in advertising and it's happen, you know, maybe not soon enough, but it's happening at the same time politically. Mm-hmm, , everything's now taking you know, people say 50 years back, it feels like it's like it's 200 years, like it's 250 years back.

[00:15:07] How are you processing that dichotomy between what's what's been happening socially and what's happening politically? Yeah. 

[00:15:17] Jennifer Norman: You know, to me it's very fascinating and it shows that number one. And, and perhaps, because I brought up the whole aspect of Christianity and this kind of old school, older paradigm of thinking where there is this true. And, and my mother was so zealot, you know, such a zealot. I mean, she would go to the capital every single year and March for pro-life rallies. This was my mom. And I remember early on you know, it, when I became a, a teen adult, I broke it to her because I didn't wanna hurt her feelings, but it, it, it got to be so difficult to have conversations with her about being so pro-life and very close-minded about, about choice that I told her.

[00:16:03] I was like, I just, I just wanna let you know that for my own body, I would always choose life. That's just my, my, my choice, but I would never dictate to somebody else. And I don't feel that anybody has the right to let alone government to. A woman or a man, what they can do with their bodies. And so from that aspect oh boy, the insults, the berating, the, the, I was almost disowned at that.

[00:16:28] At that point, it was such a severe issue that was a dividing line and it continues to be with those that are so, you know, affirmed and entrenched in what it means to potentially end what they would believe is a life inside, you know, a womb

[00:16:45] hersh: That's the part that really just baffles me. Yeah. This, this conviction that it's needs to be forced on others because not every faith takes that point of view, but this in the, in the Christian faith, among the pro-life factions, mm-hmm , it seems to be as important as the personal choice itself. Yeah. Yeah. A crusade, literally a crusade to tell other people what to do and in their, in their vision, save a life, but then not really have any interest in what happens to that life or where that life ends up or what happens to the life of the mother.

[00:17:30] Jennifer Norman: Exactly. 

[00:17:30] hersh: Apparently, you know, or what happens to anyone who's who's also a life. 

[00:17:36] Jennifer Norman: Yeah. I think that there is just because I've, I've lived and breathed it. I believe that there is this indoctrination that You know, like life is life and so let let it live. And, you know, I, regardless of what it may do to the family afterwards or the choice or by which it may, I mean, that's almost like it's not, it's, it's a, non-question it, it's almost like the, you know, there's not even an openness to thinking about that part of the conversation.

[00:18:06] There's so much closemindedness in thinking that all we think about is that once, once a life is germinated, once it is there and there is that debate about like, at what point is life, but, you know, to, to people like my mom, God bless her. And I, and I love her and she's still, she's still with me to, to people who are of that belief it's very difficult when you start talking about people's beliefs and, and yeah. And shouting matches and, and the, those kinds of you know, I'll call them algorithms because that's what it is. It's like, because you're, you're so polarized and you just dig in even further into your convictions. It is creating this separation that's even, yeah.

[00:18:52] A bigger rift than it ever probably was before. And so, yeah, I think that what happens is, you know, with the cycles of times and, you know, the pendulum swings, you know, for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction for every Obama, we're gonna get a Trump, then we're gonna get a Biden. You know, it's like, , it's just swing back and forth.

[00:19:13] And truly the, the idea of diplomacy and just, you know, having civil discussions has really gone out the window in many respects. 

[00:19:24] hersh: It also seems that there's, that this parallel fear of science, like I, like, I don't know where your, your, your mom and your family shook out on science. Mm-hmm like was medicine and science. Did it have a place? 

[00:19:43] Jennifer Norman: It's really amusing. And I have seen, I mean, in, in my own life and I can't really speak about megatrends, but I would say that I think that there is definitely a shift towards embracing science and, and that's why we are having this whole, you know, Exodus out of no, no pun intended, but an Exodus out of religious groups because because it just, you know, people are looking for something that they can really sink their teeth in and really understand and make sense of life and, and religious, yeah.

[00:20:11] Religion, wasn't doing it for them. And so then we come to science and back, you know, when I was. It was that evolution was evil. It was a lie that creation. And like, you know, there, there, there was that debate back then. It really is. Isn't a debate anymore, as much as, as it was back then. Anyway, I mean, if it is then it's like, you, you barely hear about it, but you know, the idea that it's been proven over time, that these things are happening.

[00:20:36] And and unfortunately with a lot of science, there's just been so much gas lighting lately that, and fake news that because of political gain and aspects of, you know, where the money is going. So there's a lot of mistruths that the public is being fed as we all know. And so it's very hard for people to know what is truth and what is what's backed and what's fiction, what's real science and what is not.

[00:21:01] And so it really takes a whole lot of effort in education, unfortunately, to find truth. In, in, in all of the news and all of the science, because a lot of it is so biased or, or subjective, or has a little bit of an, an angle to it to try to benefit a specific party or a specific entity. And so yeah, that, that that's become pretty fascinating, but I will say, you know, just thinking about medicine and, and, and science myself.

[00:21:28] I mean, I also remember when, when I was growing up, my dad, God bless him suffered from major clinical depression. Most of his life. I mean, he, he was, you know, a businessman. He was one that unfortunately was screwed over by his brothers for like, you know, swindled for all his money from his own family.

[00:21:47] And it, it spiraled him into like these, this deep, deep, dark depression for many, many years, we lived with this and it was not easy because my mom would tell him You know, you don't need prescriptions. We think that that's just, that's not what we do in this family. You are not a man. If you feel that you need to depend on pharmaceuticals for that, like it like emasculated him.

[00:22:11] And so he lived with this depression and also feeling like stripped of his, of, of his masculinity, because he couldn't cope very well. And then finally it was only until like years and like decades went by and then finally he you know, decided on his own that he was gonna go get some, some medicine to help him.

[00:22:30] And he was a brand new man. He was like, so like he found his joy that, and my, and afterwards my mom was like, gosh, why was I, you know, nagging him all these years about that. And so I think that she recognized that that was just something that, that, you know, her belief was impacting very negatively on something that was like, you know, if you have a headache taken aspirin.

[00:22:52] Yeah. It was fixable. It wasn't earth shattering. 

[00:22:55] Yeah. Yeah. And, and so that, and that became my thing too, is like, when I went through my clinical depression, you know, I divorced twice with a lot of stuff that has happened in my life. It was never a question. I mean, I questioned myself, like, I didn't know if I really wanted to go there because I felt that it was a little bit like shameful to do that too.

[00:23:15] But it was both of my parents that said to me, there's nothing wrong with it. Do it. Like, if you need to do it, like just, you know, go to, go see a doctor, go see a therapist, get the help that you think that you need because it's not worth being miserable. 

[00:23:30] hersh: Yeah. Telling, telling a child also "No" all the time mm-hmm, , can't possibly produce a productive result.

[00:23:38] No is supposed to be a boundary that protects children and lets them know that they're loved and lets them know that somebody cares about what happens to them and that there's a stable kind of fence around. Yeah. Them. That they will then wanna maybe build around their own family, but it's not impervious to everything and it's not absolute.

[00:24:00] And it's when that, that fence becomes absolute that there's no room for freedom of choice. Mm-hmm at all. Yeah. And simple things like taking aspirin, you know, everything, everything with the funny thing about rocket science is that nothing else is rocket science, you know, you know, they say it's not rocket science.

[00:24:20] Well, nothing is except for rocket science. And if you're not doing rocket science, then just use logic. Yeah. If there is a God, God gave us a sense of reason, a sense of humor. And that's where the truth tastes funny thing comes from, which is that we have to acknowledge that there is a truth.

[00:24:41] Yeah. Yes. It's very hard to get to these days. Yeah. It's really easy to obscure an obfuscate and to mislead and confuse. Yeah, but it's, there it is there. And many times we will not like the taste of it. Many times we will not like the truth. And so in some weird way, I, if I'm being generous and I also come from a, from a, a religious background, Jewish faith, and, but very, you know, Orthodox background and the, the generous interpretation would be that to spare us some ugliness and to spare us some difficult experiences and realities, religion often shields us from it.

[00:25:30] Jennifer Norman: Mm-hmm right. Mm-hmm . 

[00:25:31] hersh: But then in the end, is it really serving us to hide ourselves from the, from the truth? Or should we just grow up and start to be responsible for our lives. 

[00:25:43] Jennifer Norman: Yeah. Yeah. I think that there's a lot to be said about the, the notion that, you know, I think a lot of religion had been based on that it like it's saintly to suffer. Like there, there's this notion of like, if you, if we say no, or if you constrict yourself in, if you have discipline and if you're rigid and you live this, you know, very straight and narrow path, and then you are on your path of righteousness. And what we're realizing is that that unto itself creates such resistance and such mental anguish in, in, in humanity, because we're meant truly, I believe we're meant to thrive.

[00:26:21] We're meant to be free and liberated. And so by the saying, no, just for the sake of no, you know, just because I said, so kind of a thing mm-hmm to it it's, it becomes unacceptable. It becomes that, you know, there's going to where there's a will, there's a way then kids are gonna get rebellious. Kids are gonna figure it out.

[00:26:40] They're gonna, you know, they're gonna do it on their own or, or if not, then, you know, boy, they're gonna probably end up on the therapist couch for quite quite some years. Yeah. And so, yeah, and I think that that's where people are fleeing away from religion. They're fleeing away from the idea of, you know, what, what can I do to alleviate the suffering?

[00:26:58] And they just haven't found their way out to thriving in and manifesting who they truly, really are inside. And so, yeah, that, that's one of the lessons I learned. 

[00:27:10] hersh: I think it adds a lot of layers of self discovery to our process of becoming adults or maturing. Yeah. It adds all of this stuff we now have to dig through.

[00:27:22] Jennifer Norman: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:27:23] So now I think we were at, we left off in high school still. 

[00:27:27] Yeah, right after high school went to college. I ended up getting married at 24 and went to get my MBA at Georgetown. And because I, I just felt like I, you know, I, I felt like I needed more intellectual stimulation.

[00:27:47] I needed to like, be more fulfilled in my life. And so then after that, I started in, in beauty, big business beauty in Manhattan and my husband at the time was a farm boy and he just was not very happy with living in New York at all. And so we definitely had this situation where I felt like I was just like in my, in my element and, and he was, was, so 

[00:28:10] hersh: where was he from?

[00:28:12] Jennifer Norman: Troutville,Virginia. 

[00:28:15] hersh: Okay. Yeah. Well, Troutville says it all. Yeah. I haven't been to Troutville, but I get it. 

[00:28:19] Jennifer Norman: Yeah, you get it. Yeah. You get it. So four years and so at 28, I, I felt like a damage bag of goods. I tell you, it was like, I, I probably felt older at 28 than I feel now because it was just like, again, I felt like, oh my God, I failed. I, you know, I, I really felt like I, I needed to keep this marriage together, just, you know, and I would do everything. I quit my job. I do everything. And then it was my, it was my dad who said to me, you can't stay in this marriage. You're gonna be miserable if you do, you have to be you.

[00:28:50] And that to me was so heartening and it just made it, I felt like this massive weight that was lifted off my shoulders just to have my parents consent. And for them to say to me, all we care about is you and your happiness. That is all that matters. And you know, you do what you need to do. And, and that to me was like game changing and, and it, and it was the start of me, you know, really feeling like, okay, now I think I'm on this place where I can start discovering more of what really makes me me which again, you know, still there's like this whole continued journey on, you know, screwing up and 

[00:29:31] hersh: okay. So the, and all that. So the screw ups didn't completely come to an end. 

[00:29:35] Jennifer Norman: Oh no. And they never will. They will always be okay. You know, that's, that's part of life then that's why we continue to laugh and find humor in it, 

[00:29:42] hersh: but it may have been a pivotal moment of validation for you, is it because all of these things were pursuits of validation and here you got this at this moment, at this very vulnerable moment at a very difficult crossroads, you've got unconditional love, which is the, which is the, the only thing I think that a parent can really provide mm-hmm any child mm-hmm of real value, real intrinsic value.

[00:30:10] Jennifer Norman: Yeah. 

[00:30:11] hersh: You can provide material comfort. You can provide support in many ways, but unconditional love is, is the thing. 

[00:30:20] Jennifer Norman: It's the thing. And it's rare 

[00:30:22] hersh: meant to, and it's very rare and isn't that surprising? How rare how rare it is. 

[00:30:27] Jennifer Norman: It's not surprising because we live in a conditional world. I feel like a lot of times you will hear people say like, if you don't do this then, or, you'll make me happy if, or I'll only be happy if there's always that if, and there's that condition, 

[00:30:42] hersh: I'll be disappointed.

[00:30:43] Jennifer Norman: I will be so disapp disappointed, disappointed if I will never speak to you again, if you know, there's always like, and, and so there, there's all sorts of signals and symptoms that we don't really love, you know, unconditionally that everything is built upon. Well, if you make me happier, if you don't piss me off, or if you, you know, tow the line, then you know, then you will deserve, or, or you will be granted my affection and I will show you even more affection or, or whatnot.

[00:31:09] And that's so now unconditional love 

[00:31:11] hersh: now in the human beauty movement, I got it. I got it right this time, but now it's all coming into focus. So when human beauty movement became something you wanted to do. Mm-hmm what was the impetus behind that? 

[00:31:26] Jennifer Norman: Yeah, you know, I, I started that in 2019 and, and that was even after I'm gonna, I'm gonna jump back and then get back into yes.

[00:31:34] Beauty movement because after, after, you know, living in New York for a while, burning the candle at both ends, you know, having just gone through a divorce and finding online dating and then, you know, just living life fast and furiously, I ended up burning myself out really, really badly and decided that I needed to make a life change.

[00:31:56] I would also get seasonal affect disorder living in Manhattan. 

[00:32:00] hersh: Oh, yes. 

[00:32:00] Jennifer Norman: Was really, really severe. I'd actually go to the tanning bed almost every day, just to try to get some UV light yeah, it was terrible. And so I ended up. Saying to myself, oh, I'm gonna move either to Miami or, or, or California someplace where it's sunny and I can, you know, actually see the sun more often.

[00:32:19] And so I ended up right around 2000 2001 moving to Los Angeles and took a job out here. And I was like, oh, if I, you know, don't like it, I can always move back. And here I still am 22 years later. But it was right before 9/11 and I couldn't believe it. I remember seeing the news of when the towers fell.

[00:32:41] I was like, I was just there. Like, I, I couldn't, you know, that, that whole thing was just just a travesty and also very LA earth shattering life, life shaking for, for everybody around the world. But you know, living here, I ended up continuing my, my career in the beauty industry, got married a second time and ended up having a baby boy.

[00:33:09] and what was fascinating was I never really wanted to get married again. I was very reluctant. I was like, oh, you know, I just, I thought that I would just be happy living in sin for the rest of my life. But then, you know, I got pregnant and I was like, oh gosh, I feel like, you know, I'm obligated to get married again because I wanna raise a child in, in a family.

[00:33:28] And so there again was my own, you know, kind of past life kind of coming through again, making another loop. Right. And so when my son was about two years old, you know, he's hitting all milestones, super smart talk, you know, starting to watch doing all the, all the things two years old is supposed to do.

[00:33:47] He suddenly started to show signs of spasticity and weakness. He stopped wanting to, to talk, to eat, to crawl like all of these things. And long story short, he ended up falling into a coma for about three months. Almost died several times at the hospital. Luckily we were able to get him into a hospital.

[00:34:10] Luckily we live in a place where there are amazing hospitals around us. But we didn't know what the heck was was going on. And it wasn't until many, many months that, you know, after various tests and all of these things intubation, like we discovered that he had a very rare genetic disorder, which is called a mitochondrial disease.

[00:34:35] And what that is is a global energy deficiency. It's like every cell in your body doesn't work properly to make the energy that it needs to sustain normal life. And so when you're around two years old and you're going through growth spurts and you're exposed to people and you know, there's germs and all of this stuff, the body can't take a certain amount of stress once it does, it ends up just shutting down.

[00:34:57] And so that's what happened to my son and what was crazy was that I think that a lot of the doctors there were like, they threw up their hands because nothing really was known about this particular disease. They just knew that it was very rare that the prognosis was bleak, that he probably wouldn't live to see three and that we needed to just figure out what we wanted to do because you know, luckily in Los Angeles they can't kick us out of a hospital.

[00:35:28] We can stay as long as we want to. And as long as I guess insurance is, is there. But they were telling us that like, if we lived in a, you know, a different country, then they would be like, you know, this is the prognosis. And we unfortunately need to exit you because these beds are, you know, we need to reserve these beds for other people.

[00:35:43] And I was thinking to myself, thank God. Yeah, thank God. I live in a place, you know? And it, it started to really build up this gratitude of the fact that, you know, we do have exceptional healthcare. We have exceptional doctors, you know, there's not much known, but there's still so much to go. And, and then it, it came down to a choice.

[00:36:01] You know, what do you do when faced as a, as a parent in that situation, do you pull a plug or do you hold out for hope? And so the, the fascinating thing, and the good thing is that my then husband and I were very aligned and we said, we're holding out for hope. We believe that there's gonna be something that we can figure out.

[00:36:24] And, and we believe this boy should to us again. Right? So like, we, we believe that for us, he deserves to live and we will do whatever it takes. We will take out, you know, outstanding, extra ordinary measures in order to try to, you know, give this boy the life that, that he wants to, to have. Right. And and then lo and behold, after about a month of that, he started waking up.

[00:36:48] and it was a total surprise to everybody. After four months he was he received a trach and we were, we went home with our son and it was like coming back with a newborn. We were like, I have no idea what to do with this child. He's so fragile. And we had to learn how to be special needs parents. And you know, over the course of years and in caring for this boy, he's now 16, by the way, so, 

[00:37:16] hersh: oh, wow.

[00:37:16] Jennifer Norman: He's a survivor. He's taught me so many more lessons and he has been pretty much the mirror that I needed to discover the true essence of what spirit and what love and what unconditional love and what real beauty is about. And I thank God. I think that a lot of there, there was a lot of, oh, woe is me and why me?

[00:37:38] And like all of these, you know, terrible things that a lot of, a lot of people think when, when you have, when you go through something as terribly dramatic as that. And yeah, there, I mean, it's, it's only human to, to grieve and to, to say, oh my gosh, you know, I should be having a boy that look, you know, that's in, in school now, or I should, you know, like my son should be playing with these things.

[00:38:00] Or there, there, there was a whole lot of that, which drove me to PTSD, frankly, cuz when we brought him home and then it's like the adrenaline rush starts to like subside. Then you, then you start thinking in your head like, oh my gosh, like what am I gonna do with, with all of this? And, and I actually, 

[00:38:17] hersh: what kind of Jen, what kind of care did he require when once you brought him home?

[00:38:23] Like what was that. What were you? Yeah. What were you dealing with in that sense? 

[00:38:27] Jennifer Norman: Yeah, I mean, at the time I had to quit my job, there was no way that I could, you know, ha ha you know, leave the care up to somebody else at that time. And so, but we were fortunate. And again, I, I, I feel so blessed with, you know, insurance and the state of California.

[00:38:43] God bless the, the amount of coverage and care that there are for children who are, are, you know, in this kind of situation that we were able to hire licensed vocational nurses to come and help us. And so even to this day and all during this time, we have a rotation of three amazing nurses that work for us.

[00:39:06] Two of them are full-time and one of them is part-time two during the week and one on the weekend. And then the parent, I, I do the overnight shift and so there's no sleep. there's yeah, there is a lack of sleep. So, so what does that look like? It's he, he is nonverbal, he's non mobile. He is ventilator dependent.

[00:39:28] He has a tracheostomy that's fed through a circuit to a ventilator with extra oxygen that gets piped in to help support him. He is also G-tube fed, so he doesn't eat by mouth. He he actually has formula that goes and other nutrition that we feed him through a tube that goes into his belly and continence care, bathing dressing like everything is, is he's fully dependent upon for, for physical needs.

[00:39:57] With the, the, the caretakers and the loved ones around him. he also gets homeschooled. Yeah. And so that's also something that we're, we've been challenged with, especially during COVID because it used to be in person. We would have a teacher come to the house, but now everything's on zoom and it's very different.

[00:40:15] hersh: So how did you, how did you manage that? 

[00:40:18] Jennifer Norman: Yeah, I, I will say like, you know, with the, with the earlier years you know, his, his condition would ebb and flow. And so there, there was a part where we thought that he would be able to get off his tracheostomy. He started walking again, he started going back to school again, and things were looking all so rosy, but then he would have another crash because the stress on his body, through growing and through mm-hmm, all that he was exposed to and whatnot, you know, he would unfortunately have these stroke-like symptoms where, you know, eventually it just took out a lot of his capacity and his neuromuscular system was completely involved.

[00:40:54] And so. Between, you know, damage in, in the brain and the, and the motor functions we, we do recognize that he is fully cognizant. He can understand, and he, he can, you know, fully intake everything. He just can't, he's blocked from being able to express. And so it on zoom it's so it's so difficult because, you know, at least in person you can see a wiggle.

[00:41:17] You can see, like with, for a teacher who's there and having this engagement when you're on a screen and trying to teach and you're, and you can't see a reaction or you don't have anything. I, I almost think that it's, it's almost funny that our teachers are getting, you know, school together, going all, you know, back through, through grade school and, and yeah, and all of that again, because they're helping him so much with his lesson plan and the homework and whatnot.

[00:41:42] And so, yeah, it really is like you know, when, when you're a special needs child and you're on an IEP, what we call the IEP. Then, you know, everything is very much tailored to what that child, we believe that the child is learning, what, what he can learn and whatever responses we believe are showing us that he has passed or that he is, is digesting the information.

[00:42:06] So, yeah, it, it is challenging. And the other thing is that unfortunately, because he, of the way that things are with, with school these days, he only gets five hours of school a week, which is also, you know, just really, really difficult as a parent to, to, and so, you know, we're always looking for additional stimulation and ways to, to show him, you know, other kinds of education outside his classroom sessions. For sure. 

[00:42:32] hersh: So he's 16 years old now. Yeah. So what was going on over the, let's say over that decade? Mm-hmm that core decade. 

[00:42:41] Jennifer Norman: Yeah, amazing. Ups and downs and, and, and tops and turns.

[00:42:46] And, you know one thing like when he first came out of the hospital and you know, we were just getting him home and figuring things out. My husband at the time had a, a child, a daughter who was 12 years old with, from his previous marriage. And so, you know, there was making sure that she felt loved and, and attempted to, and, and, you know, was, was being cared for because once your attention turns to the special needs child, the other child, or the other children, and the family are typically known as glass children, like nobody sees them.

[00:43:18] Or they're, they're essentially meant to be just like, okay, don't upset anybody, you know, your role. You have to be a good girl, you know? And, and so that unfortunately becomes an emotional burden on the other child that is very difficult to contend with when you're a parent. And, and so we, we had to like come to grips with that.

[00:43:36] Simultaneously her mother unfortunately, was going through her own battles and became addicted and unfortunately took her own life. And so we were going through that trauma with poor, you know, his poor sister at the same time in our family. Luckily we, you know, landed on some amazing nurses that really started to become family.

[00:43:59] They were at our house every day and they were really so supportive and so understanding. And so, and so loved my son so much. Like you. Almost as if they were, they were my children that I felt after a period of time and after seeking help for PTSD and feeling comfortable enough, I was able to start working again.

[00:44:17] And so I went back into the beauty business. And then you realize like once you start working, after going through all this trauma boy, how your priorities shift no longer yeah. Is launching the next shade of lipstick very important. no longer our office politics. Something that you really feel that you can, you can handle.

[00:44:36] And then when you start you know, I, I remember there were many, there were many commutes and commuting in LA is no joke. I mean, I'd have an hour long commute there and back going back to and forth to different offices that I was working at. And I would just be sitting there sobbing on the freeway cause I was so exhausted, you know, from like not getting enough sleep the night before my son would, would have to go back and forth to the ER, emergently because he would lose oxygen and not be able to breathe and like all sorts of stuff where I'd have to leave and then go home. and so just juggling your professional career and also, you know, all of the, the very serious issues that are ha happening at home are, you know, it's definitely a challenge.

[00:45:18] And then, oh, by the way my husband was cheating on me too. for 10 years, he was also having these extra marital affairs. And so you know, it, it became like, and this was the point where I was just like, God, , you know, what more do I, you know, what, what did I do to deserve this? And I, and I really was just like, very, you know, just like I was going through the whole woe was me like, oh my God, what else can I like, what else can happen?

[00:45:44] And I think a lot of people feel like it's like, when it rains, it just massively pours on you, boy. 

[00:45:50] hersh: Were you still connected to Christianity? Or like, where, where was that? Where was all of that background and of that? Not as much in your life at that, at that time. 

[00:46:03] Jennifer Norman: Yeah, boy, not as much, not as much.

[00:46:05] I, I feel like there, there was a connection to, there started to be a connection, more to the idea of like different kinds of religions or spirit. And then I started to kind of open up more to spirituality and less to the, the dogma of say the Catholic church every once in a while. I mean, I would go to, to church for Christmas or for Easter, but I really wasn't like a practicing Christian at that time.

[00:46:30] I would say my own grace, I would say my own prayers and things like that. And I would have my own relationship with what I believed was God. But it definitely wasn't something that was structured as it were. but yeah. Yeah, at that point, I think that you know, I almost started to tap out, you know, it was almost to the point where I was just like, I just don't know why I'm even, you know, why I'm here, what I'm supposed to be doing.

[00:46:55] And so you start questioning everything in your life about, you know, what is, you know, what you're doing if you're doing it right. Are you a bad wife? Are you a bad parent? Are you a bad, you know, it's just like, are you bad at your career? Because, you know, I started getting fired from a whole lot of companies because it's just like, you know, I, I was not a team, you know, it's not that I wasn't a team player, but I, I started to not put up with the BS and I was very honest. 

[00:47:20] hersh: Yeah. Well, you didn't give a shit about the, about the, yeah. The petty stuff. Yeah. You know, and, and you couldn't come back. A lot of people ha I think have that now with COVID on their own level. Yeah. They come back from a pandemic from being quarantined and either the experiences, usually it almost drove you crazy and it almost was some kind of revelation. Yeah. Somewhere in between losing your mind and feeling hopeless and despondent and actually being liberated in some way. So people are totally confused right now.

[00:47:51] Jennifer Norman: Exactly. 

[00:47:51] hersh: They don't wanna take the same shit at work. Yeah. But they also don't know what the hell's going on in the world and they don't know how to deal with it. Yeah. And then they wanna, you know, so, so you were getting, you were not fitting in, in that. 

[00:48:03] Jennifer Norman: I was finding myself lacking the you know, the, the corporate facade that was needed in order to be able to thrive in some of the environment. Once you go through real urgency and real crises, like your, your whole level of acuity shifts.

[00:48:23] And so what people would think is just like the, the, you know, the sky is falling at work. And I was like, you know, guys, it's really not that big of a deal like that doesn't sit very well with a lot of people, no, at work where I'm like, you know, it's really not that big of a deal. Like, why are you stressing out about this? It got to the point where I was just seeing a lot of shittiness happen at, you know, a lot of places where I was, and to the point where it's like, you know, so bottom line driven.

[00:48:50] And so people are working themselves like crazy to death. Corners are, are being cut. Quality is being cut that like, I felt like there was just a level of integrity that I would've expected from, you know, leaders in various companies, but it's very, unfortunately, very few and far between.

[00:49:08] And so it got to the point where you know, I had filed for divorce and I was like on my own. And meanwhile, you know, I was feeling like, you know, my son was really such a, a vital and important. Aspect of my life. I started doing a few different things that were I, I found fulfilling to me. One of them was we started to write this book series based upon my son in a very positive way called The Adventures of Super Captain Brave Man.

[00:49:41] And this is a book series, which essentially has a protagonist, which is a boy in a wheelchair. And it helps to teach kids at an early age about disability and kindness toward people that are not like them. And so we, you know, launched that on his 10th birthday and that's really been something wonderful where there's like this creative outlet and there's this way, because we were finding that, you know, kids would come up to my son or they'd look at him and they would be frightened because they would see tubes and they would see him in a wheelchair.

[00:50:08] And, and they would say to their parents, like, what's wrong with that boy? And the parents would not know what to say. They would be like, don't, don't, don't say anything. And they felt like it was almost like embarrassing. Like they didn't wanna say the wrong thing, or they didn't wanna cause like any tension.

[00:50:22] And so we were like, what a great learning experience or an education moment it could be to, you know, have this opportunity to say, you know, Hey, this is my son. This is what, what, what the wheelchair is. This is what ventilator is. It's okay. You can, you can, you can come up to him and say, hi. And so it was really about trying to normalize the fact that there are so many wonderful kids that have special needs or.

[00:50:47] Whether it be autism downs, CP, you know, just all sorts of different things that we thought we could, you know, help to inform kids and, and have bonding moments where parents read bedtime stories to their kids and share with them, these, these lessons. And so that's been, that's been something that I've found have found very rewarding and, and a, a positive thing.

[00:51:08] And then starting the human beauty movement was really my way of turning the beauty industry inside out and really saying, you know what, the superficial, this is not what beauty is about. You know, in fact, the way that we're selling beauty, which is you have a zit, you have a wrinkle, your fat, like you need to change.

[00:51:25] We want, want to get you to your, to a better place. So that you're more acceptable. I mean, that was pretty much the program that we were running for so many years. And now it's like Uhuh, that's not, that's not beauty. That's not real beauty. The real beauty starts from inside. It starts from you knowing who you are, it's that journey.

[00:51:42] And that self discovery that I went through. You're like finding yourself, understanding who you truly are, understanding like what you are all about and what your soul desires, and then being able to manifest that, however, the fuck you want. And that's what the human beauty movement is all about. It's like, can we touch individual lives?

[00:52:03] You know? And, and just let them know. Number one, that they, they are love. They are light. They deserve love. But they don't need other people to tell them that. It's nice when we do, because a lot of people do thrive on words of validation. But aside from that really dig down and understand why you're doing the things that you're doing.

[00:52:20] Like, are you doing it to please other people to, to, to please your parents to like, speak. A form of religion that you believe in, or, you know, things like that. And really just like di dissecting it down and creating this community where we can have these, these discussions and these workshops and talk about it and, and, you know, inform and let people journal and, and meditate, and really find that inner beauty that, that they have in there that might just be buried, might just be shrouded by external forces.

[00:52:52] hersh: One of the, one of the things that I think is, is missing in the DEI equation, where people are talking about inclusion is that they're still breaking it down into groups. 

[00:53:04] Jennifer Norman: Yes. 

[00:53:04] hersh: You know, we're including this group, we're including that group. But what they're failing to, to do is include every individual and say, well, it doesn't, it doesn't matter what color they are or what culture they come from or what their, their various ability.

[00:53:23] Or what their, what their pronouns are. It's it's so far beyond that the real inclusion comes when they say, oh, I accept you as you mm-hmm whatever you are. Mm-hmm the fact that you can check off 15 boxes, doesn't include a person. It, it helps with rights. It helps with treatment, fairness, whatever, but it's, to me it's missing the, the big point, which is that no two people are alike.

[00:53:53] That's what makes us human beings. Yeah. That's what we have that we can do. We can express our individuality each of us. So that, that seems to me to be, that's why I like the, the human beauty movement to me, just, just simple as that is it really conveys that there's a. Human element to all of this mm-hmm that is not about ideals.

[00:54:20] Yeah. It's not about an ideal. 

[00:54:22] Jennifer Norman: Yeah. And the reason why I called it, the human beauty movement is because beauty to me is not reserved to women. And to me it's like, if, if you are human, then you know, no matter what gender you are, what race, what age, what ability, what you know, who you love and like, Stuff doesn't matter so much as you mattering.

[00:54:44] And so, like, I, I often tell people, like, I, I know to your points about inclusion, then there's all these women's groups that are like women's rights and, and all of that. And I, and I get that and I see where it comes from. But to me that isn't inclusive, that's actually fighting against masculinity. And to me, I don't wanna fight anymore.

[00:55:03] I feel like fighting is not as beneficial or as productive as cheering for something. And so I wanna cheer for humanity. I wanna work for us all coming together. I wanna work for inclusivity. I don't wanna fight against misogyny or fight against the, you know, masculine paradigm. I, I think that we, you know, I'd rather be like, you know, the river that, that flows and let's like flow into something new and inclusive and beautiful that includes all of humanity 

[00:55:32] when we were kids and we would do color war. There was the, the way that, the best way that it. Was that it was about who cheered the loudest for themselves, not shouting down the other team I just remember, you know, that game was supposed to show was pride in a team, in teamwork, in a unified purpose. And our purpose can certainly be unified even with us all being right happy.

[00:56:04] Individual and doing our, doing our own thing. 

[00:56:07] Yeah. And to that point about like game, I, I think that the mindset approach of life is a game and this is all for fun is very, very helpful. I mean, it helps to take the sting out of a lot of stuff, especially things that have just happened over the past week.

[00:56:23] For sure. It's just like, yeah. You know, and, and that's where you can laugh at it and be like, okay. And, and, and find the humor in it and, and, you know, move on. Still not let it impact your, you know, your ability to, to feel joy and to have that kind of, you know, happiness that you know, is, is real and true.

[00:56:42] So yeah, I definitely, you know, lean into the happiness, lean into the joy and you know, a lot of it, you know, we've been, we've been told a lot and it's gotten into our subconsciousness. A lot of people bring up a lot of things that have happened in the past. I talk about my past only to inform my future.

[00:56:58] It's not like I feel a lot of emotion tied to it. But a lot of people do, a lot of people still carry the baggage and the weight of all of the things that have happened before them, you know, ancestrally or in society. Particularly people of color, people that, you know, the are African American communities and, you know, there's, there's, there's a lot of hurt and there's still a lot of healing that.

[00:57:22] that is not going to be easy unless we learn to forgive and let go and, and realize that's, you know, if we continue to like point fingers at the past and, and you know, it's going to slow our movement towards a better future, you know, I'm trying to stimulate and encourage people to continue like living for the now and for the future, rather than like being shackled to the past, because that doesn't define them any longer.

[00:57:50] Like every day is a fresh start. 

[00:57:52] hersh: That's a great point cause anger is fine. It's it's, it's, you know, we don't wanna, you know, we're tr we're taught not to make people angry and not to be angry. It isn't so much about that. Anger is a release mm-hmm , it's understandable why people would be angry and people who've been treated like shit for generations and had their culture appropriated and their, their land stolen out from under them. And, you know, just treated like second class citizens. And now, you know, half the population treated again as second class citizen it's of course anger is, is a natural response.

[00:58:28] So I don't deny anybody there, their anger, but if they're allowed to be angry and you're allowed to be angry about something, then it can pass, then it can grow into something else. 

[00:58:39] Jennifer Norman: Exactly. And, and you're exactly right, because there does need to, like, you need to release that energy. You need to release that, that anger, the frustration, all of that, that, you know, that's part of the cycle of healing. It's like, okay, let it go. But clear it, if you hold onto it, that's not healing. That's just like reopening up the wound every single time.

[00:59:00] And anything that happens in life can be seen in both ways. And most of the stoics, you know, Marcus Aurelius , all of those fellows and, and, you know, the magnificent people who have been able to withstand all sorts of, you know, calamities and have gotten through it and been stronger on the other side have realized that, you know, people can take their, you know, their own choices to be happy.

[00:59:24] hersh: It's funny. I, I don't always do this, but we have a, we had a list of things to talk about and I'm looking at the list and I wanna make sure that we, that we covered all of them. You've been very generous with your time, but there's so much to talk about. And then dating over, over, over 50 

[00:59:41] Jennifer Norman: oh boy.

[00:59:41] Did you really have a hundred bad dates? 

[00:59:43] I had a hundred bad, probably more at this point, to be honest with you. And I think, yeah, part of it started with like, you know, learning about online dating, and then not knowing that you can say no, like, you know, when you're you didn't know that you could.

[00:59:57] hersh: You could swipe, swipe left right? Or left. 

[01:00:00] You only knew you could swipe one direction

[01:00:02] Jennifer Norman: after the swiping. And this was before I think it was before Bumble. Like if I was on, yeah, like some of the other ones and somebody would hit me up, I would think that it was rude if I didn't get back to them. so I just, oh, and so yeah, there, there were times where I would go on three dates a day and I was like free meals.

[01:00:19] And so at that

[01:00:22] hersh: Well, you were on a tear, I was on, but you were, you know, 

[01:00:28] Jennifer Norman: I was on a tear, but my, my one funny, well, I've got several funny stories, but one that does stick out was I remember I, I went on this date and went over to meet this individual at his apartment. When I went into the apartment. Every surface that you could imagine was covered in cannabis flower.

[01:00:48] It was just everywhere and the whole place, just reaped of, of pot. Like, and I was just like, oh, you know, I, and at that time, I don't even know if I was 420 friendly, but I was like okay. I didn't even know where to sit. It was like all over the couch. And he was just like, well, you know, I didn't really, you know, think of what we would do.

[01:01:07] So maybe we'll just go out to, to eat. And I was like, oh, okay. So takes me to his car, which was like this old beat-up jalopy. I get in and immediately regretted it because in order to start his car, he had to blow through a tube. oh yeah. Yeah. He apparently had a DUI of some sort and needed to prove that every time that he was driving, 

[01:01:29] hersh: he was the one guy who got a, who got a DUI from being too high to drive. people, people drive like they get DUIs from, from, from alcohol. 

[01:01:38] Jennifer Norman: Oh my God. Yeah. And, and I was thinking something, 

[01:01:40] hersh: I suspect he was, he was too high to drive. 

[01:01:44] Jennifer Norman: I, yeah, I, I think it was probably, I think he, he actually had gotten the DUI from alcohol and he, because he was smoking when we, when we first got there and I, I immediately regretted even getting in the car with him, but the car started and I was thinking myself, how am I going to escape like there?

[01:02:00] And so he brings me to this Taqueria, which was if you know anything about like Los Angeles and like some of the areas. 

[01:02:07] hersh: Yeah. I lived in Los Angeles for almost 20 years. 

[01:02:08] Jennifer Norman: Oh boy. Yeah. This, this was not a FA this was not a pleasant first aid experience. And so I, I faked a phone call. I, I faked having to like, take an emergency call and I was like, oh my gosh, my, my son's nurse is, he needs me right now.

[01:02:22] I, I have to get home. And so I totally, made up a story to get out of there as fast as I could. But yeah, it never a dull moment. I think that there are, I just find a lot of guys don't have their shit together. You know, they really don't. 

[01:02:38] hersh: No. Really is that true? I guys don't have the 

[01:02:42] Jennifer Norman: out of a hundred that I or so that I, there might have been, like, I could probably count them on my hand, the ones that I would say, okay, you've got your shit together.

[01:02:52] But then there was, you know, I've just resigned myself to say like, you know, I really like my independence right now and there I've got a full, full life and so whatever happens happens, but yeah. 

[01:03:04] hersh: but, but that, that box was not left unchecked. It's not like you were gonna go through your life wondering what would've happened had you embraced online dating. Oh my gosh. But been a little more and been a little more loose in your standards. Yeah. You know, now, you know, yeah. Now, now you don't have to worry that you missed out. You know, a bunch of wonderful. 

[01:03:25] Jennifer Norman: I certainly did not. I certainly did not. And every time that I'm tempted to go back on, like I actually did, you know, I was like, oh, I'll just see if anything has changed.

[01:03:33] And I did that then in September. And I was like, Nope, everything is still the same. it's still the same. Still the same. 

[01:03:40] hersh: As soon as you see cannabis leaves on a healthy table, you're like, no nothing's changed. Nothing's changed. They probably have a, a like a pronoun or descriptor for breathalyzer in car.

[01:03:54] Like, it's like, there's so many, there's a category for everything. So if you have, if it says BIC next to their profile, that means breathalyzer in car. You have to be a little more careful. 

[01:04:04] Jennifer Norman: That's right. 

[01:04:05] hersh: Well, Jen, Jen Norman, it has been such a pleasure speaking with you. and I thank you for coming on and for your time and for just sharing your perspective and your story and your positivity, because that is exactly what people need. That is what we need these days. It's there, isn't a way to ignore what we're going through. Mm-hmm but there's a way to kind of plow through it. Mm-hmm and motor through it with a good attitude. So thank you so much for coming on. 

[01:04:38] Jennifer Norman: Hersh. It was a pleasure. Thanks so much for having me on you.

[01:04:40] Have a great one.