Hitched ISH: Marriage, Yay or Nay?

Hitched ISH: Marriage, Yay or Nay? (Artwork created by Nimah Gobir)

Adult ISH co-hosts Merk Nguyen and Nyge Turner are saying "I do" to marriage! Their guests on the other hand, including Fran from The Friend Zone, are more leaning toward "ditch getting hitched." Merk and Nyge's significant others also make an appearance to compete in the "Not So Newlywed Game" that includes nose picking and jambalaya farts?!

Scroll to the bottom for the full transcript of the episode.

A Debate About Marriage

Two people hold out their hands with their pinkies up. Each of their pinkies is wound in red string that is tied in a small bow in the center of the picture. This "pinky promise" represents the commitment that comes with marriage, the topic of discussion for this segment.
"Hey government, we want to sign up with you to be in a relationship with each other."
(Photo: Yagi Studio/Getty Images)

When it comes to tying the knot, are you a yay, nay or IDK? Francheska Medina (aka Fran on The Friend Zone) is somewhere in the middle. YR Media's arts journalist Sam Gebru calls Nyge out for already dressing like a married man. Merk's former boss, Jenny Asarnow, says it's basically a thrupple!

Not Yet Newlywed Game

Merk and her boyfriend Samuel smile for a selfie with Merk's parent's wedding picture in the background.
Will Merk and Samuel win? Or will Nyge and Brandi take the victory?
(Photo courtesy of Merk Nguyen)

Nyge and his girlfriend compete with Merk and her boyfriend to see who knows their partner the best! Based on "The Newlywed Game" from the '60s, the couples answer revealing questions about each other. The winners get a steak dinner (courtesy of the losing team).

Episode Transcript

Nyge: Yo Merk… 

Merk: What’s up?

Nyge: If one of your friends has you in their wedding party as a bridesmaid or groomsman, does that mean that you have to have them in yours? 

Merk: If you both are really good friends, if you’ve been homies for 24 years, and now you’re not going to do that? That’s pretty shady. 

Nyge: So I’m an a-hole if I don’t have him in my wedding?

Merk: Wait, why are you even asking that?

Nyge: Alright, so I got a late night call. I wasn’t expecting it. It was like, “Bro, it’s that call.” And I was like, “That call?” He had just got engaged and I was like, “Ohh, that call!” And it kind of threw me for a loop because I didn’t expect him to have me in his. So I was like, man, does that mean I have to go revisit my list? 

Merk: Why not? Are you guys not cool like that? Do you not see him at that level? 

Nyge: Nah, we’re super cool! I’ve kinda already had my list since I was like, 16 or 17.

Merk: So he’s not getting bottle service?

Nyge: He’s getting bottle service. He’s in there with the bottle service squad! But for the wedding lineup, I had a set list and then he just hit me with a curve ball. Now I’m like, "Dang, do I gotta swap somebody out?" 

Merk: So what you're actually doing is seeking validation from me to say “Yes, it’s fine if you don’t have him as part of your wedding party.” (laughs) You’re good, Nyge. You know what? The day is all about you anyway, so who cares what anybody else thinks? It’s your day!

Nyge: Well, thank you for that amazing advice. (laughs) Anyways, welcome to Adult ISH, a show produced by YR Media, where me and Merk crash weddings and don’t invite people to ours! It's ya boy, Nyge.

Merk: And it’s your girl, Merk. And all that marriage talk brings us to the topic of our Hitched ISH episode! 

Nyge: At this grand age of 24 that I’m at now,  it feels like a lot of my friends are starting to get married or get like serious serious in their relationships. It’s like a divide that’s low-key going on where it’s like the long-term relationship people and the people who are like, “Ehh, I’m good on all that.” (laughs) It just feels like that clock is kinda ticking for both people like, “Ay, pick a side, bro.”

Merk: Yeah. I think you and I discussed that we are on the same side. We are, “Let’s get hitched.” Not together, because you’re my brother. Eww.

Nyge: (laughs) It didn’t even go that way! Anyway, whatever, it’s a huge decision. But, just like any other huge decision, we gotta talk it out with the squad.

Merk: Yes. So with the squad, that includes Fran from The Friend Zone podcast, we’re gonna talk about whether we should ditch getting hitched, Jumbotron proposals, new ideas for reality TV shows and how our childhoods kinda messed up how we see marriage.

Nyge: Ehh, not me. (laughs) Later in the show, Merk and I are bringing on our significant others to reveal some of our most private stories in our Not Yet Newlywed Game…

[Teaser Audio] 

Brandi: I just have to say, I was holding that fart for 5 hours!

Nyge: Oh yes she did! I really appreciate that diligent effort and I love her for that and so much more … that y'all are gonna find out soon.

Merk: (Laughs) Before we get into all that gross lovey dovey stuff that Nyge is talking about, let's get into our first segment!

Nyge: Lit.

[Episode Break]

Merk: So everyone, my friends and I used to play a game called MASH and it was the game to play back in the day that would determine your future. You ever play it, Nyge? 

Nyge: Yes, I’m a recreational MASHer. 

Merk: I MASHed it up back in the day. How we did at Beverly Elementary was we would have categories like: people to marry, how many kids you'd have, what car you'd drive... 

Nyge: Yeah. We would do it back when I was in school, but we had like a designated person. It was this girl and she would just do the MASHes for everybody. Like everybody would come up to her like, "Yo, so how's my life gonna pan out?" And then she would do the MASH. 

Sam: Like she was a psychic?

Nyge: Exactly, she would do the MASH thing that would show you how it would go. But did any of those things work out for you, Merk?

Merk: I’m not married to my third grade crush last time I checked. But it's okay because I've still got time! And I know that's true because the other day I read that people aged 18 to 35 are getting married later in life anyway, so ... I'm good. 

Nyge: I don't know about that. But you still want to get married though, right? 

Merk: Duh.

Nyge: I do too. We also know that not everyone feels the same way and isn’t all about that marriage life. So, to lay out different feelings on millennials across the board and how they feel about marriage, we've got guests from opposite sides of the country and opposite sides of how they feel about getting hitched. I'm going to introduce everyone, and after your introduction, I want you to say yay, nay or IDK -- for the sake of rhyming -- on marriage. From Seattle, Washington, we have Jenny Asarnow. They are a freelance podcast consultant who was also, fun fact, Merk's first editor ever. Jenny, How are you doing? And how do you feel about putting a ring on it?

Jenny: I'm doing pretty good. We have a sunny day here today, which is novel. And I think the reason I'm here is that I feel ambivalent about putting a ring on it or having a ring be put on it. 

Merk: So IDK?

Jenny: IDK.

Nyge: And here with me in Oakland, California, we have Sam Gebru, an arts and culture journalist and a music manager here at YR Media. What’s poppin’ Sam and how do you feel about jumping the old broom? 

Sam: I'm on the fence slash no. You know, marriage is a huge commitment and I'm a guy. We have commitment issues. So, that's how I generally feel about that. 

Merk: All right. And last but not least, all the way from New York, we have co-host of The Friend Zone podcast, Francheska, aka Fran. How's it going and what are your thoughts on the old ball and chain?

Fran: It's going good. I'm going to say IDK. But it's, you know, it can go towards nay or yay. I think based on who I meet that makes me feel inspired to pick. 

Merk: So let's start off this conversation in a big way. You know, those big grand proposals that happen at Disney World or baseball games? What's your take on big gestures like that and how does that tie into your view of marriage? 

Sam: Well, I guess I'll start. I'm anti-big grand proposals. I don't know if I'd even do it in front of family. That's something I'd probably do with just me and my partner. You know, grand proposals? That's way too much attention. It's like, if I don't get the green light or we haven't had this conversation prior, I'm not going to just get no'd on the Jumbotron. That's gonna be a viral moment forever. 

Merk: Fran, what about you?

Fran: Honestly, I think it would depend because I've definitely been in relationships where we would probably do that just to joke, because we know we hate it, and it would just be funny as hell. 

Sam: I can get behind that, I’m not gonna lie. 

Fran: If it was someone … you know, there are people that put a lot of energy into how the relationship is perceived from the outside. So, if they're doing grand gestures, but then one-on-one, things aren't really feeling as grand, then I might have a problem with it. 

Merk: Jenny?

Jenny: For myself, I'd say no, just because it's not really my style. I'm more of a private person. For other people, they should do what they want to do. I feel like I can enjoy watching those videos as much as anyone else. They're entertaining. 

Merk: I think I'd low-key like it. Actually, I'd high-key like it. I'm that person who would probably, if I won as a contestant on a game show, I'd be like "Yeeaaah!" So, yeah. Get down on that knee on the jumbo screen. Let's do it. 

Nyge: Oh man, hint hint… 

Merk: So, Jenny and Fran, you've probably seen more weddings over the years than Nyge and I have because you've got more friends and peers who've gotten married — or nah, since you're both a little older than us. Do you think age plays a role in how you both view marriage? 

Fran: No. What plays a role, or what's affecting the lens through which I'm viewing it, is that I have not seen a successful marriage. That's from youth, my family, I haven't seen it. My friends ... no shade, I love all of you but I haven't seen it. I'm not saying that I'm expecting people to be rainbows and butterflies. I understand two worlds meshing is always going to be challenging. But, I think what happens is that people are so stressed out about the timeframe, like the chronological order of things, as opposed to being like, "Do you really inspire me to want to mesh lives with you?" And I think that's what has made me hesitant because of how society ... especially the women that I grew up around. They already had their dresses picked and the color scheme of the bridesmaids before the man even came in the picture. So, it became a thing of who is there during the timeframe of when I'm ready to be married as opposed to meeting someone and being like, "Hey, you make me feel this way." 

Nyge: Is the way you felt about marriage as a kid, the same way that you view it today? 

Fran: I have to say, for a long time I had a hard no, or nay. My excuse was always like, "Well, if I haven't seen it, then it doesn't exist." But I also have to take into account my career. I had to be real with myself and where my resistance was really coming from. I have to also admit that it makes me hesitant because we're living a lot longer. You know what I mean? Stuff is different, so I do wonder. But I also learned to not limit myself with that lens either because life has been completely unexpected creatively, so I can't think that it's not going to be that way romantically. 

Sam: That was a bar.

Merk: Jenny, how have your experiences growing up also shaped what you think?

Jenny: I never had that marriage fantasy, but I would say ... Maybe I have a deeper understanding, or a different understanding, of why I feel that way compared to 20 years ago when I was first starting to date because I'm in my late 30s. But as I've gotten older and gotten to know myself in different ways, I think what I've realized is probably a lot of that, even though I was feeling [it] at that time but didn't necessarily understand at the time, was around gender. I think getting married is a lot about ... almost like succeeding at binary gender. Like being the pinnacle of these societal ideas about gender. And then finding that other person who's also succeeding at those ideals. Being someone who's queer and non-binary, I think that helped me understand that's why I really would feel so boxed in by those norms around marriage. 

Merk: That's interesting to me because I'm someone who's super excited to get married. I've always looked forward to it. I’ve got my dress planned out in my head. But I also am feeling kind of boxed in in some ways. But it's more of because of my race and my religion. I'm Catholic and I'm also Vietnamese American. With Catholicism, you have to get married in the Catholic Church. But also with Vietnamese weddings, I think they're more about the parents and the family more than it is about you and the person.

Sam: Yeah, I kind of feel the same way. First-generation Ethiopian American, and so I grew up going to like a bunch of Ethiopian or Eritrean weddings. They were all like this huge ... it was almost a festival. There's like a thousand, fifteen-hundred people at a wedding. And I'm just like, "Holy snap! How much y'all pay for this?!" 

Everyone: (laughs) 

Fran: A festival?

Sam: Yeah, it's huge! It's a concert. It's like, “How do you find space for this?” 

Fran: Marriagella. 

Everyone: (laughs)

Sam: Yeah, it's Marriagella. But it's ... you usually see all the parents super gung-ho about this event. It almost takes over or supersedes the act of marriage between the couple. My mom is like the most popular person in the Ethiopian community. It's so crazy. Her Rolodex is nuts. It's going to be insane. And so I'm just like, "Yo, mom. Let's save a couple of thousand dollars and just do this in Cuba or something." She's gonna be super mad. You know, I'm her middle child and she loves me so much that she kind of has to listen to what I say or it's like I'm not getting married. 

Merk: Well, on the note of money and marriage ... Fran, you've said in the past that you don't have any interest in getting married, partially because there was no benefit. Just from what I've looked into, I see that you can have stuff like a lower tax rate when filing together and coming home to your best friend if you've had a rough day. But just digging a little more ... Why do you feel the way that you do?

Fran: Well, for me, the benefit was more so emotional, the mental bandwidth — even in the most progressive relationships I've seen where the groom is like, "Yeah, I don't need you to be traditional and I don't expect you to be barefoot in the kitchen" -- somehow the bride is the one that carries the most of the weight of the household, even in a progressive relationship. And I've seen that when the kids come in the picture, I have not seen the dads being 50/50. Even physically when you're giving birth. I obviously am speaking from what I've experienced, where the women have felt kind of boxed in, like all of you were saying. Where you have this role that you're expected to play and you're supposed to play it at the highest capacity at the costs of your mental health. And that to me has been the biggest struggle I've had with that structure. 

Nyge: Do you think any relationship is really 50/50 though? When I was younger, that was something my dad had talked to me about like early. He was like, "No relationship you get in is ever gonna be 50/50. Because some days you're gonna be 80. Some days you gonna be 20 or whatever.”

Fran: But that’s fine.

Nyge: It’s all about finding that balance and getting it together. I don’t know. Call me a hopeless romantic… 

Fran: I think that’s okay. I think that's fine. If I know that on the days I only have 20 you're going to come with your 80, I'm cool with that. But if it's always me with the 80... 

Sam: That’s unfair.

Fran: That's where it kind of makes me hesitant. But like I said, I also have faith. I'm a hopeless romantic secretly. I'm sure we’d all feel that way if we found someone that's just like, "Nah, we're gonna do it our way and figure it out."

Sam: Growing up, my mom did most of everything and my dad was just there to be like moral support. So it's like balance… 

Fran: At least he was moral support. 

Sam: I mean, yeah, he tried. Like he's no longer in the picture also, so ... you know, shoutout to pops. But my mom carried most of the weight and that kind of defined a lot of my view of just relationships and how that balance is definitely key because if it's not there, the whole thing could be in shambles 24/7. I don't want that. 

Merk: Wait, Sam. If you did get married, what would you do differently than what your parents did? 

Sam: Hard-hitting journalism questions that need answers.

Merk: That’s what we’re here for.

Sam: My dad, he was like a great father up until the time he left. And I think the one thing that kinda ... Is the phrase "that broke the straw on the camel's back?" Is that what it is? [Well] he didn't really communicate his ventures and what he was doing when he went back home and kind of left my mom. And “back home” meaning to Ethiopia. And so we would only talk to him like via phone cards in the early 2000s when dial-up was still a thing. You guys don't remember dial-up because you guys are zoomers. But yeah, I'd probably be super communicative and open within the feelings that I'm currently sharing. Kind of check in with my partner constantly. I think that's one thing my dad didn’t do. 

Nyge: Communication is everything, especially in a marriage.

Merk: Because Nyge knows.

Nyge: I’ve been married for “years.”

Sam: He’s been married for like a “decade.”

Nyge: I look like I’ve been married for years, I’m in like a whole… 

Sam: Definitely the fit you’re wearing now, you definitely look like you’re married. 

Nyge: My sweater is like major marriage vibes.

Sam: Yeah, he’s wearing like an olive sweater y’all.

Nyge: Alright, we got a listener question. This is from Melissa, who is 24 and from Seattle. 

Melissa: My question is, "Is there a difference between being with somebody for so long and already considered that you're married versus actually getting married to them? Is a marriage just a piece of paper?" I've been in a relationship for about six years now, and I've always wondered, is there really a difference? Because I feel like we're already married. 

Jenny: I can answer this if you want. So I've been with my partner for six years also … And we both see each other like being partners indefinitely. We're each other's like, person. So to me, it's not like my ambivalence about marriage is about a commitment to a person. It is more about the institution of marriage itself. When you get married, you're basically getting into a relationship with the government about your relationship. Like you're saying, "Hey government! We want to, like, sign up with you to be in a relationship with each other." 

Fran: It turns into a thrupple. 

Jenny: Yeah, that’s creepy. I mean, there's definitely benefits you get from that. I think there's things about that that are also really unfair. Like, why is it that kind of relationship that gets those benefits? You know, there's plenty of people who might raise kids, like with their sibling or like with a close friend or as a single parent or, like, any number of other ways that married people might do, but they don't get those benefits. Yeah, I don't know. I'm not dying to be in that thrupple. 

Sam: Thrupple. Great word!

Merk: So now that we've had this conversation, I wanted to know ... what, at this point, would change your stance on getting hitched or not? Is it a done deal or will that perfect person or tax break do it for you? 

Sam: Not gonna lie, I kind of like tax breaks. I mean, more money is always fun because I'm still going to be poor from the money I make. I'm first-generation and, you know, I'm always sending money elsewhere. It's never in my pocket. So I might just sign the dotted line. 

Merk: Jenny?

Jenny: If there is a financial reason, like a health insurance thing ... If one of us had really great health insurance and the other one needed it and the only way to get it was to get married, I'm sure we would do it. 

Fran: If there's anything I've learned in my 37 years of life, it’s to leave room to change my mind. Always. So, that’s my answer.

Sam: Facts. Shoutout to Fran.

Nyge: Merk?

Merk: I think it's a done deal. I still have so many questions about it, but I have always looked forward to it. And... (squeals) It's just so exciting to think about! So I'm a yes. Getting hitched. One day. 

Sam: On a Jumbotron. Kiss cam!

Everyone: (laughs)

Merk: Nyge?

Nyge: Oh yeah, for sure. Signed, sealed, delivered. All y’all livestream my wedding.

Sam: Brand partnerships for the wedding! He’s for sure a zoomer, guys.

[Music Break] 

Merk: Y’all can keep up with Jenny on Twitter @Phonojenny. Follow Sam @samoragebru on IG. Say what’s up to Fran on all her socials @HeyFranHey and check out her show “The Friend Zone” anywhere you listen to podcasts!

[Episode Break] 

Nyge: All right, so I'm going to start off this next part of this show with a short story. There was this game my parents played at this anniversary party one time and the question that they asked my dad started one of the first biggest fights in my mom and dad's marriage ever. So, the question that came up ... Have I ever told you this question, Brandi? 

Brandi: Uh uh. 

Nyge: Well you about to hear it right now, so … They asked my dad if the ground opened up by, like, some crazy earthquake, and his mom and his wife both fell in and he could only save one, who would he save? Mind you, my grandma, my dad’s mom, was there too listening to this. And so my dad was like, "Uhh, I'd save my mom." Nobody really tripped off of that. But he gave an explanation and dug himself a deeper hole. He was like, "Well, I mean, I can't get another mom."

Everyone: (gasps and laughs)

Nyge: And so that inspired this thing that we're about to do right now! We're going to play a little game, everybody. 

Merk: And hopefully this game doesn't involve big holes or big fights? For those who don't know, Nyge and I are both dating people who we've been with for the past three years. And what I’ve realized is that even with three years, there are still things I don't know about Samuel [my partner]. 

Nyge: So, welcome everyone to the Not Yet Newlywed Game, inspired by a TV show in the '60s where newly married couples would answer questions about each other. And right now, we got some very, very special guests with us today. Merk, let him know who's in here. 

Merk: First, from Berkeley, California, with beautiful red hair and a laugh that'll warm your heart ... We've got Brandi Carter. Hey Miss Carter! Aka Nyge’s girlfriend. Hi, Brandi. 

Brandi: Hey Merk! How are you?

Merk: I'm good! A quick question for everyone to get to know you better ... Which Disney princess or villain do you most identify with? 

Brandi: I would have to say, Mulan. And the reason why is because growing up [she] was my favorite princess, even though she's technically not a princess. She saved all of China AND she saved her man. 

Nyge: And she be saving me! (laughs) In Seattle, joined by his girlfriend Merk for this special occasion ... a young gentleman who apparently has beautiful brown skin, because I've never seen it in person, and always leaves me on read, it's Samuel Escudero! What's up, Samuel? 

Samuel: That’s not true! I don’t always leave you on read. It was just that one time!

Nyge: That's actually my question right now, Samuel. Why do you always leave me on read? 

Samuel: Well, if we fact check that, we can see that I only left you on read the first time you've tried to contact me on Twitter. After that, I messaged you back man. (laughs)

Nyge: (laughs) You definitely did. I'm messin’ with you. But everyone, here's what we're gonna do. We got a list of three questions that each of us have answered for ourselves, and it's our partners job to hopefully guess what we said. You get one point for your team if your answers match. 

Merk: So if you get the answer right, you'll hear this sound from my phone. 

(magical sound)

Merk: Pretty, right? I wasn't sure which one we should do for the incorrect answer but I really liked this...

(fart sound)

Merk: And then there was also this one.

(woman screaming)

Nyge: Let’s go with the fart.

(repeated fart sounds)

Brandi: The other one was very haunting. 

Merk: Fart it is! Obviously, Nyge and Brandi are on a team. And your team name is...

Nyge: I don’t know, what do you want to be?

Brandi: The Mixies!

Nyge: The Mixies. We going with The Mixies.

Merk: Samuel and I will be on a team and our team name is... 

Samuel: The Superiors.

Merk: Like soup? Souperiors. I love soup!

Samuel: Yeah, The Souperiors.

Merk: The other teams already have our answers to fact check to show y’all we’re not cheaters! So [Samuel and I] got Brandi’s and Nyge’s responses. Having said that, Sam and Brandi, y’all have any questions before we get into this?

Samuel: I have a question. Are you, Brandi and Nyge, ready to lose?

Brandi: That was going to be my question. I’m so mad!

Merk: Beat you to it!

Nyge: But wait, hold up. We got to figure out what the other person has to do. Like, what's the prize?

Samuel: Oh, I know… 

Brandi: Dinner on the other couple.

Nyge: I like that.

Merk: What were you gonna say?

Samuel: I was gonna say the winners could marry each other, and the losers could … not! (laughs)

Nyge: Let’s go with dinner!

Merk: (laughs) I think dinner sounds a little more… 

Nyge: The stakes were definitely higher with the other one. But, I think we’ll go with dinner. Everybody feeling the dinner?

Merk: I’m feeling the dinner. 

Nyge: Well, Samuel, why don’t you start it off?

Samuel: Alright, first question. Brandi, what is the most disgusting thing you think Nyge has done or does? 

Brandi: This is disgusting to me. And you don't think it's disgusting. But when we're talking on the phone, I always say, "Call me back or mute yourself." But you like to just use the bathroom and not hang up. Not mute yourself. Anything. And I'm like, “I don't want to hear all that. I don't need to hear what's going on … the process!” 

Nyge: It makes me feel safe… 

Brandi: No! So that's the most disgusting thing I would have to say that he does.

Nyge: Yo!

Merk: And Nyge’s answer?

Nyge: That’s it. (laughs)

(magical sound)

Brandi: We’re in sync!

Merk: Looks like y’all have one.

Samuel: Good job.

Nyge: Now Brandi, your question.

Brandi: So Samuel, what's the most disgusting thing that you think Merk does all the time or has ever done?

Samuel: Well, there’s a few things that came to my mind when I was first asked that, but it wasn't until today when I remembered. It is when Angela hocks a loogie ... she chews it.

Brandi: Oh gosh!

Merk: Hey! First of all ... I am Merk at work, boy! Second of all, I haven’t done that for… 

Samuel: The question is, has done or does.

Merk: Well, the truth behind that answer is… no. 

Samuel: No!

(fart sound)

Merk: The thing is, I thought the most disgusting thing I do is sniff my toe gunk. 

Brandi: We got appetizers, babe!

Nyge: Right, we doing good!

Merk: Whatever, okay. Nyge, what’s the most disgusting thing you think Brandi has ever done or does? 

Nyge: So this one time…

Brandi: I don’t appreciate this… 

Everyone: (laughs)

Nyge: You already know what I'm gonna say! Well, Brandi does not do a lot of disgusting things at all. And that's why this caught me so off guard. So, we were coming back from Disneyland and were in the car with a bunch of people. We were sitting in the back seat. It was a long drive from L.A. to the Bay Area. When we got back to the Bay, Brandi got up to get out of the van ahead of me. And I'm leaning up, with my mouth open, to like ... get out of the van. Then she just farts. Right in my face. Like direct contact with my face. We both had looked at each other and it was just silent. And I had never heard her fart before that, so that was the first fart.

Everyone: (laughs)

Brandi: I just have to say, I was holding that fart for five hours. 

Nyge: It was a marinated fart, in my mouth.

Brandi: When I got up to get out the car, my body just couldn't hold it anymore. I just let it loose, so it was totally out of my control and I'm so sorry. 

Nyge: It’s okay.

Merk: Nyge, do you remember what it tasted like?

Nyge: Jambalaya. 

Brandi: Oh my God!

Nyge: Wait, did I get it right?

Brandi: Yeah, that’s what I said.

(magical sound)

Merk: You got it right.

Nyge: Okay, cool. We in there! Merk, what’s the most disgusting thing you think Samuel has done or does?

Merk: This thing that he does with his nose. He like ... clacks it. Can you do it?

Samuel: Yeah, hold up.

(nose clacking)

Brandi: I heard it!

Merk: Ugh! He does that on my face sometimes and it just makes me so uncomfortable! By definition, it is disgusting to me. 

Nyge: So Samuel said … you want me to say what you said?

Samuel: I can say it. Pretty close. It was picking my nose though. 

Merk: Picking your nose? You know I’m fine with that!

Brandi: Haha, no…

Nyge: That doesn’t count? Brandi said that doesn’t count. Fart! Hold up.

(advertisement plays from phone)

Nyge: Oh, that is a commercial! 

Merk: Dang it!

(fart sound)

Nyge: Alright, back to Samuel.

Samuel: What is an … what is an adect-...?

Merk: (laughs) Can you read?

Everyone: (laughs)

Nyge: An adjective. 

Samuel: What is an adjective Nyge would use to describe his family? 

Brandi: I think he would say dramatic. 

Nyge: Ahhhh! They are dramatic but…

Brandi: The reason why I said that, is because it's never like a dull moment with your family. There's this juicy gossip always happening. 

Nyge: Alright chill chill chill. Mom! Dad! I don’t tell Brandi our family gossip.

Brandi: Oh yeah, not at all… 

Merk: So it sounds to me like the answer is… 

(fart sound)

Nyge: I said it’s big. Like, it’s huge.

Brandi: Oh, you do say that.

Nyge: Yeah, I have a lot of family. I just went with that. What you mean dramatic? Nah I'm playing!

Brandi: Your words, not mine.

Merk: That's an example of how it's dramatic. Questions like that. 

Nyge: Right? (laughs) Alright, Brandi?

Brandi: Okay. So Samuel, what’s an objective Merk would use… 

Nyge: A what?

Everyone: (laughs)

Brandi: What? What I say?

Nyge: An adJECTive?

Merk: I think you said objective!

Nyge: You said, “What’s an adJECtive… “ One more time!

Brandi: To be fair, I’ve been up since six this morning.

Nyge: You have!

Brandi: What’s an ADjective Merk would use to describe her family?

Samuel: I would … Wait, what did I say?

Merk: Stick with what you wrote!

Samuel: I know! I would say energetic.

Merk: Really? 

Samuel: I would say energetic just because there's always something going on at your house. You know, your sister has three pets, which is crazy. Your brother has a dog.

Merk: Very hyper dog.

Samuel: Very, very hyper dog. And your parents are always out doing parties and fundraisers and stuff like that. The parties you guys host at your home, is pretty energetic. 

Merk: The karaoke system. 

Nyge: What did she say, Brandi?

Brandi: She said dramatic because “there's always something going on with her folks.” So he had the same reasoning, but he didn’t use the right … Ugh...

(magical sound)

Samuel & Merk: (gasp)

Brandi: Are we tied?

Samuel: We got it!

Merk: Was that a yes? Yay!

Nyge: (groans)

Brandi: Are we tied? 

(magical sound)

Samuel: You can’t take it back!

Brandi: Who’s keeping score?

Nyge: Are we tied?

Merk: I’m keeping score. I’ll reveal at the end.

Nyge: Oh my gosh.

Merk: Keep it dramatic.

Nyge: Keep it dramatic.

Everyone: (laughs)

Merk: Team Mixies! Nyge, what’s an adjective Brandi would use to describe her family? 

Nyge: I would say close, they’re really close-knit.

(magical sound)

Nyge: Oh shoot, for real?

Brandi: Yeah!

Nyge: Mmm, back to Nyge! Alright, Samuel, what is an adjective… Oh! Merk! What is an adjective Samuel would use to describe his family?

Merk: It’s a complete 180 from my family, so I said calm or a synonym of calm.

Nyge: He said quiet.

Merk: Yeah, it's like calm. Calm and quiet. Not loud like my family.

Nyge: Alright… 

(magical sound)

Nyge: I’ll give it to you. Brandi don’t want me to give it to you.

Brandi: You see my face!

Samuel: Calm is the second word I would've used. Alright, next question. Brandi, what physical object have you given Nyge that he holds closest to his heart?

Brandi: I think it's the letters and poems that I've written to him throughout the three years.

Merk & Samuel: Awww.

Nyge: Ahhhh, I didn’t say that… 

Merk & Samuel: (gasp) Oh!

(fart sound)

Brandi: Wow! 

Merk & Samuel: (laughs)

Nyge: I said our distance bracelet ‘cause, like, I wear it everyday. So I thought you'd say our… 

Merk: Ooh. Fight! Fight! Fight!

Nyge: Playing the game with my brain and not my heart. 

Merk & Samuel: (laughs)

Nyge: Go ahead, give us the fart. 

(fart sound)

Merk: If I could give you a slow fart, I would. But that app doesn’t allow for that. 

Brandi: (laughs) Okay Samuel, what's a physical object you have given Merk that she holds closest to her heart?

Samuel: When she was a kid, she told me that, at whatever store she was at, there was this candle and it smelled really good to her and she's always loved that scent. When she got older, she never had that candle. So I don't know what occasion it was, but I got her a white pomegranate candle. Yeah, that's my answer. 

Brandi: He got it exactly!

Nyge: (groans) Oh my gosh… 

Brandi: To the T!

(magical sound)

Samuel: Yes! Let’s go!

Nyge: Ugh, what’s the score?

Merk: It’s actually tied right now. 

Brandi: How is it tied?

Nyge: Right? It’s okay, we tied!

Merk: Nyge, what physical object have you given Brandi that she holds closest to her heart?

Nyge: So I’m not going to go with the distance bracelet. (laughs) That didn’t go well. It’s like three. I got her this bear called Little Nygel. So, it's either Little Nygel or it's the feather bracelet.

Merk: Gotta pick one. 

Nyge: She sleeps with Little Nygel every night.

Brandi: Ooh, tell my business out to the world! (laughs)

Nyge: She sleeps with a teddy bear! (laughs) She’s supposed to sleep with it. It has my voice. Anyway… 

Merk: Oh, it’s one of those! (laughs)

Nyge: Imma go with Little Nygel, ‘cause he’s actually close to your heart.

(magical sound)

Merk: Good job!

Nyge: Aye, we in here! 

Merk: Was hoping you’d go for the other one, but uh… 

Samuel: (grunts)

Nyge: So, Merk, what physical object have you given Samuel that he holds closest to his heart? 

Merk: It's a literal heart. A painting that I made for him. It was for his 19th birthday. He was working at Domino's at the time. So I did this like very simple, abstract Domino's plus Pusheen because we both love cats. That painting. Is that right?

Nyge: Yeah. “Domino’s cat painting for 19th birthday.”

Merk: Yes! High five!

Samuel: Oh yeah!

(high five smack)

Nyge: Wait, where is the sound?

Merk: I got you. 

(magical sound)

Merk: So with that, we have come to a tie. Which means… 

Nyge: There needs to be a tie breaker! The tie breaker is something that me and Merk came up with, and this is for Brandi and Samuel.

Samuel: Oh boy.

Nyge: This is a rapid fire question, so as soon as it is asked… 

Brandi: Like Family Feud!

Nyge: Yeah! Whoever yells it out first wins. So, what is the name of your significant other's car?

Samuel: Cari!

Nyge: Is that your current car's name? 

Merk: Not my current car. 

Samuel & Brandi: Ooh...

Nyge: And my current car is?

Brandi: (laughs) I didn’t want to say it! I can’t say that on air!

Nyge: (laughs) Go ahead and say it, we’ll bleep it out. 

Brandi: Okay. Ni-... (bleep)

Everyone: (laughs)

Nyge: Ayee! We in here!

Merk: So with that, looks like Team Mixies … where do you guys want to go to dinner?

Nyge: I don’t know, where you feeling?

Merk: Will you pay for them?

Samuel: I will pay for them, yeah. 

Nyge: Where you tryna go?

Brandi: Ruth’s Chris.

Nyge: Ruth’s Chris! One hundred dolla plates! 

Samuel: What?

Merk: Hey, you know what, he only recently got a full-time job. (laughs)

Samuel: I don’t start until next week! (laughs)

Merk: And he hasn’t started yet, so uhh… (cough cough)

Samuel: Hey, can you pay for this? 

Merk: I can pay for this one. 

[Music Break]

Nyge: Well thank you everybody for listening to another episode of Adult ISH that is produced by YR Media, a national network of young artists and journalists creating content for this generation. And thanks so much to young Merk and Samuel for treating me and Brandi to that amazing dinner! It was real!

Merk: (laughs) Thanks goes out to our Senior Producer Davey Kim, engineers Cari Campbell and Galnadgee Joe-Johnson, our Executive Producer Rebecca Martin, Adan Barrera for transcribing our social and web content and all the young people at YR for the music and art for this episode.

Nyge: Be sure to tell your friends, family and all the strangers you meet at the weddings you’re going to this year about the show! We’re at adultishpodcast.com and on all socials @YRadultISH. 

Merk: We’re very proud to be members of Radiotopia by PRX. An independent listener-supported collective of some of the most engaging shows in all of podcasting. Find them at radiotopia.fm.

Nyge: You really pushing that ring onto Samuel!

Merk: Yeah! Because I’m gonna be the one who maybe is gonna propose to him? We’ll see! We’ll do it at the same time!

Nyge: Ooh, a little Giannina style. Allll right. (laughs) Well if you want to see Merk’s eventual engagement photos, you can follow her @ultraraduberfad. I’m on Twitter @nygelt where one day you might see ya boy fitted in a little suit or tux or something like that!

Merk: Mmhmm! 

Nyge: Catch us again on next week’s episode! But for now, bye bye!

Merk: Bye! 

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