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Let’s Dish Together In The Confessional

An illustration of several people, each one passing some juicy gossip on to the next one.
Illustration by Tara Jacoby

One of my favorite jokes to make with people who have also escaped the evangelical church is to ask very lightly, “Well, what is a prayer circle if not a gossip meeting?” They always laugh, so it’s a keeper. But it’s a good joke because you can also watch it dawn on them: the reality that it was gossip, that telling people to pray for others is a way of also telling their business, that the best intentions don’t absolve loose lips.

But it wasn’t until this week that I realized a whole genre of religious gossips I’ve been forgetting: priests! Being a priest, I have learned after recording this week’s episode, is a top-tier way to have all the gossip. You get to sit inside a little booth and people literally come in and tell you their drama! I want a gossip booth!

Joining me for this week’s episode is Emma Choi! Emma is a current student at Harvard, a former Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me intern and the host of NPR’s Everyone & Their Mom.

I talked to Emma about her relationship with gossip, why Gen Z doesn’t really use the term “gossip” anymore, and how living close to your friends means you never have to text your drama. Then we hurried into a story about two high-school sweethearts who maybe are a bad match, and the chaos that can come with rich divorced parents.

You can subscribe to Normal Gossip on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever else you listen! You can follow Normal Gossip on Instagram here.

(The transcript for this week’s episode can be found here.)

And if you do have some good goss that you want us to hear, the email for that is normalgossip@defector.com, or phone it in to 2-6-7-9-GOSSIP.

We are getting close to the end of the season and are now accepting gossip for our extra-special listener gossip episode! We are looking for your stories from niche groups in your life (think intramural leagues, your roller derby team, the bake sale organizing committee, anything you think is a small and important culture). When you call or email, make sure to indicate that they are for the bonus episode!