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The Escalation Clause - Interview with Ted & Eden

Hello Eden and Ted! I am so glad to have you! Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Eden: Hi, my name is Eden Yates, I’m thirty-flirty-and-thriving, and I live in Boston, MA. I like blueberries, baby animals, crashing ocean waves, classic rock, sun salutations, and his motorcycle. Him too, I guess.

Ted: I think she wants to know what you do for a living, sweetness.

Eden: Oh! I illustrate children’s books, teach a few yoga classes, sell some art prints at local markets and on Etsy…

Ted: She’s an artist. I’m Ted Hughes. Thirty-six. I’m a founding partner with HMP law firm, specializing in contract law.

Eden: He drives a motorcycle.

Ted: I drive a motorcycle.

Eden: And he has tattoos.

Ted: I do.

Eden: I only added that because otherwise people think all you do is work.

Can you tell us a bit about your school days?

Eden: I was homeschooled for a while. Mom was an actress and I went to all her performances. I’d do schoolwork in the back row of the theatre. Formal schooling wasn’t really my thing. I tried community college, got about a year and a half into my associates degree and then got an offer I couldn’t pass up.

Ted: I didn’t like school much either. College was better, mostly because of my roommates. I was furious for a long time about the influence my stepfather exerted on my education, but in hindsight Harvard was good to me. It brought me Will and Logan, it brought me HMP, and without my law degree I may not have met Eden.

Eden: We’d still have met.

What was your favorite memory growing up?

Eden: Mom and I went on a trip down along the gulf coast. We were in her old, beat-up VW, and this was back before we had a GPS, other people might have had them, but we didn’t. Anyway we stopped at this tiny little diner for lunch and I accidentally left the map in the bathroom. We got another hour into our drive before we realized we didn’t know where we were going. Mom had to get to this tiny little theatre for an audition, and this big river had flooded and everyone had to detour off the main road. We stopped and asked so many people how to get there, but… gosh I wish I remembered the town name now… we were saying it wrong and we ended up in a completely different state. Mom missed her audition but we ended up passing this outdoor art fair, and she bought me a travel set of watercolors, and we shared a lemon ice, and it was the best trip we’d ever had.

Ted: I don’t have a lot of good memories of my childhood. I’m trying to make up for that now.

What was your first kiss like?

Eden: Brian North. I was fifteen and I let him kiss me after the winter formal dance. It was fine, maybe a 5? He’s wasn’t too slobbery, he said please and thank you, but I didn’t want to do it again so I set him up with my friend Marcy.

Ted: I don’t kiss and tell.

Eden: You can’t avoid all the questions, Bear. Fess up.

Ted: Fine. I was a freshman, she was a junior. A cheerleader. It was a good kiss. We weren’t dating, but she did let me kiss her again after that.

What is your ideal first date?

Eden: We go to a farmers’ market and walk around seeing everything available. Maybe there’s live music and we listen, or we sit and read together while I sketch. We buy fresh ingredients and come home and cook together, or maybe get something. From one of the vendors and just people watch.

Ted: Rescuing a woman who’s serving herself up to the cops on a silver platter.

What music do you listen to?

Eden & Ted: 60s garage band classic rock.

Eden: and Taylor Swift.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Eden: Paint, read, dance, spend quality time together.

Ted: run, go for a ride, watch her paint, read, or dance. Spend quality time together.

What is your favorite holiday?

Eden: I love all holidays, but probably Fourth of July. I’m not super patriotic or anything, but it’s one of the best ones to spend outside in nature.

Ted: I like the fourth too. My partners and I usually host a barbecue and have our chosen family get together.

What is your favorite movie? (or book or tv show)

Eden: We don’t watch a ton of movies. I like to read cozy mysteries or toe-curling smut. No in-between. We do watch every season of First Lady. It’s the trashiest dating show, but we kind of can’t resist. Not after Will and AJ were on the first season.

Ted: I recently re-read The Lighthouse Keeper and we did watch the most recent season of First Lady.

Eden: He also likes this super rugged show on the History Channel called “Alone.” People go out into the wilderness with like ten items and have to survive off the land. He also likes “Forged in Fire.” That’s another History Channel show

Ted: Are you making fun of me? This feels like sass.

Eden: Not at all. I love when you watch the history channel. I curl up next to you and paint.

What is your dream vacation?

Eden: Maybe Alaska? It’s one of the few places mom and I could never drive to, and I think the outdoor beauty would be inspiring.

Ted: Paris, to take her to The Louvre. Madrid, to see La Reina Sofia. Plano, Texas, to see Stephen’s Zhang’s work in person.

Eden: Those are all places I want to go, Bear. Where you you want to visit?

Ted: I just told you.

What’s your biggest secret?

Eden: I can share it now, since it’s already out, but my best friend in the entire world just got invited to go on tour with Cast & Prey. Romy’s so excited and everyone should go by tickets to see her perform. She’s amazing!

Ted: I was the one broke Mrs. Stein’s garden gnome. I didn’t mean to, I was trying to shovel her walkway and I accidentally stepped on it. I replaced it with a new one though, and I don’t think she noticed.

Eden: Wait, you broke the garden gnome?

Ted: Yes.

Eden: Logan told me he broke it helping her move those giant cement planters.

Ted: No, definitely me. The guy with the red hat.

Eden: Her gnome had a green hat. That’s why his name was Vert.

Ted: Then who was the red-hat gnome.

Eden: The replacement gnome that Logan bought. Honestly, for a lawyer you’re not very observant Bear. Keep up.

Ted: I guess I broke Logan’s garden gnome.

What responsibility do you hate?

Eden: Yard work. Honestly I just get distracted and end up daydreaming in the sun.

Ted: I don’t mind responsibility. Even if I don’t like doing it, I can do it for someone I can about and make their day easier. I’m not a huge fan of cooking, though.

What is your coffee order?

Eden: I always order a medium cold brew with butter pecan swirl, and sweet cold foam, and cinnamon sugar topping at Dunkin. But honestly an iced latte with oat milk and vanilla syrup hits the spot too.

Ted: Medium coffee, black.

Eden: I’m barely convinced he’s from Massachusetts. He drinks hot coffee all year long like a lawyer.

Ted: You drink iced coffee even when there’s three feet of snow on the ground.

Eden: Exactly. Like a true mass hole.

Ted: You aren’t even from here originally.

Eden: So what’s your excuse, Bear?

Are you a dog or a cat person?

Eden: I love dogs and cats. Will & AJ just adopted the sweetest little puppy from the humane society. She’s all giant ears and paws and they named her Foxy. I go snuggle her at least once a week. Eleanor’s coping well. Even bought her an “I love my grand dog” bandana.

Ted: She’s a cute puppy. Pretty exuberant with the kisses.

Eden: he’s a total cat person.

Where is your favorite place to shop for new clothes?

Eden: Mostly I thrift items, except Target. I can’t resist Target.

Ted: I don’t shop much. I have a pretty set work wardrobe…

Eden: That he buys from the outlet mall in Wrenthem

Ted: and most of my other clothes are t-shirts I’ve accumulated over the years and some shorts and jeans.

Eden: like all men’s wardrobes, they seem to just randomly spawn in his drawers while we sleep.

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