About a year ago, one day I was out trucking. I swung my 18 wheeler with a 53’ refrigerated trailer into a Walmart Distribution Center somewhere in Oklahoma and checked in my load at the receiving office. I was instructed to drive to a holding area and wait for the call to drive to a specific door for unloading. I parked my truck and found myself eye to eye with a female driver sitting in the truck next to me.

There I was decked out in my long skirt and shirt which I had found superior to the prairie dress for comfort and flexibility.  I’m sure I looked remarkably bland with undyed hair and the absence of face paint.  I am very comfy in my skin and I don’t mind a bit what the rest of creation thinks about a boring lady in a dress driving a big rig. Rats! The hazards of my confounded friendliness. I rolled down my window and said, “Hi! Nice to see another lady driver.”

To my conservative eyeballs, the woman resembled an anti-human specimen from a science experiment gone wrong. My suspicion was confirmed when at my greeting and the mention of the word “lady”, the creature harrumphed out some sort of noise that sounded like “Snort, Glarf, Rarrrrrrf!”

My eyes widened significantly as the humanoid laughed uproariously, “Don’t INSULT me by calling me a lady”, she barked. “I sure as HELL don’t want to look like a lady!” emphasizing the final word as though it was some kind of noxious poison.

She must have thought she hit the joke jackpot because her raucous laughter continued to reverberate through the parking lot as she leaned out her window and slapped the side of her truck. “Don’t get me wrong, honey,” she bellowed.  “I like men, but they can go to hell most days.  I’m mighty proud to be a BAD ASS and clear full of SHIT!”

My startled expression was a mix of horror and amusement, I imagine, as I struggled to keep check on my gag button.  Deep breath. And then I smiled.  It really was more funny than not.  “Well, hey,” I replied matter of factly. “You certainly have the right to be a bad A and clear full of sheeee-it if that’s the kind of filling you love.  For myself, I prefer banana cream pie.”

She roared, and I tittered.  Up went her window, and up went mine.  Each to their own.  I have no problem minding my own dang business.  Sure wouldn’t want to insult the broads of the nation.

That experience caused a certain amount of reflection the remainder of the day.  I was born a female and never desired to be anything else.  But see, I have this novel idea.  Just because I work like a man doesn’t mean I have to look like a man or act like a man.  My great great grandmother was a pioneer and walked across the plains a thousand miles to help settle Utah.  I bet she worked as hard as any man, but I seriously doubt she ever considered taking off her dress and petticoats and donning a pair of shorts and a tank top to get the work done.

How in the world did the modern woman come up with the idea that to be somebody, you have to be a weathered old nakedemus with purple hair and tattoos and a voice that sounds like rusty bolts in a bucket?  The sad part was the trucker woman was quite a bit younger than myself.  But to me, she looked very old, and I found her rather unpleasant. Haven’t women in the world caught on by now that if they want to be different or special, they could behave like a lady?

Soon after that I had another experience when someone I met along my journey asked me about FLDS dress code. That’s an old one. I have been questioned many times about that subject. Some of my mainstream friends have commented that it seems FLDS women all look the same. One flashy mainstreamer with a short man’s haircut, an inch of make-up, a bright red sequined pants suit, and four inch stomp­ers remarked, “I pity you women of the prairie dress. You seem to be severely lacking individuality.”

Hmm, quite the opposite, really. If you knew FLDS women per­sonally, you might think differently. When you focus on the body and its flashing beacons, you get plain boring selfishness. Everyone is the same—selfish, selfish, and selfish. When you focus on the mind and character instead, and your outward attire is plainer and simpler, you get a rare and unique society. You get the blessed consistency of superb individuality.

I suspect there is a serious misunderstanding in mainstream about woman power.  Popular theory claims that conservative Christian women, particularly FLDS women, are kept in chains and lorded over by men. Maybe it’s true in some cases, but it doesn’t have to be. It certainly wasn’t that way for me. I have always thrived on respect. Self-respect and respect for others is the magic potion to wonderful relationships. It’s quite remarkable how well-behaved both men and women can be when respect is the focus.

No, I do not mean to say that disciplining one’s self in respectful behavior means that we all walk around like guppies and have no fun or humor in our lives. No, that euphoric aura of respect did not come down softly like a snowflake and diffuse upon me all at once. I am as proud and sassy as any woman, probably more so. It took a lot of experience, both good and bad, to learn how to behave to earn both self-respect and the respect of others. But hey, the effort was well worth it.

I suppose I could be accused of being “old-school” when it comes to this subject.  I much prefer old-fashioned traditions when the roles of men and women were well-defined and each had their unique aspects of hon­or that neither sex tried to cross over and claim for themselves. True, there were many men in past history who were big fat ugly brutes who thought it was okay to treat women like property. But that has never been a Mormon principle. It was never part of my life or belief system. Many women, and even some men, claim that Mormon prophets, particularly Brigham Young, have been down on women. People who cuss don’t understand the prophets. They speak out of context and twist the words of the prophets to support their own claims.

The fact that most women refuse to be guided by a man shows me that most women have never known men wise enough and self-dis­ciplined enough to peacefully and successfully lead. I do understand. I wouldn’t want to follow a man who doesn’t know how to be a man. But I was rather spoiled. The men in my life–my father, brothers, uncles, leaders, and my husband were hard working gentlemen with a conscience and a sense of humor.

After I began my sojourn in mainstream society, I was shocked to see how children treat their fathers. The “old man”, the dad jokes, the sarcasm about the stupidity and servitude of men I found extremely distasteful. The sassy attitudes of wives towards husbands I found even worse. Modern society glori­fies rebellion, especially female rebellion. Women rule men, and men allow it. I consider it shameful and embarrassing. If women want men to man up, why don’t they help them by treating fathers, brothers, and husbands with respect? Wait. First of all, how about men behave so the women and children want to show respect. What an idea!

I grew up very close to my father. I thought the sun rose and set with him. I still think that about him. It was easy to honor him because he was honorable. He was loyal and faithful, fun and funny, respectful and respectable, and an incredible leader. I thank the Lord every day for my mother who instilled in me that kind of loyalty. Because I learned as a child to honor my father, it was easy to honor my husband, honor the prophets, and most importantly, to honor God.

Learning this honor and respect for male leadership instilled in me a particular mindset. When anything comes up in my life, happy or sad, easy or difficult, my first thought is not, “I think this, and I think that; I want this, and I want that; this is MINE, and that is MINE.” My first thought in any circumstance is, “What does my Heavenly Father think of this? What is His will in this matter?”

What does this mindset produce for me?  Peace.

I believe that the disrespect society shows to fathers and leaders is far more detrimental to the future of this country than most realize. Disrespect and dishonor and sarcasm are like cancer which spreads and destroys. Modern women with all their supposed power is just a stupid flimsy excuse to flaunt selfish will unchecked, which seems to lead to the bottomless pit of immorality. Modern society with its wimpy men and feminist Nazi women has been eating away bit by bit the entire infrastructure of this once illustrious country. It is only a matter of time until the structure crum­bles. Only Almighty God can make America great again.

I have quite a few Christian friends, and some of them have described the “proper way” of marital relationships, as taught by their religious lead­ers. One of my lady friends explained it to me. “The man is not the big fat boss. Both of us, a man and wife, are partners and have equal say. We share the responsibility.”

“I gotta see this,” I mused.

My friend and her husband invited me to go with them to a con­cert, and I rode with them for the drive. The entire time I was with them, they demonstrated this wonderful sharing concept. That poor man couldn’t make a single move without his wife sharing. If he drove left, she shared with him her plan to go right. If he sped up, she shared with him her resolve to slow down. When he tried to park in one spot, she shared with him to park in another. When he was ready to go home, she shared her plan to stay.

“Ah, so this is sharing,” I said, utterly bemused.

I seriously doubt my good Christian friends realize that what they have renamed sharing is actually nothing more than female battle-axe and male milksop. The man doesn’t dare squeak lest the little wife rain hell upon him for not sharing responsibility. Sorry, guys, you fell for it. Give a woman an inch, and she’ll take a hundred miles. You let a woman share equal responsi­bility with you, and she rules. Forgive my smirk. You simply can’t have it both ways. Imagine the consternation of a two-headed beast.

Isaiah 3:12

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

Of course, I absolutely agree that a man and his wife should share responsibility, but my definition of “sharing” is rather different. In my world, sharing meant for both a husband and wife to faithfully perform their specific duties and be willing to help one another without expect­ing anything in return. When selflessness, not selfishness, is the focus, the results are extraordinarily favorable.

To have the best kind of peace in a family, there can only be one boss. A good boss respects those who follow him and seeks their perspective and ideas. A husband and wife share the respon­sibility in this manner, but one of them has to have the final word. Doesn’t it just make sense that the man should be the boss before the woman? After all, God is a man, though many women contest that point. God created man in His likeness. They are obviously the bigger and stronger sex, though it might send some women into a tizzy fit to hear me say it.

Some broads consider it their life’s mission to outdo men, but in doing so, they lose the beauty of natural femininity. If that’s what floats your boat, go a floatin’ and see what exotic locale your craft floats to. Cut Your Own Throat Island, perhaps? Go ahead and be that Fat Broad with her club if it turns your crank.

I know how females think because I am one. Deep down, a woman doesn’t actually respect a man who gives in to her selfish whims. Nor does she honestly respect herself when putting herself above a man. And of course a woman doesn’t actually respect a man who throws his weight around, or his temper. The quiet peacemaker qualities of my prince of a husband, his focus on requiring more of himself than he ever did others, in addition to his un­bending resolve to behave according to Christ-like principles, taught me worlds more than all the male domination, or its opposite extreme—wimpy male submission, could have done in a million years.

When I hear women crow about their supposed power and want to damn to perdition all the men in the world, it makes me grimace and shake my head. For a great big mouthy smarty pants woman to declare her superiority over man is no more convincing than a pygmy gnat squeaking out its claims of greatness to a hungry dragonfly.  Chomp. Gnat is gravy. Dragonfly has a bellyache.

But, oh the power of a sweet, peaceful, hard working, unselfish woman with a smile. No comparison.

I find after much experience that the more I submit to God and His program in my life, the more self-respect and self-confidence grows within. True nobility in women is to cultivate the ability to govern one’s self in consistent positive thought and action. True woman-power is the ability of “get ‘er done” in any worthy effort, the power of self-worth, the power of a smile, the power of peace. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get that kind of power by jumping up and down in an anger tantrum, making a horrendous stir, and whining or complaining or demanding or harrumphing or bragging OR being a bad arse and clear full of shmoo. Banana cream pie is much more appetizing.

Give it up, Fat Broad.

Leave the poor snake alone.

Get a life.

 

 

In my first youth, I had a serious weakness for donuts.  I must still be going through puberty because now that I’m in my second youth, I still have a weakness for donuts.  But where is it written that I have to give in to my weaknesses?

When I was in my late teens, although I was active in sports, particularly volleyball, baseball, basketball, and yoga, I began to stack on the lubs.  After many repeated attempts of dieting, I finally figured out the secret to dieting.

DONUT DO IT.

What a vicious cycle.  Invariably with each diet, after successfully losing five pounds, one will just as successfully gain ten pounds until the rounds of blubber stack on like the rings of a giant Redwood.  Perhaps there are a few very special individuals in the world who are masters at enduring the self-inflicted pain of diet withdrawals.  But I suspect that most of us Chunky Cheeks can’t handle diets since the deprivation of our comfort carbs builds up inside like a time bomb until the cravings explode.  Many a time has a deranged diet victim been known to raid the refrigerator not only at midnight, but in broad daylight, or else run the four minute mile to the nearest carb store to get a baker’s dozen followed by the breakage of the current donut inhalation record.  Disgustingly delightful delicacies, to be sure.

It’s just not fair.  I’m telling you, those carb factories must have a hidden agenda to blubberize the world.  I mean, c’mon!  Why else would they take those giant triangular blobs of dough lighter than dandelion fluff, cut them in half, fill the centers with fluffy white cream, and insert sliced strawberries that peep out at you with all their mocking pinkness?  And if that isn’t enough, they slather fudge on top those dang things and call them Alligator Jaws.  Gotcha!  Sure enough, you succumb as the latest victim of the pastry swamp.  Your newest diet is a lost cause.  There should be a law against that kind of fat propaganda.  And for cryin’ out loud, they make those usurpers of diets so pretty.  Pastries are so attractive and enticing.  Okay, Marge the Large Barge, let it go.

I discovered early on that diets simply DONUT work.  The only way to truly become healthy and fit is to slowly implement a lifestyle change.  The first item on the menu is EXERCISE.  The only real and lasting way to change one’s metabolism in order to lose weight and keep it off is activity, and plenty of it.  The second item on the menu is Real Food.  Whole food.  Natural food.  Cutting waaaaay back on empty carbs and replacing them with plenty of high quality protein partnered with a plethora of wholesome vegetables with the life-giving element of natural enzymes enables the body to cast off the unwanted and keep the good stuff.  I discovered that as I quit dieting and stopped focusing on my donut deprivation, as I became more active and consumed more natural foods, the cravings for those pretty little pastries began to diminish.

It took a major jump start for me.  I recall the day I hit the 175 mark on the scale at eighteen years old and panicked.  I was so fed up with the Fat Fight, that night I decided I was going to run five miles.  I ceremoniously donned my black and white Tenny Runner sneakers while adopting the “I’m gonna do this or die trying” expression I had seen on Sylvester Stallone’s face as Rocky when he got serious about training for the big fight.  I considered glurping down a glass of raw eggs to get into the spirit of it, but decided to postpone that extra perk for Day 2.

I headed up the hill and out into the desert in the outskirts of Page, Arizona, where I was living at the time working as an office manager for my father’s construction company.  After one mile I wondered if I actually would die trying.  But I knew that if I gave up before reaching the goal I had set for myself, I would likely never conquer my flab.

Gasping for every breath, I spluttered, “Self, you gotta keep going no matter what.  You can’t let yourself get away with being the local Lardo Lass.  If you are content to carry on with the fat, there’s a whole lot more stupid stuff that will happen.  Besides fat, you will also get lazy, bored, and selfish.  Nope.  Gotta keep going or die trying.”

So, I died trying.  Well, nearly so.  But in spite of my self-inflicted pain, that first Battle of the Bulge taught me a huge lesson.  I could do whatever I decided I could do.  I proved to myself that my better self could manage my worser self.  My second five mile run was easier than the first, and the third five mile run was even better.  Okay, I admit it was torture.  Those aching muscles, not to mention the shin splints screamed at me with every wiggle.  But the good feeling deep down and the exhilaration of accomplishing what I had required of myself was well worth the punishment.  No, I do not recommend anyone suddenly going out and killing themselves off running five miles first thing if they are accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle.  It’s way smarter to start slowly, and increase as the body can safely handle it.  But I don’t regret the extreme measures I went to in order to grab hold of my rapid decline into the fat abyss.

I kept up that habit of running five miles a day for several years until the natural effects of motherhood crowded out my regular exercise and replaced it with more infrequent activity.  I had six sons in a row and found that running after six little boys with all their shenanigans was no small feat in and of itself.  Since I had the blessed benefit of living a community lifestyle among my people, the FLDS Mormons, good health was more achievable than in other environments.  It was a big part of our lifestyle to plant gardens, enjoy the fruits thereof, and preserve the harvest.  Being fit and eating natural homegrown, home cooked food was important in order to have healthy children and healthy families.  It was part of our focus.

I plan on sharing with you some of the Personal Assistants I discovered to aid me in good health and weight loss along my journey, which I will do in the near future.  With all the thousands of products out there these days, it’s easy to get lost on the road to fitness.  Now that I’m older and wiser, having joined the Great Big Middle Age Club, I find the renewal of diet and exercise well worth the effort.  Did I say that word?  Did I say diet?  What I meant was DONUT DIET.  Diets are only temporary, and we are more interested in permanent.  Make a lifestyle change.  Do it slowly by increments.  You will find yourself on the HIGHROAD to self-improvement.

Here it is 7:00 AM, and my truck is warming up.  Gotta roll the rubber to reach Amarillo by morning…

 

P.S. Marge the Large Barge was a term of endearment from my husband when I got overly tempted to engulf the components of the pastry swamp, particularly the illustrious Alligator Jaw. We won’t discuss my term of endearment for him. It was all in good fun, and we had a lot of laughs.