It's election night: 2000. Steve, Mr. NPR Reporter, has been tasked to cover the election. Like, the ENTIRE election. Democratic, Republican, national, AND local. Big job. And because we've been married all of 1.75 months, I decide that I'll come help him. We spend a little time downtown SLC at Democratic headquarters, trying to interview the ONE Democrat who won his race. We miss him, though. And lemmie tell you, Democratic headquarters on election night in Utah is a sad, sad, sad place. So we leave.
Grand entrance into Republican Headquarters. The room is so loud that we have to yell to talk. There are balloons and laughing and music and cheering and every image of jubilation you can possibly think of. There is one sad looking Republican, the one beat by the lone Democrat of course, walking around trying to look stoic. Everyone avoids him.
So there are SO MANY winning Republicans to interview that Steve is running around like a madman. I am tasked with recording all of the formal speeches given. I have my microphone, my recorder, I look like a genuine journalist.
Orrin's speech is the biggest one of the night. (He being almost as powerful as Oprah in this state.) I have staked my place at the front of the crowd and I hold my microphone up to him like the best of the best reporters. Easy as pie, my job. Well, his speech ends and he comes down off the podium to start his individual interviews. The TV stations seem to have the biggest people to strong arm him over. So, he goes to do interviews.
Meanwhile, the next speech to record isn't for awhile, and if you recall the election night of 2000 you know that things are starting to get pretty interesting with the whole "who's gonna be president?!" question. Lucky for me Republican Headquarters is equipped with a 25 foot tall TV projection. Probably of Fox News. Can't be sure. So, I turn my back on Orrin to watch TV.
Orrin and I are actually back to back at this point. He's interviewing with some TV station and his hands are clasped behind his back like this:
Only he has a shirt on, obviously.
Well, he must be nervous because his hand is slowly squeezing in and out. In and out. In and out.
Meanwhile, I can't see the 25-ft tall TV very well, so I'm backing up. Backing up. Backing up. Ever so slowly.
I feel a giant MAN HAND squeeze the world's largest chunk of my BUTT.
So, what to do? I scream. And I jump. And I turn around.
And it's Orrin Hatch. (Who doesn't flinch. Not even an inch.)
And we're live on channel four.
Actually, I don't remember what station he was interviewing with at the time. All I know is that I started laughing SO DANG HARD because FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE I would get to tell the story about the time that Orrin Hatch grabbed my butt.
Later that night when we were interviewing him, I kept looking at my lap and giggling. There he was, chatting with my husband about politics. Meanwhile, the man had no idea that the random piece of flesh he found between his fingers earlier?
not that anyone except my mom would consider me "radical" with my feminism... well, maybe that's too strong a statement. probably my bff would, too.
So, y'all know I don't like to get all political because peeps with SO many different political views read the blog (plus I'm a confrontation-phobic mormon girl who understands only *passive* aggression so I don't like to get yelled at in the comments) but it's election season and sometimes I can't help myself because I have a big, fat, mouth.
I've been doing research on the ERA for a book I'm working on. The book is set somewhere between 1973 and 1978 (haven't decided yet), and has a pregnant teenager, so I need to know all this stuff.
First: BYU is usually pretty good with having books. Best library in the country, according to many years of the Princeton review. But how many books could I find specifically about the ERA? Three. One was a "children's" book. One was written by Orin Hatch. The other they have mysteriously managed to keep out of my mailbox. Granted, I didn't look very hard for these books and maybe if I'd looked harder I could've found more, but usually the BYU library is so good I don't *have* to look very hard. Should this tell me something? Maybe. I dunno.
Second: So I'm reading Orin's book. Orin and I go way back. (refer to the title of this post!) And the first few chapters, I'm actually impressed. Dude was making a really intelligent, fascinating argument against the ERA. Stuff about the technicalities of wording in the way the constitution is interpreted irregardless of original intent. Stuff about the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. Stuff I totally hadn't thought of and was finding deeply compelling.
We get to chapter 7.
Chapter 7 is where Orin tries to shock us by all of the horrible things that could happen if we pass the ERA. Things, that if they were to happen, we might "regret" (page 41). Here are some of the things:
1) Homemaking might have to be recognized as a profession; and we might even [horror!] have to allow homemakers social security. [Um... I was a SAHM for awhile and, seriously, hardest thing in my life. Ever. Period. I say, YAY for recognizing it as WORK.]
2)Wives might have an equal claim to property! [Because... the house I live in belongs to my husband? Pulease.]
3)And speaking of men, did you know that we might have to give fathers of illegitimate children, like, a right to *see* them?! [because encouraging father-child interaction is SO horrific?]
4) Women might realize that many of the skills of motherhood are [wait for it] *learned.* As in, you're not born with them just because you're a girl! We can't have that, can we?!
5) And if women realize that they're not suited to motherhood, they *might not have babies.* [because what *every* baby wants is a mother who resents them.][mini rant: and why is it bad to reward *devoted* mothers (#1) and to encourage *ambivalent* mothers? (#5) seriously? end mini rant.]
6) And those women who decide that they want to work part time and be with their kids part time? Well, the government would have to provide day care for them. [Wouldn't this sorta get a lot of women off welfare? And this is bad... how?]
7) Oh, I could go on. But my obvious snarkiness is starting to annoy even me.
So I try to keep reading. Chapter 10 is all about how we can't give rights to WOMEN because then HOMOSEXUALS might have the right to get married. [If we can set aside the fact that ALL of the logic Orin used about the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment (*against* the ERA) is prettymuch the *identical* logic used by those who say that gay marriage is a constitutional right...] Can you say RED HERRING?!
And then I get to chapter 11. The "potty" chapter. (I kid you not.) Which says that if we pass the ERA, we'll have to have unisex bathrooms because we have to treat everyone the same. [It also says a very snarky thing about feminists lacking "common sense," but I digress.]
Oh, Orin. Seriously? Seriously the ONLY way to treat the sexes equally is to have a unisex bathroom?! How about this: instead of everyone having access to "identical" facilities, we write into law, "everyone shall have an identical *right of access* to the facilities *they require* for potty purposes." That way disabled people would have handicapped stalls. Men could have their urinals. Women could have the 2X-as-many-as-men bathrooms that they need all nicely equipped with tampon receptacles. And even the strictest constitutionalists would agree that this satisfies the "identical" treatment required by the ERA.
I had to stop reading. I was about to start crying. And it was mostly Orin's fault. And a little bit the fault of the fact that SO many people use RIDICULOUS excuses to avoid taking action. Things that could have been super-easily overcome if they were *at all* interested in treating the marginalized as equals.
Thus, let us return to my title. Orin Hatch did, in fact, grab my butt. (True story!) I haven't put it online before because, well, what did he ever do to me? (except grab my butt.) But because Orin ticked me off? The truth must. be. told.
But this post is already too long. Read tomorrow to find out the rest of the butt-grabbing drama!
because my boyfriend, Lon, is hosting a Miss Provo fundraising day! On Saturday, November 1, 50% of all proceeds go to support Miss Provo. Miss Provo will be hanging out there all day. Probably with balloons on the side of the road trying to BEG people to come inside.
Lon's food is seriously the best food in Provo, folks. That's why Steve doesn't even mind Lon being my boyfriend.
This morning when I woke up my eye was so crusted with gook that I had to get a cloth to wipe it down before I could pry my lid open to put in the antibiotic drops. Anyone know how long those things are supposed to take to work?
Cherie was actually on NPR the other day, which is how I know, but:
1) She and tony do NOT have two children; they have at least three and possibly four. (I couldn't tell if her "unplanned" final pregnancy was her third or fourth, but they did call her a "mother of three" at least once.)
2) Steve and I were at that State Department meeting. But nobody even remotely famous was. So I'm pretty sure that this included the Blairs. [Although, there were some *local* celebrities there, so I guess that might count as "remotely" famous; your call.]
3)Cherie Never once mentioned B.G. Maybe they're secret fans, but I am unaware of it.
4)I'm also guessing that if their first baby was a petri dish baby, it would have come up. It didn't.
Which leaves only #5!
Cherie and Tony did--in fact!--meet each other for the first time when they were competing against each other for a scholarship to law school. She won.
Steve and I have been in three different wards since we got married (more than 8 years ago!!). Our downtown ward was 80% over the age of 70 (no joke; the clerk did the math!); our ward here is populated by a variety of people whose main commonalities seem to be the beliefs that 1) you're *born* into a ward and 2) education is something deeply, deeply suspicious; our Orem ward, on the other hand, was filled with people who were SO FAR RIGHT on the conservative spectrum, that they literally weren't Republicans anymore. They'd have 13 kids and an orchard from which they'd can peaches and they'd sit on the porch with their guns and 13 un-immunized, homeschooled children, waiting for Armageddon to come.
Basically, as a former-NPR reporter married to a writing professor--both of us youngsters with multiple degrees and absolutely no desire to can peaches or have 13 children--we've never fit in *anywhere.* But you might be surprised to learn that our favorite ward wasn't downtown (where, I learned today after chatting with my friend Craig, that a seriously fun drinking game would be "spot the Prius or Obama banner!")(if I drank, of course) and it's not where we live now.
It was the Armageddon ward.
The people there were WACK, no doubt about it. Men were superior, women baked banana bread, no one went to public school, and EVERY church meeting somehow devolved into a rant about the importance of Food Supply and Emergency readiness.
But they were *kind* to us.
They might have looked at us like we were slightly... odd... but they never said anything mean. They got to know us immediately. They always invited us to their Armageddon-preparedness events. They did their best to figure out what we were good at and how we could fit into the ward. They asked me to arrange music and play the piano and they asked Steve to run the Elder's Quorum, and they wouldn't stop gushing about how good we were at it. When we had to move out of the ward for Steve's job, the entire young women's organization showed up to help me deep-clean my house--and they wouldn't let me pay them. Women brought me banana bread and they commiserated with how difficult it was to have a little baby at home. They bought my baby books and treated him like he was practically God's gift to all babies. And when they were nice to us? There was never a sense that "Oh, they're our service project," or "oh, look how odd they are, they must need fellowshipping..." They were just... nice.
We learned one, terribly important, lesson the year we lived there: People will forgive ALL KINDS of crazy if you're kind.
It didn't matter that they thought the US government was going to crumble in a matter of weeks or that they obsessed about canning peaches and shooting deer: they were our favorite.
Crazy doesn't matter when you're kind.
(And it probably won't matter at the END of DAYS, either.)
People have been telling me I look hot a lot lately. "How much weight have you lost?!" they ask. "80 pounds," I tell them. And then they go, "How did you DO that?!" So I thought I'd tell ya'll.
Step 1: Scream at the anesthesiologist: "I weigh 240 friggin pounds! Whatever you have in that epidural, you're going to need to add more!" This won't help you lose weight, but it will help you feel less pain.
Step 2: Give birth. This is good for an immediate loss of about 15 pounds of baby, amniotic fluid and placenta. New weight: 225.
Step 3: Pee a lot for a week. This is how your body gets rid of 5 pounds worth of extra pregnancy blood volume. New weight: 220.
Step 4: Immediately start a diet.
Step 5: lose nothing.
Step 6: lose a whole lot of nothing.
Step 7: swear a lot.
Step 8: get in a bad car crash, break your back, and stay in bed for a year. This is good for at least 10 pounds of lost muscle mass!
Step 9: start a diet again.
Step 10: lose nothing again.
Step 11: swear a whole lot more.
Step 12: because you're so depressed about being fat, have your doctor put you on Wellbutrin. It has chemical similarities to speed and you'll drop a few pounds. Sure, you'll shake a whole lot and seem manic and won't be able to sleep, but you'll be down to 201!
Step 13: Get stomach flu
Step 14: get it again
Step 15: and again
Step 16: and again
Step 17: get it SIX TIMES in ONE WINTER
Step 18: And then to top it all off? get a parasite. give it to your sister, Miss Provo. she'll name it "Gouda." She'll lose more weight than you do, though, and you'll be jealous and then really disturbed about the implications of your jealousy over the effectiveness of a *parasite.*
Step 19: Start fainting a lot in public. This won't help you lose weight, but it sure will up the drama factor in your life!
Step 20: Because your body hasn't had calories in MONTHS and you're depressed, have your doctor add Prozac to your diet. Haha! Did you know that the combination of Prozac and Wellbutrin is strikingly similar to the chemical structure of Fen-Fen? Start losing, like, a pound a day. Freak everyone out. Faint more. Shake a lot. Think you might be dying. Quit the Prozac.
Step 21: Since it's been more than half a year without steady nutrition, why don't you get a parasite again? (Yeah, that's right. TWICE. In AMERICA.)(And I'm not even kidding about having a parasite. Go read my blog archives!)
Step 22: Have your pancreas go insane. Maybe from genes. Maybe from the fact that you've been without food for so long. See, if your pancreas stops producing insulin with any sort of reliability, your blood sugar spikes. Which makes you lose even more weight! Who knew, right?!
And last step of all, when you finally get your blood sugar under control, go on a diet again to keep it under control! Oh, did I mention that diet isn't enough to keep the sugar down? You have to exercise! ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME!
That, my friends, is how you lose 80 pounds in 2.5 short years. I might have gotten the order a little wrong, but it's pretty close, I think.
And is it just me, or is anyone else a little alarmed at how "hot" you look after being, like, *SICK*?! This country is wack.
"Christianity should mean two things: 1) Love God 2) Love your neighbor. And really, when you filter out all the bullsh*t, the best parts of every religion on earth are some version of those two things. 1) You are not the center of the universe. 2) So stop being such an a$$h*le. On this hangs the law and the prophets."
So, I'm in the post office when a lady walks in, talking to herself. She has gray hair, tight-fitting red stirrup pants, and a turtleneck with cartoon characters on it; she's not exactly the technology-embracing type, but I give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she's talking on a cell phone headset.
She gets closer and I see no headset. And suddenly, her voice completely changes and she turns to an invisible person. And then it changes back. And then there's a third voice. And then all of the voices are fighting with each other.
And I wonder... could she be having a stroke? Am I a bad person for thinking that she's crazy when all she needs is for me to call 911? But no one but me seems to be paying attention. They don't even seem to notice how angry one of her voices seems to be getting. Maybe I'm the crazy one, I think. Maybe she's talking to the people in line and I just don't notice.
So I do my business, get out of there and walk toward my car. The lady comes out--still talking to herself--and gets behind the wheel of a red sedan, pulling out quickly and speeding away.
A man watches her do this and turns to me, shaking his head and says, "is it just me, or should that woman not be driving."
"Oh, good," I say. "I'm not the only one who noticed."
1) confessional. ie: "Mommy, Taylor and I are getting married." Mommy: "who's Taylor?!" Sam: "She's from my school. She loves me. Almost as much as Trixie." Mommy: "Trixie?!:
2) delusional. ie: "Did you know that my legs are broken? The doctor broke them. I guess I'll just have to race wheelchairs."
3) hallucinatory. ie: "Mommy! Buzz is talking to me! He's really talking! Can you hear him?!" (I couldn't.)
And, yes, Buzz is wearing surgical gear. The nurse put it on him, right before they pulled Sam away in a wagon/bed. All pretty awesome.
Sam's doing well, BTW. He's watching TV and is overwhelmed by all the drink choices we put on his bedside tray. ("There's too many," he says. "I can't decide.") The nurses said he's pretty much the only baby they've ever seen who hasn't cried even once. (We'll see how long that lasts...)