Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Teabagger, My Love - Part 2

Trish admitted on our second date — we went to Chili’s for dinner, and then to see Secretariat — that I wasn’t really her type. She’d been thinking more in terms of a Mike Rowe type — a gentile former Eagle Scout in an adjustable baseball cap, a Ford truck, and Lee jeans, the sort of man who, when his truck breaks down in the middle of nowhere on a cold, rainy night, just chuckles, as though at the antics of an attention-demanding toddler, whistles while he opens the hood, and then has the thing back on the road, actually running better than before, within 45 seconds. I pointed out that the other afternoon, when suddenly both turn signals began flashing simultaneously, and wouldn’t stop doing so even after I turned off the ignition, that I had manfully managed to disconnect the battery when I got home, to preclude its being drained. She laughed and said a real man would have figured out how to turn off the hazard lights without having to disconnect the battery. She wasn’t impressed when I pointed out my having done so first thing the following morning, after steeling myself at length for the daunting task of locating the requisite information in my owner’s manual. “Can you picture Mike Rowe being intimidated by an owner’s manual?” she laughed with our server, a buxom young woman with a tattoo on one of her breasts, and I’d never felt more humiliated in my life. Naturally, I loved it.

Trish’s favorite recreations include golf, tennis, and yoga. She admits she was a little iffy about the latter until her gym dismissed its original instructor — who apparently had a red dot on her forehead, and an unpronounceable name — and replaced her with a blonde named Babs, of all things. She is rooting for the Texas Rangers in the World Series because former president George W. Bush used to play for them, and because San Francisco is famously tolerant of ungodly behavior. As a former long-time resident of that city, I am able to attest to this; one New Year’s Eve, my daughter and I saw men embracing and even kissing each other as the clock struck midnight, and it was just disgusting.

Trish works in Human Resources at a media company that owns three of the country’s five highest-rated Christian rock radio stations, though she listens to none of them while driving. Trish enjoys listening in her car to audiobooks like Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue, Angelina Jolie’s reading of which should win her the audiobook readers’ equivalent of the Oscar. We’re accustomed to Meryl Streep nailing strange accents and vocal affectations, but who imagined that Mrs. Pitt was comparably sensational at it?

Trish finds Mitt Romney “cute,” and will vote for him if the Republicans don’t nominate Sarah, even though she is troubled by the rumors of the Mormons secretly regarding Satan as a prophet. She has admitted to me that if she were a lesbian, she would be on the next flight to wherever Marie Osmond lives these days, but of course she is no lesbian, and neither, to the best of my knowledge, is Marie, whom I at one point wanted to make gasp and moan, albeit not converse with, for fear that she'd be one of those who, in response to my slashing wit, mewls, "You're so cynical!"

Trish used to have a better-paying position in a PR company, but resigned when she was asked to get a coffee mug like everyone else’s — one that said Damn, I’m Good! — rather than asked What Would Jesus Do? She wears blouses with gigantic bows, and goes to a hair salon whose specialty is the Laura Bush bob, though she prefers the time-honored coiffure she sports in the accompanying photograph. She has tiny crosses painted on her fingernails every week at a nail salon whose mostly Filipina employees are slowly being poisoned by the fumes, but she will not allow her daughters to wear makeup until they are 15, or to date until they are 16, and then only with a non-Mormon chaperone driving.

Sunday night was Halloween. Instead of Reese’s Pieces or bite-sized Butterfingers or bags of M&M, Trish handed out miniature Bibles, but only to children not dressed as witches or tampered-with Tylenol bottles or members of ZZ Top or Barack Obama.

Ours is a very traditional diet. We eat a lot of tuna casserole, and a lot of chicken a la king. Thursday night is pork night, and Saturday steak night. We usually have fish sticks on Fridays even though neither of us is Catholic. Trish doesn’t mind other cultures as long as they don’t try to intermarry with and dilute our own. She prides herself on her daughters’ never having tasted Chinese or even Italian food, and on their not knowing a tortilla from a hole in the ground — unless, of course, they’ve fallen at their state-funded school under the influence of the children of illegal immigrants. One day when her younger girl was seven, Trish caught her playing at day care with an olive-complected girl, and burned her Barbies in the fireplace. It didn’t smell good, but Trish feels that it was well worth enduring an unpleasant aroma for a couple of days to teach Patsi a lesson she wishes someone had taught her.

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