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Act Two: Two Can Be as Sad as One

We turn now to one of the loneliest experiences a person can have: marriage. Ira listens to two people trying to break through what’s going wrong in their marriage, an excerpt from a new podcast in which real couples have a real therapy session with a real therapist, Esther Perel.

Act One: Are You There, Ad-Rock? It's Me, Margaret

Sean continues his story about Rookie Magazine's Ask A Grown, and goes through some particularly interesting moments of advice from famous people to regular teen girls. Watch more videos from Ask A Grown. (14 1/2 minutes) Ira's Ask A Grown Video

Prologue

Host Ira Glass interviews author Alain de Botton about why so many of us choose the wrong spouses. Botton is the author of the new novel The Course of Love.

Act Two: The Spy Who Loved Everyone

A group called Improv Everywhere decides that an unknown band, Ghosts of Pasha, playing their first ever tour in New York, ought to think they're a smash hit. So they study the band's music and then crowd the performance, pretending to be hard-core fans.

Act Three: Lonely Hearts Club Band...Of One

Musician David Berkeley has gotten a lot of requests in his life, but none quite like the offer his agent got last year. A fan wanted Berkeley to come to his house and help save his relationship by serenading the troubled couple with a personal concert.

Prologue

Ira talks to Rachel Rosenthal, who spent years trying to figure out who had stolen her identity. She was closing bank account after bank account, getting more and more paranoid, until she realized she knew exactly who the thief was.

Act One: Rachel’s Getting Harried

Ira’s conversation with Rachel Rosenthal continues. She tells the story of why it took her so long to break up with her boyfriend, even after she figured out that he had stolen from her.

Act Four: Break It Down

A short story by Lydia Davis about trying to calculate the cost of a love affair. The story is read by actor Matt Malloy. “Break It Down” by Lydia Davis from BREAK IT DOWN, published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, © 1986 by Lydia Davis.

Act Two: Romancing the Phone

Comedian Aziz Ansari has been touring the country collecting people’s text messages from when they first say hi, and ask each other out. Sociologist Eric Klinenberg wanted to study this raw data of the initial approach a man makes to a woman over text.

Act Two: Sunrise, Sun-Get

Mark Oppenheimer reports on agunah in the Orthodox Jewish community. An agunah is a woman whose husband refuses to give her a divorce – in Hebrew it means "chained wife." If you're an Orthodox Jew, strictly following Jewish law, the only real way to get divorced is if your husband agrees to hand you a piece of paper called a get.

Act Four: Don't Lift the Manhole Cover

More stories of dazzling coincidences: An old boyfriend is conjured in Morocco; a jazz singer seems to rise from the dead, and three boys believe they’ve seen a corpse. Plus stories of errant fathers, lost and found.
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