From “Stranger in a Strange Land”

After escaping from the nutcase in Winter Park who had hired me to help him establish world peace, I soon found myself driving through Golden, Colorado.  My head throbbed and my eyes were heavy.  So incredibly tired.  I had to get off the highway and sleep for a couple hours before I found myself upside down.  I saw a lovely little park down a hill near a neighborhood, so I took the next exit and circled around to the park.  I stacked my gear higher in the back seat so I could flatten the driver’s seat. I locked the car doors and fell into a deep sleep.

I don’t know how long I slept, maybe twenty minutes, long enough to be in that deep stage of sleep when you definitely should not be disturbed.  Wham! Wham! Wham!  Someone fisted my window so loudly and rudely that I nearly hit the roof.  Dazed, I tried to come to and clear my vision.  My heart beat fast, and my head was killing me.  I peered out my window and saw a policeman with a menacing face glaring at me. He motioned for me to open my window.

I rolled down the window a few inches and looked out hesitant and shaken.  “What on earth am I doing wrong?” I asked.

“Why are you parked here?” he demanded accusingly.

“Isn’t this a public park?” I answered softly.

“It is,” he replied in an ugly tone of voice designed to itimidate.  “But someone in a house near the park reported that you are LIVING here.  I am concerned about the safety of the children that come to this park.”

This was familiar.  I had met that same condescending tone from officers after the raid in Texas.  They had been suspicious and rude and accusing towards people whose only crime was to be busy all the time with normal everyday things like raising children, teaching school, weeding gardens, milking cows, and building houses.

“Why do you have tinted windows?” the officer demanded.  “What are you hiding?”

“I am hiding nothing.” I replied.  “I have been parked here for only a few minutes.  Would you rather I keep driving tired and cause an accident for you to clean up?”

“Roll down all of your windows!” he commanded.

I did so, and he peered inside at my belongings.  “You CANNOT live in this park!” he shouted.

This guy is two quarts lower than the world peace dude, I thought.  I was just about finished with his nonsense.

“I am NOT living in this park,” I replied tersely.  “I am looking for employment and a nice place to live.  You can bet it won’t be anywhere near here.”

The officer continued to glare as he demanded my license and registration.

I handed them over, and he returned to his car to converse with two other officers, one male, and one female.  Wow, I thought, I’m such a lethal threat they had to bring three cars with lights and sirens and three officers and all those weapons to protect themselves from such a dangerous criminal.

The officer returned, swaggering up to my window as though he had discovered I was a member of ISIS.  “WHY is your car licensed in UTAH, your driver’s license in TEXAS, and your car registered to WARREN JEFFS?” he almost shouted.

I sighed.  This guy was such a pompous idiot. Time to bring out the big guns and do battle.

 

From “Stranger in a Strange Land”

FLDS Lady Volume Two

Coming soon on Amazon

From “Stranger in a Strange Land”

I began to seriously consider hiding my identity as an FLDS woman.  So far, my job search had yielded nothing but suspicion and disdain, and I had to find a way to survive.  Soon, I would run clear out of money.  I felt I would sooner die than be found begging on a street corner like I saw many do.  I hated the idea of dressing down and trying to behave like someone I wasn’t, but I decided that a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

I found a thrift store in Denver and faced what I considered to be the hangman.  I had lived in a tradition of modesty for nearly fifty years.  It was a serious challenge to know how and where to compromise in order to fit in and cease the never ending questions.  After a couple hours of searching through racks of clothing, I gathered up a few items I thought I could endure.  I found a dressing room and began my transformation, into what, I did not know.  I took out the hair pins holding my chignon and let my long hair hang loose. I popped two blobs of bubble gum into my mouth to get into the act, and donned my selections.  Did I turn into a modern day chic?  Negative.  I came out looking like an escapee from the psych ward.

Outside the dressing room, I turned about in front of the mirror to observe myself.  There must have been a Two for One sale going on since a line of women stood waiting for the dressing rooms.  One fidgety teeny bopper quickly ducked into mine.  Oh, great.  Now I was stuck out there on Fashion Runway directly in the line of fire.  Since my dignity couldn’t endure form-fitting clothing, I had chosen a blousy top six sizes too big and a pair of trousers that had probably belonged to Melissa McCarthy before weight loss.  Can you guess the results?

Adopting a nonchalant expression, I walked around pushing my basket, which turned out to be a serious problem.  I needed both hands to keep my apparel in place and couldn’t spare one for the basket.  Clutching my neckline with one hand to keep myself from indecent exposure, I used the other hand to hike up my sleeves to keep them from dripping down past my finger tips.  Alas, that left no hand whatsoever to keep my pants from falling down.

My long hair hung in my face obstructing my view, and the large bobble necklace I had flung around my neck to complete my ensemble kept snagging on my unruly locks.  I thought the giant blob of chewing gum did indeed lend itself to the “casual” appearance like the “mainstreamers”, but it proved to be a magnet for my hair.

As I flipped my head going for the cool look like I had observed in a mod woman at the grocery store, my hair flew across my face and latched onto the gum ensnaring it hopelessly.  Between clutching my waistline to gather excess clothing, snatching at my protruding neckline to keep from falling out, hiking up the ends of my sleeves, and trying to de-gum my hair, finally, those wretched pants began to adhere to the law of gravity.  Reaching down to retrieve the miserable duds, my necklace snagged onto a bit of lace on the pants pocket while at the same time snaring itself impossibly into my hair, imprisoning me into a bowing position.  I jerked my head upward tearing lace, hair, and self-respect while dancing the penguin hop, wriggling and juggling to regain some semblance of dignity, but failing miserably.

I looked up to see I had an audience of professional mainstreamers all staring at me with expressions of horror and amusement.  I could see the headlines, “FLDS Woman Caught Posing as One of Us”.  Someone asked if I worked at the thrift store.  Obviously, I was in good company with the less fortunate.

Realizing I would NEVER make a good “normal” person, I made a decision.  I was SO disgusted with the whole world and everybody in it, but most of all, myself, for thinking I needed to wear disguise in order to fit in and be treated fairly.  With severely damaged self-respect, I waited in line for the dressing room, let the wretched fashions fall to the floor, returned my familiar attire to my grateful bod, wound up my hair and plopped it back into a respectable knot on my head, spit out the hateful blob of bubble gum, and walked out to my car.  Something erupted deep down and I mentally shouted to the whole world, but especially to myself.

“NO! NO! A thousand times NO! I am NOT going to apologize for living and get run down by the indifferent swarms of humanity.  I will be ME!  This is the United States of America, the land of freedom, and I am an American citizen.  I will believe how I please, dress how I please, and behave how I please.  It doesn’t matter if I am surrounded by ten thousand like-minded people, or all alone.  I am a Mormon girl.  Anyone who has a problem with that can go take a flying leap in the nearest sewer pond.  If someone is so small-minded and prejudiced that they won’t hire me because of where I came from, they can go back to perdition where they came from.”

My effort to disguise myself began and ended inside of an hour.  And I continued my search for employment…

 

From “Stranger in a Strange Land”

FLDS Lady Volume Two

Coming soon on Amazon